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What are you using for a 35mm scanner, for those who scan...?

I've been using an Epson v550 for a handful of years and it's probably my weakest link. I self-develop and would like to keep my film all in-house. 

But feel I'm probably doing my work a disservice by using the 550.

I would/will keep it for 120 film but considering other dedicated scanner options for b&w 35mm (Plustek?)

I do not wish to do digital camera scans...

thanks for any advice-

brian

Edited by bdolzani
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Happy user of Nikon Coolscan V ED since 2007. Still use two of these. They are slow but suit my need.   One of my first scans of Kodachrome, 2007 here it was a very difficult job, but results were correct after long learning curve   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! slide from R6, Apo-Macro-Elmarit-R 100, in Mauritius 'jungle'

For speed, particularly with b/w film, I use a Nikon D810 with a Nikkor 60mm micro lens and ES-2 film holder. I can copy a whole 36 exposure film in just a few minutes and work on the RAW files in PS. If I decide I want a better quality scan of selected individual frames, I scan these with my Imacon  scanner which gives me 6300dpi scans but takes considerably longer per scan.     ETA: "I do not wish to do digital camera scans..."  I dismissed the idea of scanning 35mm negs with a

If it helps, a scanner is a digital camera...it is just one with a single line of pixels that it reads as the sensor is moved, rather than one with many rows of pixels read at more or less the same time. The signal processing in cameras and with programs like Lightroom are much more advanced than any scanning software, and most people already have a DSLR, which is why people tend to gravitate it. There has been almost no development in scanners for 15 or 20 years...the only newer scanners are th

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Happy user of Nikon Coolscan V ED since 2007.

Still use two of these.

They are slow but suit my need.

 

One of my first scans of Kodachrome, 2007 here

it was a very difficult job, but results were correct after long learning curve

 

slide from R6, Apo-Macro-Elmarit-R 100, in Mauritius 'jungle'

Edited by a.noctilux
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Very nice indeed.

I scan my film (almost always XP2 Super) with a Canoscan 8800. It does very well, and suits my needs. These scanners get little mention and less respect, but I find mine fine and more than adequate. I recently scanned a negative on highest resolution, made adjustments in Photoshop Elements and Silver f-ex, and had a 20x30 inch print made by Ilford in the UK. The result was outstanding. It was sharp, fine grained and the tones were exactly as I saw on my screen. 100% perfect result.

For smaller prints I revert to my darkroom.

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1 hour ago, bdolzani said:

What are you using for a 35mm scanner, for those who scan...?

I've been using an Epson v550 for a handful of years and it's probably my weakest link. I self-develop and would like to keep my film all in-house. 

But feel I'm probably doing my work a disservice by using the 550.

I would/will keep it for 120 film but considering other dedicated scanner options for b&w 35mm (Plustek?)

I do not wish to do digital camera scans...

thanks for any advice-

brian

try out the latest plustek its very good

 

 

 

 

Edited by frame-it
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I use an Epson V850, as it lets me quickly scan my usual 20 to 24 exp rolls with one click (using the V700 4-strip carrier), and the 120 carriers work quite well also. The quick scan works well to review and select any for further work, but often the images from this are fine for my use. I generally only scan self-processed B&W, and have a lab scan color rolls. I also shoot some 127 (4x4), 16mm & Minox, which the 850 can scan with aftermarket holders.

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10 hours ago, bdolzani said:

 

I would/will keep it for 120 film but considering other dedicated scanner options for b&w 35mm (Plustek?)

 

Keeping your current scanner is a good idea for medium format and digital contact sheets, although an Epson V700/V800 would be better. But flatbed scanners are not good for 35mm so your only option at the moment is Plustek. Because generally speaking it's only the Silverfast software that changes between models buying a one generation older model at a discount makes sense if you are going to use Vuescan for your scanning software.

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For speed, particularly with b/w film, I use a Nikon D810 with a Nikkor 60mm micro lens and ES-2 film holder. I can copy a whole 36 exposure film in just a few minutes and work on the RAW files in PS. If I decide I want a better quality scan of selected individual frames, I scan these with my Imacon  scanner which gives me 6300dpi scans but takes considerably longer per scan.  

 

ETA: "I do not wish to do digital camera scans..." 

I dismissed the idea of scanning 35mm negs with a dslr for a long time but  already have a Nikon D810 and 60mm micro-nikkor that I use for work.  When Nikon announced the ES-2 adapter, I decided to try it out.  I was pleasantly surprised by the files.  The speed advantage of digitising 35mm film this way is a compelling argument in favour of dslr scanning. 

Other things to consider are the 'scan' quality from a 24mp+ dslr and a macro lens will give you far better quality files than scanning 35mm film with a consumer level Epson flatbed scanner and there will never be any connectivity or software update issues with a dslr, either! 

Edited by Ouroboros
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I think the problem is that most anything good is either expensive, old or inconvenient. Generally all three. I used to have a Minolta Scan-Multi Pro which did a good job, and I recommended a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 to my dad, and I think that worked great as well. I had a Scan Dual IV when I started, and that also did fine. The problem with all of these is age and old software requirements/connections, I believe. They are also not fast in their higher resolutions. I have been using Imacon and Hasselblad Scanners for my lab since 2006, along with a V850 for 8x10 and prints. I scan A LOT. I agree with Ouroboros that the best solution for most people these days is a decent camera scanning setup, especially for B&W. Is there a particular reason you are resisting it? For the price you are willing to invest in getting a scanner and the software/computer to use it, you could probably set yourself up with a good camera scanning solution that would be easy to set up and take down, and be more efficient than the older scanners. 

 

P.S. Hello from a virtual former neighbor. I grew up in Easton, so Fairfield is home-adjacent to me. Have been away for twenty five years, however.

 

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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I do agree for digital camera scanning, with some restrictions.

I wanted to scan my thousands of Kodachrome slides, so why the choice Nikon Coolscan V with the famous 'Kodachrome setting'.

Having done a lot of scans, the slowness of V -ED ennoyed me, so now I do some digital camera scans.

Not bad but this can not replace the V -ED :

- the Coolscan is very effective with ICE feature for 'removing' scratched or dusty slides (not many in my case)

- in-camera scan do need more PP work, so not great gain in total time

- when doing b&w negative ( ICE not available with V -ED), scratch/dust removing can be long in each case

...

a long thread to begin

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/276151-beoon-advice-please-functional-checks-prior-to-purchase/

 

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31 minutes ago, a.noctilux said:

I do agree for digital camera scanning, with some restrictions.

I wanted to scan my thousands of Kodachrome slides, so why the choice Nikon Coolscan V with the famous 'Kodachrome setting'.

Having done a lot of scans, the slowness of V -ED ennoyed me, so now I do some digital camera scans.

Not bad but this can not replace the V -ED :

- the Coolscan is very effective with ICE feature for 'removing' scratched or dusty slides (not many in my case)

- in-camera scan do need more PP work, so not great gain in total time

- when doing b&w negative ( ICE not available with V -ED), scratch/dust removing can be long in each case

...

a long thread to begin

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/276151-beoon-advice-please-functional-checks-prior-to-purchase/

 

ICE degrades images and is unusable or inadvisable with some types of film emulsion, including all conventional silver halide emulsions.  
 

dslr scans need no more pp than any other scanned file.

Old film of any kind will show more dust and transparency film ‘grows’ its own over time.  The key to a rapid workflow is to scan film ASAP after processing,  regardless of the scanning method.

 You cannot compare the time taken to scan old film with the time taken to scan freshly processed film.  
 

Dslr scanning is the quickest method of digitising film to a reasonable standard, including pp.

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As said,

I use the two types of "scanning" depending on my mood (not always 😇 ).

In most use, with b&w film freshly processed, I use Monochrom + Beoon+ Focotar as quick "scans",

then if need be, I use the slow-scan method for some frames, not all.

 

Photography for me is only one of my hobbies, so I don't need to reach the best results for clients.

I like this one ...Acros is the star for me 👍

 

 

Edited by a.noctilux
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6 hours ago, Ouroboros said:

For speed, particularly with b/w film, I use a Nikon D810 with a Nikkor 60mm micro lens and ES-2 film holder. I can copy a whole 36 exposure film in just a few minutes and work on the RAW files in PS. If I decide I want a better quality scan of selected individual frames, I scan these with my Imacon  scanner which gives me 6300dpi scans but takes considerably longer per scan.  

 

ETA: "I do not wish to do digital camera scans..." 

I dismissed the idea of scanning 35mm negs with a dslr for a long time but  already have a Nikon D810 and 60mm micro-nikkor that I use for work.  When Nikon announced the ES-2 adapter, I decided to try it out.  I was pleasantly surprised by the files.  The speed advantage of digitising 35mm film this way is a compelling argument in favour of dslr scanning. 

Other things to consider are the 'scan' quality from a 24mp+ dslr and a macro lens will give you far better quality files than scanning 35mm film with a consumer level Epson flatbed scanner and there will never be any connectivity or software update issues with a dslr, either! 

Thanks *everyone* for these helpful quick comments. 

Most specifically @Ouroboros, DSLR 'scanning' seemed like a pretty silly idea, given the impetus to 'shoot film' felt like a run away from DSLRs...so I see it as ironic that now DSLRs are valuable in the film process. I'm glad you shared this because yes that's how I've felt. Maybe I do get one, I do not have a DSLR but do have an F100 and plenty of Nikon lenses (and I've been thinking about getting a Nikon DSLR simply to compliment my vast Nikon lens collection, and perhaps to use with a newly acquired 80-400mm to use for a minor birding interest. But specifically not for film scanning ha). I guess I was hooked into the literal 'scanning' movement of a scanner, that feels correct. Triggering a shutter on a digital to shoot a piece of film shot with a shutter feels like I'm screwing with the Universe ha. 

SO, which means maybe I'll be swayed. I do have an old Micro-Nikkor 55mm 3.5 lens that came with the F3 I thrifted, an incredible find at like $75 for camera and lens. And that I believe IS a macro lens? It focuses down to 9 1/2 inches. 

And most notably, I can't believe how fast a whole roll can be done...scanning on flat bed it's like an hour. And I always get distracted in between frames because it's so slow. 

Regarding getting a Plustek, I do use Vuescan. 

So I see those as my two choices. 

thanks again everyone. 

brian 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

I think the problem is that most anything good is either expensive, old or inconvenient. Generally all three. I used to have a Minolta Scan-Multi Pro which did a good job, and I recommended a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 to my dad, and I think that worked great as well. I had a Scan Dual IV when I started, and that also did fine. The problem with all of these is age and old software requirements/connections, I believe. They are also not fast in their higher resolutions. I have been using Imacon and Hasselblad Scanners for my lab since 2006, along with a V850 for 8x10 and prints. I scan A LOT. I agree with Ouroboros that the best solution for most people these days is a decent camera scanning setup, especially for B&W. Is there a particular reason you are resisting it? For the price you are willing to invest in getting a scanner and the software/computer to use it, you could probably set yourself up with a good camera scanning solution that would be easy to set up and take down, and be more efficient than the older scanners. 

 

P.S. Hello from a virtual former neighbor. I grew up in Easton, so Fairfield is home-adjacent to me. Have been away for twenty five years, however.

 

Ah wonderful Stuart! Small world, very cool, thanks for saying hello. Speaking of Easton, I'm a proud dad in the fact that my 19 year old son is an EMT volunteer for the town of Easton. He loves it there. It was the first local town position he could find. He's at college now but this was his first summer working there.

And yes regarding those old scanners, there are people looking for old Coolscans, but I don't think I'd bother looking for something old. 

 

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If it helps, a scanner is a digital camera...it is just one with a single line of pixels that it reads as the sensor is moved, rather than one with many rows of pixels read at more or less the same time. The signal processing in cameras and with programs like Lightroom are much more advanced than any scanning software, and most people already have a DSLR, which is why people tend to gravitate it. There has been almost no development in scanners for 15 or 20 years...the only newer scanners are the Epson v700-850 models and some of the plustek ones, but none of them are truly high end. The last new top of the line scanner was probably the Hasselblad X5, which is basically the same scanner as the Imacon 949 which probably came out around 2003 or 4 (not totally sure...). It uses a single line CCD. If you think about how far digital sensors have come since 2003, you will get an idea of why using a DSLR can be a suitable replacement. The current range of DSLRs have much lower noise and high sensitivity and greater dynamic range than even the best scanners of old. Where they have a harder time is in film transport, light source, and dedicated software, particularly for color negatives. All of these issues are solvable with software or knowledge. A plugin like Negative Lab Pro can do a good job for color negative, and black and white is quite simple.

If you want to get fancy, there are now readymade solutions like this to help:

https://www.negative.supply/

But if you do not have a good digital camera, then you may still be best suited by getting a scanner. I have not used the PlusTeks, so unfortunately cannot comment on them...

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18 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

If it helps, a scanner is a digital camera...it is just one with a single line of pixels that it reads as the sensor is moved, rather than one with many rows of pixels read at more or less the same time. The signal processing in cameras and with programs like Lightroom are much more advanced than any scanning software, and most people already have a DSLR, which is why people tend to gravitate it. There has been almost no development in scanners for 15 or 20 years...the only newer scanners are the Epson v700-850 models and some of the plustek ones, but none of them are truly high end. The last new top of the line scanner was probably the Hasselblad X5, which is basically the same scanner as the Imacon 949 which probably came out around 2003 or 4 (not totally sure...). It uses a single line CCD. If you think about how far digital sensors have come since 2003, you will get an idea of why using a DSLR can be a suitable replacement. The current range of DSLRs have much lower noise and high sensitivity and greater dynamic range than even the best scanners of old. Where they have a harder time is in film transport, light source, and dedicated software, particularly for color negatives. All of these issues are solvable with software or knowledge. A plugin like Negative Lab Pro can do a good job for color negative, and black and white is quite simple.

If you want to get fancy, there are now readymade solutions like this to help:

https://www.negative.supply/

But if you do not have a good digital camera, then you may still be best suited by getting a scanner. I have not used the PlusTeks, so unfortunately cannot comment on them...

Thank you for this thoughtful reply...it makes a lot of sense. I have used NLP, I do have the plug in. But since I haven't been shooting much color film lately I haven't been using it. Plus I think one downside to it is that you have to scan in Raw, so you can't preview the photo/scan until you process it with the plugin, which to me is a disadvantage. A typical tiff scan you can see right away, and I may choose then not to process it. 

Since I don't have a DSLR (my digitals are a Fuji X-Pro 1 and my M240), this will indeed be the big decision. A Plustek being $500 and a used Nikon DSLR roughly $8-900. There are so many Nikon DSLR's is hard to choose...and I need to decide if I will use it perhaps for other shooting too.

Edited by bdolzani
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I think the Nikon D810 is about as low a pixel count to go, the reason being if you want to 'scan' medium format and particularly 6x6 one third of the sensor area will be wasted, so more pixels to start with is a good idea. You should also be able to use it with your other Nikon lenses and of course the 55mm micro is ideal. You can put together the rest of the DSLR copy kit for around £150, so a copy stand, Kaiser Slimlite, and software to convert the negative into a positive. If you pushed the boat out the Nikon D850 can turn a negative into a positive in Live View as you are scanning, but that makes it a very expensive setup. When researching conversion software there is Negmaster and ColorPerfect that both work in Photoshop, and Negative Lab Pro that works in Lightroom.

 

Edited by 250swb
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bdolzani - It doesn't have to be a DSLR, although the  ES-2 film holder does look particularly fast and convenient. I've been using, formerly my M9 and, then, the M10 with the Leitz BEOON copying stand, which is sturdy and accurate and fast to use, together with a Focotar II enlarger lens. The trouble is that the BEOON stand has become difficult to find and has risen in price. Mine was $200. 

I also have an old Imacon Precison III scanner with true optical resolution of 6,300 dpi and a dMax of 4.2 which has unfortunately become a boat anchor. Camera scanning with the M10/BEOON/Focotar  is much faster: 5 seconds per frame vs 12-15 minutes per scan with the Imacon Precision III at full 6,300 dpi resolution. Also, I found that digitalizing slide film I needed substantiality less color correction than scanning with the Imacon. The quality of of my camera scans comes close to that of my Imacon and, I believe, substantially better than using a Plustek scanner. Also, I found that digitalizing slide film I needed substantiality less color correction than scanning with the Imacon. 

There was another issue with my Imacon. A few years ago, when I tried using my Imacon again, I found that the scans were losing sharpness at the trailing of the 35mm frame (as the negative is fed in portrait orientation). After many hours of searching on the web, I found out that the cause was slippage of the belts that drive the feed of the holder mechanism. I would have had to replace the belts. Although I could buy the belts in the US or the UK at US$5 each — I was in Thailand — I gave up because, it seems that these scanners sometimes require belt replacement every six months or so. The belt problem also makes the film frame shift in the holder as it goes into the scanner in a way that cuts off small, triagulalr portion.

I then remembered from ten years perviously I often had had this problem, but didn't know there was a solution. As I didn't want to make the care and feeding of this Imacon scanner into a profession, I gave up on it. I should add that the problem may be aggravated by a hot and humid climate, which is the condition under which I used the Imacon, first in Washington, DC (hot and humid in June-August) and then in Bangkok. Also, some people told me that they felt that, because of this reason, as well as other maintenance problems, the Imacon scanners were more suitable for a professional lab, which is what Stuart is doing in Iceland.
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47 minutes ago, 250swb said:

If you pushed the boat out the Nikon D850 can turn a negative into a positive in Live View as you are scanning, but that makes it a very expensive setup.

Out of curiosity I have tried the LiveView digitizing function, but I must be doing something wrong - the images are blurred (no problem if I just shoot RAW either through the viewfinder or via LiveView, just as long as I don't use the built-in film digitizing). To add insult to injury, the JPEGs from the built-in digitizing are larger than the NEF files! I'll play with that further just to sort it out, but I'd rather be using ColorPerfect for the inversion than the in-camera version so I would probably stick with copying as raw files.

 

6 minutes ago, Nowhereman said:

There was another issue with my Imacon. A few years ago, when I tried using my Imacon again, I found that the scans were losing sharpness at the trailing of the 35mm frame (as the negative is fed in portrait orientation). After many hours of searching on the web, I found out that the cause was slippage of the belts that drive the feed of the holder mechanism. I would have had to replace the belts. Although I could buy the belts in the US or the UK at US$5 each — I was in Thailand — I gave up because, it seems that these scanners sometimes require belt replacement every six months or so. The belt problem also makes the film frame shift in the holder as it goes into the scanner in a way that cuts off small, triagulalr portion.
 

I then remembered from ten years perviously I often had had this problem, but didn't know there was a solution. As I didn't want to make the care and feeding of this Imacon scanner into a profession, I gave up on it. I should add that the problem may be aggravated by a hot and humid climate, which is the condition under which I used the Imacon, first in Washington, DC (hot and humid in June-August) and then in Bangkok. Also, some people told me that they felt that, because of this reason, as well as other maintenance problems, the Imacon scanners were more suitable for a professional lab, which is what Stuart is doing in Iceland.

Those belts are easy to change according to the gurus in the support groups, but I should say that temperature and humidity probably do play a part in whether you will ever need to. I never did even once over ten years of ownership in Nova Scotia.

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Brian, you can 'scan' with your M240, using liveview.

With Beoon + 50mm lens if you can find one.

Or with sort of slide holder of your choice in front of your Micro-Nikkor 55mm + 1:1 ring, F to M adapter with lighting as flash or even LED flashlight.

I must admit a bit monstrous comparing to Beoon.

With my slide copier Pentax, I can use cut film also.

Something like this, just in place of Pentax SLR, it's Leica M + adapter.

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