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Old Oct 14, 2012, 09:42 PM   #1
Old Muley
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Film Scanner for Odd Formats

Good evening everyone.

I've just been handed two large boxes of negatives from my mom. After inventorying everything, there are 3,500+ 35mm negatives, 650 negatives that are a mix of 126 and 127 format, 300+ 110 format and 40 "APS" canisters. In the past I've sent things off to ScanCafe for processing, but this order would be almost $1,700USD. That is really out of my pricing right now, even if I cut my order by 50%.

So my question is this: what is a decent film scanner I can get that will handle some of the non-35mm formats? I've searched through the forum and don't see anything definitive. Time is not an issue, since this can be a multi-year project.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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Depending on the availability of holders a good flatbed (Epson v700) might work...
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 07:15 AM   #3
Keebler
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It's expensive, but the Nikon Coolscan 9000 would do the trick with proper quality.

It's resell value is also quite high so you could do your scanning then resell it to someone else.

Or maybe rent one depending on availability in your area?

I have the Epson V700 and the coolscan 5000 (which doesn't do the larger formats) and hands down, the 5000 is superior (as it should be).

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Old Oct 15, 2012, 08:59 AM   #4
MacCruiskeen
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It's expensive, but the Nikon Coolscan 9000 would do the trick with proper quality.
As in it would cost more than the quoted price to have someone else do all the scanning. So not really the savings the OP was looking for. To do it for less $ and still get decent scans, the Epson is the only choice. And it would likely be worth buying a film holder from http://www.betterscanning.com/ (I use one with my V750, and the difference is very noticeable in the scans). They're working on 110 and 126 holders, just what Old Muley is looking for.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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As in it would cost more than the quoted price to have someone else do all the scanning. So not really the savings the OP was looking for. To do it for less $ and still get decent scans, the Epson is the only choice. And it would likely be worth buying a film holder from http://www.betterscanning.com/ (I use one with my V750, and the difference is very noticeable in the scans). They're working on 110 and 126 holders, just what Old Muley is looking for.
Buy a Nikon 8000 or 9000. After you're done, sell it for what you paid for it, or possibly more. The prices continue to go up, not down.

A flatbed scanner is fine for posting photos on the web, but is not in the same league as a 4000ppi film scanner for printing enlargements.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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Buy a Nikon 8000 or 9000. After you're done, sell it for what you paid for it, or possibly more. The prices continue to go up, not down.

A flatbed scanner is fine for posting photos on the web, but is not in the same league as a 4000ppi film scanner for printing enlargements.
You're assuming he wants to do enlargements, which he never stated. And even if you can resell the Nikon 9000 at higher cost later, you still have to have the capital upfront.

I'm using a cheap second hand Epson flatbed (40) to scan 1000+ family slides - it's slow but the results are more than adequate for archiving and web sharing.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 09:27 AM   #7
dimme
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I am in the middle of a similar project except the negs & slides I am dealing with are 35mm & 2.25. Because funds were limited I purchased a epson V600 & a used canon FS2710. I used the canon for the some of the 35mm slides very good quality ,but ended up switching most of the work to the epson because of the superior dust removal feature. The epson has digital ICE which is great for the color negs but for slides (kodachromes) and B&W negs it will not work. My final usage for these scans is a flicker family photo album. The film belonged to my late father and is 40+ years of family photos (my Dad shot a lot of pictures)
The larges investment in this project has been the time I have spent over 1.5 years and have about 3000+ done, Scanning is a small part of the project, the entering of medadata & color correction, dust spotting is very time consuming.

I agree with what other are saying about getting a flatbed and a film scanner. I like the epson V600 because of the stable light-source. It's slower that the V700 but with all the post scanning work scanning speed is not a issue for me.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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You're assuming he wants to do enlargements, which he never stated. And even if you can resell the Nikon 9000 at higher cost later, you still have to have the capital upfront.
And if you're going to go that plan, why not spend a little more and get a used Imacon.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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As mentioned, I think the Epson V700 is perfect for you. Don't bother with the V750, the extra features aren't worth the extra price, and the 500 series is a little small for your needs. The great thing about the V700 has over other film scanners is, as a flatbed, you don't need to use the negative carriers if you have an odd format (you can use the "film area guide") as it will scan anything 8x10 and smaller. I have also found that for large quantities of 35mm film, nothing beats the V700 at batch scanning. It is extremely simple to set up the scanner for 24 frames of 35mm and walk away. The software (in "professional mode" is full featured and you can choose a variety of options for speed vs. quality. I use a Hasselblad Imacon x5 and a Nikon coolscan 9000 at school and a V700 at home for the majority of my needs and I can definitely see a difference between the scanners but not a $23,000 difference. Plus, I find the driver for the coolscan extremely difficult if not impossible to use for batch scanning. The V700 is absolutely perfect for your needs since you have these odd formats, and even if you were only scanning 35mm and 120, I would recommend it to you anyways! It is the absolute best negative scanner you can get for under $1k.

Follow up:
I've noticed many people suggesting the Nikon Coolscans and Imacons. These are great scanners, no doubt, but much more expensive (even used, the only way you can get them) than the new Epson flatbeds and will require you to purchase separate negative carriers for each format you intend to scan, which will add up to hundreds of dollars for all of the formats you need, if you can even find them in the first place!!
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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Plus, I find the driver for the coolscan extremely difficult if not impossible to use for batch scanning.
Have you looked at VueScan? Might be of help to you as it's got good batch scanning although a bit of a cumbersome interface. Hamrick website says Nikon scanners are supported.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 05:40 PM   #11
Old Muley
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As mentioned, I think the Epson V700 is perfect for you.
That is actually what I'm leaning toward right now (I have one saved in my Amazon cart). I already have the pro version of VueScan, so on the software front I should be set. My wife suggested I go back through all of the negatives and pick out 10 to 20% to scan, and forget about the rest. While this would really cut down on either the expense or the time, I really don't relish the thought of pouring over 4,500 negatives to find the "good" shots.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 06:04 PM   #12
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. My wife suggested I go back through all of the negatives and pick out 10 to 20% to scan, and forget about the rest. While this would really cut down on either the expense or the time, I really don't relish the thought of pouring over 4,500 negatives to find the "good" shots.
I think your wife has a excellent idea, having almost completed a similar project I know my family is only looking at or downloading the good shots. And which ever you decide you still have to look over all that film.
Good luck, and enjoy the trip back in time.
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Old Muley View Post
That is actually what I'm leaning toward right now (I have one saved in my Amazon cart). I already have the pro version of VueScan, so on the software front I should be set. My wife suggested I go back through all of the negatives and pick out 10 to 20% to scan, and forget about the rest. While this would really cut down on either the expense or the time, I really don't relish the thought of pouring over 4,500 negatives to find the "good" shots.
For less than a hundred dollars you could pick up a Tamrom Fotovix II (make sure its not the III or any other version that is just for 35mm). It was this awesome thing from the 90s where a primative digital camera photographed your negatives on a light table and outputs them through an RCA video output to your TV in real time. It has color and exposure controls. I'm trying to get my hands on one for proofing negatives, I can't believe more people don't use these things!!

I first noticed Bill Cunningham looking over color negatives with one in the documentary Bill Cunningham's New York and I said "oh my god! I never have to make a contact sheet again!" Getting one of these with the money you save with the V700 will make choosing your edits without scanning significantly faster and easier!!!
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 06:13 PM   #14
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I talked to my parents today about the cost, and my dad said he'd be willing to kick in up to 1/2 the cost of a scanner! I think that made my decision even easier.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 05:34 PM   #15
Keebler
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As in it would cost more than the quoted price to have someone else do all the scanning. So not really the savings the OP was looking for. To do it for less $ and still get decent scans, the Epson is the only choice. And it would likely be worth buying a film holder from http://www.betterscanning.com/ (I use one with my V750, and the difference is very noticeable in the scans). They're working on 110 and 126 holders, just what Old Muley is looking for.
true..it is more expensive, but I think the quality is much better than the V700 or 750, but the benefit is that the resale value is just as high so he could sell it after.

Although (and this sounds like I'm backtalking myself lol). If I remember correctly the 750 can do wet mounts which is more work, but eliminates a ton more scratches from what I understand.

I definitely agree there are less expensive options available, but I think in the long run, it may be his worth to buy and resell one.

Cheers,
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 08:00 PM   #16
dsblack
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I bought a Plustek Opticfilm 7600i for scannning 35mm and 110 negatives. I also have an Epson V600 for print scanning and the oddball negative size I have. I think the Plustek does a much better job on 35mm and 110 than the Epson flat bed does, and it sure costs less than an obsolete Nikon unit. Can't do batch scanning on it though, you have to feed the holder manually frame by frame. Not a big deal for me as I only have a couple hundred negatives.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 05:58 PM   #17
SterlingBen
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Hi guys, I am in a similar boat. I have about 40 rolls of APS I want to digitize but not really the means to get a v700. Anything comparable on the cheap?
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 10:24 PM   #18
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Do you have any idea of how long it takes to scan thousands of slides!!!! And you are worried about the time it would take to sort out the bad slides? It is nothing at all in comparison.

Is it worth it to you to spend a few evenings sorting out the good photos if it preserves family history, or are you too busy.... Future generations are depending on you to do a good job with this. Do something you can be proud of and sort the slides and send good ones to a pro. They do a good job and you don't have to buy an expensive scanner, which would cost more anyway, besides the incredible time factor.

I have actually done this and it took some time, but not all that horrible and then it is done and you have something great.

A v700 scanner is great, I have one, but only for medium and larger format negatives and of course solid photos.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 07:00 AM   #19
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Hi guys, I am in a similar boat. I have about 40 rolls of APS I want to digitize but not really the means to get a v700. Anything comparable on the cheap?
Depends on what you mean by "on the cheap", which is not a phrase that is always used in the same sentence as "photography" . In the $200 range, you can find the epson v600 and the canoscan 9000f, though with varying quality results, as you expect at that price range.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 07:15 AM   #20
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I have been scanning 1000's of old family photos on a epson v600 and a older canon fs2710. I am about 18 months into the project and have over 6000 images scanned, cleaned & tagged. I can't even begin to count he hours I have in this project. I too thought of sending out the images to a pro shop, but the cost would of been prohibited. I am happy with the setup I chose. Hover my file is a mix of 35mm, 2.25, slides & negs. For APS you will need a scanner that will handle the film in the cartridge, unless you wish to cut the film up which many not be a good decision. Having said that it may be best to send it out.
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