good product and good price? Minolta film scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Keebler, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi Folks,

    I have an opportunity to buy a Minolta DiMAGE Scan Dual II Film Scanner for $200 USD.

    #1. is that a good price? It's apparently like-new...barely used and has everything original with it. I believe the individual as he's highly regarded on another forum.

    #2. is this a good product? I've read some net reviews and saw 1 other post here that the user liked it and used it to scan slides for folks. I would be doing the same - scanning film and slides for my business (and my own negatives).
    I'm decent at Photoshop in terms of editing and i like the idea of Digital ICE, but i find manually correcting damage garners better results than an automatic scan, in my experiences.

    It fits budget wise, but I would rather spend some more to get a better quality product if it's really not that great. The one post I did see on the net was that it can take up to a minute per slide. It doesn't seem long, but I'm wondering if i charge enough to make it worth my while.

    I currently charge $0.70 per slide under 500 and $0.60 per under 500 (quantity). I'm not sure where the fine line is between costing too much yet respecting the time and effort I put into it.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #2
    The Minoltas are meh at best. The scanner you're looking at has 2800ppi scanning, and worse yet, only a dynamic range of 3.2. Some of the Epson flatbeds have higher DR than that. When you're looking for a scanner, you want something that has a DR value of at least 4. The Coolscan that I have (5000ED) has a DR value of 4.8, which means that I can capture much more shadow detail and highlight tonality.

    The Minolta IS NOT a professional scanner, and was never meant to be. Starting a business with such a machine will mean slow scan speeds, subpar quality and unhappy customers.

    One thing you should know about the "good" scanning services out there- and I'm not talking about places like ScanCafe or the likes is that they use a drum scanner, which gives the best image quality that you can get from a slide or negative. The nice drum scanners will run you about $20k, while the personal ones like the Hassy scanners will be about $7k.

    There are some good books out there that are specific about scanning negatives. One that I have and that I can recommend is Scanning Negatives and Slides by Sascha Steinhoff. Perhaps read up on methods, issues with scanning, and that should give you a good idea of what you're looking for in a scanner.
     
  3. jewels macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #3
    I am a magazine photographer and while I shoot entirely digital now I would love to have access to my backlog of slide work in a digital format.
    Can you recommend a reasonably priced film scanner? Obviously not a drum scanner but one that could produce a scan that would good for a fairly high quality print (8x12)?
     
  4. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #4
    What is your price range? And also, do you have any medium format, 4x5's, APS, etc?
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    I don't under stand "charge" are you setting up a commercial service and you intend to charge customers 70 cents. If so you will not be competive with a Minolta scanners.

    If you have been paying 60 cents you can get it done for half that price with good results.

    I'm doing a scanning project too. Figure that it takes at least 5 or 6 minutes per slice even using ICS and doing minimal photoshop work. THere is just no way to get the workflow any faster. Even if you value your time at only $10 per hours you will burn more than $200 in labor quickly.

    I outsource the bulk of my work
     
  6. jewels macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #6
    For the question of price I suppose I had have to weigh the cost of getting it done commercially at a lab. For say 1000 slides Im not sure what the cost would be but if there was an option Id prefer to do it myself. So for price range Id say around 300-500.
    Yes it is only 35mm slide film.
     
  7. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #7
    For that price about the only decent scanner is the Nikon Coolscan V. The downside to that one, as opposed to the $1000 Nikon Coolscan 5000, is that the V is only a 14-bit scanner, rather than a 16.

    The main question that you have to answer for yourself is how good of a scan do you need. A place such as ScanCafe will scan your negatives and slides for some 24-50 cents a piece. Then there are professional restoration services that can make your scans look immaculate, and will charge you $50 and hour to do it. And there is everything in between.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    !,000 slides should take about 5,000 minutes of your time are the very minimum. That is 83 hours or more than two full-time weeks. Be sure to factor that into the cost of your project. But if you really want to spend the time don't wate it using a less then best scanner.

    If you have $500 to spend you can buy a better scanner then sell it when you are done for $500 less than the new price. The real price is the buy minus sell price. The Nikon scanners are easy to buy and sell on the used market. There are a lot of them around.

    But for well less than $500 you could send the entire batch of slides out and have it done for you. My 83 hour estimate is a bit optimistic
     
  9. jewels macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #9
    Good points. Thanks LoveSong and ChrisA. I will need to reconsider this. A professional service is probably the way to go.


     
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #10

    Interesting your take on Minolta and being all inclusive. I have a Minolta Elite 5400. I also have worked with Nikon's counterpart. I get great results from both with an edge going to Minolta Elite 5400. Be careful and simply state that this particular Minolta mentioned is not a high end scanner.

    As for scanning - I do both flatbed and dedicated film scanning. I do this as part of my living. I'll continue using the Minolta until it no longer can be used (as most know they are, like the "II" version not made anymore) and then get a Nikon. As for flatbed, it is a mixed bag depending on the film material and the state of flatness. Unfortunately, I cannot opt for using oil_to_glass for customers to flatten film material.

    I think that a medium price flatbed scanner would be a better buy than the particular Minolta mentioned originally. I would agree that a dedicated Nikon film scanner would be a great option if you can afford it and have enough slides/film to make it worthwhile. In the meanwhile a decent flatbed that has a good reputation for scanning slides/negs would serve well and of course provide a medium for scanning other flat art.

    - Phrehdd

    Mac Pro quad 2.66, 9 gigs RAM, x1900 Vid, 4 1-tb drives
    iMac 20" 2.0, 250 gig drive
    4tb Raid 5 NAS
    Photoshop CS4, Silverfast AI scan software, Lightzone, Lightroom
    Epson v750 Flatbed, Minolta Dimage Elite 5400
    Epson 1800 Printer, Epson 2400 Printer
    Target Use: Photo/Image restoration and retouch
     
  11. Brooklands macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #11
    Digital ICE

    I currently am using a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual III, and since I switched to my iMac this fall, have not been able to find a version of the software that includes the Digital ICE that would speed my processing of some mundane photos, but ones that have meaning to me and family. I currently only have the standard iPhoto and Olympus Master 2, so I need to find a better way to clean up dust spots that show even after using an airbrush with a soft brush to try to remove dust from the original slides.
     

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