Negative Scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jonathansm, May 17, 2012.

  1. Jonathansm macrumors member

    Jonathansm

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #1
    I have a bunch of black and white 35mm negatives, and I love taking pictures with my old Canon A-1 and developing the film. The only problem I am facing right now is I need to scan them, I want a really nice negative scanner. I have done some looking around but I really can't decide what to get. Does anyone have any good luck with any negative scanners. I would like one that can keep the feel of black and white film.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I'm getting pretty good results on both negatives and positive slides using an Epson V700 with Vuescan. The upside is that if/when I buy a medium format film camera I can scan that too whereas a dedicated 35mm negative scanner could not.

    Some examples, all shot on a Leica M3 with Summicron 50mm, either Kodak Tri-X 400 or Fuji Velvia 50

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by r0bbieduncan, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by r0bbieduncan, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by r0bbieduncan, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by r0bbieduncan, on Flickr
     
  3. Jonathansm thread starter macrumors member

    Jonathansm

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #3
    Those pics look nice. I like how the black and white pics still have the feel of being from film. The only problem I see with the Epson V700 is the price, pretty steep. I will keep my eye on ebay maybe Ill get lucky. I know that if I want them to turn out good I am going to need to get a really good scanner and I know that it will cost a good amount but has anyone had any luck with a little bit cheeper scanner?
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I bought mine on eBay as the new price is, as you say, quite high. I paid £360 on eBay which I thought was a reasonable price.
     
  5. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I have an old Nikon Coolscan (Mark 3 I think) which does quite a nice job. unfortunately though it is SCSI which is obsolete now. I have a SCSI card but nothing to plug it into anymore. If you are able to run this kind of thing there must be many of these around at good prices on Ebay etc. It scans 35 mm film and slides.
     
  6. Apple Key, May 17, 2012
    Last edited: May 17, 2012

    Apple Key macrumors 6502a

    Apple Key

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    #6
    Put in another vote for the Epson V700. For the price, it is a wonderful scanner. I've used it to scan photographs and negatives - medium format, 4x5. It wouldn't beat a high-end drum scanner, but I'm very happy with it.

    Scratch that, I have the V750 (just checked my Amazon order history).
     
  7. MacCruiskeen, May 17, 2012
    Last edited: May 17, 2012

    MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #7
    The older ones can be had cheap, but the most recent Nikon scanners (the 5000, 8000, and 9000) are going for crazy prices (i.e., almost as much as used Imacons).

    I've got a Epson V750 (a slightly modified V700 with different software), and it would be hard to beat for the price (i.e, there are better scanners but they will cost you a lot more money and are less practical for home use). A flatbed scanner isn't as good as a dedicated film scanner, but can scan flat art as well.

    Your alternatives would be to use a scanning service (either one that does sort of cheapish bulk scans on a Nikon-type scanner, or a more expensive press-ready type scan). It kind of depends on how much film you have to scan, do you want to make prints from the scans, whether you're going to have more to do in the future. (i.e., if you are just going to scan a backlog and then not do much scanning in the future, you might be better off going this route).
     
  8. Jonathansm thread starter macrumors member

    Jonathansm

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #8
    I plan on using the scanner a bunch. The only thing that has been holding me back on doing more film photography is not being able to digitize them. I am not to worried about needing to scan other formats thats why I am wanting more of a negative scanner. Ill look more into the nikon ones.
     
  9. Apple Key macrumors 6502a

    Apple Key

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    #9
    If you want the best, go for a Hasselblad. An older model just sold on eBay for $3900, and a new one seems to run between $16K and $25K.

    Otherwise, you could look into the Nikons.
     
  10. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #10
    Well, you know, darkroom gear can be had very cheaply these days...a tank, a couple of reels, you're in business.
     
  11. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    I had a gig doing photo retouching for a while and one of the larger projects I worked on was putting together a photo book for an artist that had the bulk of his sizable amount of material on slides or film of varying sizes.

    I used a Canon flatbed scanner with plates for slides and various sizes of negatives...it their 9000 series I think. Anyways, it did the job wonderfully. The scans were of very good quality, the software tool was very good, and produced wonderful results when associated with photoshop. And being a flat-bed scanner, it was also a more flexible tool.

    I'd highly recommend Canon's negative scanner if your budget is around $200 and you have various sizes of slides and negatives. If the material is all 35mm in good shape and you're aiming at a higher budget, you might be better suited with one of Nikon's offerings.
     
  12. 100Teraflops, May 18, 2012
    Last edited: May 18, 2012

    100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Elyria, Ohio
    #12
    I have a question. How much detail etc will be lost scanning a negative, saying it's an Epson, Canon, and Nikon scanner? I have a few negatives to scan, but obviously, I don't have the original photos.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    Another thing to keep in mind.... any neg scanner released in the last few years is probably as good as it's gonna get. What I mean is this..... From what I've read, and observed, no one is investing money in improving the quality of negative scanners anymore So a neg scanner released today is not going to be any better than one released a few years ago. (There just isn't enough neg scanning going on now to justify the expense of making a better one.)

    So... as long as a used one is in good working condition, there shouldn't be any reason to not get it ... except for not getting a warranty. You may want to source a used one from a pro-camera store. Even a 30 day warranty will give you enough time to make sure it works.

    Good Luck.
     
  14. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #14
    Check out the profession reviews. All say you need a dedicated 35mm scanner for that format. You could send out thousands before it paid off to have a decent home unit, which are getting old and cranky now anyway. Why not have a pro using a hugely expensive scanner do this for you.

    It is very easy to convert film to digital. Many people send the exposed film to places that both develop and scan the film. You get it on a disk, play with the image on your screen using any popular program and then either print it yourself on an inkjet or send it off to a printing service that uses incredibly expensive printers that print any size on any medium.

    I sent one out to Apple and they did a great job. Anything decent gets sent out from now on and that includes B&W. This is the cheapest, easiest and highest quality way to go. Check the high-end printing forums in case you think you might want to get your own high end devices and learn to use them properly!
     
  15. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    #15
    I have a Nikon 5000. Probably going to sell it. It's okay, but film flatness is an issue, the CCD is pretty noisy without multi-pass (so it's slow), but the real issue is that Silverfast has some sort of bug that halves the resolution on OSX.

    The Nikon 5000 and Nikon 9000 are my favorite scanners I've tried, though. The Nikon 9000 with glass carriers is really great for medium format scans and both seem to handle 35mm okay. Awesome build quality, too.

    Anything less and you're getting really fuzzy image quality. The Epson might be okay for large format, but it's fuzzy for black and white prints. For archival purposes more than good enough, though. You can rent an Imacon by the hour in some cases, but I doubt it's substantially better than the Nikon scanners in multi pass mode except for the film flatness. Or you can pay for expensive drum scans. Not sure it's worth it...
     
  16. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #16
    That depends on a variety of factors. Most consumer-grade desktop scanners--even the best ones--are going to top out at around 2500-3000 dpi real resolution, and that is assuming you have good film holders and are careful with mounting (with my Epson, I use a 3rd-party glass film carrier rather than the Epson carriers). The real resolution of your negatives can vary a lot depending on the particular lens/film combination used. But most likely you are not going to get much more than about 4000 dpi or so with typical 35mm gear. So you lose a little, but you'll still get enough for a decent print. A good drum scan will of course be better (drum scans will also generally have better highlight and shadow detail), but it's too expensive to do for every negative.
     
  17. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Elyria, Ohio
    #17
    Thanks for the information! I am not buying a scanner specifically for negatives! I decided against it due to the data in this thread. I will contact a local photog and hopefully they will be merciful! :D
     
  18. dsblack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #18
    I recently bought a Plustek Optifilm 7600i negative film scanner, I'm pretty happy with it. I'm using it mainly for scanning old 110 negatives which I have a ton of (I actually found someone who makes a holder for that format). Cost me less than $400 new. Plustek seems to be the only company producing these scanners, and they even recently introduced a new line of them. I'm no pro, but it seems to do a much better job than my old Epson 3170 flatbed transparency scanner. It comes with SilverFast software, but I've been using Vuescan.
     

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