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Scanning And Scanners  
User currently offline3DoorsDown From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3205 times:

I have found box full of slides and negatives and am thinking about moving them into the digital age. I have a few questions that y'all will probably be able to help with. They are all 35mm slides and negs. So here are a few questions.

When the negatives and slides are scanned, what size digital image or print am I going to get? Is it going to depend on the quality of the slide? The bigger it gets the more it will blow it out. This is probably a stupid question but I know you are smart enough to figure out what I am trying to ask.

What is at this point in time the best scanner in your guys opinion? Is there a better process than scanning?

If I choose not to do it myself is there a processing house that you guys trust and they do a good job.
I think Ivey Seright in Seattle did them but I believe they went out of business. Not sure on that but it looks like it.

Anyway, if you have any insight at all I would appreciate it. And by all means feel free to mention anything I have not asked about because eventually I will ask most likely..

Thanks,

Bill

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 731 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3112 times:

Quoting 3DoorsDown (Thread starter):
When the negatives and slides are scanned, what size digital image or print am I going to get? Is it going to depend on the quality of the slide?

Size depends on the resolution of the scanner. A decent film scanner will generate an image size comparable to the output of a current DSLR (this is not to say same quality!). There is no relationship to the size and quality of the original. A good slide will produce a good quality scan, a poor slide a poor quality scan, but they will be the same size.

As to the best scanner ... there is some very high end specialist equipment out there (eg. drum scanners) very expensive and challenging to use. There are a range of dedicated film scanners around (eg. plustek) which will produce good results at a reasonable price. You could also consider a flatbed scanner designed to scan film as well - useful if your originals are not all 35mm. In the UK, I would expect to pay around £300 - 500 for a decent scanner. Its been a while since I've been in the market, so can't compare latest products.

I use an Epson V750 flatbed and a Nikon 4000 coolscan film scanner. Both produce fairly comparable output, both have strengths and weaknesses. The Nikon range was quite popular round here back in the day. I think the last 35mm product produce was the Coolscan 5000, but I'm not sure this is still in production. May have some luck on eBay

I should warn you there is a world of difference between getting a scan of a slide/neg and getting a good scan! It's a bit of a black art and requires a fair bit of trial and error. It is also time consuming. Producing a max resolution scan at the highest quality may take 3-5 minutes per image and that's just the mechanical scanning process. On top of that you have to add the time taken to clean the original - you will at least need to remove dust (more difficult than it sounds!) and may have to deal with fungus or other forms of deterioration.

And then there's post processing - cleaning up the dust you missed or couldn't remove pre-scan, adjusting colour balance, noise/grain etc. etc.

In short, from start to finished file I figure I would spend an average of an hour per image.

So whether it is better to do it yourself or get it done commercially (which is not cheap if you want it done well) - really depends on how you value your time, the urgency and whether this is something you would enjoy.

Finally, you need to think hard about what is worth preserving. I recently went through a collection of B&W negs from the 70s and 80s. After I figured out how long it would take (and I am an experienced scanner) I reaslised a ruthless editing process was in order before hand. I suppose around 1 in 20 made the final cut and got scanned. The rest went in the bin.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

I can only really echo much of what Colin says, however depending on what sort of quality you're after I can recommend scanners far cheaper than $400. I use a Canonscan 4400F flatbed (around $100 here in the UK) and I get decent results (more than good enough for uploading here). Check some of my uploads out:


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Photo © Karl Nixon
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Photo © Karl Nixon


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Photo © Karl Nixon
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Photo © Karl Nixon


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Photo © Karl Nixon
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Photo © Karl Nixon


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Photo © Karl Nixon
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Photo © Karl Nixon



It's worth bearing in mind that these are actually scanned from 6x4 prints; scans from negatives would be of slightly higher quality.

In my opinion the overall quality depends on how competent you are at polishing them up in Photoshop. Colin isn't wrong when he says each frame requires a lot of work!

Karl


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3038 times:

I actually just finished scanning a ton of 4x6 prints using an Epson V33. With your media, you would have to look at the model that has a negative/slider holder, which I think is the V700.

Yes, scanning can be an art. Depends on what you want to do with the final product. If you have hopes of getting some of these into the database, given today's ultra-high quality requirements, you would be spending a LOT of time in the digital darkroom, not to mention money on something like a drum scanner. Then again, if you have some ultra-rare subjects, you might get a pass.

If, however, you are just looking to move them into the digital age as you say, something like the V700 should do the trick, and it automates the process of dust and color correction to a decent degree.

Personally, by the time I had scanned all of my prints and then ran them through some basic edits, and then uploaded them to my site and captioned them, I had had enough of fiddling with them. There is no way I was going to start editing layers and removing noise from those prints. And they looked fine to me.


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 731 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2969 times:

Interesting to see others using the V700. I got mine after my Nikon Coolscan as I had some non-35mm negs to scan. I was also tempted by its ability to batch scan mounted slides.

In comparing the two, the Epson is definitely more versatile, but I found the quality not quite up to the Nikon. Getting a sharp scan when using the frames for 35mm film strips and slides is a bit of a faff as you need to carefully adjust the height of the frame with shims. It's also not very fast. I find the Coolscan slightly more efficient overall when it comes to film.

Overall, if all you have to scan is film, I'd go for a film scanner. If you have a mix of prints and film, then the Epson is a good choice.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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