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Author Topic: Film and polaroid scanner  (Read 1746 times)

Drizzt321

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Film and polaroid scanner
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:37:05 PM »
So I am on a quest to find a not insanely expensive scanner for both my film (120, 35mm) film as well my polaroids that I've recently jumped into. At my local pro photo shop it's $12/roll for standard scans (somethinglike 2K pixels long edge, JPG). If it was less expensive, I'd say that's fine for 99% of my needs, and I'd be happy to pay for individual image scans at significantly higher quality if I needed it. So, there's an element of cost effectiveness of buying my own scanner, although unless I'm scanning massive amounts images it won't 'pay' for itself for years. And I realize the 'convenience' of having it at home will undoubtedly be outweighed by what I've read can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating.

All that said, I'd like to be a bit more in control of the output, and also since I have a polaroid back and have taken a few great images with that, I'd like to be able to scan those in as well which leads to a flatbed, rather than a dedicated film scanner. I've been doings some reading, and the Epson v600/v700 seem highly rated, but I've just come across the ArtixScan M2/F2 Pro, which the v750 Pro seems more geared to target. However spending $1000 on a scanner is a lot, however they generally also include some software. Assuming the bundled software doesn't cut it, I've seen it boil down to VueScan ($80 for Pro), or SilverFast of one flavor or another with AI Studio being quite expensive, but does everything. So looking at the ArtixScan F2 Pro which includes SilverFast AI Studio 8, that seems like it's a reasonable premium over the M2.

So, should I go for the v600 and heavily evaluate it for the return period? Or just jump up to the 700/750 or M2/F2 provide me with a significantly better experience for a relatively moderate increase in price over other film scanner type products. In either case, I won't be breaking the bank, and I'm happy to take a longer term look and say I'd rather spend somewhat more now, rather than buying twice.
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Film and polaroid scanner
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:37:05 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 01:10:12 PM »
I've been happy with Epson scanners, and have used a couple of the photo scanners.  Most of them can do 120 film, but for larger, you do need a higher end model.
 
 
The first was a Epson 1650, 64 bit drivers do exist from third parties for windows.  Its a reasonable scanner, and they are found for little or nothing.  It will also do up to 4 X 5 film.
 
I now use a 3170, which works with windows 7 64 bit.  I scanned a number of old 120 film images using it. It will not do 4X5's as I recall.
 
You can set exposure parameters before scanning, so you can play with the brightness, darks, mids, contrast, dust removal, etc.  The auto exposure usually works well, but for pulling a image out of a over or under exposed negative, the manual settings work best.

Drizzt321

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 01:54:51 PM »
Thanks Mt Spokane, I believe the v600/v700/v750 does 4x5, and maybe even 8x10 film with the appropriate holders. The thing that seems nice about the ArtixScan models is they have auto-focus which means slight variations in film holders will be minimized, and the concept of glass-less holder is nice. In theory, it eliminates some possible issues that having another piece of glass.

On the other hand, it's quite a bit more expensive than than v600 and v700, and somewhat over the v750. Some of the reviews I've seen have been pretty positive about the M2. *sigh* Well, I need to wait the rest of the week until pay day anyway.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
Film Cameras: Mamiya RB67, RB-50, RB-180-C, RB-90-C, RB-50, Perkeo I folder, Mamiya Six Folder (Pre-WWII model)
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 03:23:43 PM »
Thanks Mt Spokane, I believe the v600/v700/v750 does 4x5, and maybe even 8x10 film with the appropriate holders. The thing that seems nice about the ArtixScan models is they have auto-focus which means slight variations in film holders will be minimized, and the concept of glass-less holder is nice. In theory, it eliminates some possible issues that having another piece of glass.

On the other hand, it's quite a bit more expensive than than v600 and v700, and somewhat over the v750. Some of the reviews I've seen have been pretty positive about the M2. *sigh* Well, I need to wait the rest of the week until pay day anyway.

It does really depend on how much you want to pay.  I do find that when scanning hundreds of negatives, the glass gets dirty quickly, and I have to stop and clean it.
You might check the Epson Refurb store, they sometimes have top models, and if you signup for e-mails, they also have substantial sales.
 
The Refurb V600 is going for $145, but it will not do 4X5, its about the same as my older 3170 photo scanner, but probably better.
I think the V700 is a good deal for the price.  Check craigslist in your area, they sell used for $400 -$450.
 

dr croubie

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 05:11:32 PM »
I can't get the v750 new here in Australia, v700 is the best they let us have, and that goes for $700. For that money I got a slightly used (still covered in the plastic-tape on the silver panels) v750 including shipping from Europe.

Buying new though, one thing you do get is Silverfast bundled in (well, I got the CD too, but I can't register it because the previous owner already did). v700/750 can do up to 8*10 transparencies, not that I'll ever need to, but a bed of 6x4=24 135 frames, or 6 6x6s or 8 6x45s is a fairly regular occurence. I can't speak for the software, I use it via GIMP on Linux, v700/750 is all that's supported so that sort of forced my hand as well.

Fluid mounting is a good way to get really accurate scans, I got the Wet+Dry-mount model from betterscanning.com, $100 (haven't bought the fluid yet though). The Epson holders are good enough for 135 film, just to scan and see if it's any good, then I (intend to) wetmount and scan again for the 'good ones'. But 120 film in the holders just sags, so i Drymount those straight up, and will wetmount later the good ones (I've got about 10 rolls still to go from my recent holiday, just initial scanning to triage).

As for shop scanning, I had one roll done and never again. I saw they've got a Flextight or some other ridiculously good drum-scan model, so I paid for a roll to be done. turned out absolutely crap. They'd sharpened the hell out of it (ISO400 B+W film pushed to 800) so all there was was grain. Control over the output was worth the $700 alone to me .
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mws

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 05:37:04 PM »
I have a CanoScan 9000F Mark II, it can be had new for 200. It's a flatbed with a film holder. It can do both 35 and 120. It's not going to beat a dedicated drum scanner, but for the price I'm very happy with it.

awinphoto

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 06:45:37 PM »
I use the epson 4490...  It's an older generation compared to the fancy smancy newer ones, but mine can scan up to medium format film or 8.5x11 flatbed/regular/polaroid.   very reliable overall...
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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 06:45:37 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 04:54:57 PM »
Thanks everyone, so what I've finally decided to do is get the Epson v600, probably buy the VueScan software everybody seems to be raving about, and then look at the OpticFilm 120 dedicated scanner in 4-6 months time supposing I've still be shooting regularly and want an increase in scan quality from negatives/slides.

BTW, if anyone is interested, Mike Pasini is doing solid review (still on-going) of the OpticFilm 120. Seems pretty affordable compared to a used Nikon 9000, if you can even find one of those.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
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paul

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 05:36:15 PM »
forget scanners,if you have full frame, buy a macro lens (second hand 2.8/90 Tamron if you're on a budget) shoot at f8,in RAW,100 iso,focus with live view,and the quality will be amazing,and the workflow much easier.

Drizzt321

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 05:50:30 PM »
forget scanners,if you have full frame, buy a macro lens (second hand 2.8/90 Tamron if you're on a budget) shoot at f8,in RAW,100 iso,focus with live view,and the quality will be amazing,and the workflow much easier.

I've heard of that method, but couple of factors for me:

1) I need to put together a good setup, and get a film holder that holds it quite flat. Generally I've seen the setups as vertical to the ground.
2) The negatives and polaroids are not of the same aspect ration of my dSLR, so I would have to crop it in various ways.
3) No matter how precise I am, I probably will have a teeny tiny mis-alignment every time I set it up. Even though f/8 might have everything in focus, a tiny angle other than perfectly parallel to the sensor may be visible.
4) I have to buy the bits I need to put it all together, so the cost might end up being non-trivial, although maybe not as much as the v600 it might not be to horribly different.
5) I'm not a poor starving student. I can afford to spend a bit of money on this.

In terms of workflow, I'm not sure how much easier it actually will be, at least for me. I can easily mount the film, set my parameters, click scan, and play a video game or read for the next 5-10 minutes until it's done. 1 roll of 120 film is 10 frames, so if it takes me 2 hours to scan a couple of rolls, I'm OK with that. I'm not a high volume shop. I'd need to spend some time in Photoshop regardless because the colors and such might not be good, and I may even need to adjust by channel whereas with proper scanning software it gets much closer right away as it knows a lot more about the source that it's reading.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
Film Cameras: Mamiya RB67, RB-50, RB-180-C, RB-90-C, RB-50, Perkeo I folder, Mamiya Six Folder (Pre-WWII model)
http://www.aaronbaff.com

paul

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 06:11:06 PM »
yes,it may take some time to figure out a nice set up,but for me now it works much easier and the quality is much better then any scanner I 've used before.I use a spirit level for alignment and shoot from a heavy tripod straight
 down with milk glass and a flash from the bottom.Mostly 35mm slides.

timmy_650

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 06:51:46 PM »
My mother wanted a bunch of old slide scanned and I went thought all the costs of me doing it and paying someone. The best deal I found was to rent a nice one. Borrowlens was by my house, so i just picked it up and had it for like 3 days. It was a long week days to get them all done. But It was only like $50. So for the price it was a good choice.

Drizzt321

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 07:52:05 PM »
My mother wanted a bunch of old slide scanned and I went thought all the costs of me doing it and paying someone. The best deal I found was to rent a nice one. Borrowlens was by my house, so i just picked it up and had it for like 3 days. It was a long week days to get them all done. But It was only like $50. So for the price it was a good choice.

Renting might work in the short term, but since I plan on shooting film for quite a while, it doesn't make as much sense. Currently Borrowlens.com doesn't have a scanner that supports medium format, nor does my local rental place.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
Film Cameras: Mamiya RB67, RB-50, RB-180-C, RB-90-C, RB-50, Perkeo I folder, Mamiya Six Folder (Pre-WWII model)
http://www.aaronbaff.com

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Re: Film and polaroid scanner
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 07:52:05 PM »