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Author Topic: Scans  (Read 4369 times)

gferdinandsen

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Scans
« on: August 10, 2011, 07:48:29 PM »
I shot solely E6 until 2008, the scans that I have from the FS400U don't hold a candle to digital shots (dust, lack of sharpness, JPG, poor color).  Can someone recommend a professional scanning service that does not cost an arm and a leg.  I'd probably opt to just send off about 300-500 slides.  All advice is well appreciated.

Ideally, I would want scans as TIFF's so that ACR can make non-destructive changes.

Thanks
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Scans
« on: August 10, 2011, 07:48:29 PM »

Hillsilly

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Re: Scans
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 04:06:09 AM »
I see "scancafe" advertised a lot.   If you use the code ROCKWELL21AUG11 (from Kenrockwell.com) you get a 21% discount.  Are you still shooting E6? If so, have you considered getting a new scanner?  The Epson V700/V750 gets good reviews.  I'm using a Canonscan 9500F.  This works extremely well for medium format and isn't too bad with 35mm.  Its discontinued, but you see them cheap on ebay occassionally.  The 9500F has FARE, which is a dust and scratch reduction feature.

I'd be curious to hear how you go.  My better 35mm scans are probably as good as digital shots, but most aren't quite there.  It would be interesting to hear how good professional scans are. 
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autochrome

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Re: Scans
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 07:02:32 AM »
I have a V500, and quite honestly i was expecting the transparency unit results to be well, crap to put it bluntly. It's not a dedicated film scanner such as the (discontinued) Nikon Coolscans, or the old but quite good Minolta Dimage. To my surprise the results were quite acceptable. You might know Vuescan, it allows combining multiple exposure passes, great for extra dense positives (or negatives), and saving into 16bpc TIFF files. Also has an infrared channel for dust removal. If you can afford the services, and have a lot of medium or large format film to scan, it might be worth it to pay for some bureau with a drum scanner to scan the entire batch, but that will have a considerable price tag attached. It still will be cheaper than buying your own drum scanner though.

I got some B&W scans of HP5+ pushed at 800 ASA and the film grain is both beautiful and shocking when compared to the noise digital cameras produce today and yet i find film grain much more acceptable than the chroma noise of digital sensors.

If you get a flatbed scanner with a transparency adapter, don't forget to calibrate it, you can get excellent quality IT8 target cheap here, for a variety of emulsions:
http://www.targets.coloraid.de/

Wolff Faust also provides custom measurements for the made targets per request. If you're going to follow this route, you need to have a fully colour managed workflow though, monitor and printer included (and dSLR if needed, but that's another story).

gferdinandsen

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Re: Scans
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 09:11:37 AM »
I see "scancafe" advertised a lot.   If you use the code ROCKWELL21AUG11 (from Kenrockwell.com) you get a 21% discount.  Are you still shooting E6? If so, have you considered getting a new scanner?  The Epson V700/V750 gets good reviews.  I'm using a Canonscan 9500F.  This works extremely well for medium format and isn't too bad with 35mm.  Its discontinued, but you see them cheap on ebay occassionally.  The 9500F has FARE, which is a dust and scratch reduction feature.

I'd be curious to hear how you go.  My better 35mm scans are probably as good as digital shots, but most aren't quite there.  It would be interesting to hear how good professional scans are.

I quit shooting E6 in 2008, but when I look at the scans, the are quite poor.  At the time, I has happy with them, they were as good as my D30 (D30 not 30D), but compared to the 5D and 5D2 they look terrible.  They were mostly shot with L seriers glass on a 1V (they days when you could buy and hold a body!), so the actual transparancies are quite good (except for low DR), I'd just like to get the digitals to look much better on the computer.  What was acceptable in 2002 doesn;t cut it today.

I really don't want to do it myself, It takes too long to scan at the highest resolution.  I see scancafe offers them at 0.29/scan + 0.24/scan for TIFF.  500 slides for $300 actually sounds like a good deal.  I guess it's time to do some sorting.

Thanks's for the help in identifying a solution!
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awinphoto

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Re: Scans
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 10:06:41 AM »
I would second the idea of scanning your own transparencies... I use the epson 4490... It allows you to can up to medium format (if you shot medium format) and even has the ICE technology to remove scratches/dust on your slides.  I paid a "local" company where I live to drum scan some large format slides i shot but the overall quality wasn't as good and clean as the espon pumps out.  (just dont bump or cause a lot of vibrations during scanning to have the cleanest scan possible, but it could save you hundreds/thousands compared to outsourcing and you can make sure it's exactly how YOU want it.  If you want to scan it to blow up to 20x30 natively, you can without worrying another company will screw it up. 
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motorhead

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Re: Scans
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 10:22:30 AM »
I use a Nikon Coolscan VED and have always been pleased with the results which to this day bear comparison with my digital output (output that I often print at A3+) . As these are no longer manufactured, they should be available at reasonable cost on the used market.

But scanning film is far more of a black art than it might appear at first glance. Settings that seem random can have big impact on the finished product. Grain will of course be apparent, but this should be celebrated rather than disguised.

gferdinandsen

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Re: Scans
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 12:57:56 PM »
I sounted out what I want done, there are 451 slides.  Scancafe can do that for $330 (4000 dpi, JPG+TIFF, dust/scratch removal)

For my time, I'd rather spend $300 than 100 hours!  And as long as they come back as TIFF, they can essentially be treated as RAW and manipulated in ACR.
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Re: Scans
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 12:57:56 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: Scans
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 01:11:40 PM »
I sounted out what I want done, there are 451 slides.  Scancafe can do that for $330 (4000 dpi, JPG+TIFF, dust/scratch removal)

For my time, I'd rather spend $300 than 100 hours!  And as long as they come back as TIFF, they can essentially be treated as RAW and manipulated in ACR.

I have never used scancafe and cannot speak for them but for that many slides it seems like that's kinda a low price or will have a ridiculous turnaround time... either way i'd err on the "if it sounds too good to be true..."  but it it works out well and doesn't look shabby, more power to you.   
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gferdinandsen

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Re: Scans
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 02:11:30 PM »
I sounted out what I want done, there are 451 slides.  Scancafe can do that for $330 (4000 dpi, JPG+TIFF, dust/scratch removal)

For my time, I'd rather spend $300 than 100 hours!  And as long as they come back as TIFF, they can essentially be treated as RAW and manipulated in ACR.

I have never used scancafe and cannot speak for them but for that many slides it seems like that's kinda a low price or will have a ridiculous turnaround time... either way i'd err on the "if it sounds too good to be true..."  but it it works out well and doesn't look shabby, more power to you.


They offer a 600 slide package for $130, but that's JPG only.  I have an old canon FS4000U, but I doubt there are Win7 x64 drivers for it, and it's USB1.1 and SCSI.  So it would just take too long!  If they provide reasonable TIFF's, I can at least work with the result in ACR
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unfocused

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Re: Scans
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 04:35:18 PM »
I have used DigMyPics.com. As I recall when I was reading reviews, Scancafe also had good reviews. I think the only difference is that one sends the originals to India and the other used Costa Rica. To keep costs down, almost all of these companies off-shore the actual scanning.

The results were fine (I ordered high resolution TIFFS), but these were not portfolio materials, they were family slides taken by my Dad during the 50s and 60s. They did a good job of color correcting the fading slides and there were no dust issues. But, as a say, these were family snapshots, so hard to judge the quality.

At the time I considered buying a scanner and doing it myself, but decided I could not get as good of resolution and did not want to spend the time scanning individual images for weeks on end. They do take awhile, so be aware of that.

If you aren't in any hurry, I'd send a batch to whatever vendor you choose and see how you like the results before committing to 451 slides at once. Also, since they are going overseas, it's probably safest to split the order up. (I'm superstitious).
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Eddie_2001

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Re: Scans
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 05:14:52 PM »
Digmypics is here in the Phoenix AZ (Gilbert) area and they do their scanning in house...at that is what their website says.

I use a Nikon ED4000 film scanner myself for my old Kodachromes and the newer Provia slides with VueScan software and while it does take a while to scan each slide, I am happy with the results. Do not make the error of throwing away the slides after you get them scanned....it is possible better scanners and/or software will come along and then you may want to re-scan them. I did just that when I got the Nikon to replace an HP Photosmart scanner.

Ted

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gferdinandsen

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Re: Scans
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 07:52:09 PM »
Digmypics is here in the Phoenix AZ (Gilbert) area and they do their scanning in house...at that is what their website says.

I use a Nikon ED4000 film scanner myself for my old Kodachromes and the newer Provia slides with VueScan software and while it does take a while to scan each slide, I am happy with the results. Do not make the error of throwing away the slides after you get them scanned....it is possible better scanners and/or software will come along and then you may want to re-scan them. I did just that when I got the Nikon to replace an HP Photosmart scanner.

Ted

Throw them away, are you serious?  I'm trying to scan just about 5% of my vacations from the last 12 years.  As soon as they are scanned, they will go back in the folders where I just pulled them from.
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Hillsilly

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Re: Scans
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 10:38:09 PM »
....it is possible better scanners and/or software will come along and then you may want to re-scan them. I did just that when I got the Nikon to replace an HP Photosmart scanner.

Ted

That's one of the positives of film.  Slides look great to start with and if you spend enough time, you can keep rescanning them until you are happy with the result.  But with the decline in film sales, I'd say that the vast majority of people looking to buy a scanner aren't primarily concerned about quality.  They just want something cheap and functional to scan their parents negatives or slides.  Nikon have discontinued their film scanners.  Canon have some entry level models, but nothing that compares with their range from a few years ago.  Hasselblad still have some nice ones.....but at a price.  The Epson V700/V750s are over five yeas old and there doesn't seem to be any move to update them.  Vuescan updates are more about compatability issues with operating systems than enhancing scan functionality.  It will be interesting to see if quality film scanners phase out entirely over the next ten years or whether there will be some new developments.
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Re: Scans
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 10:38:09 PM »

unfocused

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Re: Scans
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 11:21:21 PM »
Quote
Digmypics is here in the Phoenix AZ (Gilbert) area and they do their scanning in house...at that is what their website says.

I stand corrected. Perhaps they used to send them offshore or I may be confused. Anyway, I have had good results from them.
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gferdinandsen

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Re: Scans
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 08:44:19 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I just sent them off to scancafe.com.  For 451 slides (with the Ken Rockwell siscount), it was about $230 (including TIFF files at @3000 DPI, thus allowing ACR changes).   They estimated 30 days turn around (right when I return from holiday in Kiev), and you do not have to pay for the images you don't want (I assume they send you small JPG's to look through).  Then also label the files as the slides are labed, and since all my slides are labed by TripNumber-TripLocation-RollNumber-SlideNumber, this is a huge plus.  You only pay 50% up front, so it is pretty inexpensive.

I'll let everyone know of the results.  Hopefully they are better than what I had.  When I was selecting slides, I noticed the DR on the scans was worse than the slides (and slides have terrible DR), so hopefully *.TIFF in ACR can bring them up close to digital standards.

I am dreading refiling them all, but I think they can all go to storage now that this is complete.

Thanks agains for the advice.
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Re: Scans
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 08:44:19 PM »