Snap. I've just moved back to film, managed to convince my mum to give me her old pentax spotmatic, seeing as I bought some lovely m42 glass for my 7D via adapter.
I got it developed at the local Kodak Express, one of the few places left around here that does film, and let them scan it to CD for me for $10 all up, but the images were only 1500x1000 or so, badly compressed jpgs. They've got a scanning service for higher res, can go up to 64mb tiff files, that would cost like $60 a roll or something.
So i've just tried scanning some using my mum's scanner when i visited today, it's only an Epson V100 Photo scanner, and the images already look better than the shop-scanned ones.
I'm going to have to buy my own scanner too at some point, i'm planning a move to Medium Format Film at some point this year.
My points to look for so far are:
- Manual brightness control. My film was shot in really dark indoor venues, just to catch the highlight on faces. Worked ok, but the shop scanner tried to even it all out to a medium brightness, it only ended up a lot noisier. Setting manual brightness on my mum's $100 scanner gave me better images than the shop's $100k scanner on default settings, imho.
- Resolution. I only scanned to 3200dpi, gave me a 20-30mb tiff file, but the scanner can go to 5000 or something. No point in doing that to 400iso b+w 35mm film, but maybe if i shoot 50iso slide film i'll scan to higher dpi.
- Negative holder. My mum's only has a 35mm holder and slides, nothing for a 120-film. if you on'y shoot 35mm then no need for anything fancy, i'll have to choose wisely though.
- Noise. Yes it happens in scanners too. Better ones have fan-cooling, I read even Hasselblad bought a scanner company and they sell them too now.
- Evenness, as in the negative is back-lit so the light behind it should be even. all but the cheapest shouldn't be too bad you'd think.
I'm not sure how/if white balance gets affected on scanners, anyone else know?