Scanning/scanners, but for prints/non negatives

Maps

EOS M7 (please)
Jan 10, 2021
46
91
There’s a lot of discussion out there about scanning negatives and slides. I’m gearing up to do “the big digitization” and I picked up the Plustek 8200. Really like it so far. I know it doesn’t quite measure up to the Nikons, and of course it’s not a drum scanner, but I think it’s going to be close enough for me. I’m pretty much settled on using this to do the 35mm negatives and the slides that make up the bulk of the material in the collection.

My question is more about people’s experiences with digitizing… everything else. I’m trying to decide how much scanner I need for the small but critical maybe ~5% of the project that will include hundred-year-old prints, 35mm photos that have been separated from their negatives, and the occasional 120 negatives. Any thoughts? Will the Epson v600 suffice for the prints? Or do I need to go up to the v850? It sounds like the 700/800/850 are going to be a little better for the 120 negatives, but it seems like the difference is not as great as it would be for 35mm film? Almost certainly a dedicated 120 scanner would be better still, but I don’t think there’s going to be enough of them to justify it. Were that route necessary, I think I’d just take the 120s somewhere to be done by a pro. Thought about going that direction with the prints too, but I think there's just too many. Observations? Thoughts? Would love to hear people’s experiences.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,712
247
For prints, I found the classic "repro" setup using a camera and lights is better than a scanner. Especially with old photos from 1910-1930 that were printed on papers with a texture. The scanner lighting made the texture very evident. Being able to place the lamps at the right angle helped a lot to make the texture not visible. Less risks to scratch the photo as well, although sometimes keeping flat old photos may need a glass above them too.
 
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dcm

It's not the gear.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
884
284
Colorado, USA
Thanks, I appreciate the reply, but I’m mostly looking for tips on digitizing prints, not negatives/slides. Absolutely agree with you though, I’ve been doing my negatives on the Plustek, Epson, and camera and they’re all… terrific in their own ways.
There have been prior discussions on prints as well.

Scanning Prints

Biggest challenge can be lighting angles and textures on some prints.
 
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Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
990
74
I was using an Epson V700 ($220) for slides, negatives and prints ( mat, slightly textured). The result is excellent if the original is also excellent. I also noticed that the color prints degrades ( in both sharpness and color)faster than the Kodachrome or Ektachrome. Agfa slides degrades much faster than anything else. Therefore your original will dictate how good a scanner you should get.
The V700 will do both 35mm and 120 negatives
 
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dcm

It's not the gear.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
884
284
Colorado, USA
There are a lot of previous discussions that you might wish to review. Not sure much has changed. Each person seems to have a preferred method, depending on their needs. Here's a look at the different options I did a while back using a Plustek 7600i, Epson V750, and different Canon bodies.

Comparisons 1
Comparisons 2

It really depends on your target resolution. My goal was online use and sharing with family members. The Epson equaled the Plustek at the lower resolutions where I did the bulk of my scanning to obtain HD level images (1600dpi) using VueScan with both. Scanning a dozen slides or multiple filmstrips automatically with infrared for cleanup on the Epson saved me a tremendous amount of time.

I evaluated the other options to see what methods I might use if I wanted to get higher resolution images in low volumes. The Plustek is one option if I want/need the infrared pass to clean things up on individual images, but the EF-M 28mm macro (or possibly EF 100MM L macro) on an M is likely my first choice to get the most detail without the infrared.

The HD level images seem to be good enough that I haven't found myself rescanning to more detail. YMMV.
 
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Maps

EOS M7 (please)
Jan 10, 2021
46
91
For prints, I found the classic "repro" setup using a camera and lights is better than a scanner. Especially with old photos from 1910-1930 that were printed on papers with a texture. The scanner lighting made the texture very evident. Being able to place the lamps at the right angle helped a lot to make the texture not visible. Less risks to scratch the photo as well, although sometimes keeping flat old photos may need a glass above them too.
Thanks, I really hadn’t taken that route seriously, but you’re right, even on expedient shots I’ve taken, I have noticed the texture being “better” (I think technically it’s actually less detailed, but it just looks cleaner). The glass is a great tip.
 

Maps

EOS M7 (please)
Jan 10, 2021
46
91
There are a lot of previous discussions that you might wish to review. Not sure much has changed. Each person seems to have a preferred method, depending on their needs. Here's a look at the different options I did a while back using a Plustek 7600i, Epson V750, and different Canon bodies.

Comparisons 1
Comparisons 2

It really depends on your target resolution. My goal was online use and sharing with family members. The Epson equaled the Plustek at the lower resolutions where I did the bulk of my scanning to obtain HD level images (1600dpi) using VueScan with both. Scanning a dozen slides or multiple filmstrips automatically with infrared for cleanup on the Epson saved me a tremendous amount of time.

I evaluated the other options to see what methods I might use if I wanted to get higher resolution images in low volumes. The Plustek is one option if I want/need the infrared pass to clean things up on individual images, but the EF-M 28mm macro (or possibly EF 100MM L macro) on an M is likely my first choice to get the most detail without the infrared.

The HD level images seem to be good enough that I haven't found myself rescanning to more detail. YMMV.
Thanks, I appreciate the reply, but I’m mostly looking for tips on digitizing prints, not negatives/slides. Absolutely agree with you though, I’ve been doing my negatives on the Plustek, Epson, and camera and they’re all… terrific in their own ways.
 

Maps

EOS M7 (please)
Jan 10, 2021
46
91
There have been prior discussions on prints as well.

Scanning Prints

Biggest challenge can be lighting angles and textures on some prints.
Thanks for the link; I had not seen that thread. There's so much out there about working with negatives but considerably less when it comes to doing prints, or at least doing them well.
 

Maps

EOS M7 (please)
Jan 10, 2021
46
91
I was using an Epson V700 ($220) for slides, negatives and prints ( mat, slightly textured). The result is excellent if the original is also excellent. I also noticed that the color prints degrades ( in both sharpness and color)faster than the Kodachrome or Ektachrome. Agfa slides degrades much faster than anything else. Therefore your original will dictate how good a scanner you should get.
The V700 will do both 35mm and 120 negatives
Thanks Rocky. Yeah, I ended up getting the V600. I hadn’t planned on doing any film with it since I already had the Plustek, but I did give it a shot for the heck of it, and while I do still think the Plustek 35mm scans are slightly sharper than the Epson, I was really pleasantly surprised at how close they are. I would assume the v850 could narrow the (very small) gap even further and the Epson is certainly faster.
One of the first kind of alarming observations I’ve made is that while my Kodachrome and Ektachrome seem to be in really good shape, the Kodak Gold from as recently as maybe 15 years ago is really starting to fall apart.
 

dcm

It's not the gear.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
884
284
Colorado, USA
Thanks Rocky. Yeah, I ended up getting the V600. I hadn’t planned on doing any film with it since I already had the Plustek, but I did give it a shot for the heck of it, and while I do still think the Plustek 35mm scans are slightly sharper than the Epson, I was really pleasantly surprised at how close they are. I would assume the v850 could narrow the (very small) gap even further and the Epson is certainly faster.
One of the first kind of alarming observations I’ve made is that while my Kodachrome and Ektachrome seem to be in really good shape, the Kodak Gold from as recently as maybe 15 years ago is really starting to fall apart.

I scanned color negatives going back 50 years. I found VueScan did a good job handling the different generations of negatives and restoring colors/fading. Part of that is how the negatives were handled and stored over the years. Some negatives I scanned for relatives weren't in as good shape as mine.
 
Last edited:

Maps

EOS M7 (please)
Jan 10, 2021
46
91
I scanned color negatives going back 50 years. I found VueScan did a good job handling the different generations of negatives and restoring colors/fading. Part of that is how the negaties were handled and stored over the years. Some negatives I scanned for relatives weren't in as good shape as mine.

It is possible that it’s a storage issue, but I’m finding many of my 2000s/90s negatives in the same boxes as 70-year-old ones. The Ektachrome looks brand new. The Kodak is faded and brittle. I didn’t think 15 years, even in bad conditions, was enough to deteriorate it as much as it has. I’m glad I didn’t wait another 20 years. VueScan and Silverfast have both been great for restoring though and I haven’t had any trouble doing the rest in post.
 

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
990
74
Thanks Rocky. Yeah, I ended up getting the V600. I hadn’t planned on doing any film with it since I already had the Plustek, but I did give it a shot for the heck of it, and while I do still think the Plustek 35mm scans are slightly sharper than the Epson, I was really pleasantly surprised at how close they are. I would assume the v850 could narrow the (very small) gap even further and the Epson is certainly faster.
One of the first kind of alarming observations I’ve made is that while my Kodachrome and Ektachrome seem to be in really good shape, the Kodak Gold from as recently as maybe 15 years ago is really starting to fall apart.
I have never used Kodak Gold. I do notice that the Kodachrome in the 70’s is shaper than those from the early 60’s. My Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides holdup very well after more than 55 years
 

dcm

It's not the gear.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
884
284
Colorado, USA
Thanks for the link; I had not seen that thread. There's so much out there about working with negatives but considerably less when it comes to doing prints, or at least doing them well.
I think scanning activity and discussions peaked several years ago. Not much mention or new tools these days.
 

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
990
74
I do not want to beat this subject to death. Has anybody figure out what is the best resolution ( dpi) that they can get from a 35mm slides. My best result is about 3600 dpi from Kodachrome 100,
 
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