Film Scanner Suggestion?

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matonananjin

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It has nothing to do with Lightroom or Adobe. I hope it is acceptable to post this in the Lounge.

Can anyone recommend a good, inexpensive scanner to digitize both film negatives and 35 mm slides?

Overwhelmingly it will be film negatives that I will be scanning. Probably I have 100 or so slides. I am guessing there will be a thousand or slightly more negatives. That will be, again roughly guessing, divided evenly between 35 mm and 2 1/4.

And I know there are on-line labs available to do this. But I am retired and my time is worth nothing. My wife hopes that I do this so it keeps me occupied for a while. Doing a very cursory web search Epson's name seem to come up a lot in scanners, especially the "Perfection" series. Are they the standard? And this is a one time use type thing so I don't want to spend a lot, a couple hundred at most, if that's possible. I certainly don't need the "feeder" that I see listed that drives up the price. I will use it for the negs I have and then store it in a closet somewhere for years.
 
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For 35mm I use a Plustek that's relatively cheap and does a decent job.
The medium format stuff is more difficult. I have access to an Imacon, but I have scanned some using an Epson Perfection flatbed.
You're talking quite low volume, so maybe it'll be more economic to get the scanning done - and put your time into editing/enjoying them.
 
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A lot of your answer will depend on your expectations. Yes, you can use a flatbed scanner, and the results will vary widely and are highly correlated on the price of the scanner. If you can find an older dedicated scanner and can run it, that is not a bad option to consider. Alternately, you could use a slide copy mount on a camera if you have a good lens and lighting.

There is also this product: Skier Pro System . I know nothing about it, and you will need some type of copy stand, but it is worth consideration if you have some of the equipment.

If you are set on a flatbed, then Epson is probably your best best. The V series is what most people use, and the higher models (600 and above) are the ones are often recommended. There are a lot of reviews that compare them and I would encourage you to look at a few before making a decision. You may also want to look at VueScan and Silverfast software as well. There were some long threads here about a year or so ago about VueScan, and a quick search should help you find them. You may find the discussions useful. I did when I was scanning old photos.

If you do go "down the rabbit hole", I am sure that you will be plenty busy for some time. ;)

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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I did a large project, scanning hundreds of slides a long time ago (10+ yrs) and used a flat bed Epson 4870 photo which had guides to hold slides, negs etc. it worked well but found that prescan software invaluable. I used Silverfast, but i think its price has increased significantly. It’s a lot of work though. For only a hundred slides id farm it out.
 
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Whoops missed that “thousands of negs” on first read. Still id consider software, as the job will go much faster.
 
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There is a number of threads in this forum on different approaches to scanning.

One thing to check are the different film holder sizes you will need. I had to jury rig for an old smaller format film.

Personally, I use a Epson V500 which I'm happy with. It has a smaller desktop foot print than larger scanners that scan more slides/film at once. For example, a friend lent me his V700. Higher capacity but much larger footprint.

The first problem I found I had was how to cull the massive numbers of slides, negatives and pictures I have. Especially with negatives, you can't figure out if it's worth keeping until you can see it as a positive . There is also the time it takes to scan which can be long (a reason some like to use a camera to digitalize analogue). What I've done is scan thumbnails first (600 DPI), quick and dirty, to get them into Lightroom. I also didn't use some specialize features such as ICE. Later, I'll do full rescan's for quality. Yes, two steps but you get through the thumbnails faster. There are article out there in terms of scanning into LrC.

For thumbnails, I used Epson Scan software. When I get around to it, I'm considering using Vuescan for a final scan. Yes, there are two questions; which scanner and which scanning software to use.

Do some research on the handling of analogue film, cleaning, consider curvature etc. to help with the quality of your scans.

Have fun
 

PhilBurton

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It has nothing to do with Lightroom or Adobe. I hope it is acceptable to post this in the Lounge.

Can anyone recommend a good, inexpensive scanner to digitize both film negatives and 35 mm slides?

Overwhelmingly it will be film negatives that I will be scanning. Probably I have 100 or so slides. I am guessing there will be a thousand or slightly more negatives. That will be, again roughly guessing, divided evenly between 35 mm and 2 1/4.

And I know there are on-line labs available to do this. But I am retired and my time is worth nothing. My wife hopes that I do this so it keeps me occupied for a while. Doing a very cursory web search Epson's name seem to come up a lot in scanners, especially the "Perfection" series. Are they the standard? And this is a one time use type thing so I don't want to spend a lot, a couple hundred at most, if that's possible. I certainly don't need the "feeder" that I see listed that drives up the price. I will use it for the negs I have and then store it in a closet somewhere for years.
For 2 1/4" a flatbed scanner can produce good results. However, for 35 mm, a lot of people on this forum Facebook Groups will tell you that you need a scanner or scanning methodology designed for 35 mm negatives/slides because flatbed scanners never produce results at their claimed resolution. (You need to apply for membership in this group, but that should be no problem.)

I suggest that you post some questions there. However, short of buying a Nikon 9000 scanner (avoid the 8000, since it requires an obsolete connection to your system), a Plustek model is probably your best bet. Film & Photo Scanners |Plustek USA

There are also various approaches involving a DSLR to "photograph" a negative, which may not be that expensive, but require some time to set up and align, etc.

Phil Burton
 

Roelof Moorlag

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matonananjin

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Everybody, thank you for the responses and information. There were far more than I had expected and I am going to sort through and study. I'm pretty sure that I am going to go scanner route rather than camera and mount. I don't have a macro lens but have extension tubes. But still leaning the flatbed approach. going to do some searching on eBay for what's available Plustek/Epson wise.

Whoops missed that “thousands of negs” on first read. Still id consider software, as the job will go much faster.
And I think I probably overestimated. I was slightly intimidated when I took the folders of negs out. It is probably approaching a thousand rather than multiples of thousands. But I suspect your position/advice remains the same. Thank you.
For 2 1/4" a flatbed scanner can produce good results. However, for 35 mm, a lot of people on this forum Facebook Groups will tell you that you need a scanner or scanning methodology designed for 35 mm negatives/slides because flatbed scanners never produce results at their claimed resolution. (You need to apply for membership in this group, but that should be no problem.)
Well, no problem unless you or someone from here tells them about me;):oops:
 
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