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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Film/Slide Scanner
David Dennis, Photographer
Bakersfield | Ca | US | Posted: 2:45 PM on 04.07.17
->> Looking to pick up a scanner to scan a bunch of old slides I found from my parents. If you have a scanner recommendation please let me know. Looking a researching and looking for feedback.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:01 AM on 04.08.17
->> Define slides -- just 35mm or 120 too? If just 35mm then there are a variety of capable scanners for a few hundred dollars. And do you want to use it for other scans too such as flatbed reflective or bigger negs such as 4x5 and 8x10? And define bunch? A few dozen or hundreds? Also, what resolution and file size are you willing to settle for? dSLR quality or up in the 6400 dpi range?

The cheapest method which goes back decades is to use an enlarger's film holder for naked negs and transparencies or cut a hole in a piece of cardboard for a slide mount, and then use a macro lens on your dSLR and copy the slides using lit frosted glass behind the holder/cardboard. We used to use a strobe as the light source. But with the advent of "daylight" 5000k LED bulbs (10-pack at Costco) you get constant high-quality light with near zero heat to the film. And with a dSLR you can shoot in RAW for greater post control.

If you need a high-grade flatbed scanner that also does negs and transparencies (naked and mounted) from 35mm to 8x10, then I recommend Epson's V850 Pro. It comes with a transparency adapter built in the lid. Reflective resolution is 4800x6400 while film is scanned at 6400x9800 dpi. It comes with film holders for 35mm, 120, 4x5, 8x10 AND a wet-mount glass plate. The cost however is $855 at B&H.

I have its V750 predecessor and am amazed at the quality. The only difference between them is the V850 uses LED light versus cathode which means the warm-up time is shorter. The V750 was $650 when I bought it a few years ago. There is a V800 model, but it doesn't come with all the film scan accessories, including the wet-mount plate.

What is so nice about it is that the software automatically detects the film size and how many frames are loaded as part of the pre-scan. Then when you do the high-res scan it scans each frame individually and saves them as separate files. While you can set the tonal controls manually, the auto-exposure works great. It analyzes each frame during the pre-scan and then adjusts exposure and contrast for consistent results. I've scanned normal, underexposed and overexposed frames in the same batch and the files look like they were shot with the same exposure setting.

As to using wet-mount, I have the fluid and special sheets but I have yet to need it as the dry scans are perfectly fine for editorial publication and making inkjet prints off them.

So it comes down to how many slides you have, what is your quality standard and how much do you want to spend.
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 7:58 PM on 04.08.17
->> H. Darr Beiser, formerly with USA Today, really likes his Epson V600 for both negatives and slides.

I have used a macro with a lightbox and then inverted the image in Photoshop.

Now I'll have to compare the V850 Pro with the V600.

These
http://frankniemeir.com/musicians I did with a Wolverine F2 which I got for $85, but now they have a newer model called the F2D.

I wasn't very happy with copies of transparencies or negatives that were a bit on the over exposed side.

I have an old Kodak RfS 2035 but never tried hooking it up.
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Tom Story, Photographer
Tempe | AZ | USA | Posted: 9:11 PM on 04.08.17
->> You might also look at having somebody like Scan Cafe do them for you. Pretty nice scans for less than a buck each. They ship the stuff to India and then return the film and and the scans on a disc.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 2:18 AM on 04.09.17
->> I've never been pleased with flatbed scans for 35mm. I've been very happy with the Nikon 5000ED scanner I've had for about 10 years. They've been out of production for some time, but used ones are common, although still pricey. You could probably pick up a used one, scan your film, and then sell it for the price you paid.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 04.09.17
->> Andrew...

Why the displeasure with flatbed scans?

I used Nikon's first Coolscan plus Leaf-35 and Leaf-45 scanners, and don't see an advantage over the Epson flatbed with its higher resolution. And if I want higher quality for commercial needs then I can wet mount the film to the glass. Plus the Epson can do film from 35mm to 8x10 which the Nikon 5000 cannot. Also, the automatic exposure controls of the Epson produces far better tonal range quality than what I could ever get out of the Nikon and Leaf scanners.

If I'm missing something I would like to know. Thx.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 5:17 PM on 04.10.17
->> The first coolscan and the Leafs are several generations behind the 5000ED, so it's not a fair comparison, big leap in technology. I've got an Epson V500 and have used a V700 extensively. For 35mm I found they never resolved fine detail as well as my 5000ED, and the Nikon pulled detail out of dense highlights much better.

Even with using aftermarket holders for the V700 with adjustable height, I found the 5000ED produced sharper files with far less hassle, so it's remained my main scanner for 35. Wet mounting will yield better results of course, but it's more labor than I'd like. I still have my V500 for scanning medium format, which I'm usually fairly happy with.
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David Dennis, Photographer
Bakersfield | Ca | US | Posted: 8:16 PM on 04.13.17
->> Thanks for some of the suggestions. I appreciate it.
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Thread Title: Film/Slide Scanner
Thread Started By: David Dennis
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