Scanner for 35mm negs?

Started May 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,368
Re: Scanner for 35mm negs?

With all due respect I think the info given is a little outdated, which is why I recommended what I did...

MisterBG wrote:

As for resolution, always scan at the highest resolution available for the scanner. From experience I would suggest a scan resolution of at least 2800dpi. This will result in a scan size approximately equivalent to that from a 12MP camera.

The reason I did not recommend "always" scanning at the highest resolution is because the last generation of scanners have ridiculously high resolutions. If an inexperienced operator simply chooses the highest resolution, on for example a Canon at 4000 dpi or Epson at 6400 dpi, the file sizes would be astronomical, especially if 48-bit scanning is turned on. Furthermore, such high resolutions may outstrip the sharpness of the film image itself (think ASA 400 drugstore film handheld and shot with old mediocre optics), resulting in a waste of computer resources and an unwanted, unnecessary slowdown in the entire workflow. And if someone isn't noticing that the top resolution is actually interpolated and not hardware, and they use it, the wasted time and disk space is even worse.

MisterBG wrote:

There's no need to do a "thumbnail" scan because all scanner software does a quick "preview" scan to allow you to set fine details like cropping, skew adjustment etc before the final scan.

My reason for thumbnails was so you don't scan every frame at the highest resolution. The reason in this case is time. A 36-exposure roll of film can take over an hour on my Nikon film scanner at high quality settings, when you factor in loading/unloading film strips (they sometimes don't go in right the first time), preview/crop each frame/other prep time per film strip, and time-consuming special features like multi-pass sampling (for less noise) and defect removal. Which, by the way, take more time at higher resolutions. If thousands are to be scanned, maybe you don't want to bog them all down by leaving it set to max all the time.

MisterBG wrote:

I prefer a dedicated 35mm scanner over an adapted flatbed scanner since I feel that a flatbed scanner is a bit of a compromise for scanning such a tiny area as that from a 35mm frame.

This used to be generally true, but again, the last generation of flatbeds were becoming competitive against mid-range film scanners:

As you know the mid- and high-end film scanners are gone from the market, so when you find a film scanner to compete against a flatbed, you might only find a cheap film scanner, and a cheap film scanner will not be superior to a good flatbed. See example at the bottom of this link:

MisterBG wrote:

I have no experience of current 35mm scanners

I hope the example above helps clarify the true state of flatbed vs film today. While the review linked above was from several years ago, the points are still true, since there hasn't really been another wave of new scanner models since then.

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