Film Scanner

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
bodensee Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: Film Scanner

I've been interested to see all the replies. I scan semi-professionally for a couple of Archives and for myself. I've tried most ways except the DSLR one. I either own or have available Nikon Coolscans and Epson Flatbed V700 and V800s. Like everything in life it's all a balance between practicality, convenience and quality.

The best compromise so far has been to use the Flatbed scanners with the Epson software in what they describe as Professional mode. I decided some time ago to scan at 24bit to reduce scanning times and to reduce files sizes, everything is scanned as a tiff. I truly defy anyone to tell the difference when printed in a book, magazine or normal colour print between 24 & 48 bit. Given a perfect set of circumstances in a very high end printer, using the best quality paper and inks then yes it might be possible. How many of us do that regularly?

The biggest issue I had with the V800 was the new scanning holders which are glass mounted thus introducing more dust gathering surfaces, I bought some extra V700 holders which hold more and are fine. There is a software issue with the Epson V800 package in that they will not recognise the old holders for automatic production so I have to use marquees you can set up and scan in normal mode, for slides it's easy as they don't need to be changed, bit of a faff with negatives but having done about 20000 so far I've got quite quick at it.

You can never get rid of all the dust, you can never get rid of all the scratches so this is done in software, Photoshop mostly as I'm used to it. I can scan around 60 slides an hour using the simple organisational techniques I've developed. If someone does want something special from an existing scan we take the original out of deep storage and rescan it, so far this has happened once in 8 years and I've had over 2000 of the scans printed in books and magazines.

Vuescan is the best software, no question, but it's not quite so friendly as the Epson stuff and takes a while to get set up. We are about to embark on a large project using a bulk slide loader on a Nikon Coolscan and we will have to use Vuescan for that. We have approximately 1.5m to do. We hope to be able to do 250 a day but we will see!

We are also going to have a look at the DSLR method  for this project as well. We could do with a proper system for this, all the videos and suggestions are home made. We want and need something better and that is 100% consistent and can then be used by anyone whether they have scanning/photographic knowledge or not.

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