Scanning negative films (35 and 120)

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,057
Re: Scanning negative films (35 and 120)

Baylock wrote:

Thanks for the feedback, the details and the great pictures !
I like the way you embrace the texture.

Nice to know I can get there with the flatbed scanner. And yes, I'm still contemplating between the Epson V850 or the DSLR solution.
I read everyone with attention and I feel like the DSLR method would be the way to go if I mostly shoot 24x36. If most of my pictures were 6x6, the situation would be different and the epson could win the race.

Ive scanned thousands of slides, negatives and continue to do so (I mostly shoot film). As most of my images are 35mm or smaller I use a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i for everything down to 110, I use a camera for disc film and Minox 11x8. For medium format I us3 a Epson V550 with a Lomography Digitaliza.

The 35mm scanners are easy to use and produce very good quality output, consumer flatbeds have less resolution but more automation.  Personally I find using a camera too much effort for no gain (or in my case lower resolution).

The reason I like the V850 solution is that I also need a good scanner for illustrations. Because of that, it would have been a solution to two problems at once.
The Epson is ok for the 24x36 format, especially with the fluid technique + holders that handles the height to adjust the focus.

But I think the very high resolution of a DSLR (above 40 MP) + the ability to fine tune the focus length + the process speed makes it a winner for that format. Because I might

Be aware that even if your camera is 40MP you won’t get that from photographing a negative or slide. See for some samples. With a 24MP camera I was achieving about 66% of the linear resolution (should have been 4000+ dpi, was actually 2800dpi. Other people have achieved better with different cameras  - 75% of resolution

enlarge the pictures to their max and even though professional scanning is a solution, I hate to rely on others for that. Scanning remains an art more than a technique and I would depend on other people's considerations. That, I don't like very much. I never had much success with that and when it comes to personal work, I have trust issues and I'm kind of a control freak.
Not saying it will not happen but the more room I have to avoid that, the better.
That's where I am right now with my decision but I'm still considering any opinion that might come.I won't buy anything before a month anyway.

About the software:
A few years ago, I had to make a web illustration work with a borrowed V700 (I had to scan hundreds of of magazines for a website but not films ). The client wanted the results to be faithful to the originals (Art magazine). I remember that I tried the Epson software, Vuescan and Silverfast. I tested them all thoroughly for days before starting the actual job and my main objective was to get the pictures perfectly scanned in terms of sharpness, color balance and brightness. I ended up using Silverfast. it was a no brainer at that time.

You might want to use a calibration targets for slides, for negatives your a5 the mercy of the scanner or inversion software

It's been a while now so I don't remember why it made a difference. And illustrations are not the same thing than negatives, granted.
I figure I will do the same thing this time and test all the available software at first.
As long as I have options, it's fine. It's with some old film scanners limited to one app that I would be skeptical but the latest pieces of hardware give you enough options to try before buy, so it should be fine.
Thanks for your feedback !

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