Film Scanner

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Barry Duggan Photography
Barry Duggan Photography Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Film Scanner
1

Hi, I'm looking for a scanner for my 35mm film. Is there any good suggestions?, I have an iMac. I was looking at Plustek but I believe the software can be tricky to work. Ive also looked at the cheaper Kodak Scanza.

Thanks

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Regards,
Barry.
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bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,194
Re: Film Scanner
1

Honestly the best way to scan 35mm film, positive or negative, is to get an adapter and use your dSLR. It will probably be faster and should yield better quality images.

There are many ways to convert orange masked negative materials.

Flat-bed scanners with the ability to scan film can do a reasonable job. Epson still makes higher end models for this purpose, I am not sure Canon is still pushing that function.

You would need to check if the OEM software that operates whatever dedicated scanner in which you are interested will work on whatever version of OSX you are using. If you are on Mojave more likely than not the OEM software isn't going to work.

The scanning software built into Mojave gives access to basic scanner functions, including transparency, but is not as full functioned as the OEM packages.

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MtnBikerCalif Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Film Scanner

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

Hi, I'm looking for a scanner for my 35mm film. Is there any good suggestions?, I have an iMac. I was looking at Plustek but I believe the software can be tricky to work. Ive also looked at the cheaper Kodak Scanza.

Thanks

Recently got an Epson V370 from Craigslist. It's a flatbed with a holder for 35mm film strips or slides. Does four at a time. Epson Scan comes up with an error but works on Mojave. Will it work with Catalina? Quality is fine from old slides.

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nick101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,327
Re: Film Scanner

I looked at this a little while ago. The best bet seems to be the Reflecta RPS 10M which has good reviews and works well.

That said, as suggested in the earlier reply, using a dSLR with an adapter might be a better bet if you don't have huge quantities.

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Barry Duggan Photography
OP Barry Duggan Photography Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Film Scanner

nick101 wrote:

I looked at this a little while ago. The best bet seems to be the Reflecta RPS 10M which has good reviews and works well.

That said, as suggested in the earlier reply, using a dSLR with an adapter might be a better bet if you don't have huge quantities.

I would favour this option, however, I think a Macro lens is required?

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Barry.
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MtnBikerCalif Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Film Scanner

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I looked at this a little while ago. The best bet seems to be the Reflecta RPS 10M which has good reviews and works well.

That said, as suggested in the earlier reply, using a dSLR with an adapter might be a better bet if you don't have huge quantities.

I would favour this option, however, I think a Macro lens is required?

Yes. To get full resolution the camera needs to be close enough to fill the frame with the slide image. Maybe not true if you have a 42MP full frame or similar.

I tried with a normal lens and filled approx. one-quarter of the frame. The resolution wasn't good enough to capture all the information even from 70-year old amateur slides. The Epson V370 captured all the information (non-scientific verification with 10x magnifier). The other problem with using a dSLR is lighting the slide. I picked up much more scratches and imperfections. The Epson either though lighting or software did much better.

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Dave Braun Contributing Member • Posts: 594
Re: Film Scanner

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I looked at this a little while ago. The best bet seems to be the Reflecta RPS 10M which has good reviews and works well.

That said, as suggested in the earlier reply, using a dSLR with an adapter might be a better bet if you don't have huge quantities.

I would favour this option, however, I think a Macro lens is required?

You could try extension tubes.

ChrisLumix Senior Member • Posts: 2,929
Re: Film Scanner
1

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

Hi, I'm looking for a scanner for my 35mm film. Is there any good suggestions?, I have an iMac. I was looking at Plustek but I believe the software can be tricky to work. Ive also looked at the cheaper Kodak Scanza.

Thanks

PlusTek are very good, but it's worth investing extra in VueScan software which is more capable than their own.

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Panas0n!c Lum!x LX100, TZ60

andyc61 New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Film Scanner
1

DSLR scans are fast & offer you the same resolution as your camera. You need to backlight the film and then need to invert the image if it’s a negative and remove dust and scratches. To get the colours of negative film how I want them is time consuming and a little frustrating to say the least. Also bear in mind you need to set up the camera light and film holder each time you want to scan. So the actual scan is quick, everything else necessary not so much.

Dedicated film scanners are slow but with the right software do all of the above for you. Having used both extensively I prefer using film scanners, a Plustek 8200 and Epson v850 flatbed as I get to do other work whilst the scanners do their thing.

Vuescan gets good reviews, currently I’m using Silverfast SE which gets me the colours I’m happy with quicker and easier. Others use the manufacturers software which is of course free and may be all you need. It would be fair to say that all the software I’ve tried has its own eccentricities and takes some time to get the best from it.

Barry Duggan Photography
OP Barry Duggan Photography Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Film Scanner

Dave Braun wrote:

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I looked at this a little while ago. The best bet seems to be the Reflecta RPS 10M which has good reviews and works well.

That said, as suggested in the earlier reply, using a dSLR with an adapter might be a better bet if you don't have huge quantities.

I would favour this option, however, I think a Macro lens is required?

You could try extension tubes.

I might try that. I have a 28mm and an 85mm lens. Could you maye advise me as to what sort of magnification I require for scanning?

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Regards,
Barry.
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Barry Duggan Photography
OP Barry Duggan Photography Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Film Scanner

Great info, thanks.

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Regards,
Barry.
Twitter - @barrydduggan
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robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 6,412
Re: Film Scanner

One of these might help. I got one at Goodwill for $20.

The tricky part is connecting the camera but some of these have M42 mounts, which can be adapted to a lot of cameras. And you could get an M42 macro lens for the front of it.

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Peter in Milton Regular Member • Posts: 252
Re: Film Scanner
2

I've scanned a few thousand negs and slides by every means out there.  I have found that for B&W negs and colour slides, a camera with a macro lens is fastest and gives most control.  There are a few gotchas:

First you need a macro lens that has a flat focus plane, and is sharp corner to corner.  A standard lens on extension tubes generally will not do this.  Focal plane curvature tends to happen, which doesn't matter if you are taking a nature shot  where only the bugs eye needs to be in focus, but it does matter if you are photographing something flat.  I use a Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar, but there are no doubt others.  And of course the lens will have other uses.

Next, the camera body and the neg must be exactly planar, and stay that way from neg to neg.  I use a Novoflex slide copy holder and focus rack for this (see B&H).  It was a bit expensive, but it works very well.  You could make something up yourself if you like this kind of project.

The neg must be back lit.  I use a flash gun for this as it's repeatable and controllable.  A radio controlled Godox is ideal, but a cable connection is fine as well.

After that, you need to invert the negs in software, and process for contrast etc.  I use Photoshop, again there are others.  I don't do any color negs this way.

The next best scanner method to use  (which includes colour negs) is to simply use a decent flat bed scanner; Epson V600 and up.  I find that Vuescan is by far the best software and easiest to learn.  It takes a bit longer than the camera method, but is easier to set up, doesn't require any other software, and can handle color negs.  You can get almost as good quality this way as using a very well selected and set up camera system.

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Bryan
Bryan Senior Member • Posts: 2,438
Re: Film Scanner
1

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

Hi, I'm looking for a scanner for my 35mm film. Is there any good suggestions?, I have an iMac. I was looking at Plustek but I believe the software can be tricky to work. Ive also looked at the cheaper Kodak Scanza.

Thanks

Hi Barry,

I would check eBay to see if you can find a bargain Nikon Coolscan IV or V. I have both and they do an excellent job of sorting out old colour images, also B&W negs. I also use an iMac (since Dec 2009) and run Parallels Desktop allowing me to have Windows XP Pro running. This allows me to use the excellent Nikon Coolscan software - slow but does a great job.

For the fresher (read better quality) slides I use Vuescan in Mojave and again results are good. I was very happy with my Coolscan IV but but a daft bid in for the later (better) version V and won it. I am keeping the IV as a spare but I have cleaned mirrors etc on both. There are some bargains about.

A few results from each can be found in Albums in the Flickr account below.

Good luck.

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Bryan
Box-Brownie and other stuff.
Still looking for a digital back for my Box Brownie.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryang9/

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Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 4,605
Re: Film Scanner

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

Dave Braun wrote:

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I looked at this a little while ago. The best bet seems to be the Reflecta RPS 10M which has good reviews and works well.

That said, as suggested in the earlier reply, using a dSLR with an adapter might be a better bet if you don't have huge quantities.

I would favour this option, however, I think a Macro lens is required?

You could try extension tubes.

I might try that. I have a 28mm and an 85mm lens. Could you maye advise me as to what sort of magnification I require for scanning?

I assume your slides and negatives are 35mm.

Your A7 has a full frame (35mm) sensor.

The magnification you need is about 1:1 with a bit of adjustment room in each direction.

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Cheers
Eric

Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 4,605
Re: Film Scanner

I have an Epson V700 flatbed scanner, which has holders for 12 slides and 12 negatives.

This sounds ideal on paper but it isn't; the optical resolution of the scanner is only about 2300 DPI, and the focus adjustment for slides and negatives has limited resolution.

From this review

The claimed maximum resolution of 6400 dpi is higher than in most film scanners. But how much does the Epson Perfection V700 Photo really reach? In a test scan of an USAF test chart the horizontal lines of the element 5.3 and the vertical lines of the element 5.5 can yet still be differentiated. The result is therefore an actual resolution of only about 2300 dpi. That's less than 40% of the claimed resolution. The scan of a 35mm-slide or a negative using 2300 dpi, results in a file with approximately 7 megapixels. That's within the range of many common digital cameras.

The Epson V800 is very similar except that additonal glass surfaces add more CA. Review

Scanning the 12 slides or negatives takes nearly 40 minutes on a V700, and 30 minutes on a V800.

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Cheers
Eric

lightandaprayer Senior Member • Posts: 3,293
Re: Film Scanner

Bryan wrote:

Barry Duggan Photography wrote:

Hi, I'm looking for a scanner for my 35mm film. Is there any good suggestions?, I have an iMac. I was looking at Plustek but I believe the software can be tricky to work. Ive also looked at the cheaper Kodak Scanza.

Thanks

Hi Barry,

I would check eBay to see if you can find a bargain Nikon Coolscan IV or V. I have both and they do an excellent job of sorting out old colour images, also B&W negs. I also use an iMac (since Dec 2009) and run Parallels Desktop allowing me to have Windows XP Pro running. This allows me to use the excellent Nikon Coolscan software - slow but does a great job.

For the fresher (read better quality) slides I use Vuescan in Mojave and again results are good. I was very happy with my Coolscan IV but but a daft bid in for the later (better) version V and won it. I am keeping the IV as a spare but I have cleaned mirrors etc on both. There are some bargains about.

A few results from each can be found in Albums in the Flickr account below.

Good luck.

Bryan, can I do something like this running High Sierra on my 2012 Mac Mini or Mojave on my 2018 Mini?  I'd prefer the latter option since I plan on selling the 2012 Mini.

I would like to be able to use the Nikon software as well as Vuescan.

Bryan
Bryan Senior Member • Posts: 2,438
Re: Film Scanner

The Nikon scanners (IV and V) work fine with Vuescan on any Mac computer I should imagine. I mainly use it with Windows XP for the extras provided by Nikon Scan 4 software which, sadly, will only work with XP or earlier.

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Bryan
Box-Brownie and other stuff.
Still looking for a digital back for my Box Brownie.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryang9/

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lightandaprayer Senior Member • Posts: 3,293
Re: Film Scanner

Thanks for the info Bryan.

Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 4,605
Re: Film Scanner

lightandaprayer wrote:

Thanks for the info Bryan.

I still run a version of Windows XP under Parallels, for the express purpose of maintaining old SW. (I don't let it conect to the internet).

If you still have some old XP install disks, you should be able to get XP and the Nikon SW up and running.

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Cheers
Eric

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