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film scanning in 2017
  
 
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · film scanning in 2017


I had a Nikon Coolscan IV-ED in 2009 and scanned all my film back when i was shooting film more often.

2012 i picked up an F5 and some Fuji Reala film and had a good time, but only bought maybe 4 rolls and then that was that.....

until recently when i picked up a cheap Nikon F65 (to work with my 14-24) and scored some hard to find Fuji Reala 35mm film. I now have 10 rolls of this stuff, and would rather "rent" a scanner than pay $20+ a roll to get scanned.

My wife will kill me if i spend more than $400 on a scanner (she won't be happy regardless but i can sell it later), and i the Coolscan LS-4000 is in that price range. I see some LS-5000 for a little higher, but i don't need that.

So for those that shoot film, what do you use? Are there other scanners that are just as good? The density range is 4.2 on the coolscan 4000ED, which is pretty good.

also, if you shoot film, check out this site. I am going to pick up a roll of Illford PanF and send it to them. Monsoon season is just around the corner here DR5



Mar 04, 2017 at 01:46 AM
AbramG
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · film scanning in 2017


Hi Dustin,

I'm actually using the very scanner you mention, the LS-4000 ED and I've been plenty happy with it for my 35mm usage, and I do shoot a reasonable amount of 35mm film still (typically 10 ish rolls a month on average). I run the scanner on an old Powerbook G4 so I can use the Nikon Scan software but you can use it with Vuescan if that's your preference.



Mar 04, 2017 at 03:15 AM
PhotoMaximum
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · film scanning in 2017


A completely different approach: do some thinking beyond smart phones and 35mm (digital or film + scanning): if you want to shoot film then really go for it: look to a 6x7 medium format or better yet, a 4X5 film camera...


Mar 04, 2017 at 03:36 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · film scanning in 2017


I'm afraid there is no satisfying solution from the current available scanners. With the revival of film, I hope that one of the major players would be interested in developing a scanner with 2017 technology. Since FF sensors are reasonably cheap these days, it would be possible to make a scanner that works like a contact sheet, with direct contact between film and sensor, without the need for optics.


Mar 04, 2017 at 04:09 AM
Two23
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · film scanning in 2017


I'm using a Nikon Coolscan V for 35mm, and an Epson v750 for 120, 4x5 and 5x7. I'm happy with both scanners, and run them using Vuescan. I mostly shoot 4x5.


Kent in SD



Mar 04, 2017 at 04:36 AM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · film scanning in 2017


watch out dr5, scala is back.

http://www.freestylephoto.biz/59440-Adox-Scala-160-ISO-BW-Reversal-Film-35mm-x-36-exp



Mar 04, 2017 at 05:17 AM
toshiro
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · film scanning in 2017


edwardkaraa wrote:
I'm afraid there is no satisfying solution from the current available scanners. With the revival of film, I hope that one of the major players would be interested in developing a scanner with 2017 technology. Since FF sensors are reasonably cheap these days, it would be possible to make a scanner that works like a contact sheet, with direct contact between film and sensor, without the need for optics.


Thats my aproach. After owning several scanners I ended scanning only with my Sony A7rII with a macro lens mounted on a copy table, what you get is much much much better than any prosumer scanner




Mar 04, 2017 at 05:29 AM
frickerg
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · film scanning in 2017


I can vouch for the Primefilm XA. Im actually scanning right now. Its a great scanner that can actually resolve up to 4300 dpi and is a treat. The batch processing is hit or miss, but I have read several threads where folks compared it to the coolscans



Mar 04, 2017 at 07:24 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · film scanning in 2017


edwardkaraa wrote:
I'm afraid there is no satisfying solution from the current available scanners. With the revival of film, I hope that one of the major players would be interested in developing a scanner with 2017 technology. Since FF sensors are reasonably cheap these days, it would be possible to make a scanner that works like a contact sheet, with direct contact between film and sensor, without the need for optics.


hmm, i will have to read into that! what coal length you think would be a good start, like 60mm?



Mar 04, 2017 at 05:00 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · film scanning in 2017


thanks for the responses everyone. Looks like i will need to do some research on the macro lens option


Mar 04, 2017 at 05:01 PM
 

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trogdon
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · film scanning in 2017




toshiro wrote:
Thats my aproach. After owning several scanners I ended scanning only with my Sony A7rII with a macro lens mounted on a copy table, what you get is much much much better than any prosumer scanner



I have a similar setup, but when trying to invert the raw files I'm having trouble getting decent color out of them when compared to my Epson v500. Even slides are a little tough. Do you have any specific color technique recommendations?



Mar 04, 2017 at 05:05 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · film scanning in 2017




Dustin Gent wrote:
hmm, i will have to read into that! what coal length you think would be a good start, like 60mm?

Any lens that does 1:1 should do.



Mar 04, 2017 at 05:05 PM
Jon Buffington
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · film scanning in 2017


Kodak Pakon for 35mm. The realistic way for shooting 35mm. Very fast, good resolution (for real 6mp files that are sharp), excellent color for c-41 films. Plus model around 6-700, non plus 3-500. When I mean fast, I mean 36 exp roll in under 4 minutes fast. Color, well, it is Kodak. Baked in profiles leave minimal if any need for post processing. An affordable, proper lab scanner that sold new for 12k or more.


Mar 04, 2017 at 05:08 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · film scanning in 2017


I am currently doing a hybrid solution of two ways to digitize my films - for 35 mm, I prefer using the Plustek 8200Ai scanner which works very well for 35 mm negatives (but I would not recommend this scanner for slides from experience since the slide frame makes the slides sit higher up in the slide holder, and the scanner's focus is not adjustable for this).

For 4x5" negatives, I currently use an LED light table on which I place the flat negative sheets. On top sits my A7R with Canon 50/3.5 macro FD lens in magnification 1:2 where I take two overlapping vertical shots of the negative which I merge in PS to get the full digitized negative in very good resolution. I might get an Epson Vuescan 700/800 in the future which allows to digitize 4x5" negatives with a backlit scanner.



Mar 04, 2017 at 06:17 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · film scanning in 2017


trogdon wrote:
I have a similar setup, but when trying to invert the raw files I'm having trouble getting decent color out of them when compared to my Epson v500. Even slides are a little tough. Do you have any specific color technique recommendations?


That's indeed the toughest part with color slides and negatives! It was one reason why I bought my Plustek scanner with SilverFast software - the software includes automatic white balance shifts depending on which kind of film was used. This is instantly done after scanning, and most often needed additional color adjustment is minimal. The final photo looks very natural. Doing this manual from takes a lot of time, and in the end the colors are not what they are supposed to be in the negative/slide.



Mar 04, 2017 at 06:25 PM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · film scanning in 2017


Can't you white balance from the unexposed but developed film section?


I use a minolta and epson film scanner. DSLR is too fiddly - probably takes a day for a roll of 36.



Mar 04, 2017 at 06:30 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · film scanning in 2017


ken.vs.ryu wrote:
Can't you white balance from the unexposed but developed film section?

I use a minolta and epson film scanner. DSLR is too fiddly - probably takes a day for a roll of 36.


I tried this with the unexposed film section - but best of luck with this method.....I was not too successful with it. But maybe this was also caused due to my sort of limited PS skills (I never was too much into excessive post processing).


Edited on Mar 04, 2017 at 06:34 PM · View previous versions



Mar 04, 2017 at 06:34 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · film scanning in 2017



edwardkaraa wrote:
I'm afraid there is no satisfying solution from the current available scanners. With the revival of film, I hope that one of the major players would be interested in developing a scanner with 2017 technology. Since FF sensors are reasonably cheap these days, it would be possible to make a scanner that works like a contact sheet, with direct contact between film and sensor, without the need for optics.


Dustin Gent wrote:
hmm, i will have to read into that! what coal length you think would be a good start, like 60mm?


---------------------------------------------

That would be very interesting Edward.

Dustin Gent wrote:
thanks for the responses everyone. Looks like i will need to do some research on the macro lens option


This was going to be one of my projects last winter, but I didn't end up completing the hardware side of the equation. I spent a lot of time researching options and came across this site with a lot of great info on lenses. While his interest is photographing coins, there are a lot of similar factors involved with photographing film since it's in a similar magnification range.

My plan was to use one of my FF cameras for the task, along with the appropriate 1:1 optimized macro lens.

But if I was to start from scratch, I would probably go with a Micro-Nikkor 55 (there are various flavors), which only does 1:2, but coupled with an APS-C mirrorless, should be sufficient. I.e. buy a cheap used NEX-6 or 7, etc. and the Nikkor. the biggest hassle is really lining up the camera with the film to be photographed. My solution was a Nikon bellows with film/slide holder, but Nikon also has a tube designed specifically for copying slides with their macro lenses (IIRC it's not intended for neg strips). I wanted something that didn't involve setting up a copy stand. But if I did, I read that some search out the old Beseler Negatrans enlarger negative carrier because it allows manually advancing the film strip without having to open up the carrier.

Going through my mom's photos recently has brought this back to a higher priority level and had me look into scanner options again. The biggest hassle I think with the dedicated film scanners is they're fairly slow and you can't walk away and let them do batches, unless you're lucky to have one of the Nikon scanners with the batch feed attachment. I still think I'd rather spend ~30 seconds per image captured on a digital camera than babysitting a scanner (assuming I can find a solution that locks everything down but lets me move the film strip without disrupting everything else). Where this will be more complicated is scanning color negative film (as mentioned in earlier posts), since IIRC, it's not a simple process of just inverting the image in PS. During my testing last year, getting a decent result involved a lot of individual color channel curves and levels tweaks. Dedicated scanner software has the advantage here, it seems.



Mar 04, 2017 at 06:34 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · film scanning in 2017



Jon Buffington wrote:
Kodak Pakon for 35mm. The realistic way for shooting 35mm. Very fast, good resolution (for real 6mp files that are sharp), excellent color for c-41 films. Plus model around 6-700, non plus 3-500. When I mean fast, I mean 36 exp roll in under 4 minutes fast. Color, well, it is Kodak. Baked in profiles leave minimal if any need for post processing. An affordable, proper lab scanner that sold new for 12k or more.


Not only the Pakon, but also fujifilm and Noritsu scanning units are very affordable now and can scan at much higher resolutions. The problem is the size and weight, and also that they only work on older OS.



Mar 04, 2017 at 06:54 PM
Mathieu18
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · film scanning in 2017


A7RII and a Tamron 52BB 90/2.5 work well for me. I saw a comparison a while back that showed this combo to be on par with drum scans. Couldn't tell you where that comparison was though...

Anyone know where to find a 6x6 film holder though? My homemade variant works but could be much better.



Mar 04, 2017 at 11:16 PM
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