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Scanner for Medium Format Negs

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Narnian, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I am looking for a scanner, hopefully under $300, that can handle up to 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 negatives. I would love 4x5 capability but those seem out of my price range.

    I have lots of negatives I would like to digitize, mostly 35mm but a lot of medium format as well.

    Any particular recommendations or warnings?

  2. Michael

    Michael Mu-43 Regular


    Hi Narnian,
    With regards to medium format scanning the Epson V500 and V700 are the minimum and produce very good results especially with the Silverfast or Vuescan. The software is in many cases more important than the scanner! The Epsons appear on ebay at reasonable prices and can be serviced. But the output quality falls over a with 35mm because with the standard film mounts it is nigh impossible to keep the film flat. The wet mount system in the V750 does not have this problem but they are a rare find used.
    Generally used film scanners have in many cases been worked to death their motors and gears do ware out.
    I have had encouraging reports of the Plustek's and they are remarkably inexpensive.
    If you have an m4/3 camera another solution for 35mm is a slide copier with an a adaptor. I also use Canon's FD system and have a slide / filmstrip copier this works really well with my EP-2. I have seen them on ebay for USD110 There are also a couple of UK companies that advertise in AP and have new copiers at much less than the cost of a film scanner.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. silverbullet

    silverbullet Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    Last spring a french magazine 'Chasseur d'Image' compared three scanner :
    Nikon Coolscan V, Imacon and Epson V700.

    Very condensed conclusion:

    24x36 negatives: best= Imacon, 2. Coolscan and 3. Epson no surprise BUT

    medium format scanning with the Epson was better than expected.

    If no wallpaper should be printed, the difference to the Imacon compare to the price difference was too small.

    But the Imacon with it's flexible metalsheet for the filmbending inside isn't prone to dust, Newton rings etc. will say the productivity, speed and less time for eliminating dustspots is much better compare to the flatbed Epson.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    I would go for the epson v750. IF you can find the money for it or a good deal… When it was released 3 or 4 years ago, it was 799$ and it still retails for the same amount of money. I think thats quite a good testimony for it's incredible performance…

    You can do wet mounts also, which can be quite handy with troublesome negs. 4800dpi is quite fast, and more than enough for most cases. It even has a higher optical resolution, but it is slow, since it uses some micro motor system.

    If I'm scanning bigger negs, I sometimes use just glass plates to keep them flat.

    This is a quick scan from a Agfabox 9x6 neg, using a glass plate.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Imacon and Nikon Coolscan are definitely out of my price range as is the Epson V700.

    But the Epson V500 and V600 are in my price range as is the Canon 8800F and 9000F. Does anybody own any of these?
  6. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I decided to go withe the Canon 9000F - it got very good reviews when I searched around, slightly better than the V600. Plus I have used Canon scanners for 10+ years.

    So far so good - but I have a lot of cleanup to do from the first few scans:

    Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, 1983, scan of Kodachrome 35mm slide
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Barn, Lancaster, PA, (1982 I think, I need to find my notes). Horseman 985, 6x7 back, 90/5.6 Super Topcor lens as I recall.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I figure if I have anything fantastic I'll send them off to be professionally scanned and cleaned. When I went through my 4x5 negs there were only about 20 of so I would want scanned so the Epson v750 would not have bought me much I believe.
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