Scanner or Macro...need to do something

Petrochemist

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I've got a couple of special slide copiers I think one is the same as this which has a spot for the slide against the screen, & a suitable lens built in. Other versions are I think designed to be fixed before a lens.
relatively easy to use with the sky for illumination, but faster using TTL flash...
 
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Rather than start a new thread, it seems like this fits here. I recently purchased a refurbished V800 direct from Epson for $549. I’m sure my scanning technique needs some work, but so far the results I get with the 60mm Macro and Nikon ES-1 seem substantially better. Example is a 1996 Fujichrome from San Francisco (obviously).

Note that these were quickly adjusted for contrast in Apple Photos, so there are some differences there, but the difference in detail is what I’m concerned about.

Not sure if there’s something wrong with the scanner or if it’s just not the best tool for the job. Contemplating returning it and investing in a better camera-based scanning setup
 

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I've done a lot of scanning over the past 25 years. Flatbed scans are ok for 4x5 or 8x10 film, but the DR still isn't so good. Most scanner resolution is far lower optically than what they state, which is interpolated. I even had use of an Imacon for many years, along with a medium format Microtek. And I have to say that an m4/3 camera raw file with a macro lens is sharper and has better dynamic range than all of them. With my G9 in high-res mode, it even beats the Imacon. If you have negatives, get Negative Lab Pro to help with the conversions.

Examples here:
https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Category/1981-Sidewalk-Santas/
https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Category/1991-Stella-Wright-Homes-Newark-NJ/
https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Category/Jesus-Saves-1982/
https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Category/RUSH-HOUR/
https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Category/San-Gennaro-Festival-NYC-1979/
https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Film-Scans/35mm-Slide-Scans/
 
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I've done a lot of scanning over the past 25 years. Flatbed scans are ok for 4x5 or 8x10 film, but the DR still isn't so good. Most scanner resolution is far lower optically than what they state, which is interpolated. I even had use of an Imacon for many years, along with a medium format Microtek. And I have to say that an m4/3 camera raw file with a macro lens is sharper and has better dynamic range than all of them. With my G9 in high-res mode, it even beats the Imacon. If you have negatives, get Negative Lab Pro to help with the conversions.

Hi Mike, I’ve read some of your posts on this subject in the past, I should have believed you! But when the scanner became available for $549 I had to see it for myself.

I’m thinking I need to sell/return the scanner and start looking for a good light source, negative carrier, and copy stand. It might even be faster than the scanner in the long run.
 

jhawk1000

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I have converted an old Durst enlarger into a copy stand, I have a lightbox on the enlarger base as my light source, It came from my wife's professional color lab. I have the durst/copy stand outfitted with a ball head with Arca swiss clamp, I have made a film guide from the Durst slide and negative carriers. I have a motorized negative and slide cleaner with chamois that twirl when you step on the foot pedal, I also have an ionized antistat vacuum that the film can go into to destroy dust. I put my small Olympus EM-10 on the ball head with the camera fitted with the Panasonic/Leica 45mm 2.8 Macro and shoot the film and slides. Unfortunately, the conversion from negative to positive software is clunky in Lightroom, Irfanview so conversion to positive from negative is not my favorite. For negatives, my go-to thing has been a $35.00 plus shipping charge Pacific Image 3650U scanner which gives me scans that need correction in Lightroom but the scanner works great with Vuescan. This scanner has already scanned several hundred negatives.
 

Brownie

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And I have to say that an m4/3 camera raw file with a macro lens is sharper and has better dynamic range than all of them.
This is what I recall when I went with the camera/copy stand to begin with. I spent a lot of time researching it then too, but haven't been satisfied. It appears the missing element in my setup is the macro lens, I've been making due with other lenses and tubes. The Oly 30 is probably the right choice for me, and that's how I'll proceed.

Thanks!
 
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Brownie

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Hi Mike, I’ve read some of your posts on this subject in the past, I should have believed you! But when the scanner became available for $549 I had to see it for myself.

I’m thinking I need to sell/return the scanner and start looking for a good light source, negative carrier, and copy stand. It might even be faster than the scanner in the long run.
For a light source, look no further than a $25 LED light board/table from Amazon. See my link in post #6. I ended up using black poster board to create a mask to reduce stray light, but this is a great even source.

I picked up a 35mm negative holder for $10 from BH. For 120, I made one out of presentation board. It works decent, needs some refinement.

This shot was made on an 80 year old Argus Model AA, so take the resolution into account. I am posting it to show how even the light is from the board.

50990943261_95e2d58ce0_b.jpg
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P1031567 by telecast, on Flickr
 

Brownie

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Well, that was easy! MPB had an Oly 30 for $189 with all original packing, box, caps, etc. Last time I ordered from them I wasn't thrilled, but the 180 day warranty helps ease the mind.

Thanks to all who've responded.
 
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Hi Mike, I’ve read some of your posts on this subject in the past, I should have believed you! But when the scanner became available for $549 I had to see it for myself.

I’m thinking I need to sell/return the scanner and start looking for a good light source, negative carrier, and copy stand. It might even be faster than the scanner in the long run.
Shooting with the camera is so much faster than any scanner. Even if you don't do hi-res mode, the images will still be miles ahead of any scanner short of an Imacon or a drum scanner.
 

Brownie

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Lens came today, thanks @Bushboy and everyone for the input. I think I'll be happy with this setup. I took it out in the yard just to try it out, was surprised what it will do handheld. This is actually my first Oly lens.

From my wife's neglected fairy garden:
51155582127_c2fe3c6554_b.jpg
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panda by telecast, on Flickr
 

agentlossing

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It's been a couple years now, but I think both were just meh. I tested by comparing professional 120 scans with the best I could do and there just wasn't any comparison. 35mm scans were worse. I honestly think camera-based "scanning" could be at the very least comparable if not superior, albeit more of a hassle. Again, though, print scanning was excellent, no complaints there at all.
This mirrors my experience. I don't shoot 120 at present, but flatbeds and 35mm are just, bleh. I have scanned Instax prints and Polaroid I-type with the Epson V550 and they came out pretty good. With 35mm I think it's just the minute imperfections in focus due to the negative not being perfectly flat or in the perfect focal plane, magnified manifold with the magnification through scanning.

I have a good Pacific Image 35mm scanner now, and fingers crossed that it doesn't develop any issues, it's fantastic. With the V550 still on hand for the odd instant camera print and whatever else I decide to do.
 

JensM

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I use this set-up:
Duplicator setup.jpg
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Sorry for the terrible picture, phone and hurry is not the best combo, but a very quick trial run produces such results:

Duplicator setup result.jpg
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Source film here is some cheap late-mid 70s slide film. Thats me in the hat, btw...

Its core is a Oly 60 mm, then there are two tubes of the bay and a Nikon copier in its MkII version in the end of that, the MkII comes with negative strip holders and ditto frame holders for slides. The MkI just have a press fit for the slide frames.

I copied a set-up described in an old tread here. I havent tried high rez or such, just ran a couple of mags through it. Should have cleaned them up before. But it works and is rather quick, with no controlled light source. I have a cheap light plate (which looks exactly like the Kaiser one) and a tiny godox video light for trials.

The plan is to get cracking when I get my head out of my behind and finish the renovation of my study. I will tether the camera and run the entire capture part of the process through the PC.
 
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