Film Scanning Prints vs Negatives

I just looked at the prices for the Plustek scanners. Since I'd actually need the OpticFilm 120, initial costs would be very high - but of course, if you only do 35mm stuff, the 8*** series is a lot less pricey.

EDIT: I'd opt for one of the 8200 devices (more precisely, I'd go for the Ai): IR built-in, and in the case of the AI, IT8 auto-calibration ... Very useful (dust-removal, accurate printing).

At the moment, I for one will stick to what I have: the CanoScan 9000F MkII, a flatbed quite like the Epson V600 (a scanner with a very good name, btw.). There are serious limitations, however: Resolution is a lot less than advertised (about 1600dpi), and it's not always easy to get good results. So, if you're not sure scanning will be your final or only solution, it might be better to invest in the general purpose device - which is the Epson.

Nevertheless, the results from the OpticFilm scanners look really impressive, and it comes with a good piece of software ... I might change my mind; but first, I'll do some more scanning with the rig in place.

M.
Thank you Matt, I think the jury is out but I hear what you say and I appreciate you input- Regards


















I just looked at the prices for the Plustek scanners. Since I'd actually need the OpticFilm 120, initial costs would be very high - but of course, if you only do 35mm stuff, the 8*** series is a lot less pricey.

EDIT: I'd opt for one of the 8200 devices (more precisely, I'd go for the Ai): IR built-in, and in the case of the AI, IT8 auto-calibration ... Very useful (dust-removal, accurate printing).

At the moment, I for one will stick to what I have: the CanoScan 9000F MkII, a flatbed quite like the Epson V600 (a scanner with a very good name, btw.). There are serious limitations, however: Resolution is a lot less than advertised (about 1600dpi), and it's not always easy to get good results. So, if you're not sure scanning will be your final or only solution, it might be better to invest in the general purpose device - which is the Epson.

Nevertheless, the results from the OpticFilm scanners look really impressive, and it comes with a good piece of software ... I might change my mind; but first, I'll do some more scanning with the rig in place.

M.
Thank you Matt I appreciate and value you comments, I guess the jury is out as far as a final decision, also having just bought this Sony a7Rll I need to experience this first- Regards Kenneth
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Thank you Matt I appreciate and value you comments, I guess the jury is out as far as a final decision, also having just bought this Sony a7Rll I need to experience this first- Regards Kenneth
Take your time - and of course, an A7R II will not fail to fascinate; for me, it was definitely more camera than I could handle (not in terms of size, in terms of potential - it's one serious powerhouse!). But my D750 is no slouch, either - thankfully, because those Sony cameras sure hold loads of appeal. Have fun!

M.
 
Take your time - and of course, an A7R II will not fail to fascinate; for me, it was definitely more camera than I could handle (not in terms of size, in terms of potential - it's one serious powerhouse!). But my D750 is no slouch, either - thankfully, because those Sony cameras sure hold loads of appeal. Have fun!

M.
Thank you Matt, I intend to. I am quite lucky really because I ordered the a7 Mk II but the a7R II came by accident at the same price but being a digital neanderthal I had used it a week before I realised that they had shipped the wrong camera, anyhow we came to an agreement and I ended up with this one at a very favourable price
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
View attachment 1937 Just out of interest Matt, which would you recommend considering that the 120 option might be a consideration, that is providing I keep my Rollieflex 3.5f, which is a decision I haven't made yet as it is in superb condition, but, to be fair is underused and I feel, what with my M6 and my new Sony camera might not feature in the future.

Amazon.co.uk: photo scanner: Computers & Accessories
That's a lovely camera you have there ... I would (as usual) be probably unable to even consider letting it go, but you're right about your other gear being very good and probably more user-friendly.

I'm definitely not qualified to give recommendations when it comes to scanning; I tried to outline what influenced my personal decisions above, no more, no less. The only thing I can state for sure is that you should stay away from el-cheapo "dedicated" solutions; there are lots of those, and I own two, a Rollei model for 135 and a Reflecta x120 (links to a test) for 120; I'm talking about the ones with a 14MP sensor, fix focus and some kind of screen. They're not totally useless, but they don't give you good enough scan quality, period. What they allow for is to see what might be worth scanning - but a good lighttable will be at least as good at that, and much quicker.

My CanoScan 9000F Mk II is no dedicated film scanner, but for a flatbed, its scan quality is decent; of the Epson scanners, the V800 is said to be superior, but I can't say by what margin. All I can state is that I *can* scan 135 and 120 film well enough to be able to publish the results online; printing would be another matter. For 120, quality is actually quite good, for 135, it's lacking in resolution (and it's worse for half-frame). If I shot only 135 film and didn't need a scanner, I'd opt for one of the 135 Plustek options - probably the OpticFilm 8200 Ai. But as long as I do a lot of 120 shooting, I need a solution for that, and the 9000F Mk II, while far from perfect, actually provides one that I can live with. I couldn't ever justify paying more than what the OpticFilm 120 costs anyway - but at the moment, I'm simply not dedicated and proficient enough to warrant such an investment anyway, and I can't afford the time it'd take to really make good use of it, either. So I stick to the - decent enough - flatbed. Software is also important, btw. - I use VueScan (see below), but SilverFast is said to be better (though YMMV, some prefer one or the other - I'm not able to judge this).

I came across a fantastic site - they test very thoroughly and give clear recommendations (they even have a graphical ranking available that makes comparisons very simple):

Detailed test reports and experience reports about film scanners slide scanners: market overview, application in practice

(It's a German site but everything is available in English.)

I would say that what you look for is this:

Purchase advice film scanners and scanner accessoires: technical books, literature, cleaners, scanning tools, monitor calibration, printer profiling

I think one can safely say that the Plustek scanners are quite good - but if they're worth their price is another matter, and about the OpticFilm 120, they say that it delivers the goods, but is very slow ... But it's clear that it's better than any flatbed scanner, even the best. Higher quality will cost you a lot more money.

However, from browsing their site, I get the impression that in the mid-range (below $2000), the Reflecta MF5000 is the recommended device - but even though it's a bit less expensive than the Plustek, that's a bit deceiving because it appears to come without proper software ... I can recommend VueScan which is affordable, but full-featured.

So, in my personal view, should I ever want to upgrade to a dedicated film scanner, I'll go for the Reflecta MF5000; I hope they keep it on the market long enough; if it's no longer available, the Plustek OpticFilm 120 is a viable alternative.

For you, it's probably different: If the Rolleiflex only gets used very rarely, I'd not bother with buying a dedicated scanner for it - or rather, including it in my buying decision; I think the Plustek OpticFilm 8200 Ai is a recommendable option (with all the necessary bells and whistles) that is readily available. I read that the Reflecta ProScan 7200 is better but it's also more expensive. And that's not counting the fact that the Reflecta comes without software ...

M.
 
That's a lovely camera you have there ... I would (as usual) be probably unable to even consider letting it go, but you're right about your other gear being very good and probably more user-friendly.

I'm definitely not qualified to give recommendations when it comes to scanning; I tried to outline what influenced my personal decisions above, no more, no less. The only thing I can state for sure is that you should stay away from el-cheapo "dedicated" solutions; there are lots of those, and I own two, a Rollei model for 135 and a Reflecta x120 (links to a test) for 120; I'm talking about the ones with a 14MP sensor, fix focus and some kind of screen. They're not totally useless, but they don't give you good enough scan quality, period. What they allow for is to see what might be worth scanning - but a good lighttable will be at least as good at that, and much quicker.

My CanoScan 9000F Mk II is no dedicated film scanner, but for a flatbed, its scan quality is decent; of the Epson scanners, the V800 is said to be superior, but I can't say by what margin. All I can state is that I *can* scan 135 and 120 film well enough to be able to publish the results online; printing would be another matter. For 120, quality is actually quite good, for 135, it's lacking in resolution (and it's worse for half-frame). If I shot only 135 film and didn't need a scanner, I'd opt for one of the 135 Plustek options - probably the OpticFilm 8200 Ai. But as long as I do a lot of 120 shooting, I need a solution for that, and the 9000F Mk II, while far from perfect, actually provides one that I can live with. I couldn't ever justify paying more than what the OpticFilm 120 costs anyway - but at the moment, I'm simply not dedicated and proficient enough to warrant such an investment anyway, and I can't afford the time it'd take to really make good use of it, either. So I stick to the - decent enough - flatbed. Software is also important, btw. - I use VueScan (see below), but SilverFast is said to be better (though YMMV, some prefer one or the other - I'm not able to judge this).



I came across a fantastic site - they test very thoroughly and give clear recommendations (they even have a graphical ranking available that makes comparisons very simple):

Detailed test reports and experience reports about film scanners slide scanners: market overview, application in practice

(It's a German site but everything is available in English.)

I would say that what you look for is this:








Purchase advice film scanners and scanner accessoires: technical books, literature, cleaners, scanning tools, monitor calibration, printer profiling

I think one can safely say that the Plustek scanners are quite good - but if they're worth their price is another matter, and about the OpticFilm 120, they say that it delivers the goods, but is very slow ... But it's clear that it's better than any flatbed scanner, even the best. Higher quality will cost you a lot more money.

However, from browsing their site, I get the impression that in the mid-range (below $2000), the Reflecta MF5000 is the recommended device - but even though it's a bit less expensive than the Plustek, that's a bit deceiving because it appears to come without proper software ... I can recommend VueScan which is affordable, but full-featured.

So, in my personal view, should I ever want to upgrade to a dedicated film scanner, I'll go for the Reflecta MF5000; I hope they keep it on the market long enough; if it's no longer available, the Plustek OpticFilm 120 is a viable alternative.

For you, it's probably different: If the Rolleiflex only gets used very rarely, I'd not bother with buying a dedicated scanner for it - or rather, including it in my buying decision; I think the Plustek OpticFilm 8200 Ai is a recommendable option (with all the necessary bells and whistles) that is readily available. I read that the Reflecta ProScan 7200 is better but it's also more expensive. And that's not counting the fact that the Reflecta comes without software ...

M.
Matt, I'm sorry, I have put you to a lot of work here, but I thank you all the same. Your input here is invaluable and I sincerely appreciate the time you have put into this. I will look at the links that you have sent me and in the not too distant future I will decide on the best way forward. I haven't mentioned, but for a good many years I have suffered from chronic depression and the medication which I take to treat it means that I almost have a deja vu approach to everything in life which includes photography. As an example I haven't processed any film for 4 years, I am a guitarist, I don't play, not to mention my passion that I had for cabinetmaking, hardly ever and this of course comes into play when I look at other projects. It is much simpler not to bother, add to this a heart attack after christmas and the resulting unstable angina means life is a little on hold.
 
Matt, I'm sorry, I have put you to a lot of work here, but I thank you all the same. Your input here is invaluable and I sincerely appreciate the time you have put into this. I will look at the links that you have sent me and in the not too distant future I will decide on the best way forward. I haven't mentioned, but for a good many years I have suffered from chronic depression and the medication which I take to treat it means that I almost have a deja vu approach to everything in life which includes photography. As an example I haven't processed any film for 4 years, I am a guitarist, I don't play, not to mention my passion that I had for cabinetmaking, hardly ever and this of course comes into play when I look at other projects. It is much simpler not to bother, add to this a heart attack after christmas and the resulting unstable angina means life is a little on hold.
I did add a thread which sort of ties in with this one Matt

This is my meagre darkroom set up in my cellar?
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
@kennethcooke Ken, whatever you do, take it easy - getting back into something after a long hiatus is exciting, but isn't made any more successful (or easier) by pushing it. Besides, whatever we do and discuss on here is meant to help - and in terms of information gathering and evaluating, you made me do something I should have done before, i.e. look seriously into the options that are around for scanning film. I found a very helpful site and tried to filter the information available to the best of my understanding, which remains woefully limited.

In the meantime, I'll just envy you your "meagre" darkroom - since you have what you need, I don't think it's that frugal at all; I don't even have space for one, my flat's only bathroom (and sufficiently dark room, no pun intended) is too small to house any further equipment. It's just a matter of time as to when you can start using it again; you put a lot behind you or are in the course of doing so, which takes a lot of patience, but I hope you manage to pick up from where you had to let things rest.

M.
 
@kennethcooke Ken, whatever you do, take it easy - getting back into something after a long hiatus is exciting, but isn't made any more successful (or easier) by pushing it. Besides, whatever we do and discuss on here is meant to help - and in terms of information gathering and evaluating, you made me do something I should have done before, i.e. look seriously into the options that are around for scanning film. I found a very helpful site and tried to filter the information available to the best of my understanding, which remains woefully limited.

In the meantime, I'll just envy you your "meagre" darkroom - since you have what you need, I don't think it's that frugal at all; I don't even have space for one, my flat's only bathroom (and sufficiently dark room, no pun intended) is too small to house any further equipment. It's just a matter of time as to when you can start using it again; you put a lot behind you or are in the course of doing so, which takes a lot of patience, but I hope you manage to pick up from where you had to let things rest.

M.
Thank you Matt, did you have a look at the Analyser Pro on my meagre darkroom page? I met the guy who designed it, also a mad keen black and white photographer who lives up in a quiet corner of The Yorkshire Dales. It is a great concept but very practical. I look forward to more discussions with you in the future and, please, if there is anything I can do my end, you only have to ask- Regards my friend
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
This could be interesting Matt, Pinhole photography (digital)
Pinhole Pro: Professional Pinhole Lens For DSLR & SLR Camera
Thanks for that - that's really quite interesting; I've looked at pinhole photography a couple of times, but never found a point of access that felt satisfactory. And at the moment, one can get the lens for 79$ ... tempting, to say the least.

EDIT: On the Analyser Pro: That's a very sophisticated piece of kit, very well thought out. It should make b&w enlarging a very precise and satisfying procedure.

M.
 
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Thanks for that - that's really quite interesting; I've looked at pinhole photography a couple of times, but never found a point of access that felt satisfactory. And at the moment, one can get the lens for 79$ ... tempting, to say the least.

EDIT: On the Analyser Pro: That's a very sophisticated piece of kit, very well thought out. It should make b&w enlarging a very precise and satisfying procedure.

M.
I also notice a company called Linhof Studio produce them? Now whether that is the same Linhof who make the cameras, I don't know but maybe worth viewing. Pinhole Photography | Lenses | Linhof Studio
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I also notice a company called Linhof Studio produce them? Now whether that is the same Linhof who make the cameras, I don't know but maybe worth viewing. Pinhole Photography | Lenses | Linhof Studio
Another interesting find - they do sell Alpa and Linhof; besides, the lens selection is also quite intriguing - a MFT pinhole, 16mm "focal" length? Wow ... Something to ponder - at these prices, even if it's just a novelty, there's not much lost in trying it out. I'm more into fast-paced shooting, though, so this needs some more deliberation ... ;)

M.
 
Another interesting find - they do sell Alpa and Linhof; besides, the lens selection is also quite intriguing - a MFT pinhole, 16mm "focal" length? Wow ... Something to ponder - at these prices, even if it's just a novelty, there's not much lost in trying it out. I'm more into fast-paced shooting, though, so this needs some more deliberation ... ;)

M.
Yes I am quite tempted to try on of the Linhof E-mount ones Matt. I wonder whether you would shoot RAW or JPEG? And, interestingly do you shoot RAW or RAW-JPEG normally?
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Yes I am quite tempted to try on of the Linhof E-mount ones Matt. I wonder whether you would shoot RAW or JPEG? And, interestingly do you shoot RAW or RAW-JPEG normally?
Usually RAW only - it makes post processing much more rewarding and effective (same for scans, actually: uncompressed TIFFs).

I'm still more intrigued by the more versatile pinhole you first linked to, to tell the truth. But I think it's not something I'll really use - and I have more than enough "novelty items" (some lenses among them) just lying around. I don't say those lenses are bad in any way, though - that's why I'm still not totally sure I won't be getting one. But to tell the truth, there's a couple of lens auctions going on locally that I find much more interesting (20mm/21mm pancake lenses for either the M or the F mount - both would be welcome ... and then there's this nice, ehm, huge GS-1 setup - for a very attractive price, unfortunately :rolleyes-89:). I think I'll have to pass on the pinhole for the time being ...

M.
 
Usually RAW only - it makes post processing much more rewarding and effective (same for scans, actually: uncompressed TIFFs).

I'm still more intrigued by the more versatile pinhole you first linked to, to tell the truth. But I think it's not something I'll really use - and I have more than enough "novelty items" (some lenses among them) just lying around. I don't say those lenses are bad in any way, though - that's why I'm still not totally sure I won't be getting one. But to tell the truth, there's a couple of lens auctions going on locally that I find much more interesting (20mm/21mm pancake lenses for either the M or the F mount - both would be welcome ... and then there's this nice, ehm, huge GS-1 setup - for a very attractive price, unfortunately :rolleyes-89:). I think I'll have to pass on the pinhole for the time being ...

M.
I have a Voigtlander 24mm f2.8 M lens which I quite like to use now and then and I look forward to trying on the a7R II, I am also looking forward to making some B&W images with the a7R II and trying various filters. I am thinking I might move the Rollieflex 3.5f on and maybe buy the new Zeiss 85mm E-mount lens with the funds?
 
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MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
From what I read, the 85mm Sony Zeiss is simply a great lens; ideal for portraiture. I think you'd be very happy with that lens. And if you don't use the Rolleiflex, it's better to move it instead of it collecting dust. I'm looking forward to seeing some shots with the 24mm Voigtländer from the 7R II - but I'd suggest putting them either on the SeriousCompacts or on the TalkEMount boards (sister sites to this one); I only have access to the SeriousCompacts board (I don't shoot Sony - yet).

Anyhow, I'm a bit wary of brand-focused forums - but Amin usually manages to establish a helpful atmosphere ... But I really think we should keep this forum as film-centric as possible - that's the rare thing to be relished; the net's full of brand-centric and digital-related forums.

I did a lot of archiving and scanning in the last two days; will start posting images tomorrow ...

M.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Matt, found this from a supplier I know in the UK, looks good?

Reflecta medium format scanner
Not really - the ones on offer are of the cheap, simplistic type; I own the medium format scanner you linked to, and it's barely usable. It's enough to maybe judge if there's any sharpness/contrast/quality at all and if framing is decent, but I'd not use it for serious scanning anymore. Using it is somewhat quicker than with the flatbed, but I don't feel like I get decent results with *good* images. Plus there's no option to get uncompressed data out of these things. I'd say a good flatbed scanner is most probably superior.

M.
 

Cerita

Veteran
Jul 24, 2017
Canada
Timely topic. Now that I am venturing into the world of film, I would like to scan the negatives/slides that I shoot, and only keep the only I really like. I have been looking at the Plustek 8000 series and most likely will buy the Ai version. I will also be scanning old negatives from the past as well, and I have also offered to digitise a large number of Kodachrome slides for my college I work at, we have a ton of Kodachrome slides in our archives, many of which have not been viewed in many, many years, so it will be nice to scan them and have prints made. Ahhhh, when I took a look at the slides this past week, the colours just took my breath away!! I had never seen Kodachrome slides in real life until now, and all I can say is WOW! I now understand why tears that were shed when Kodak stopped producing Kodachrome.

I just looked at scanning prices at one of the only pro labs left in this city, and wow, it's expensive to scan a 135-36 roll! 10 rolls and the scanner would pay for itself, so all the more I am headed in that direction. I am sure it isn't as good as the pro scanners at the lab, but for an amateur like myself, it will be fine.
 
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