MF Scanner Recommendations
I did a site search and didn't really come up with what I'm looking for.
I'd like to add MF to my 35mm work.
While I shoot film, lately, I've been doing developing only and then scanning the negs (or slides) via a Nikon 5000D scanner.
If I make a move to MF - I will need a different scanner.
Quite frankly, the price of the Nikon 9000D is scary - although I could pull it off.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for a MF-capable scanner?
This is probably a thread for the Grey Area Subforum.
The Epson scanners do a very good job for a flatbed scanner, at a decent price. I have the 4990- I believe the newest version is called the V700. It will scan negatives, transparancies, and prints up to 8x10, with dedicated holders for 35mm, 120 and 4x5. I wouldn't put it in the same class as the Nikons, but it is better than one would expect, from past experiences with flatbed scanners. Pretty damn good, actually.
I also own an Epson 4990 and it can give you very good results at an affordable price. There are other options than a Coolscan 9000. But if most of what you scan is slides or color negatives, then I would say - because of the dust removal of the Nikon scanner - the Nikon is the way to go. For B&W, the Epson does a good job. Instead of searching through an analog forum like APUG, I would recommend to also have a look into the medium format forum on photo.net
The 4990 also has dust removal, both ICE and Epson's own, but it is very s-l-o-w. Be aware that ICE doesn't work properly with conventional (i.e. non-chromogenic) b+w films though. I'm happy enough with my 4990 - it's certainly good value for money - but if the comparison between it and my Coolscan LS40 for 35mm is anything to go by, you will get sharper results from the Nikon despite the nominally higher resolution of the Epson. Having said that, the LS40 does show up every speck and scratch whereas the Epson is more forgiving, rather like a condenser enlarger vs a diffusion one. The MF Nikon is likely to be similar I imagine.
Originally Posted by rst
I second that. Actually, I bought the Epson V700 just a week ago, and it makes scanning fun again. Still not as much fun as making prints in the darkroom, but hey, you want to show some results on the web every now and then. This one does it all. Although I would recommend using Vuescan for scanning instead of the enclosed Epson software.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
If you want to spend 3 or 4 times the amount of money, a dedicated MF film scanner may be your choice, but as far as "value for money" goes, the Epson is -and it's getting repetetive here- pretty damn good!
-- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --
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I'll echo the Epson recommendation. I have the 4870 flatbed scanner (has probably been upgraded to a higher model by now) and am very satisfied with the results that I get from it.
I will go against the group here and say the Epson's that I have tried (4870 & 2450) are not up to the task of scanning modern slides. Shadow details get lost. Sharpness is OK for small prints. Real resolution is around 1800dpi. The results with negative films are much better than slides on the Epson. They are fine devices for proofing, but you will be disapointed compared to your Nikon. I would recomend having some film scanned on one before I bought it.
My personal recomendation is if you really need to scan then get the Nikon, or a used drum scanner if you can find one for cheaper (should be easily possible).
It depends what you want to do with the scans. If they're to view the photographs on screen , post on the web, send on emails, make CD's, or even to make smaller prints then the flatbeds mentioned here should be fine.
If on the other hand you have desires to make large prints from these scans in reasonable quantity then the film scanner is the way to go. If you want to make only a very few large prints then a flatbed at home plus getting lab drum scans made on the few may well be a route you should consider.
This last generation of flatbeds seems to offer a better dmax, giving improved ability to get detail in shadows. This overcomes, at least in part, one of the strongest arguments against using flatbeds for contrasty stuff like slides. In other words, if you want the best you can get from a flatbed, don't run off and buy a used 2450 or 3200 from eBay!
I bought a Nikon 9000 in order to print from MF. It was painful, but if you are intending to make prints for display, it is the way to go. Later on I acquired a 617 and found that scanning in parts and then stitching was a time-consuming but effective way to get very high quality scans.
If on the other hand you are looking for on-screen display, the extra cost is not worth it; go for a flatbed.