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  1. #1

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    Enlarger vs. scanner

    I am considering buying a scanner to archive older slides and scan new 35mm and 120 slides. I work in both color and b+w. I have been offered, by a close friend and retired commercial professional photographer an Omega D2V with both condenser and cool head, timers, trays, chemicals, lights...basically what he used. He's asking $400 for the whole kit and kaboodle plus showing me how to use it. The scanner is good for 4000 dpi and from what I read would be equivalent to anything I could get out of the enlarger. Cost of scanner would be around $1800. All my film work is performed by a local commercial photography company. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanx, Bob

  2. #2

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    In my opinion, learning good darkroom technique will enhance the mastering of scanning and Photoshop.

  3. #3
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I would get the darkoom setup, learning good darkroom technique will be more beneficial in the long run as well as learning how to process you film, $1800 for a scanner to archive and scan new slides is a bit over the top in my opinion..

    R.

  4. #4
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxi331
    I would get the darkoom setup, learning good darkroom technique will be more beneficial in the long run as well as learning how to process you film, $1800 for a scanner to archive and scan new slides is a bit over the top in my opinion..

    R.
    Spot on! If your task for the scanner isn't to produce saleable or portfolio prints, but rather to have an archive along with the film originals (which are THE archive anyway) $1800 is waaaay too much to spend. Ask your friend for ONE lesson in the darkroom. Watch the magic unfold. If you aren't seduced, jettison the whole analog deal and get yourself a digicam and start snapping a bajillion...um....whateverthehellyacallem....elect romagnetic arrays, perhaps...and buy yourself the version-de jeur of Photoshop and a nice big printer.
    John Voss

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  5. #5
    david b's Avatar
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    And just think, you get to buy a new scanner every 18 months to keep up with technology.

  6. #6
    papagene's Avatar
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    enlarger... enlarger... enlarger!

    gene
    gene LaFord


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  7. #7
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    I do not understand how you can "archive" using a scanner when you have the film originals. Archive them. If you want digital copies then fine, buy a scanner, but this is not the forum to ask detailed questions on choice of scanners: this is a traditional materials only site.

    The enlarger + other kit seems good value at $400 so I for one would snap it up if I was only interested in B&W printing and didn't already have a setup. As you may know, cold light and condenser heads are only suitable for B&W negative printing unless you use separate colour filters.

    But you appear to be talking about two different scenarios. One: scanning for digital copies of film originals, and Two: an enlarger that is intended for making prints from negatives. It does not seem like an either/or question. The two do different things.

    Bob.

  8. #8
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Actually, having a d* archive stored off-premises isn't a bad idea in the event of fire, flood, etc. But, along with that needs to come the recognition that the "archive" needs to be replaced/renewed every few years in order to avoid the CDs or DVDs becoming unreadable.

    In the interim, you get to learn darkroom techniques with a bargain-priced set up. Could life be better?
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  9. #9

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    I think Jovo's suggestion of asking for a darkroom demonstration is a good one, if you're not already familiar with how to use a darkroom. It'll give you an idea of what's involved, how quickly you can get a good print (well, once you're up to your friend's proficiency, which won't happen overnight), etc. You can then try manipulating some prints for which you've got scans (say, on CD-ROM from a photofinisher) in Photoshop or the GIMP, ideally with help from somebody who's proficient with this process, if you don't already know how to do it. That'll give you a basis for comparison.

    Of course, there's no reason you can't use both a traditional wet darkroom and a scanner; but in that case, you probably won't need an $1,800 scanner. My Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 cost me about $500 or $600, IIRC, and it's a fairly high-end consumer scanner. It's perfectly capable of producing scans that more than meet my needs. I've even got digital prints made from scans made with my scanner hung on my walls (from before I started doing my own darkroom work; today I'd do it in the darkroom).

  10. #10
    battra92's Avatar
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    I use an Epson 4990 and it only cost $400. It does a great job with MF chromes for me

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