JB - "exponentially cheaper to own and run" encapsulates it nicely.
Sometimes you have to spend a hunk of change to save a few cents.
I know where all of my negatives are. They're all in my house somewhere.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Digital is very expensive and best indulged by rich people or pros short on time who can pass costs on.
There are no decent 35mm scanners at cost you are willing to accept. 120 and up can be done with flat beds made for it.
The big advantage to digital is speed and the very fine control you can have and the ability to make numerous prints with the same dodge & burn exactly.
Like others said already, it depends on how deep into one method or the other you want to get. I am an artist and photography professor, so I have to know both. I use a darkroom for every image I can. For photographs made with my digital camera, I choose to use a lab that operates a LightJet machine so I can have a silver based print simply because I like the look of the paper better than inkjet of any brand. I see what the school pays for ink and it is absolutely ridiculous how much they spend, especially since they complain about the much lower cost of the darkroom. But that is administration for you, always wanting to appear cutting edge. I also purchased, for cheap, a used drum scanner and learned how to operate it so when RA-4 paper is no longer available I can scan my negatives and print them whatever method is still around. Until then, I work as often as possible with paper and chemicals in the dark, not because it's cheaper or easier, but because I enjoy it.
my 2 cents worth..as someone who has printed for 30 years, and owns a couple of scanners..
It depends on 2 things - how important 120 is to you, and who will print your work.
120 scanners are not cheap, and most of the flat bed ones produce less than ideal results. The best is the Epson V 750/700 scanner, but I would also get one of the aftermarket, custom neg trays you can adjust to correct focus on the negs - from what I've seen they are the difference between chalk and cheese. I have Canon pro scanner - it;'s OK for scanning color negs (I shoot color pinholes), but for critical work I send my negs to a lab to be scanned on a 120 Nikon scanner or a drum scanner (I only do a few a year, so the cost is negligable, and the scans can be printed to 30 inches wide adn look as good as if I'd done them in a darkroom).
35mm is easy - just buy a dedicated scanner - Nikon, Minolta, or even a old Canon 4000. I've also seen good results out of the top of the range prime scanners. The trick with all of them - if you are scanning black and white buy VIEWSCAN software - it makes all the difference. On my Minolta scanner the Minolta software produces great color scans, but the black and white scans are dreadful - grainy and not great tonal range. Viewscan scans them perfectly..
Printing is the other issue. Have a good look into what ink will cost you. I did, and I bought a small A4 Canon scanner years ago for "proofing", with the intention of sending out my printing to a lab for "folio" prints. The amazing thing is the results I get out of my Canon scanner are that good that I have used many of them in my folio (Color that is - black and white prints look a bit pink).
So I do my own proofs, and get any enlargements done by a lab. I've found it's far cheaper this way. If you look around at your local pro labs you could be surprised what they charge for digital printing - it may be lots cheaper than you think (like $1.70 for a 8x12 inch print on traditionally developed photo paper)
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