It all depends on what you intend to use the scans for.
If you only want to scan film to post copies on the internet, a relatively cheap scanner will do.
If you want to use your computer for digital proofing, so to speak, an expensive scanner is not needed.
If you want to create images that you can print with your inkjet printer, say, up to 4x5 in or even 8x10 a moderately priced scanner will be all right.
If you want to make art for framing and display or for sale, cheap scanners are right out.
It all depends on your ultimate goal and your budget. Without going into too much detail which would go outside of the scope of this forum, my best advice is to buy the best scanner you can afford. Beyond this, the digital forum is where all the people who know the details about scanning hang out.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Are DPUG Members really shooting, and scanning that much film ?
It seems that APUG Members would have the answer.
The APUG Gallery seems to be loaded with scanned images.
It would seem sensible for there to be a place on the forum that allows people to solicit help preparing their analogue pictures for posting on the forum?
Anyway - I use a drum scanner for my 'serious' stuff but bought a 'Minolta Dual Scan III' off ebay for about $100 which is almost as good for well exposed slides and most negatives. 3000dpi is more than enough for posting shots and details to forums.
Silverfast is key for scanning Kodachrome, with their custom profile. Word of caution: DO NOT UPGRADE TO MAC OSX LION IF YOU WISH TO KEEP USING ANY CURRENT VERSIONS OF SILVERFAST SCANNING SOFTWARE. THEY CATEGORICALLY WILL NOT WORK.
I scan most of my film. I scan to .DNG files using VueScan and my Canon flatbed scanner.
I do it for proofing purposes and to put pictures on the internet. I also use the files as digital backups for record keeping purposes.
I scan at 2,400 DPI and scale down to the needed resolution, usually 300 DPI for printing on my inkjet printer but I'll scale that down to 72 DPI before posting on the internet.
Occasionally, I am called upon to perform digital restoration, so to speak, on old or damaged photos. Sometimes people will ask me to scan film, slides or photos for their own purposes. On these occasions I'll scan at 4,800 DPI and scale down to the needed resolution as the situation calls.
I would like to have a dedicated film scanner like a Nikon but my budget doesn't allow that. I don't get enough paid scanning work to make it feasible. My Canoscan 8800F flatbed isn't the most optimal thing to use. It's not accurate enough and it's fairly slow and cumbersome to do production work but it does the job.
I don't think it's outside the scope of this forum to say that we scan film and to talk about the basic details of what we do and why but it is outside our scope when you want to talk about the details of scanning and how to do it.
Even if you never use anything digital in your photography, this forum is in the digital domain. Therefore, some discussion of digital technology is called for, provided the focus stays on film and film technique. It's okay to discuss digital technology as long as it is treated as an adjunct to traditional methods.
To that end, I have no problem saying that I do use a scanner and discussing general information about scanning but I leave the details to the forums where it is inside the scope of their missions statements.