1. Film scanner vs. Flatbed scanner - I cannot spend more than an additional $1,000 on a good scanner and am leaning toward the dedicated film scanner (if I can find one for around $1,000). My question is: do the latest flatbed scanners by Epson & Canon come close to the performance of a mid-level medium format film scanner? The technology on the Minolta Multi Scan Pro is getting a bit old (2002). Is it still good enough for high quality film scanning?
Not even close. I have a Epson 4870 and a drum scanner. The epson is good for about 30-35 lp/mm but even at that it is fuzzy and it produces aome sort of halos around edges, maybe the newton effect. If you are shooting 50lp/mm at the film plane that extra 15lp/mm detail is just fuzzy info. I have some scan comparisons on my Pbase site.
Maybe a Nikon 8000 or 9000 if you can afford it. I think Minolta makes some decent MF scanners, but i have never tried one. If I had to have a sharp cheap flatbed I would take a look at a Artixscan 1800F, but i have never actually used one. It may be worth a look, but it is limited to 1800 optical dpi.
Here are some scanner comparisons
2. I have an HP7960 printer (8-1/2"X11"), which I plan to keep as a b&w printer. I plan to buy a good used Epson 2200. Is the Epson still considered one of the best printers (quality, life of print, color, etc.)? If not, what would be a better choice?
Probably but I have heard Canon is coming out with some sort of new technology that will be pretty much dotless.
3. I know that I will need to upgrade my current computer to handle the file sizes of medium format. I am still using an iMac G3 and am thinking of buying a used Apple G4, with enough memory to handle medium format files. Would I be smarter to buy a new iMac G5 or something else?
The bigger the better. A 16 bit 6x9 file is huge, especially over 2000 dpi.
I had a 800mhz pentium with 2gb memory and it was crawling.
I ended up with 2.4 GHz and it is much better, but still can bog down.
4. Film - I normally use Fuji Astia, but will probably start using Velvia. Good or bad choice? I would prefer to stay with slide film and I am looking for the best quality film for landscapes and scanning purposes.
I have gotten to where I like E100G, VS and GX films. They scan super clean. On my 4870 there is no apparent grain at all at 2400 dpi. On my drum scanner there is some, but it is minor especially with a wet scan.
Any information or opinions would be much appreciated.