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  • #1033
    Curious
    Participant

    i currently have a Visioneer 9420 flatbed scanner. it is the latest of several visioneer scanners i’ve owned and it’s fine for photos. it is crap for film. or i’m doing it all wrong. or my negatives are all less than critically sharp. scans at 2400 dpi (which is the highest it will scan negs) produce 8×10 prints that just aren’t acceptable. according to the scanner guides i’ve read that amount of enlargement should work.

    so the question is can i go cheap and get a canon 8600F which got an editors choice rating in this review or do i have to go to the epson 4990 which got this review or perhaps the canon 9550F which had this review and also was an editors choice. both the more expensive scanners will do 4 x 5 in addition to 35mm and 120 which is a plus since i have quite a few 4 x 5 negs.

    ok, i do know that generally you get what you pay for and the more expensive scanners should be better but i’m cheap (read limited means) and will give up the 4 x5 feature to save $200 if all else is equal. i have two binders of B/W negs and one of color film and slides from the good old days that i’d like to get scanned into here. plus lord know how much color film that was commercially processed and the negs aren’t in binders with proof sheets.

    #12168
    schnee
    Participant

    I use a Minolta Dimage Scan Elite, which is no longer manufactured. It is a dedicated 35mm film scanner (negative and slides). Very happy with it, and you may be able to get one on eBay.

    I don’t have any experience with the scanners you mentioned, but back when I was researching (7-8 years ago), I almost bought a Canon. If I had to buy an new one today, I’d probably consider 9550F (or a Nikon for even more $$$). I’m a little leary of the scanners that can do both transparent and reflective media, and the ones that scan more than one image at a time. On that last point, I question the mechanical tolerances.

    I have noticed that my images are less sharp than others on Farktography (even after edge sharpening in my image editor). I’m not sure if that is the scanner or some other part of my workflow.

    If you have older film, you may want to ensure that the scanner has FARE (from Canon) or Digital ICE/ROC/GEM (from Kodak, licensed to OEMs). Both of these use a combination of software and hardware to clean up images (color restoration, dust/scratch removal, &c.). The dust/scratch stuff can really save time.

    #12169
    sleeping
    Participant

    I haven’t used the 4990, but I have heard some good things about it. Also, there’s a 100$ rebate on it at the moment: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=49164280

    Being able to scan 4 or 5 film strips instead of 2 is a big plus in my book – half as much fiddling with film holders….

    #12170
    Curious
    Participant

    I have noticed that my images are less sharp than others on Farktography (even after edge sharpening in my image editor). I’m not sure if that is the scanner or some other part of my workflow.

    ok i read that then spent an hour doing more scans the net result of which is i can get decent resolution but definitely not sharp. and one application of “sharpen” in PS helps but “sharpen more” is too much. as far as color goes, well i was shooting film from seatle film works so the color was never that good to begin with.

    the paperport software doesn’t have any of the dust removal stuff that i know of. and the bulk of what i have to scan is thirty years old. i suspect i’m going to have to get some gloves and some film cleaner (and a day or more) when this project is started.

    as far as multiple frames at one time goes it’s almost a necessity given the large volume of negatives to be scanned. i’d much rather scan them all then sort than try going frame by frame, sorting as they are scanned. it’s not like i don’t have loads of crap in this computer anyway 🙂 thanks god for large HDDs and fast computers

    #12171
    Curious
    Participant

    thanks sleeping that price is $90 less than newegg.

    Being able to scan 4 or 5 film strips instead of 2 is a big plus in my book – half as much fiddling with film holders….

    try one frame at a time 🙁

    #12172
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    We have the Epson 4490, which is the step down from the 4990, but the two are similar under the hood. I love it, and I’ve gotten good results scanning negatives and slides. I do notice that if the negative is drastically under exposed, it won’t scan it properly, but that’s not really the scanner’s fault. I didn’t realize the number of my photos that the processer had saved in printing, cause there have been a number where the negative was clearly underexposed. Anyway, the 4490 (and 4990) both have Digital ICE, and Epson even includes drivers for use under Linux. I’ve not read a single bad thing about these scanners, and I don’t think you could go wrong with the Epson.

    #12173
    Curious
    Participant

    personally endorsements are good to know Elsinore and i’m glad you added the bit about linux. while i’m discouraged by my dual boot failures recently the long range goal is to switch to linux.

    #12174
    sleeping
    Participant

    ok i read that then spent an hour doing more scans the net result of which is i can get decent resolution but definitely not sharp. and one application of “sharpen” in PS helps but “sharpen more” is too much. as far as color goes, well i was shooting film from seatle film works so the color was never that good to begin with.

    Scans always need some sharpening to look good, but try Unsharp Mask in PS instead of Sharpen, something around the lines of

    Amount: 250
    Radius: 1.1 (play with this first if it doesn’t look good. Small changes can make a big difference)
    Threshold: 4

    #12175
    Curious
    Participant

    just for your edification here’s a scan of a old fire truck and one of a house and another of the same house from a different angle.

    all those are 2.5 to 3.3 MB and much bigger than screen size. while they look ok reduced you can see some real obvious flaws full size. the two “color” ones were shot on seatle film works transfer stock. the get both slides and negs stuff they used to sell many years ago. while the colors from the slides looks shitty i have printed that house from the negs and it does ok.

    schnee that house is/was in webberville and i went there several times either alone or when my sister visited. lots of good pics from there and many good memories. the fire truck was on a farm south of austin but i don’t remember exactly where.

    and before you all call me on it — yes the neg was reversed. ooopsy.

    #12176
    Curious
    Participant

    sleeping those linked scans had no post processing but i’ll try what you suggested later.

    did a q&d calculation and have 1200+ b/w 35mm negs, <100 6x6 or 6x9 and <50 4x5. color negs and slides would add another 200 to 300 frames of the seatle film works stuff. and i literally have no idea how many frames of drug store processed color film i have. gobs and gobs but that isn't too exact.

    #12177
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    One thing to point out is that the Epson (and many, if not most scanner manufacturers) seem to overstate their optical scan resolution. The 4490 is said to be 4800dpi I think, but under Linux, iscan isn’t fooled by whatever shenanigans it pulls under Windows, so it only registers 2400 dpi. However, I’ve found this to be plenty of resolution for my purposes (but then I’m not printing 20×30 prints).

    Here’s a comparison of a colorgenic b/w negative that I scanned with our old scanner (an HP). The scan is kinda washed out and details are lost:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lady_elsinore/305883494/ (sorry I don’t have the full size version there, but it should give you an idea)

    Here’s the same photo scanned with the Epson 4490. Admittedly, I probably could have boosted the contrast or curves a bit, but the detail is much nicer in my opinion:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lady_elsinore/317605759/in/set-72157594425636366/

    Here’s a color shot scanned on the Epson:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lady_elsinore/317992263/in/set-72157594425636366/

    And here’s a colorgenic b/w with full size available (Click the “All Sizes” link above the photo). The colorgenic film doesn’t have the best contrast in general, just as a caveat.
    Woodpile BIG

    #12178
    schnee
    Participant

    ok i read that then spent an hour doing more scans the net result of which is i can get decent resolution but definitely not sharp. and one application of “sharpen” in PS helps but “sharpen more” is too much. as far as color goes, well i was shooting film from seatle film works so the color was never that good to begin with.

    Scans always need some sharpening to look good, but try Unsharp Mask in PS instead of Sharpen, something around the lines of

    Amount: 250
    Radius: 1.1 (play with this first if it doesn’t look good. Small changes can make a big difference)
    Threshold: 4

    I usually use an edge-sharpening workflow. Google for “sharpen only edges” or something like that.

    #12179
    sleeping
    Participant

    One thing to point out is that the Epson (and many, if not most scanner manufacturers) seem to overstate their optical scan resolution. The 4490 is said to be 4800dpi I think, but under Linux, iscan isn’t fooled by whatever shenanigans it pulls under Windows, so it only registers 2400 dpi.

    The DPI setting in a file isn’t necessarily the same as the DPI of the scan (and the Epson scan software allows you to control them separately). My Epson (750 Pro) will definitely do 4800, but I wouldn’t use it unless I wanted to make a gigantic print.

    #12180
    Curious
    Participant

    I usually use an edge-sharpening workflow. Google for “sharpen only edges” or something like that.

    did that and now have to buy another book 🙂 Photoshop 7 Artistry: Mastering the Digital Image (Paperback) by Barry Haynes (Author) {info from amazon.com}

    but wait — i have adobe’s classroom in a book for PS 7 which has a section on that. now to finish the c/net learning CD for PS7 then do the adobe book. no one said there would be homework.

    also did a quick check of my scanning resolution settings. scanner is supposed to be 4800 dpi but the best setting available in negative/slide scanning is 2400 dpi and only 600 dpi in reflective. odd that. but the 2400 dpi setting produces files in the 9.5 MB range which should be ok for the printer i have. an epson large format printer is 2 grand and completely out of the question. especially since sam’s club now does larger sizes for next to nothing.

    thanks for posting the links Elsinore they helped.

    #12181
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    The DPI setting in a file isn’t necessarily the same as the DPI of the scan (and the Epson scan software allows you to control them separately).

    Yeah, I realize that, however the iscan software we’re using to scan from the 4490 under Linux won’t give the option to scan above 2400 dpi. Zeke messed around with it, but near as we can tell, 2400 dpi is the true optical resolution limit for our scanner. We found references online to this being the case with a lot of scanners (that the true limit is lower than the stated limit).

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