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  • recommendations on a new scanner

    Hi, I'm doing some work on a documentary and am looking for recommendations on a professional scanner. I will be scanning archival photos and slides. I have an epson perfection v500 scanner. It seems to do a decent job scanning photos but gets pretty bad results scanning 35 millimeter slides. Can you recommend a professional scanner? Can I get as good results from a professional "home scanner" as I would get from a commercial lob? Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: recommendations on a new scanner

    I've heard good things about the Epson with Digital ICE.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    • #3
      Re: recommendations on a new scanner

      For a smaller film format like 35 mm AND the fact it is on slide film, you may want to invest in a dedicated film scanner. Many slide films are really dense so they need the extra concentrated light source of a good dedicated film scanner to "see" into the denser areas of the film. You might call B&H and ask for their scanner specialist to see what he recommends these days.

      Doug

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      • #4
        Re: recommendations on a new scanner

        You aren't going to like this. Even with Scitex or drum scans, slides tend to require much more color correction than prints. You won't get around that step. If it's just a matter of sharpness where they look sharp through a loop yet break up quickly on the scan, look at whether grain is resolved. It's a reasonable measure of sharpness. I don't mean scanner noise, specifically grain.

        There aren't many dedicated film scanners out there anymore, and I haven't tested recent ones. All of the older ones are basically gone at this point. Don't buy an old one used unless it's an incredible deal, because you probably have no channels for support or repair service.

        Lastly if you're having trouble with slides, then you should regard negatives as a non-option. They're much worse.

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        • #5
          Re: recommendations on a new scanner

          The problem with the Epson v500 is probably that the resolution not optimum for either side or negative - having said that I have had acceptable results from both - just.

          True resolving power is far below the maximum optical resolution according to the manufacturer. In the case of th v500 about 1500 spi achievable the v750 increasing to around 2300 spi. Nikon coolscan gets close to its claimed 4000 spi. But these scanners can only be had 2nd user and command silly prices (imho).

          The market seems very limited with two main players (assuming Imacon out of the question) leaving Plustek and Reflecta in the running. No personal experience but the Reflecta Pro scan sounds like a possible contender, at least on paper close to Nikon Coolscan specs

          http://www.filmscanner.info/en/ReflectaProScan10T.html

          A pro scanner for those with deep pockets http://www.adorama.com/imafx5.html
          Last edited by Tony W; 07-07-2015, 01:06 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: recommendations on a new scanner

            Thank you everyone for your responses. Very helpful and I will keep it in mind.

            The client has told me that the results I get scanning physical photos with the v500 look good enough for an independent documentary after I retouch them, color correct and apply sharpening. Tony thanks for making me aware of the differences between the v500 and v750.

            I'll have to work something out for the slides and am going to check out the options that everyone presented.

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            • #7
              Re: recommendations on a new scanner

              Originally posted by Tony W View Post
              The problem with the Epson v500 is probably that the resolution not optimum for either side or negative - having said that I have had acceptable results from both - just.

              True resolving power is far below the maximum optical resolution according to the manufacturer. In the case of th v500 about 1500 spi achievable the v750 increasing to around 2300 spi. Nikon coolscan gets close to its claimed 4000 spi. But these scanners can only be had 2nd user and command silly prices (imho).

              The market seems very limited with two main players (assuming Imacon out of the question) leaving Plustek and Reflecta in the running. No personal experience but the Reflecta Pro scan sounds like a possible contender, at least on paper close to Nikon Coolscan specs

              http://www.filmscanner.info/en/ReflectaProScan10T.html

              A pro scanner for those with deep pockets http://www.adorama.com/imafx5.html
              Tony, what is spi, I'm not sure what that means? Thanks.

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              • #8
                Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                http://nancyscans.com

                You can't come close with some cheesy little thing on your desk.

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                • #9
                  Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                  Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                  http://nancyscans.com

                  You can't come close with some cheesy little thing on your desk.
                  He is probably aware of that. Depending on the purpose and number of scans required, drum scans may be extremely cost prohibitive.

                  Originally posted by Tony W View Post

                  True resolving power is far below the maximum optical resolution according to the manufacturer. In the case of th v500 about 1500 spi achievable the v750 increasing to around 2300 spi. Nikon coolscan gets close to its claimed 4000 spi. But these scanners can only be had 2nd user and command silly prices (imho).
                  The reflecta might be decent for what it is. I'm not sure. I would avoid the Nikon, because they are unsupported at this point. You won't receive support, software updates for their native scanning software, or repair services. That makes it impractical. Their asking prices might be insane, but I don't know how many people actually buy them at this point.

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                  • #10
                    Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                    Originally posted by Caravaggio View Post
                    Tony, what is spi, I'm not sure what that means? Thanks.
                    It may be just me being pedantic but I was taught this is more accurate than using the catch all DPI
                    SPI - Samples Per Inch: Describes input samples per inch of source material made by a scanner

                    As to avoiding Nikon due to lack of support it can be argued that although Nikon no longer offer this it is not needed! Software form Vuescan and Silverfast is available (probably better than Nikons own). Repairers are still around that handle old imaging products. When I was considering a Coolscan and following examples on EBay they all sold at very high prices. Perhaps this is no longer the case and a bargain can be had?

                    There is also the method of copying the original using a DSLR with a macro lens that can achieve greater than 1:1. By copying sections of the slide and stitching potentially better resolution can be achieved than even a drum scanner. A little cumbersome maybe but could be an option to consider if you already own a good DSLR?
                    http://petapixel.com/2012/12/24/how-...nd-macro-lens/

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                    • #11
                      Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                      Originally posted by Tony W View Post

                      As to avoiding Nikon due to lack of support it can be argued that although Nikon no longer offer this it is not needed! Software form Vuescan and Silverfast is available (probably better than Nikons own). Repairers are still around that handle old imaging products. When I was considering a Coolscan and following examples on EBay they all sold at very high prices. Perhaps this is no longer the case and a bargain can be had?
                      It's not always practical and something I would research in advance. Prices still look ridiculous. Most of the Nikon scanners hit the market around $2000-3000, with the more expensive ones being large enough to scan medium format. I don't think the current pricing aligns well with with their value. A few years ago you could have purchased the cheapest imacons for about the same price, and of course if they actually move at that price, any replacement parts will cost a fortune. Regarding silverfast a license for that scanner costs $450.

                      It would be interesting to see a repair manual. I'm going to check whether any have shown up online.

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                      • #12
                        Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                        Thanks for all the good info. I've learned a lot from this thread.

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                        • #13
                          Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                          I'm scanning photos using an Epson v500. My 'Working Space' is Adobe RGB (1998). The scans are coming out with an embedded profile of sRGB 1966-2.1. I'm wondering if it is possible to get scans that have an embedded profile of Adobe RGB using this scanner or do consumer grade scanners only have an embedded profile of sRGB? Do professional scanners have an embedded profile of RGB?

                          The original photos themselves don't have a very broad color pallet so it doesn't really matter for this project and I am mostly just curious.

                          Thanks a lot.

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                          • #14
                            Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                            You can use other profiles. I usually set professional mode and use the File Save method as described below from Epson Faq.

                            If using color profiles, be sure to enable the Embed ICC Profile setting. To access this setting, click the Customize button and then the File Save Settings button if you are scanning in Full Auto Mode, or the File Save Settings button to the right of the Scan button if you are scanning in Home or Professional Mode. The File Save Settings window appears. Select JPEG or TIFF as the Type setting, then click Options. (If you started Epson Scan from a program like Adobe Photoshop Elements, this button does not appear.)

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                            • #15
                              Re: recommendations on a new scanner

                              Originally posted by Caravaggio View Post
                              I'm scanning photos using an Epson v500. My 'Working Space' is Adobe RGB (1998). The scans are coming out with an embedded profile of sRGB 1966-2.1. I'm wondering if it is possible to get scans that have an embedded profile of Adobe RGB using this scanner or do consumer grade scanners only have an embedded profile of sRGB? Do professional scanners have an embedded profile of RGB?

                              The original photos themselves don't have a very broad color pallet so it doesn't really matter for this project and I am mostly just curious.

                              Thanks a lot.
                              It's only significant if the intersection of the gamut achievable by the scanner and the gamut of the transparency with the scanner illuminant has any points that fall outside sRGB. Otherwise there won't be any meaningful difference. It's worth noting. I can't find a solid source of information on this.

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