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Allan 03-13-2006 06:44 PM

35mm film scanner questions
 
I know there has been discussion on this before, but I now find myself in
the market for a film scanner. I expect to scan about 5 films per week.

Also, I have older Nikon bodies and lenses. Am I right in thinking that with
a good film scanner I can expect similar photograph quality to say the Nikon
D200?

What are the current thoughts on this - models, features etc?

thanks

Allan



george 03-13-2006 07:16 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 

"Allan" <pabroon@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:H3jRf.702$fy1.89880@news20.bellglobal.com...
>I know there has been discussion on this before, but I now find myself in
> the market for a film scanner. I expect to scan about 5 films per week.
>
> Also, I have older Nikon bodies and lenses. Am I right in thinking that
> with
> a good film scanner I can expect similar photograph quality to say the
> Nikon
> D200?
>
> What are the current thoughts on this - models, features etc?
>
> thanks
>
> Allan
>
>


Definitely not with what I've got (up to 3200 dpi)...my D200 wins hands
down. I don't know if the orphaned 5400 II might or the Coolscan 5000 (but
I'd be very surprised if either one could).



rafe b 03-13-2006 07:30 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 

"Allan" <pabroon@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:H3jRf.702$fy1.89880@news20.bellglobal.com...
>I know there has been discussion on this before, but I now find myself in
> the market for a film scanner. I expect to scan about 5 films per week.
>
> Also, I have older Nikon bodies and lenses. Am I right in thinking that
> with
> a good film scanner I can expect similar photograph quality to say the
> Nikon
> D200?
>
> What are the current thoughts on this - models, features etc?



No experience with a D200, but lots of experience with
film scanning in general (35mm, MF, LF) and with a
Canon G2 and 10D. Bottom line, I wouldn't bother
shooting/scanning film in any format smaller than MF
these days.

IMO: scanned 645 (MF) roughly matches a Canon 5D
and/or Nikon D2X. Scanned 6x7 (MF) might be matched
by a Canon 1Ds MkII.

95% of users will get better results from a Canon 20D
than from 4000 dpi (Nikon Coolscan) scanned 35mm film.

You've got to be really hard core to want to shoot and
scan 35mm film these days. And if you're going to do it
at all (scanning film, that is) with 35mm or MF, forget
about doing it with an Epson film/flatbed scanner (yea,
even the 4990.) It'll have to be a dedicated film
scanner, 4000 dpi or better.


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com



Scott W 03-13-2006 07:37 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 
Allan wrote:
> I know there has been discussion on this before, but I now find myself in
> the market for a film scanner. I expect to scan about 5 films per week.
>
> Also, I have older Nikon bodies and lenses. Am I right in thinking that with
> a good film scanner I can expect similar photograph quality to say the Nikon
> D200?
>
> What are the current thoughts on this - models, features etc?


It is not going to be easy to get the same quality photo from scanned
film as the D200. To get an idea of what different scanners and film
combinations produce you might look at Rafe's web page where he has
scan samples from a number of people.
http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/

Whereas there are still some disagreements for the most part the
consensus is that DSLRs have now moved past 35mm film.

This is not to say that you can't get a very good photo from 35mm, and
it might meet you needs well but trying to match the D200 with scanned
film is not going to be cheap or easy.

Scott


tomm42 03-13-2006 07:49 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 
There is a lot of disagreement here on this. I think an of the shelf
scanner like the Nikon 5000 or Minolta 5400 and ie 100 Ektachrome give
you between a 6-8mp camera. Less if you have old slides (more than 30
yr old), which have substantial grain. If you shoot Velvia you may
equal a D200. Also faster slide and neg film also have more grain than
dslrs have noise. If I had $1500 to spend and a set of Nikon lenses I'd
go for the D200, a lot more flexibility.
That said a Minolta 5400 is about $700 give or take a few $.
If you are looking to scan 180 slides (@ 5min per scan) that is a lot
of work. but you'll learn to edit very quickly.

Tom


m4w3y3 03-13-2006 09:57 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 
A 3200 dpi film scanner will produce around a 4480 x 3045 pixel file from a
35mm frame (which is the equivalent of a 13.5Mp digital camera). It will
produce that file form film used in a 35mm SLR or a 35mm point and shoot.
There are similar anti-noise filters and grain-melting filters that make the
scan as clear as anything that comes from a dSLR costing many times more
than the scanner.
However, my scanner will do 6400dpi which can give me a 160Mg TIFF file
(8800 x 6000 or equal to a 53Mp digital camera) from a 35mm frame.
I can scan 24 slides in a single batch and, once the files are saved, I have
exactly the same editing capabilities in Photoshop (or other photo editing
software) as any digital camera user. Of course, I can also scan medium
format and large format (4x5) negatives too...at 6400dpi. (which is 25600 x
32000 pixels or 820Mp).
I think the greatest advantage that I find with scanning is the ability to
rescan a great shot at a higher resolution. My first film scanner was
1200dpi. When I got a 6400dpi scanner, I could take my best shots and rescn
them at the higher resolution. If those were dSLR shots and I bought a
higher resolution digital camera...there is no way that those older shots
can take advantage of the new resolution. Sure, there are those phony
interpolation programs but that is simply injecting false data into the
scene to expand the pixel count...a higher resolution scan actually pulls
more information from the frame.
For affordable scanners...look at Microtek..they have a good range of very
well reviewed scanners.

"Allan" <pabroon@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:H3jRf.702$fy1.89880@news20.bellglobal.com...
>I know there has been discussion on this before, but I now find myself in
> the market for a film scanner. I expect to scan about 5 films per week.
>
> Also, I have older Nikon bodies and lenses. Am I right in thinking that
> with
> a good film scanner I can expect similar photograph quality to say the
> Nikon
> D200?
>
> What are the current thoughts on this - models, features etc?
>
> thanks
>
> Allan
>
>




rafe b 03-13-2006 10:44 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 

"Scott W" <biphoto@hotmail.com> wrote

> It is not going to be easy to get the same quality photo from scanned
> film as the D200. To get an idea of what different scanners and film
> combinations produce you might look at Rafe's web page where he has
> scan samples from a number of people.
> http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/
>
> Whereas there are still some disagreements for the most part the
> consensus is that DSLRs have now moved past 35mm film.
>
> This is not to say that you can't get a very good photo from 35mm, and
> it might meet you needs well but trying to match the D200 with scanned
> film is not going to be cheap or easy.



I think so far we all agree, but I wouldn't want
to overstate the case. With careful shooting and
careful scanning, the results will be close and
might even favor the film in some regards --
but not by much.

Relative "ranking" of the results would probably
be subjective, and of course there are so many
real variables that nothing definitive can really be
said.

Just for kicks, I'm going to make one or two 16x24"
prints from 35mm scans this evening and have
another look. It just so happens that all my prints
at that size are from 10D captures. Just like my
Nikons, my 35mm film scans aren't getting much
of a workout these days either.

One thing's for sure, the digital capture is a hell of
a lot less work, at every step of the way. That's
why I say one really needs to be hard-core to
shoot and scan 35mm these days.


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com



rafe b 03-13-2006 11:21 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 

"m4w3y3" <marbing@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:MUlRf.761$fy1.100000@news20.bellglobal.com...


> However, my scanner will do 6400dpi which can give me a 160Mg TIFF file
> (8800 x 6000 or equal to a 53Mp digital camera) from a 35mm frame.
> I can scan 24 slides in a single batch and, once the files are saved, I
> have exactly the same editing capabilities in Photoshop (or other photo
> editing software) as any digital camera user. Of course, I can also scan
> medium format and large format (4x5) negatives too...at 6400dpi. (which is
> 25600 x 32000 pixels or 820Mp).



What 6400 dpi scanner are you using?

Is that 6400 dpi optical resolution, or interpolated?

Most of us who have worked with both film scans
and digital have learned that comparing pixel-counts
from these two methods is rather meaningless.

Furthermore, there's not much correlation
(unfortunately) between scanner dpi ratings and
their actual resolving power.

For example: I own a Nikon film scanner rated
at 4000 dpi, and an Epson flatbed/film scanner
rated at 4800 dpi. The Nikon's scans are far
sharper, even though they're at lower resolution
than the Epson's.


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com



Scott W 03-13-2006 11:53 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 
m4w3y3 wrote:
> A 3200 dpi film scanner will produce around a 4480 x 3045 pixel file from a
> 35mm frame (which is the equivalent of a 13.5Mp digital camera). It will
> produce that file form film used in a 35mm SLR or a 35mm point and shoot.
> There are similar anti-noise filters and grain-melting filters that make the
> scan as clear as anything that comes from a dSLR costing many times more
> than the scanner.
> However, my scanner will do 6400dpi which can give me a 160Mg TIFF file
> (8800 x 6000 or equal to a 53Mp digital camera) from a 35mm frame.

Of course 53MP from a 35mm frame is complately useless as the film has
no where near enough detail to support that scanning resolution.

If you have high speed intenet and want to see what you are up against
here is a real 54MP digital photo.
http://www.sewcon.com/temp/car_6000_9000.jpg

I have compressed it about as much as I can but it is still about 14
MBytes.

But if you want a much easy comparison here is the same file downsized
as if it were scanned but a 5400 ppi scanner.
http://www.sewcon.com/temp/car_5400_ppi.jpg

It takes a lot of work and care to get a scanned 35mm frame to look as
good as a photo from the 20D, much more work and care then the vast
majorty of people can or are willing to do. A lot of this care and
effert as in how the photo is taken in the first place, a better
scanner will not help after the fact.

What I don't understand are the people who seem to go to extremes
trying to get that last bit of detail out of 35mm film. If you really
want high quality out of film it is pretty easy to move to MF or LF.

Scott


David Dyer-Bennet 03-13-2006 11:57 PM

Re: 35mm film scanner questions
 
"Allan" <pabroon@sympatico.ca> writes:

> I know there has been discussion on this before, but I now find myself in
> the market for a film scanner. I expect to scan about 5 films per week.
>
> Also, I have older Nikon bodies and lenses. Am I right in thinking that with
> a good film scanner I can expect similar photograph quality to say the Nikon
> D200?


You'll get higher resolution probably (if you use the right film,
lens, tripod, and scanner). But you probably won't be able to enlarge
pictures as large and have them look good.

Plus, of course, you'll spend a lot of money on the good scanner, and
a LOT of time scanning. Plus the cost of film and processing. (The
D200 is pretty expensive itself, of course).

> What are the current thoughts on this - models, features etc?


If you're seriously looking to compete with a good DSLR you'd better
look at the Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED.

--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:dd-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>


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