Experiences with cheap webcam based negative "scanner"

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by franck, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. franck

    franck Member

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    Hello,

    I am typically scanning my 35mm film with a dedicated scanner but this summer while travelling I wanted to be able to get low resolution previews and I bought one of these cheap web cam based scanner. My expectations were not very high and before buying it I was not really able to find any proper review of this type of scanner online. Based on my experience I wrote a detailed review with some sample image and posted it here:

    Experience with a cheap CamLink "Film Scanner" - Trial & Error

    Do some of you have experience with similar scanners? Is your experience similar to what I get with mine?

    Cheers,

    Franck
     
  2. nsouto

    nsouto Subscriber

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    I tried one a couple of years ago when they first showed up in our shores.
    It was quickly returned.
    It reminded me of those a few years ago who loudly claimed 4Mpixel dslrs had better image quality than correctly exposed and focused 35mm slides and no 35mm image could approach the "quality" of 6Mpixel cameras.
    These scanners are living proof of the unadulterated lie that claim was.
     
  3. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Franck, Your post is very well done. I would suggest that your disappointment should be balanced by cost and workflow. "For previewing the images and finding the good ones" is not as simple as it sounds.

    If all you want is to see if it is critically sharp, then nothing is quicker and easier than using something like a 40X microscope (Carson MV820) on a lightbox.
    [​IMG]

    What you can optically verify that is sharp with this will be what you can expect from pixel peeping a Coolscan 4000dpi scan. It is also an 8X loupe for general viewing.

    As you can see from your results, doing a quick preview of color negatives is a completely different matter altogether as using a celphone/dslr will require considerable work. Having scanned over 30,000 frames of various film types/brands with various methods (flatbeds, dedicated, minilabs, Imacons, drum scanners & dslrs), nothing beats the default neutral settings of Coolscan+Nikonscan.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    franck

    franck Member

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    Hello!

    Thanks for the feedback. I have to agree that my expectations were a bit too high. I made some small experiments with color negatives and as you say, processing the images from a mobile phone is not easy at all, even using some apps on the phone which are dedicated to that I get colors which are worst than the cheap "scanner". I have now finished scanning with the coolscan the 20 rolls I shot during the summer and I do not think I will bother to use this cheap scanner again.

    Cheers,

    Franck
     
  5. wahiba

    wahiba Member

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    I have just bought one for £25 from Lidl. I have only run it up once but have the following comments.

    At the price I expected a camera type scanner.

    The quality is obviously not as good as my Epson V30 flatbed scanner.

    However, they are not hopeless and I doubt that some pictures from the Lomo cameras I have will look much different.

    It runs off the USB only which means I can use it with a portable away from home.

    Compared to the flatbed scanner it is fast, so I will probably use it for previewing negatives and then picking the ones to scan properly.

    If you just want quick copies of existing slides for presentation on screen only then the results are fine. Also the speed means it is quicker. The magazine on this Lidl Silver Crest model works well.

    basically you get what you pay for and at the price I paid I am not disappointed.
     
  6. trendland

    trendland Member
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    Your methods let me remember to methods from the very past.
    For example to tranfer S8 via filming with VHS Video during projection.
    I did it just one time with 16mm during projection and filming with Hi8 later I cut it at home via Hi 8 to ordinary VHS.
    It was just to try out if the filmed materials were enough and as long as needed for some special cuts with music overlays.
    The quality was not necessary and most bad. But I wanted to avoid experience during professional cutting at USD 1200,-/8 hours.
    The define "end product" of a film frame should be a high quality scan. To select negative frames (just if it is too expansive to scan all) the best way is optical inspection like Les Sarile's recomandation. By the way it is also the cheapest way because his equipment should be a need to every photographer.
    with regards
     
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