MF Film Scanner Suggestions

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Eric Redard

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Hey Everyone:

I just found APUG this morning and had to jump aboard. Cheryl Jacobs suggested I ask this question here......

Can anyone recommend a film scanner for MF?

I searched the archives and all I came up with was the Epson 3200 or 4800.

Any Nikon Coolscan users out there or Canon?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I think I have found what I have been looking for in a film based forum.

Shalom,
Eric
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Hi Eric, I have the Nikon 8000 Super Coolscan and I love it!

My Microtek 6800 flatbed w/transparency scanning capability also does a very good job and allows me to scan my 6x12cm and 4x5 negs as well.
 

gr82bart

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I have the Epson 3200, but I would go with the latest Epson 4870 Pro. Reason is that it comes bundled with calibration software. You should also get an IT8 transparency target and a regular IT8 reflective target to help you calibrate your scanner via a custom profile.

Regards, Art.
 

PamelaHL

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May I ask why you prefer to scan the film rather than using a flatbed? Also, what is the benefit of calibration?

Thanks.
 

gr82bart

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PamelaHL said:
May I ask why you prefer to scan the film rather than using a flatbed? Also, what is the benefit of calibration?

Thanks.

The Epson 3200 and 4870 Pro are flatbed scanners. They have film holders to allow MF film to be scanned. The 3200 lets you scan one frame at a time and the 4870 allows multiple frames, but I don't how many.

Calibration is important to create a custom ICC profile for your scanner. The ICC profile will ensure that everytime you scan the film, the correct colours, as they appear on te film, are captured by the scanner. The IT8 target is key since it is a standard set of colours with a specified set of colours. When you scan in the target, the calibration software compares the scan results to the target and creates a custom profile for your scanner. Once you have a custom profile, the scanner then adjusts itself to compensate for the difference between the target and the scan. Think of this as the digital equivalent of dialing in the colour correction numbers on your dichromatic enlarger when you buy new box of Ilfochrome paper.

Colour management in general is important and you should keep your colour gamut at the biggest 'bucket' of colours - most likely Adobe RGB - until you are ready to do something with your pic - print or post on web, when you may then need to convert to a lesser gamut like sRGB 1998.

It is also important to calibrate your monitor and your printer. You just want to make sure that Yellow 1234 is Yellow 1234 when you see it on the film, when you scan it, when you see on the monitor and when you print it out.

Calibration should be done about once a month. The reason is the light bulbs fade and the phosphor fades over time.

I found all this out the hard way by scanning film in without colour management and pics looked different on different monitors and when I printed them out on different printers. For the life of me, I could figure out what the heck was going on - no colour management!

Art.
 

PamelaHL

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Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Would calibration be as important for B&W images, then? And would it be quite as important if, say, the point of scanning the negatives is simply for website display vs. printing at home?

Thank you.
 

gr82bart

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PamelaHL said:
Would calibration be as important for B&W images, then?

No, but you may want to scan colour film and then convert to B&W. What the digital scanner has done for me is opened up my options. I can now do both ie shoot colour film and get both colour and B&W from the same chrome.

Although I still shoot Scala a lot.

Art.
 

PamelaHL

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Again, I thank you.

I ordered the Epson 3170; hopefully it'll suffice for my needs (I think it will, at least for now).
 

PamelaHL

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Well, I took the advice of a trusted photographer and decided to try out the square format a bit more before truly investing in a 6x6 camera. So I bought a Yashicamat 124 6x6 TLR today, can you imagine?!

I'll take it on vacation with me next week, and then once I decide on square vs. rectangle, I'll proceed with investing in a more substantial MF.
 
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