Question about scan quality

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by Antoine Lqz, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Antoine Lqz

    Antoine Lqz Member

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    Hello everyone !

    I need your opinion.
    I would like to make A3 prints (297 x 420 mm), with pigment ink on matte or baryta paper.
    In terms of image quality and details, what is the best?

    Shoot on 35mm film and scan the negatives with a specific film scanner (like the OpticFilm 8200) ?
    or
    Shoot on 120mm film and scan the negatives with a flatbed scanner (like the Espon V850) ?
    (Consider that the quality of optics is the same on each format)

    Thanks you very much,
    Lqz
     
  2. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    From my experience scanning or enlarging in terms of negative size is similar outcome.
    Mat 124G lens will outperform Leica Cron Rigid lens on A3 sized prints. A4, Letter it is not so critical.
    I have ink prints from negatives taken by MF folders with triplet lens. They are awesome. It is often not just about sharpness, but how light and tones are gathered by MF.
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I can't speak for your 35mm option but I have been scanning 120 on my old Epson 4870 with SilverFast Studio 8 software for quite some time and getting excellent results. I usually print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag matte surface and Photo Rag Baryta papers. My prints have been mostly black and white but printed as color RGB because I slightly modify the tones with a PhotoShop plugin to get the just barely warm side of neutral tones I prefer. I have found the baryta version to give me prints almost identical to my silver gelatin prints on Ilford multi-grade fiber base paper and sometimes better. I tend to use that much more than the matte surface. It is a 100% cotton paper. I am printing on an Epson 3880 with their Ultrachrome inks. Prints up to 16x20in from 120, 4x5, digital slr and even my Panasonic zs100 point and shoot. I do use a tripod unless impossible.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I have an older Epson V750 to scan my 120 and 35mm negatives with this negative carrier and I get pretty good results with Better Scanning glass carrier. The reason that I prefer a flatbed scanner versus a dedicated film scanner is the flatbed scanner is much more versatile.

    Since your prints are not that big, I wouldn't obsess over the scan quality. I would go to flickr.com to see other people scans. The more data you gather for yourself, the more informed which scanner would work for you.
     
  5. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    By way of background, the V850 has an actual resolution 2300 and the OpticFilm 8200 has an actual resolution of 3250. An A3 enlargement of 35mm is 12x and a A3 enlargement of 120 is 8x. I wasn't happy with 6x enlargements of 35mm with the V700 (same resolution as V850). I doubt I would have been happy with a 6x enlargement from 120 either. I thought they looked blurry and didn't resolve the grain. I bought a 35mm film scanner with a resolution of 4100 (Pacific Image Prime Film XE) and have been happy with 12x enlargements of 35mm. If you shoot 35mm and 120, buy a 35/120 film scanner like the Pacific Image PF120. They are not much more expensive than the V850, and will give you 50% better quality. If you also need to scan 4x5 and up, then the V850 is the only game in town. Of course, if you are just scanning for the web, almost any scanner will do.

    I know it is anathema on Photrio, but, in my experience, unless you shoot film for its aesthetic qualities, shooting digital is going to give you a better image than scanning film, unless you pay for high quality scans from an X5 or drum scanner. I shoot both film and digital. When I shoot film, I generally wet print. Use the best tool for the task at hand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    My V-700 scanner's film holders were terrible. I would agree that the scanner doesn't resolve the grain with the standard film holder. But glassed film holders like Better Scanning does help resolve the grain. http://www.betterscanning.com/. With the standard glass film holder, I have to use tape and a mask which is extra work. I've used the old Nikon film scanners and they're sharp without a lot of work mounting the film.

    I haven't done comparisons between the combination of the V-700 scanner and a dedicated film scanner.
     
  7. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    I have no problems with my Epson flatbed original film holders. Why? Because I have no rush. After film is developed I keep it in the book for as long as it is necessary for negatives to become totally flat.
    But my Plustek 135 film scanners folders are with the frame for each frame, I don't have to wait. :smile:
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    The first thing to do is critically examine the image; is it sharp/focused from edge to ege? Big enlargements will very often show faults in exposure and lenswork so cover and tick off these things first.

    The Epsons are reasonable but not at the professional level of bringing out the best for very large prints. You can improve the baseline performance by getting rid of the hideous plastic holders and investing in the BetterScan product. Even this will require a bit of initial fiddling and critical inspection, but it is much better than the native Epson plates.

    For working with 120 format film where the absolute best must be brought out, I would recommend a drum scanner (wet or dry) with the input scan profiled for the printer and media.
     
  9. OP
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    Antoine Lqz

    Antoine Lqz Member

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    Hello everyone,
    Thanks for your answers.

    I took into consideration each of your answers.
    If I was asking that question, it's because i'm gonna buy a scanner and a new camera.
    Im hesitating on buying a good 35mm camera with good lense (maybe a Leica) or a MF. My budget, only for the scanner is 700$ max.

    As Faberryman said, A3 enlargement of 35mm is x12 and A3 enlargement of 120mm is x8. This potentially improves the quality of the scan by 34%.
    OpticFilm 8200i SE has a resolution of 7200, and Epson V850 has a resolution of 6400. If i'm right, u just win 12% scanning quality by using OpticFilm 8200i SE.

    It look more worth, for cheap budget like me to use a flatbed scanner and buy a M.F, rather than a specific film scanner and good 35mm camera/lense.
    Moreover, like Ko.Fe said : "It is often not just about sharpness, but how light and tones are gathered by MF".

    However, I'm asking me if it's worth using M.F for A3 printing. Its not that big.
    Thanks again for all of your answers,
    Lqz
     
  10. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    The 6400 and 7200 resolution numbers you cite are pie in the sky. The actual tested resolution of the V850 is 2300 and the OpticFilm 8200 is 3250. The actual tested resolution of the OptiFilm 8200 is approximately 50% better than the V850.
     
  11. OP
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    Antoine Lqz

    Antoine Lqz Member

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    Thanks for these informations.
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Bonjour,
    My answer is simple and direct: medium format is definitely preferable when scanning above A4.
    The tones are spread over a wider surface area than 35mm.
    I do not print any bigger than a little over A4 from 35mm B&W work, and that is using the best lenses from Canon.
     
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