Seeking advice on selecting device to scan photos and negatives.

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satimis

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Hi all,

Seeking advice on selecting device to scan photos and negatives.

I'm prepared to convert all old photos to digital files. Some of the photos have turned to yellow color and I need to scan their negatives which are retained in good condition. Although I have knowledge and experience removing the yellowish color but I prefer scanning their negatives instead.

I'm experienced in converting photos to digital files. What I need is a good device to do the job. My old Epson perfection 3490 photo flatbed scanner is still working but I'm prepared to purchase a latest model to do the job. Besides its scanning speed on negatives is too slow.

Please advise me a reliable device to do the job. I work on both Windows and Linux systems. I have powerful computer running on AMD 8-core CPU and 32G RAM onboard, connected to a 4K 32" display. I need a flatbed scanner because some of my old photos without negatives.

Comment and suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks in advice.

Regards
 

Les Sarile

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What size negatives do you have? More 35mm then others perhaps?
Also, do you have a cost and space constraints?

BTW, welcome aboard.
 
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250swb

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A modern high megapixel digital camera will by far beat a dedicated film scanner, but you need the camera, a macro lens, an LED light pad, and a copy stand, plus maybe software to invert a negative image. On the other hand once you have the basic setup if in the future there is a massive jump in megapixel goodness you only have to change the camera.

Alternatively something like an Epson V700 flatbed is ideal for doing digital contact sheets, and it is pretty good for medium or large format scans, but it's not good for 35mm. So I think you need to think about combining what you may already have with the way to go forwards. But nobody will manufacture a film scanner that will ever exceed the quality of a digital camera because while film use is a steady and profitable niche it will never justify another generation of Hasselblad Flexltight etc.
 
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4season

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The more I use it, the less limited I feel by my Epson V700. If I had to replace it, I guess I'd buy the current V850 which replaces the V700's CCFL light source with LED, and hopefully eliminates the delays associated with CCFL. At higher resolutions, V700 is slow, but will batch-scan, so I can walk away from the computer.

Although Epson Scan works very well, I don't use it for scanning film because it crops images slightly, which I don't like. I use Silverfast AI Studio instead.
 
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Samples of 35mm scans. The V600 runs around $225 and the V850 runs around $1150 but allows large-format scans as well as 120 and 35mm that's done on the V600. The dMax is a little better on the V850.

Epson V600 (various film stock):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/albums/72157625526207614

Epson V850 (Tmax 400 only): https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/albums/72157716777378896
 

momus

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Would you need a high end scanner for what you're doing? You're not making big prints to go in a gallery, so something that's as good as what you now have but faster should do the job.

I think that more resolution just accentuates the film grain more, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will give you a better image. I've done that, and then had to use some sort of software grain removal, which just dumbs down the image. Then you have to deal w/ that, it's just more of the same, over and over.

In my comparison between a high end Nikon film scanner (the one that could do MF negs) and an ancient Epson 2450 flatbed using the same neg, I could see no difference between them after editing the files. After posting the images online, no one could tell the difference either. Editing the file can't add any information, so I old the expensive Nikon scanner and never looked back.
 
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satimis

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What size negatives do you have? More 35mm then others perhaps?
Also, do you have a cost and space constraints?

BTW, welcome aboard.
Hi,

Most my film negatives are 35mm strips. They are packed in folders, as shown on the screenshot attached

I have space constraints here.

Thanks

Regards
 

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MattKing

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Those are positive transparencies (slides). Some find them easier to deal with than negatives.
 

Les Sarile

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Hi,

Most my film negatives are 35mm strips. They are packed in folders, as shown on the screenshot attached

I have space constraints here.

Thanks

Regards

Since you need to scan the film itself - as well as printed photos where you don't have the film, then the lowest cost is something like the Epson V600. If you want better - specially when scanning original film, a dedicated scanner would be an improvement but it cannot scan printed photos.
 
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satimis

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Hi folks,

Lot of thanks for your suggestions and your time spent to help me.

The summary of my replies is as follows;


1) The digital files scanned shall be used for website, digital album and slide show on computer etc, not for printing.

2) I have space constraints question here.

3) Most of my negatives are 35mm strips, packed in folders

4) I have considered film scanner before, such as (Plustek). But still I need a flatbed scanner for those old photos without negatives and film negatives of other sizes. Besides film scanner is not easy to find here.

5) Before I read articles of the setup of scanning negatives with a high resolution digital camera, but unfortunately I don't have such a digital camera.

6) I have been looking at Epson V850 flatbed scanner. It is a nice equipment. What I'm mostly concerned is the time scanning all my film negatives therefore I start searching for a better solution, if any.

A side-note: I still need time treating my old video, captured in Sony V8 Video Camera. I need to digitize all of them. What I need is the equipment. I have full knowledge to do the job.

Thanks

Regards
 

Les Sarile

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Hi folks,

Lot of thanks for your suggestions and your time spent to help me.

The summary of my replies is as follows;


1) The digital files scanned shall be used for website, digital album and slide show on computer etc, not for printing.

2) I have space constraints question here.

3) Most of my negatives are 35mm strips, packed in folders

4) I have considered film scanner before, such as (Plustek). But still I need a flatbed scanner for those old photos without negatives and film negatives of other sizes. Besides film scanner is not easy to find here.

5) Before I read articles of the setup of scanning negatives with a high resolution digital camera, but unfortunately I don't have such a digital camera.

6) I have been looking at Epson V850 flatbed scanner. It is a nice equipment. What I'm mostly concerned is the time scanning all my film negatives therefore I start searching for a better solution, if any.

A side-note: I still need time treating my old video, captured in Sony V8 Video Camera. I need to digitize all of them. What I need is the equipment. I have full knowledge to do the job.

Thanks

Regards

According to this review https://www.filmscanner.info/en/EpsonPerfectionV850Pro.html , it takes about 2.5 minutes per frame @ 2400dpi to about 3.5 minutes @ 6400dpi - both with ICE. Faster without ICE. That's relatively quick and you can load the film tray with up to 4 strips at a time and do something else. The only desktop scanner I know that's faster is the Coolscan 5000 at about 30 seconds without ICE, about 50 seconds with ICE. But it is only available in the used market, cannot scan prints and you will have to feed it a strip at a time.

Commercial scanners like the Noritsu can scan many many times faster but they are very pricey.

And of course there are scanning services out there too.
 
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satimis

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According to this review https://www.filmscanner.info/en/EpsonPerfectionV850Pro.html , it takes about 2.5 minutes per frame @ 2400dpi to about 3.5 minutes @ 6400dpi - both with ICE. Faster without ICE. That's relatively quick and you can load the film tray with up to 4 strips at a time and do something else. The only desktop scanner I know that's faster is the Coolscan 5000 at about 30 seconds without ICE, about 50 seconds with ICE. But it is only available in the used market, cannot scan prints and you will have to feed it a strip at a time.

Commercial scanners like the Noritsu can scan many many times faster but they are very pricey.

And of course there are scanning services out there too.
Hi,

Thanks for your reply and link

In going through following document;
What is Digital ICE? And when to use it for dust and scratch removal.

Most likely I'll go Epson V850 Pro way, unless I can find a better solution. If the negatives in good condition I wont select ICE option to shorten the scanning time.

I won't consider the commercial scanner. Space is my problem. Flatbed scanner is a desktop appliance.

I prefer to do scanning myself which is under my control. I learned a bitter lesson in converting VHS tapes to digital .mp4 files. I made use of the service of a profession shop, specialized converting video tapes to digital files. The result was quite terrible. I needed to further enhance the video quality on computer. Fortunately I'm experienced in this task.


Regards
 
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satimis

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Hi all,

About 2 years before I performed following experience;

1) Use a 10" Tablet as Light Box for tracing
(It is very simple. Instructions are on Internet)

2) Mount a Mobile Phone on a Tripod, parallel above the Tablet

3) Place the 35mm Negative strip on the Tablet

4) Magnifying the photo on the Mobile Phone to take a shot

5) Save it as digital image

6) You can convert the resultant digital image to any format which you prefer. There are many solutions on Linux to do the job. It is very simple, running only one command line on Terminal.

This solution is very economical without purchasing further new device. You'll get a nice digital photo but it is time consuming to convert hundreds of negatives to digital files.

Regards
 
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply and link

In going through following document;
What is Digital ICE? And when to use it for dust and scratch removal.

Most likely I'll go Epson V850 Pro way, unless I can find a better solution. If the negatives in good condition I wont select ICE option to shorten the scanning time.

I won't consider the commercial scanner. Space is my problem. Flatbed scanner is a desktop appliance.

I prefer to do scanning myself which is under my control. I learned a bitter lesson in converting VHS tapes to digital .mp4 files. I made use of the service of a profession shop, specialized converting video tapes to digital files. The result was quite terrible. I needed to further enhance the video quality on computer. Fortunately I'm experienced in this task.


Regards

Digital ICE works on both film and photos with both the Epson V600 and V850. If the photos are creased, ripped, a little, ICE will fix them a little just as ICE will remove dust and hair left on scanned film. The Epson V600 and V850 both will color correct to a certain extent if you have faded slides or photos. It's not perfect but does help.

I don't use ICE because it slows the scanning process down and misses some of it anyway. So I reserve spotting out these defects in post-processing after the scan. The pictures I linked to in my earlier post were mainly done that wys. Spotting is a slow process. Be prepared to spend a lot of time generally with scanning. It can be frustrating until you learn the process.

IF you want to see what a V850 will do with 35mm on a large smart TV, call up this Youtube video I made from Tmax 400 35mm film. It;s in BW but you'll see the resolution you can get from a V850.




If you want to view the individual slides, they're on my Flickr site here:
 
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Note that the V600 film holder holds 12 shots, that's two strips of 6. The V850 holds 18 shots or three strips of 6 pictures each. The V850 comes with two holders for each film type so you can be loading one holder while the other holder is in the scanner performing scans. Of course, an extra holder can be bought for the V600 for around US$20 each.

I see Epson raised their prices over 10% recently in the US anyway.
 
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satimis

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Hi Alan,

Thanks for your detail advice.

Epson V850 Pro would be my choice if going the scanner route to digitize film negative.

I don't have movie film but video tapes. Epson V850 Pro can't help on video tapes digitization. Neither it can help to improve the quality of video. I'm running AviSynth, daVinci, Shotcut, OpenShot etc. on both Windows and Linux to do the job.

Also I'm considering the "digital camera route" to digitize film negatives. It needs a micro-Len. Its advantage over scanner route is that after having finished scanning all film negatives I still have a digital camera to use. In the contrary, going the scanner route, after having finished scanning all film negative I don't need the scanner anymore. It can retire permanently.

In the "digital camera route", I need following set-up:-
1. Use the Tablet as light box
2. Place the film negative strip on the Tablet and press the strip with a thin crystal glass sheet to ensure the strip resting flat perfectly.
3. Build a fixture for mounting the digital camera above the light box and it can be moved horizontally, parallel to the strip.

I don't think such a fixture will be available on market. I have to build it myself.

How to scan those photos without negatives? Fixing them on wall to take a shot?

I need to consider further before selecting this route.

Regards
 

grat

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If you've got a DSLR or equivalent a decent macro lens, then a copy stand is what you're looking for. Don't know how well it would work for digitizing prints-- for that, I'd normally use my V800. I would guess a light box with diffuse lighting would allow you to take available light photos.

Note that if you've got glass pressed up against the film, not only do you have a layer of glass to go through, there's the chance of newton rings, unless your glass is of the anti-newton ring.

Personally, I try to avoid any glass (or other) between my negative and the scanning unit, whether that's a flatbed or a DSLR.
 
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Hi Alan,

Thanks for your detail advice.

Epson V850 Pro would be my choice if going the scanner route to digitize film negative.

I don't have movie film but video tapes. Epson V850 Pro can't help on video tapes digitization. Neither it can help to improve the quality of video. I'm running AviSynth, daVinci, Shotcut, OpenShot etc. on both Windows and Linux to do the job.

Also I'm considering the "digital camera route" to digitize film negatives. It needs a micro-Len. Its advantage over scanner route is that after having finished scanning all film negatives I still have a digital camera to use. In the contrary, going the scanner route, after having finished scanning all film negative I don't need the scanner anymore. It can retire permanently.

In the "digital camera route", I need following set-up:-
1. Use the Tablet as light box
2. Place the film negative strip on the Tablet and press the strip with a thin crystal glass sheet to ensure the strip resting flat perfectly.
3. Build a fixture for mounting the digital camera above the light box and it can be moved horizontally, parallel to the strip.

I don't think such a fixture will be available on market. I have to build it myself.

How to scan those photos without negatives? Fixing them on wall to take a shot?

I need to consider further before selecting this route.

Regards

If you have videotapes that are digitized by the camera, then you can attach the camera to the input of your computer and transmit the data to it. Just place the recorded tape back into the video camera in playback mode. Be careful, do not record over it. The video camera's manual will explain how to do this. You may need an attachment for the computer like a Firewire and cable.

On the other hand, if you have an analog recording on tape, like VHS, the playback unit has to read the tape. So quality depends on the playback unit. I had VHS tapes and used my VHS player to my computer to digitize it. The quality was not very good but that's all I had at the time. I imagine that the recording video also can play it back. But I don't know which methods provide the best playback. Whatever you use, clean the playback heads.

There are outside services that you can pay do these conversions for you as well.
 

Les Sarile

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Hi Alan,

Thanks for your detail advice.

Epson V850 Pro would be my choice if going the scanner route to digitize film negative.

I don't have movie film but video tapes. Epson V850 Pro can't help on video tapes digitization. Neither it can help to improve the quality of video. I'm running AviSynth, daVinci, Shotcut, OpenShot etc. on both Windows and Linux to do the job.

Also I'm considering the "digital camera route" to digitize film negatives. It needs a micro-Len. Its advantage over scanner route is that after having finished scanning all film negatives I still have a digital camera to use. In the contrary, going the scanner route, after having finished scanning all film negative I don't need the scanner anymore. It can retire permanently.

In the "digital camera route", I need following set-up:-
1. Use the Tablet as light box
2. Place the film negative strip on the Tablet and press the strip with a thin crystal glass sheet to ensure the strip resting flat perfectly.
3. Build a fixture for mounting the digital camera above the light box and it can be moved horizontally, parallel to the strip.

I don't think such a fixture will be available on market. I have to build it myself.

How to scan those photos without negatives? Fixing them on wall to take a shot?

I need to consider further before selecting this route.

Regards

Depending on the DSLR and accessories, DSLR scanning has the potential to yield better and faster results. I believe one of our own here runs a business using DSLR scanning and his workflow seems optimal.

DSLR scanning of b&w and slides requires the least amount of post work. Since ICE doesn't work on true b&w film, it will require the same amount of post work whether you scan using a scanner or DSLR. ICE does work on slides so that can potentially save you a lot of time in post - depending on the condition of the film and how picky you are. Note that if you have Kodachrome films to scan that the Coolscan's ICE is the most effective.

If you have a lot of color negatives then DSLR scanning imposes additional post work to convert to a positive. Depending on your workflow this can potentially negate any speed advantage of DSLR scanning. Since ICE work with color negatives then that may be additional work you have to do in post.
 

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For what you are wanting to use the scans for I don’t see why the 3490 you already have is not sufficient.
 
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satimis

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For what you are wanting to use the scans for I don’t see why the 3490 you already have is not sufficient.

Hi,

The scanning speed of my Epson Perfection 3490 flatbed scanner is too slow. It is time for it to retire.

If I decided going the digital camera route to scan my old film negatives, I'll use it to scan those photos without film negatives. The last time using 3490 was about 3 months ago to scan documents. I'll check whether it is still working. It is now resting on shelves.

I run 3490 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Linux), using the open source software SANE.

Regards
 

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Hi,

The scanning speed of my Epson Perfection 3490 flatbed scanner is too slow. It is time for it to retire.

If I decided going the digital camera route to scan my old film negatives, I'll use it to scan those photos without film negatives. The last time using 3490 was about 3 months ago to scan documents. I'll check whether it is still working. It is now resting on shelves.

I run 3490 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Linux), using the open source software SANE.

Regards

The digital camera & copy stand used for digitizing negatives should be fine for your prints too. Maybe need some lights.
 
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