Skip to comments.Film Scanner recommendations (35 mm slides & negatives)
Posted on 06/03/2005 8:24:30 PM PDT by Tango Whiskey Papa
Seeking recommendations on a 35 mm slide and negative film scanner in the < $300 price range. I have googled the following: 1- PrimeFilm 1800i USB Film Scanner 1800 dpi $100.00 2- Konica Minolta DiMAGE Scan Dual IV 3200 dpi $220.00 3- Plustek OpticFilm 7200 Film Scanner 7200 dpi $190.00 Any comments or recommendations on these three product or any other film scanner greatly appreciated.
Same here.....also interested.
I'm assuming that you're talking about 35mm film. Or not?
What volume of slides or film do you plan to scan? Unless you have a large archive you're wasting money at that price point. You'd be better off selecting the frames you need scanned and going to a scanning service.
I just had a Konica Minolta DiMage Elite 5400 II delivered, which is really an entry level film scanner. (That's available for about twice your opening budget.) But for archiving 40 years of church related photos it's very suitable for the task. It may not be for the more serious slides and film work that I've done.
My best suggestion to you is to find a store that will scan some samples of slides or negatives that you provide so that you can see the results as well as the process ( ease of use, scan time, final product and versatility) Most reputable photo stores will offer to do so because the hook is that you will want to upgrade.
Have you considered using a flatbed with a neg tray or is that what you are trying to get away from?
I'm no tech guru--however, have learned that scanning requires plenty of cpu memory for high res capability. IOW, if you want great quality scans, you need lots of memory on your computer too.
Oops... Scrolled past your opening line about the 35mm.
For a good source see:http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=3663143
Less than $600
What will your final means of archiving be? What computer do you plan to hook up the scanner to?
And last but not least, what camera(s) were used to make the original negs/slides? How carefully were they focused? What typical film was used? All these questions are interrelated.
Surrender, digicams rule!
~10,000...Are all of these to be archived or is this the total number that you have? You can quickly see that the mechanical/digital scan time becomes important. Add to that time for any enhancing you need or want to do. Considering film handling and all that entails, 10 - 15 minutes per frame in calculating your total work load. That might affect your choice... your time cost/value vs. hardware cost.
I'm working from contact sheets and previously culled slides and negatives...only the 'good' frames will be scanned. So this is also something that you should consider.
2- Enlargement: Some, main goal is preservation for grandkids. Will do some 8x10 only at the largest.
3- Archiving: JPEG on CD-R mainly, some on 250 GB HDD.
4- Computer: P-IV, 2.56 GHz, 250 GB HDD, XP.
5- Camera: Minolta 35 mm SLR
6- Focus: Amateur, most good, some poor.
7- Film: Kodachrome 35 mm slide.
I'm guessing a dedicated scanner w/some kind of autofeeder would be pretty pricey.
Many of them I've not seen in years, so manually previewing/culling them would be waaaaaay time consuming, hence the thought of something w/autofeed.
Will prolly find myself better off trusting them to someplace set up w/that gear, but have no idea of per slide costs.
Thanks for replying.
I'm headed to bed but will check back tomorrow/today...
The scanner comes with a six frame film strip holder and a four slide holder. With preview function (fast prescan view) you could considerably speed up the culling time. The model that you researched may in fact be a very good choice for your needs.
Check the Minolta page for system requirements.
Digital images at that resolution produce larger files than you might be accustomed, eating up hard drive space. Never, never trust a hard drive for your sole archive. Always copy them to some other media. While you have a CD writer, you might look into getting a DVD writer as the prices are very cheap right now. Using them as data disk will save you time and you'll use way fewer DVD disks than CD's. Right now the fast ones are going for $60, with software. I see by your home page you are a cabinetmaker, so the installation should be a trivial task for you. It's a simple plug and play.
ps. if you still have that old Leica hang on to it, it 's worth some money. If you don't use it it might more than cover the cost of the scanner and dvd writer and leave change in your pocket.
If you're going to go through the time and trouble of scanning 10,000 slides or so, at least save them as tiffs.
Why lose data by using jpeg compression?
My thoughts exactly. Save it as a compressed TIFF and buy yourself an inexpensive DVD burner.
Back to the reviews - I have a friend with a Nikon Coolscan slide scanner, and it produces gorgeous results. They start at around $600, IIRC, but it might very well be worth the investment if you want to have archive-quality scans.
I save them all since ALL of my pictures are fantastic and there are no bad ones, IMHO. [*LOL*]
Might as well - and scan it at the highest optical resolution available. Don't bother with software-interpolated scans that produce a higher resolution than your scanner is physically capable of - that generally results in larger files with little or no gain in quality.
Of course, a 35mm slide scanned at 4000 dpi and 48-bit color will give you a TIFF file in the neighborhood of 110 MB, which means you'll get a whopping six photos on each CD - hence the recommendation for a DVD burner. There is a plus side to all this storage space, though - with 4000 dpi scans stored losslessly, you'll be able to make prints as large as B-size (11"x17") that are quite impressive.
The other thing to think about is how you plan to catalog all this stuff. Even if you go cheap and skimp on the scanner (low res versus high res) or the storage format (JPEG versus TIFF) or the media (CD versus DVD), you're still talking about either hundreds of files per disk or hundreds of disks to capture all 10,000 slides. It'll really suck hunting through them all to find one particular picture later on, trust me ;)
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