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Scanning Xpan negatives

35mm coolscan IV, two scans (slightly overlapping, don't touch the settings in between), PS enlarge first scan's canvas sideways, copy paste second rawscan, adjust precisely, crop, reduce to one layer, start any photoshopping from here onwards.

For quick and dirty proofs the Epson flatbed with 35mm neg holder does a decent single pass job.
>If you have a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000, use adapter FH-869GR. It lets you >do paroramic ( with the incl mask) as well as 120/220 film strips.
Or if you don't have the money for a Nikon 8000 I would highly reccomend the Epson 3200 Flatbed. Yup I said Flatbed. For about $400.00US it's a real deal. You might opt for the "PRO" version as it has some software specifically Silverfast that is well worth the extra money.
By the way I use a Polaroid SprintScan 4000 for all my other 35mm work and honestly the 3200 is really that good! There are some reviews out there that show just how good with the silverfast software specifically. I believe it's on this site somewhere... the review that is...
>Everything I have read about Silverfast says it is excellent software. I >did not get it for my 8000 because of cost ( and I already had Photoshop).

Sprintscan 4000 also has had several excellent reviews. I like the 8000 due to digital ICE support, and I do a mix of 6x6, panoramic, and std 35mm work.The 4000 dpi is handy for the smaller format.
I'm traveling and looking for a suitable way of storing my images, can anyone tell me if there is a portable slide scanner available (for mac) this would make my life a whole lot easier as prints and a flatbed scanner are too bulky for my needs. Alothugh am I just fantasising?
Hi jim,

The solution from a portable JOBO storage hard disk 20 Gb is this sufficient? you can put another hard disk in this support i think to 12Gb .Seach it with google and you will get it.
Around 200-300 dollars.Hope this help you.
From France, bye.
>Portable vs bulky is always relative. When I travel I have (3) suitcases >of gear (XPan, 501, 553, tripods, backs, lenses, film, etc) and 2 >laptops....and I don't even do photography as a profession!!!!!

I can see a couple of options. Others with more experience may have better ones:

There is a "Professional" Kodak Picture CD format that has about 2X the dpi as the normal "consumer" version. Some photo stores can generate it, but they usually charge "professional " rates to do so. Quickly it becomes expensive.

The XPan panoramic format is supported by the Nikon Coolscan 8000 ED, but it is about the size of a toolbox from Sears. You could get a deep Pelican case and carry it around that way however.

You can get a smaller (and less expensive) scanner for just the 35mm format, but then you lose the panoramic option. Perhaps you could store the pan negatives, and just scan/burn the 35mm format on computer?

A true "fun and dreamy" option is one I saw 25 yrs ago. At that time, I saw one of those "old" 8 ft trailers ( about the size of a VW Bug or small U-Haul ) that had been outfitted as a small portable B&W darkroom. The obvious update would be to install computer, scanner, voltage inverter, etc and have a portable "digital" darkroom. Take it anywhere you can drive to ( of course if you like to fly then you are out of luck). Obviously more bulky than your current setup, but you did not say whether the "bulk" was due to lots of air travel, or just what fits in the car w/ the wife and kids.

Don't know if any of these are useful or even practical, but perhaps they will provide "food for thought".
I use the HP Scanjet 5470C, which takes 3 35mm negatives in a row, so I can scan XPan Negs also. The quality is not overwhelming, but I can work on the scans and get an impression of what I want to have done later on.
Hello - can anyone recommend a 120 neg scanner to me? I'm hoping such a thing would be a cheaper alternative to a digital back.

Thanks Jon.
>I like the Nikon Cooscan 8000ED with Digital ICE. It covers 120/220, as >well as XPan 35/panoramic formats. You can even fit 70mm with trimming >off the holes. You also have the opion of running Mac OS 9, OS X, or >Windows ( in the event you change computers in the future).

It is a bit pricey, but they just dropped the price for Summer (probably means a new version is coming out in the near future) to around $2600. However, at 4000x4000 PER SQUARE INCH true resolution ( no interpolation so a 6x6 negative is around 450Mb at 16 bit with roughly 10,000 x10,000 points) I'm happy.

And the advantage over a digital back is you CAN use it on other negative formats( ie from Canon or Nikon ) , and negatives will last for over a hundred years. I KNOW that CDROM/DVD/etc media and various formats (JPEG, TIFF, etc) used for "pure digital" photography will go the way of the Do Do bird long before that. Does anyone remember the 8 in floppy disks of the late 1970s????? How about the 5.25 in flopps of the 1980s (did you remember there were at least 4 different formats of those.) ??? Tried to find a place to read one lately????
Hello. The last few emails made me wonder about obsolite technologies, what exactly is the format with the most longevity? I was hoping that by opting for film photography and then storing digitally I was going to obtain greatest longevity, but will digital images deteriorate or become obsolite long before my negatives have broken down? How can I best look after my nagatives, and whats the best way of storing for long term use? (I still presume good quality scans from negs or transparencys will serve me the longest, since I will always be manipulating them on the mac for use. cheers jiM
> Film is the proven archival material. Optical discs may prove archival in the future, but do you want to trust your photos to an unknown? Black and white negatives, properly stored, are the safest bet, but the longevity of color materials has improved dramatically.

Don't undervalue the importance of proper storage, though. A black and white neg in a brown paper envelope in a d& basement won't outlive a 5" floppy!
Most of what all of us do is digital these days. We scan or publishers scan our work. We print from digital files on ink jet printers. Websites are digital. We send jpgs for consideration. The issue is capture: digital capture or film capture. There is no argument in the business among those who know, like Fuji, Nikon, Hasselblad, etc. that film capture is superior in every way with the exception of immediacy of viewing. Personally, I'm not in that big of a hurry. I'll be doing film capture until I have no alternative.
Isn't the issue of optical discs being archival a moot point? The data is digitized and can be copied to a new disc every 10 years or so, if need be, with no lost data. This, of course, is not true of film (an analog medium), so film must be archival. No?
> Just like disaster recovery plans, many people fail to realize ( or > admit) that the "unthinkable" will eventually digital > photography that means media and formats will change with time...and > probably sooner rather than later...

> Media-wise, CD/DVD write once media has an approx 100 yr life > expectancy. Unfortunately, 5in CD/DVD disk readers will not exist in > 100 yrs.

> Just like bakelite cylinders or wire spools for voice recordings are > not available (and neither are the players except for museum > specimens), they will go the way of the proverbial "Dodo". I do > photography as a hobby, but computers as a profession. Since 1975, I > have seen the following storage media come and go ( or going) > .....each "ruled the roost" for several years until it was replaced. > Many would be very difficult or impossible to find equipment for > today.....

1) Paper tape 2) 2in wide mag tape ( in proprietary formats) 3) paper punch cards 4) 12 in "hard disk platters" of a whopping 2Mb/disk) 5) 9in reel-to-reel mag tape (still in use at big shops) in several recording densities 6) 8in floppy disks 7) 5.25in floppy disks ( in single & double sided formats), in 180Kb, 360Kb, 720Kb, 1.2Mb densities 8) cassette audio/data recording tape 9) a variety of Iomega/Syquest removable drives ( some still in use but fading) 10) 5in CDs, and DVDs ( currently popular) but a smaller 2 in format is starting to appear that holds the same amt of information, so.... 11) USB/Firewire/parallel removable drives (mostly current or up and coming).

Whatever you go with, remember that you will eventually have to "convert" them to a new media or format (remember that JPEG and TIFF will also eventually be replaced by something faster, more expandable, and that does a better job...there is no standing still in the world of technology or software).

If you have 50,000 negatives scanned on 5,000 DVDs ( my 6x6 scan at 400+Mb/image) in 10 yrs, you will need to convert them sooner or later. And that will be a large undertaking.

You may want to start NOW figuring out the best way to organize and store them so that your future conversion is not a nightmare. Points to consider are....

Pick some media and format that is widely supported ( TIFF and CD/DVD for ex&le are the current 'top' contenders). Be careful of how you save them to disk ( a ISO9660 CD format is more likely to be around/supported longer than any "native" file system). If you use a mix of image formats over the years, make sure it is readily identifiable ( including byte order if necessary for the different cpus etc that will be used over the decades to come). Be careful of the habit of sticking images in "folders"...future conversion software may or may not 'automatically' look recursively through directories.

We could go on and on, but you get the picture. Digital imaging is running very fast, and plans to handle the eventual obstacles are woefully far behind.
The original guestion: look at the true 4000 dpi Polaroid Sprintscan 120 which also supports formats from 35mm-6X9, including X-pan with a special film holder. It is going for around $1,700. these days! It does not include Digital Ice, but I have little difficulty with dust by using the same prep I did in the wet darkroom (PecPads to wipe down the film and compressed air). Digital Ice does not work on B&W films anyway...which is 70% of my scanning work.

Scanning MF film work is far less expensive than a digital camera that is capable of producing comparable image are not doing jobs that involve producing large
amounts of images like a wedding.

The issue of archiving lots of digital images is a real problem as mentioned above. I provide wedding customers CD-Roms of all their corrected images with the caution that they must convert them to new media as technology races forward. I have a copy also, but they will be more motivated to convert a few CDs then I will be to convert thousands. I keep selects that I will convert when the time comes so I will have a record of past work, but I doubt I will convert everything I've shot or scanned digitally. Film was and still is superior in this regard, as long as some readily available means to reproduce them remains an option (which also could be a real problem if film phases out eventually).

While the world of photography appears to be exciting and energized with the digital revolution, we may look back in 20 years and re-asset it as being a real disaster in terms of recording our every day lives and times.