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Which scanner for MF would you recommend

Which scanner for MF would you recommend of what scanner do you use?
I would like to buy some, but I do not know which producer and model.
I looked the Canon Scan 8800F and Epson V500 or Epson V700.
I really do not know which should be better for scan of roll film.
How much do you want to spend? Imacon currently makes the best medium format scanner you can buy new. Another option is a Leafscan 45, if you mostly scan B&W. Polaroid and Nikon and others made midrange medium format scanners that you can get new for a few $k, or used for under $1k to $2k. Or, you can use a flatbed scanner like the Epson 4490 or others for well under $1000.

What's your volume? Mostly B&W or color?


I would wait for a few weeks and see what the new MicroTek M1 will be like.

Supposedly Killer for about $700 Glassless and flatbed too.
> I want to scan BW and colour. Let say 70%BW - 30Colour.

I looked the Epson Perfection 4490 Photo Scanner. Price seems to be to low - is the quality good? I looked here: I would like to have a good scanner. Well I am not professional photographer, but I will you the scan for couple of commercial photos too. I was today at fair on the stand of Canon and Epson. As the Canon they recommended me CanoScan 8800F and as the Epson V750 Pro (too expensive for me). I think the new V500 could be better because of the later technology. Link here:
You can get a refurbished Epson 4490 from Epson for under $100 and free shipping. I only use it to post photos since I now am setting up a dark room.

Hi Jan,
I bought a V500 just the other day, partly because of the good price (about £170 from coupled with the ability to scan medium format. I bought it "blind" and took a risk as I had not found any reviews because it is so new but I thought it looked good. I am pleased to see that the Sydney Morning Herald review is favourable.
I didn't buy the V750 because I had read that it is slow and that the best scans are obtained using the (free) optional wet mount which sounded a hassle to me. It is also quite expensive but I understand that it does give excellent scans.
I was interested in the Artixscan F1 which sounds really good but it is to be £750 in the UK (€1,071.2783) ($1,539.2541) which is a lot and Microtek confirmed that the included digital ICE (for removing dust and scratches which to me is vital) does not work on film whereas with the V500, it does.
I agree that the software is a bit complex and I havent yet got fully to grips with it. I have so far only used it via Photoshop apart from the odd reflective scan on auto.
I haven't really had the chance to evaluate it fully yet but so far it seems OK. I hope to do some scanning sessions soon and will be able to get more of a feel for it then.
It seems quite quick which is important because scanning is a tedious pain unless you buy a very expensive Imacon (£thousands but from what Marc reports - fantastic)
I have done a medium format scan at 6400 dpi and it produced a file over 1GB in size!
I hope the V500 will be all right and when I can, I will let you know how I get on.
I have a dedicated film scanner for 35mm and find it to be very good, if slow (I think I find it to be quicker with the very reasonable priced VueScan than with the original software). It is the original Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 which sadly is no longer available because Minolta after joining with Konica, folded. I have seen the Elite 5400 on ebay for as much as I paid for mine new 4 or 5 years ago.
I would like the Nikon LS 9000 but it is around £2000 so I have had to settle for a compromise.
If you are going to scan 35mm, it would be best to go for a dedicated film scanner if you can as I believe that they give better results than flatbeds especially with 35mm. I will try 35mm on the V500 and let you know what the results are like.
Like Robert Young, I too like the Nikon Coolscan 9000ED. I also agree that the glass carrier is essential for the best results.
Cast my vote for the Nikon Coolscan 9000ED. I've had nothing but EXCELLENT results with mine and I haven't even found the spare change for the glass carrier.
> The glass carrier is esp important if you shoot 220. That film base > is thinner, and has more of a tendency to "curl" or "buckle".
Hi Robert,

> ...220. That film base is thinner, and has more of a
> tendency to "curl" or "buckle".

I haven't noticed that 220 is necessarily thinner. Have you actually measured it?

I think if you get the same film in 120 and then 220, they have the same thickness, just no backing on the 220 to make it fit in the same diameter.

I'll go measure some film and see for my self.


> I don't KNOW it is that may be "my" > misperception.....but I have consistently observed that 220 film on > stainless steel spiral reels frequently buckles and "touches" > itself in the spiral. I NEVER have a problem with 120 on steel > spiral reels. For 220 I have to use the larger plastic tanks where > the spiral spacing is enough so the 220 film will not "touch" itself.

In a similar way, 220 strips on the non-glass carrier for the Coolscan 8000 always has more "buckle" than the 120 strips.

I previously "assumed" the 220 might be thinner, but after looking on- line, it does seem that most of the film makers quote the same thickness base for the two types.
John Strain (Jsmisc) wrote on October 26:

' 2007 - 12:26 pm,I bought a V500 '

Hi John,
thank you for your big comment. I think more and more that the V500 would be not bad choice for me.
Please what resolution has the "1GB" image scanned with at 6400 dpi?

For me is still not completely clear what is difference btw. dpi by scanner and dpi for print.

If I prepare photos for print than the minilab resolution for good quality is recommend 300 dpi.
Sorry for this newbie question, but is is still for me a mystery.

Austin will explain about the different dpi's and the misuse of the term.

Print dpi is often used to calculate the number of pixels an image file must contain to print to a certain size.
If you want a print of 30 cm wide (about 11.5 "), printed at 300 dpi, you need an image that is 3450 (300 x 11,5) pixels wide.

If your negative is 56.5 mm (about the size of the 6x6 format), or approx 2,22", wide, you need to scan it using a scanner resolution of 3450 / 2,22 = 1550 dpi(rounded).
Hi Jan,

> For me is still not completely clear what is difference
> btw. dpi by scanner and dpi for print.

Let's set some terminology so you can understand the process better. Film scanners scan in Pixels Per Inch/PPI (or S&les Per Inch, SPI). Typical inkjet printers print in Dots Per Inch/DPI.

Between the two, PPI (scan/PhotoShop) to DPI (printer) is where it gets a bit misunderstood and complicated. You send PPI to the printer driver. The printer driver knows what the resolution of the printer is (DPI), and converts the PPI to DPI. This process is rather complicated and outside the scope of what I'll discuss now...but if you want to understand more, I can explain further.

Whether there is some magic PPI you can send to the printer to get better results or not, is really dependant on the printer manufacturer/make/model/driver, so there is no real way to know for sure without experimentation...but there has been some good "rules of thumb". For ex&le, Epson printers seem to like 180 or 360 PPI to the printer. Their native resolutions are multiples of these (720/1440).

There are different ways of getting your PPI image to the "magic PPI" (if there is one). There are some non-PhotoShop utilities to resize images, and there are some techniques within PS to resize images that seem to give better results. Again, for this, you have to experiment. BUT...there is a minimum you want to send to the printer, typically, and that is 180 in my experience. If you go below that (with Epson inkjets) you get noticeable pixelation.

One note on scanning. You'll typically get your best scans scanning at the OPTICAL (same as native) resolution of the scanner. Maintain this resolution throughout any of your digital processing manipulations. Also, in my experience, you do better getting the setpoints and tonal curves set in the scanner driver so your scan is the best, instead of having to make these changes in PhotoShop after the image is scanned.

Let me know if you want any further explanation, and I'd be happy to attempt it.

Best Regards,

Hi Q.G.,

> Print dpi is often used to calculate the number of pixels an
> image file must contain to print to a certain size.

If talking about printers that do halftones (such as typical inkjets), the printer could be 2440DPI or 720DPI, your print size will therefore vary. If you want to do any up-front calculations to make sure you have a certain or minimum PPI in your output to halftone printer, calculate the PPI you want to show up in your output, independant of the printers DPI (for typical inkjets, they are not one in the same).

> If you want a print of 30 cm wide (about 11.5 "), printed at
> 300 dpi, you need an image that is 3450 (300 x 11,5) pixels wide.

For a halftoned image, that would be PPI not DPI. If it's not a halftoned printer, than DPI can possibly be used and intermixed with PPI.

> If your negative is 56.5 mm (about the size of the 6x6 format),
> or approx 2,22", wide, you need to scan it using a scanner
> resolution of 3450 / 2,22 = 1550 dpi(rounded).

It appears to me you are suggesting that one should figure out a scan resolution up front and scan based on *that* resolution, therefore not scanning at the native resolution of the scanner. In my experience, this does not give the best results, and I would strongly advise against it.

The scanner ALWAYS scans at it's native resolution, no matter what you ask it for. If you ask for data back that is not at that native resolution, it will decimate the image data inside the scanner and they typically don't do near as good a job as PS can do. It also means you have less data to do any post-processing you may want to do, and therefore will have a degraded image to start with.

I have found that always scanning at the native resolution of the scanner gives the best scans. Then sending that full resolution to the printer has given me the best results, but there is nothing wrong with, depending on the printer as I have outlined previously, providing a "magic PPI" to the printer driver. But, keeping in mind the print size and how many PPI I'll be sending to the printer so I can maintain at least 180PPI (for Epson inkjets).


Dear Austin,

I hate to admit it but this scanning seems so arcane to me I get lost in the details. I have a bunch of stuff both 35mm and my Hassi Velvia/B&W stuff to digitize and I don't know which end is up. I am waiting for the new M1 scanner to finally come out... but once it does I will have to face my incredible lack of knowledge about the process. I have tried an HP scanner for some small stuff... and as far as my slides are concerned I have always been unable to use a scanner that had a good enough d-max to get anything but noise from the shadows. I purchased VueScan which I heard was good... but as yet have no scanner. I am not sure what rez to scan to for large enlargement and as far as making adjustments to the scan for best results prior to CS3... I'm lost. I know that some people scan directly into CS3... why? I haven't a clue.

I have had Nash Editions scan a few images for me on their $85,000 Scitech flatbed and those are great... but I can't afford to have more than a very few done that way.... So I have to bite the bullet and bug guys like you before I just pull a Weston and set fire to all my slides and negs and forget the whole thing....

Whew... now I have vented... :cool:
Q.G. de Bakker (Qnu) wrote on October 26:

' 2007 - 8:02 pm,Print dpi is often used to calculate the number of pixels an image file must contain to print to a certain size. '

Thanks Q.G. de Bakker
I have read just at the moment an demonstrative article about dpi for print. I have read what I knew or thought - for print I do not need to play with dpi (digital cameras have 72 by default), I must say desired size e.g. 10x15 cm to minialab and control in my graphic editor if the print size can be made with my picture resolution in pixels I want.

I hope you understand what I wrote and hopefully is it now clear for me.
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Other topic - I have read your great comment about white balance, but I can not find it at this forum. Maybe you know where did you write this.

If you correct the white balance than cooler (more blue) means less value in Kelvin and overvalue in Kelvin in the graphic program.
But for me is it vice versa if I looked this graph:

Thank you
Hi Richard,

> I am not sure what rez to scan to for large enlargement

I strongly recommend scanning at the native resolution of the scanner. Scanning at more than the native resolution (that some flatbed scanners seem to allow) will just add data that you could add in PS, and scanning at a lower resolution will degrade the scanned image. Unless you are scanning for the web, well, then you can do pretty much anything, as the requirements are low.

Resize the image (if you so desire) AFTER you have done any image processing. Experiment with resizing to multiples of the printers DPI (if it's an inkjet) or just send the full PPI to the printer and compare the results.

If you need more resolution to make the minimum for a particular output device/size, then you'll need to either use your program to "rez up" the data, or buy a program/plug in that does this. Or, get a new scanner that gives you the output resolution you need ;-) or reduce the output size.

A 4000PPI scan of a 35mm at 360PPI to the printer can give you an 11" x 16" print. For 2.25" film scan, you'd get a 25" x 25" print. Pretty big prints. Also, the larger the print, the lower the minimum PPI "requirement", since you typically stand back further to view it.

At first, I'd recommend just using VueScan's automated scanner settings for setpoints and tonal curves to get you going. But, you may be leaving some image fidelity on the table doing that. Do read the scanner's documentation and find the native optical resolution, and use that.



The ouput dpi calculations are quite usefull for knowing how many pixels you need in an image to print decently to a given size print.
10x15 cm printed at 300 dpi = (approximately) 1200x1800 pixels.

I glanced at the article, but cannot find where it says anything different from what i said before.

Look at the graph it shows under the "Background: colour temperature" heading.
Just like the text below it explains, a high colour temperature of 9000 K has relatively little red, but lots of blue. And conversely, a low colour temperature of 3000 K contains lots of red, but little blue.
So high temperatures (warm) = blue. Low temperatures (cool) = red.

If an image 'has' a too high colour temperature, you correct towards the red (minus blue) = to a lower colour temperature.
And vice versa.

The confusion begins* when an image was taken using the false assumption that the colour temperature is high, i.e. using a too high colour temperature setting.
Then the camera assumes there is a lot of blue in the scene, and shifts the image towards the red: the outcome will then be an image that is too red.
And vice versa.

When this happens (and when this is the only time you ever get to deal with colour temperature) it is easy to start associating (too) high colour temperatures with too red images.
But what you are seeing is not colour temperature itself, but the result of wrongly compensating (or overcompensating) for a colour temperature that is assumed to be something it is not.
High colour temperature still means lots of blue, low colour temperatures still means lots of red.

(* The real beginning of the confusion lies in the fact that the terms warm and cool are used to describe the emotional value a colour has.
Warm colours are the ones that are associated with blood, bodies, a warm fire. Cool temperatures with water, ice, shade, etc. Here the warm colours are reddish, the cool ones blueish.
But the colour temperature - a physical concept void of emotion - is quite different. The opposite, in fact.)