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120 Film Scanner


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Sebastian Moran , May 06, 2010; 04:36 a.m.

Hameed, I recently posted V500 scans of a 6x9 shot on color negative film. I included links to files I prepared that produce prints at 8x12 and 12x18 that I think are sharp enough for close inspection. You are welcome to take a look and draw your own conclusions.
Thread: http://photo.net/film-and-processing-forum/00W7Rk
File ready for print at 12x18: http://2under.net/images/100201-Mamiya-100-f28-Cheers-Img6-v500-12x18.jpg
- Shot with the excellent Mamiya Press 100mm f/2.8 lens, at f/16, on a tripod
- Ektar 100 film
- Per other comments, I probably could have applied more sharpening than I did in the above files.
From this, I agree with David Littleboy's comment that the V500 will produce sharp prints 6x the film dimension. That should give you enough for your intended use.
If you are looking for the ultimate scan, one that gets "everything that's on the negative..." Well, that's much more difficult.
Finally, there will be no problem placing a 6x12 film in the Epson standard 120 film holder. Good luck with your project. For the very moderate price, give it a try. I hear the V600 is about the same, and V700/750 a bit better.

Kelly Flanigan , May 06, 2010; 08:23 a.m.


the reason I brought up the emotional part of scanning is that it is a very frustrating thing in commericial scanning. Most ALL pro customers want to dictate non-sense; high; absurd dpi scan levels; ie BS; ie all emotional stuff

It is almost the *RULE that an amateur or even a seasoned pro wants their beloved image that is just fair to look way better with a Harry Potter Hogwarts scanner. ie the shot that had the best poses and smiles but was slightly out of focus may only "contain" say 1200 dpi worth of actual details. '

By "contain" I mean the original was out of focus; and if one scans at a higher dpi setting; NO extra details are captured. Thus a pro might have a MF 6x6cm wedding group shot that my Epson 1200 dpi scanner will capture most; my Epson 1600 and 2400 dpi and higher units will capture all.

The pro watched CSI New York last night and saw a crummy image get sharpened; a totally blured car license plate becomes totally readable; one can read the 1/8 inch high serial numbers on the California renewal tag; and even pick up the fingerprints too. Sadly many pros believe all this too; besides the amateur crowd.

So what happens is folks; manytimes seasoned pros with digital experience; want their "beloved" negatives scanned at excessive dpi levels. My 21 years of experience means nothing. They get it in their heads that MF holds 100 to 400 megs worth of info; but their blured shot might only holds say 2400x2400 pixels in that 6x6cm original.

Thus what happens is the expert know it all pro wants their beloved 6x6cm non perfect original scanned at 4000 dpi with my Nikon 9000 film scanner. All it does is make a bloaded file with a mess of useless pixels; ie the scan is 11 times as big as it needs to be.

Thus one has this delicate situation where a customers ego wants the scanner to do a Harry Potter Hogwarts/CSI New York scan. ie it polishes the fair/crummy/turd image into a totally sharp gem. 20 years ago if one showed a customer the slide was not totally sharp on a light table; they believed you.

Today *WAY* too many folks know enough to be dangerous; but sadly lack common sense anymore. Thus they want to dictate absurd levels of scanning; this drives up their costs, It is all the dumbing down trend. It is a dice situation. One cannot tell a customer he is a dolt/idiot/stupid/fool/moron; but then one has to deal with them thinking you ripped them off with high scan costs; or that ones Nikon 9000 (4000 dpi) film scanner did not fix their crummy fair originals.

****If one could go back 30 years ago to pure optical enlarging; a customer probably would be much smarter; and thus understand that a 500 buck apo enlarging lens is NOT going to make a sharper print from a box camera negative than a 150 buck 6 element Nikkor; or even Perflex 25 buck Triplet.

Todays average pro is really dumber as far as scanning; for *MANY* folks are fixated that their beloved stuff needs 4000 dpi film scans; when the bulk is often less than what a 1600 dpi flatbed from 12 years ago can capture.

Thus the customer dealing with has a mess of handholding; dealing with their emotional egos; emotiional thoughts on how muchs info their stuff holds. A good rule of thumb is that these experts want a file that is 10 times bigger than warranted; or about roughly 3 off in dpi requirements. ie they want a 4000 dpi film scan when 1500 is overkill.

A HUGE part of scanning for the public in pro and amateur stuff is all emotional. Customers who read stuff off the internet are often the worst; they etch in their brains that 35mm holds ABC megabytes; and MF holds XYZ megabytes and DEMAND that one scan at super high dpi levels; for their box camera like images off their Hassleblad. Everybody today is an expert.

David Henderson , May 06, 2010; 12:21 p.m.

Of course a dedicated film scanner turns out better results than a flatbed. In turn a drum scanner or IMO an Imacon will turn out a better result than you'll get from a Nikon 9000, which you'll see at larger magnifications.

But if your largest application is to be a 13" wide book page from a 12cm wide transparency, I can't see any reason why you can't get a good result from an Epson V700/V750 and a decent holder to facilitate optimal focus and flatness- such as those made by Betterscan. That will cope witha 6x12 though I'd recommend the use of a AN glass insert to keep the film flat. I've done a number of Blurb books with 6x6 originals enlarged to 10" sq , using a mix of scans ranging from drum, Imacon, Nikon 9000 and V700. At that size, and given the limitations of book printing processes, it's really hard to see any difference between them, and I doubt whether anyone could guess which plates were scanned with which scanner.

Frankly, after having owned film scanners I now find the most efficient route for me is to own a flatbed for web/viewing on screen/book stuff and to contract out scanning for the limited number of film images from which I need to make prints.

Q.G. de Bakker , May 06, 2010; 12:46 p.m.

Yet, a well exposed 6x6 will need not much less, if at all, than what the Nikon is capable of in resolution.

You're right: we mustn't ignore our emotions and forget how they can cloud our judgement.

Kelly Flanigan , May 06, 2010; 01:01 p.m.

With amateurs and many semi pros they do not have an actual client yet; or even a target print size; or viewing distance. Thus whether a flatbed will work or not cannot be determined. Thus there is more emotion than 4th greade math; ie "how much is it enlarged"
with 2x2" off a MF negative; a 10x10" image is only a 5X enlargement; a MF flatbed works here. With a 20x20 print that one places one nose in it; that fine sharp Hasselblad negative becomes more like a box camera; depending on whatbed is used; how if focuses; luck.

Stuart Moxham - Finland , May 06, 2010; 01:43 p.m.

Time for flatbed pic I think.


Stuart Moxham - Finland , May 06, 2010; 01:51 p.m.

That pic was made for another thread where someone ask about scanner settings. Here are the settings for those interested.

these were the settings

Hameed Chughtai , May 06, 2010; 06:41 p.m.

David, Interesting insight on the book printing. +1 for flatbed i suppose.

Q.G. de Bakker , May 06, 2010; 08:05 p.m.

There's more than resolution though. Dedicated film scanners tend to (!) also produce sharper, and cleaner results, with better shadow detail, than most flatbed scanners.
Just as an Imacon/Hasselblad scanner will be just that little bit better than the Nikons, scanning at the same or lower resolution (at a higher price, of course).
And that difference you will also see in the smallest of scanned images.

What is an "Unsharp mask" option doing in the "Professional" mode of a scanning program?

Kelly Flanigan , May 06, 2010; 09:25 p.m.

RE "Dedicated film scanners tend to (!) also produce sharper, and cleaner results, with better shadow detail, than most flatbed scanners."

With our early to mid 1990's *PRO* flatbeds; the scanner glass was removeable; cleanable; replaceable. These were 3 grand units; 800 to 1600 dpi.

In a consumer flatbed; the glass is often not marketed to be replaced; or even cleaned. too many goobers to goof it all up.

Thus what happens is the plastics outgas; one gets crud on the glass; contast drops. Thus old Goober buys a new flatbed; and the contrast and dmax is way better.

With cars folks clean their windshields; they do this on copy machines and commercial scanners too; and it is done way less on office box store flatbeds; ie too many warranty issues.

Thus with time flatbeds often have a drop in contrast due to plain crud under the glass

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