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Old Sep 27, 2005, 9:15 AM   #1
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My needs are simple - to copy old prints andnegatives but the Nikon Coolscan rangefor example will only cope with negs and slides and I have manyphotos going back up to 100 years to digitize. I need to get the maximum quality I can so price is a secondary consideration here. I look forward to your recommendations.
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 9:47 AM   #2
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So far as negs & slides go, the Coolscan or whatever is the latest upmarket filmscanner is the tool for the job, and presumably you know how to drive it. If you haven't got "Vuescan" scanner driver software from Ed Hamrick (www.hamrick.com) to drive your scanner, I'm sure you need it.

Almost any flatbed scanner will do a fine job on prints. I have an elderly (6yr-old) HP4200C. It's a much less demanding task than negs or slides. There's no point in scanning a print at more than 400dpi (many people would say 300, but I think I can see the difference). For a neg or slide you want 3000dpi or better.

Happy scanning. It'll take up the rest of your life if you're not careful.

Alan T


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Old Sep 27, 2005, 10:28 AM   #3
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I used the Epson Perfection 3170 for all my scanning needs for a few years. I liked the scanner and what I was able to scan (slides, negatives, medium format film, and prints). I traded that scanner in a few weeks ago for the Epson Perfection 4490 and I'm lovin' it so much more. Today, I'm taking a few negatives and slides in to a pro lab near by that is going to use a drum scanner to scan in the negatives, so I can compare the quality of the two. I will definately let you know how it turns out.

The 4490 scans at 4800dpi and has Digital Ice and is only $250 US. I'm really happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who doesn't have the money or who doesn't need perfect slide/neg scans. I scan all my prints at 1200dpi. At that resolution, the quality is there and if I want, I can resize it 400% and still maintain the look of the original.

They also have the 4990, the 4870 replacement, which has the same features, plus it can scan 8x10 tranparencies. That's about $500 US. With the 4490 and 4990, you're looking at roughly a 3000dpi equivalent of a drum scanner or a dedicated film scanner when scanning at 4800dpi. At 3000dpi, a 35mm slide or negative will give you a 14" x 9" printat 300ppi. At 4800dpi, you're looking at a 22" x 14" print at 300ppi or 17" x 26" print at 250 ppi.

Best of luck to you!
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 2:29 PM   #4
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You might want to look at the Canon 9950F and Epson 4990. The software appears to be better with the Epson, but the Canon will scan mores slides and film at once. I think the Digital Ice is a little better than Fare, but Digital Ice is slower. The reviewer liked Fare just as well, but others prefer Digital Ice. The speed difference is substantial though. The Canon comparisons are with an older Epson and the Epson 4990 review doesn't really compare them.

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/int...50F/page_1.htm

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/int...0/Page%201.htm

I don't think you can translate the pixels directly to what you would get from a digital camera as far as resolution for large prints. It has been my experience with a dedicated film scanner that the digital camera images are more pure or something. In any case you can't get the same print from a scan of the same size compared to a good digital camera image.

And for film you have to take ASA into account. A scan of a 400 ASA 35mm negative isn't going to give you a larger print than you can get from a 4Mp camera no matter what resolution or quality of scanner you use. And grain becomes a big problem. Noise reduction software cuts the grain with a slight hit in resolution. Even with ASA 100 film you will not do better for a print than a 6Mp camera. Pro slide film like Provia will do better though.


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Old Sep 28, 2005, 1:55 AM   #5
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slipe wrote:
Quote:
I don't think you can translate the pixels directly to what you would get from a digital camera as far as resolution for large prints. It has been my experience with a dedicated film scanner that the digital camera images are more pure or something. In any case you can't get the same print from a scan of the same size compared to a good digital camera image.
For a long timeI was amazed at the brilliant clarity of the images from many point&shoot digicams. Then I realised that they do a lot of in-camera software twiddling by default. Even on my slightly more upmarket digicams many of the 'best shot' settings and defaults include sharpening & saturation enhancement. The sharpening is presumably optimised as a best guess for a postcard-sized print. I have actively to turn them off if I want to twiddle afterwards.

So we're not comparing like with like, unless we turn off all the twiddles in the camera, which is impossible on most point&shoots. Most of the elder statesmen here won't notice this, because they'll use upmarket dSLRs which (as I'd like) have the twiddles absent in the default settings.

What do you think?

Alan T
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Old Sep 28, 2005, 2:39 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your constructive replies. Having read the reviews I am leaning towards the Canon purely because of the time difference in dust removal, but at the same time the Canon gets bad notices for its overall software, but then I don't think that will matter too much. Like a Coolscan, it will probably be used heavily for a while and then sit gathering dust once the job is finished.
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 3:02 AM   #7
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My Canon 9950F was delivered two days ago and compared to my old Epson 2400 let's say straight away that this is light years rather than a few physical years ahead. I am going to play more with it and post in a few weeks time but my initial impressions are that it is all and more that Canon say it is.

Thank you every one for your input. As always much appreciated.
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