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sky trooper Aug 26, 2002 5:21 PM

Better to scan neg/pos or print?
I need some help getting started. I do not own a digital camera but would like to put my pictures on computer. I have many 35mm slides and negatives, as well 2 1/4 sq, and 4 x 5. Is it better to scan the finished print or the negative and what is the best equipment to get? Thank you very much!

padeye Aug 26, 2002 7:34 PM

What do you mean by "put my pictures on computer?" Do you merely want to display them on a high res computer monitor or get good prints? If you just want to display them on computer you can get flatbed scanners that will do trancperencies for as little as $100. I'm looking into one for myself. If you want prints it gets more complicated.

You're in a tricky spot as you use three formats. In the best of all possible workds you'd get better results scanning but you won't find one scanner best suited for all three formats. A high resolution 35mm film scanner might scan at 2400-4000DPI. The low end of that scale about the minimum I'd want for an 11x14 print.

That leaves 120 and 4x5 out in the cold. I'm looking into the same thing and considering some flatbed scanners that will work with trancperencies. Problem is few have a true 2400dbi optical resolution, most are 1200x2400 or 1200x1200. That's okay for 4x5 depending on how big you want to print but possibly inadequate for 120 film.

MK Aug 27, 2002 9:31 AM

They do have film scanners that can handle different sizes of negatives from 35mm to 4x5 but they are pricey! Much more than just 35mm/APS only film scanners.

Scanning the negatives will give you better results since you are getting the info 'from the horses mouth' so to speak. By scanning a print, you have make sure first that the print was done correctly, e.g., color balance, contrast, brightness, etc.

Also, with dedicated film scanners you get better resolution than using a flatbed to scan negatives. However, again, you'll pay more for the dedicated stuff.

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