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Thinking about a film scanner

Discussion in 'Film Forum' started by BourbonCowboy, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. I spent a lot of time searching through this forum to find information about a film scanner. After 54 pages, I decided to simply ask.

    My plan is to develop my own B&W negs, and scan them. I'd also like to scan color negs and slides. I've got an old Epson 3590 scanner that I've used to scan a few negatives, but found that the post processing to remove dust and scratches was a real pain. Apparently, there's something called ICE that's supposed to make this job a bit more bearable, so I'm thinking about getting a scanner with "ICE."

    From my reading, the Epson V700 sounds like a good scanner, and is reasonably affordable. I want to make prints from the scans up to 16x20" - no larger. Is this the scanner I'll need to do this? Is there a better value out there that I've missed?

    Any advice, suggestions or help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. mhcfires


    Aug 23, 2007
    El Cajon, CA
    I have a V500 and the betterscanning film holder for 120 film. I also use the VueScan software. I like the combination. I will be getting a V700 in the near future. The V500 will scan up to 120 and I need a scanner which will cpver 4x5 and 5x7.
  3. I have the V700 and it works just fine for 35mm (slides or film), 645 format and will scan larger formats as well. Yes the aftermarket film holders will be better but, the holders are quite usable. The silverfast SE version is fine for my application.

  4. Mark, I have the Epson V700 and am quite pleased with it. That being said, if I had to do it over again I would buy the V750 since you get coated lenses, calibration software and IT8 targets, and the full version of Silverfast plus the ability to do wet scans if you choose to do so! By the way, I and my friend Matt (he was smart enough to get the 750) both bought refurbs from Epson and saved quite a chunk of change!
  5. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hey Mark, don't count on Digital ICE fixing up your black and white negatives unless you use either BW400CN or XP2 film. "Regular" black and white film simply does not work with that technology (it thinks all the silver grains are dust particles, and so there is no image when used on it.)
  6. Thanks for the tip, Ray. I'll definitely look into a refurb'd 750 from Epson as I'm never opposed to saving a few bucks. What exactly is the difference (besides $$$) between the two?

    Thanks Chris. I'll keep that in mind. I just bought a few rolls of BW400CN and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with it with the Sigma 50 1.4. If it works like I'm hoping, I'll probably buy a brick of it. Is it better to keep it in the fridge or the freezer?
  7. Mark, I think I listed the differences above which if priced separately come to way more than the price difference between the 700 and 750!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2009
  8. While ICE does not work with B&W, the Epson software does have a dust removal feature for B&W that works very well with little sacrifice in sharpness...and it has ICE as well for color work. Viewscan has an IR dust removal feature, but God help me, I don't get the workflow, honestly...dare I say this, I prefer Nikon scan software to Viewscan:eek: ...I just can't figure out what I am missing and it is probably so trivial...:mad: 
    If the full Silverfast suite is included in the 750, that's probably a good deal, 'cause IIRC if you go to buy it, it's like 300 bucks.
    I will say though, if you are only going to scan 35mm...and you're now up to $700+ with scanner and holder, you might as well buy a Coolscan. If you have any inkling that someday you might succomb to auction site temptation and buy a MF rig...even if it's just a Box Brownie, get the Epson...scanners can pile up like camera bags if you are not careful and keep 'expanding' your horizons...
  9. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    It's nice film, especially if you do not like grain or do not need to modify the contrast of the negative. If you plan on shooting it in the next couple years, then on the shelf will be fine. Otherwise, refrigerating film never hurts. I am leery of freezing film (but this is not a universally held fear.)

  10. Sorry Ray. I should've been more clear. What I meant was, what's the difference in the output between the two. Is there a clearly defined difference between printed scans? To me, the output means much more than the gizmos.

    I'd love a Coolscan, but they're just a bit out of my reach. This is just a hobby for me - although I'll still shoot paid gigs with my D700. Once I settle on a scanner, I'll ask the software questions. Brick by brick, my friend...:wink:

    That's what I thought. I kept my film in the fridge - right behind my beer and my (now-X) wife's Chardonnay. But I've seen posts from people who kept it in the freezer, so I didn't know. Thanks for clearing that up.
  11. Mark, if you find that you do like the Kodak B&W 400cn film then look on ebay. I just bought 30 rolls of unexpired film for $55 plus postage. And I can modify the contrast since my local pro lab will push and pull C41 film as they use dip and dunk tanks to do their developing! The output difference between the two scanners will be slight for black and white except for large format negs will can take advantage of the coating on the secondary lens which is used for 8X10 and proof sheets. The ability to calibrate does make a difference for color work!
  12. Thanks Ray. I just checked, and the best deal I found was 10 rolls for a couple bucks more than you paid for 30. I'll keep an eye out for a better deal.

    While I'll be using the scanner mostly for B&W 35mm scans, I'm sure I'll use it for color work as well. Maybe the V750 is worth the difference in cost.
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