Film Scanning Tips and Tricks

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  • So, having just picked up an Epson Perfection 3200 Photo from @Turkish I've finally sat down to work out how to get it running on my Mac running Mojave 10.14.2.

    Does anyone have any tips or tricks they could share? I'm currently only using Image Scanner as I can't get the Epson software to install for some reason.

  • epson software is not very good imo. Silverfast was alright when i used a scanner. or just scan straight into photoshop?

  • Flatbed scanners are mostly crap. Don't waste your time with them.
    The Minolta 5400 or Nikon Coolscan IV is about the cheapest you can get away with for 35mm work. I think the 5400 is actually a great scanner.
    For medium format you will have to pay quite a bit to get a decent scanner. Flatbeds are not worth it.
    Another option for 35mm is the Kodak Pakon which is very nice, scans a whole roll in one go very quickly.

    What I tell everyone is to get cheap scans done at the time of developing, and then rent an Imacon Flextight for proper scanning of your favourite pictures. A Flextight is £30 an hour and you can get 30 lovely scans in great detail done in that time. Very simple to use.

    Oh yes and read this:

  • I've had pretty good results with a V600, Vuescan and medium format.
    35mm, on the other hand, can go fuck itself.

  • I’m sufficiently bored to have dug out my old V500 and tried to scan some old medium format slides (Velvia). Had to download VueScan because Epson scan no longer works on my 64-bit MacBook Pro. Reminded myself why I gave up scanning slides (and why I always preferred Reala as a film).

    Instead, I thought I’d try photographing the 6x7 slides using my iPad as a light box, with my OM-D EM 5.2 set on hi-res mode. Problem is that the tiny grid of pixels that make up the iPad screen is clearly visible in the sky.

    Anyone got any tips to get round this? I was using the Epson film holders to lift the film clear of the screen, with an aperture of f4 (equiv to f8 on full frame) to ensure a less- than-perfectly-flat film was all in focus Just using my 12-40mm lens, not a proper macro lens.

    I’ve got some matt-finish heli tape lying around somewhere so was thinking of digging that out to use as a diffuser. Any better ideas?


  • tracing paper or greaseproof paper? you can get pretty cheap light boxes online that you can use to backlight the negs

  • Cheers. I try some tracing paper. I used to have a decent lightbox but think I chucked it - but it maybe in my storage unit with all my film dev kit (can’t access during lockdown to check cos the firm zeroed everyone’s PIN access codes in Jan and I didn’t get round to going in and setting a new one)

  • Couldn't find any tracing paper at home so used a Sainsbury's freezer bag. Just done some quick n dirty processing to compare Velvia and Reala scans (200-300MB TIFFs) versus pics taken on my camera (18MB RAW files). Not quite comparing like with like as I didn't have quite the same negatives to hand. So any thoughts from people on a Velvia scan (bluebells) vs Velvia pic (rapeseed field) or Reala scan (main tree on the right) vs Reala pic (main tree on the left) - all processed in Luminar 4 with the Reala put through SFX Pro. Reala first...

  • Pic..

    1 Attachment

    • reala raw.jpeg
  • Scan...

    1 Attachment

    • reala scan.jpeg
  • Velvia pic...

    1 Attachment

    • raw version.jpeg
  • Velvia scan...

    1 Attachment

    • velvia scan.jpeg
  • Reviving the old thread, but recently getting back into shooting film, and shooting in general, but wondered what's the 2021 film scanner of choice? I used to have a Minolta 5400 that I stupidly borrowed to someone who promptly moved and took the scanner with them. Something of similar quality would be ideal, without breaking the bank.

  • A lot (most?) use a decent digital camera. Personally, I still use my Epson V500 flatbed - current version is the V600. I think it’s about £300 new

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Film Scanning Tips and Tricks

Posted by Avatar for Dexter @Dexter