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15236 posts

Uber Geek

# 208320 6-Feb-2017 23:51
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Can anyone recommend a decent slide scanner for normal 35 mm slides. There are many on Aliexpress for, but they have mixed reviews for image quality. Apparently the Plustek OpticFilm 8200 is supposed to be good, but very few people seem to sell it, and it is pricey. I do have a slide scanner attachment for my hp scanner, which does quite good scans, but the resolution is limited, and the software is buggy and keeps producing errors, saying the scanner isn't ready etc.

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1635 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1721793 17-Feb-2017 12:45
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The Plustek is a dedicated scanner it will be better than a ~$900 Epson V700 flatbed scanner.  Anything less than a flatbed that one can get on Trademe probably isn't gonna be that sharp but can get an image for a 6x4 or online I suppose.  I have the V700 myself and I had a Nikon Coolscan 4000 before it broke - bought off a pro.  




If you took the same film and scanned it with the V700 and the CS 4000.  Even at 2MP or 1080 size you can tell the difference and over time you just know cos if you look at the distant buildings the flatbed doesn't have detail, the V700 has a very smoothed out look.  If you have fine scratches on the film like that you can get from the lab or camera or from your own handling the flatbed might not actually show up any of these fine scratches.  I also tested film alongside a 4MP dSLR (Nikon D2h), even at 1080 size the 4MP dSLR was better than the 35mm slide film with the flatbed scanner.  At 1024x768 you cannot tell the difference even if you wanna pick it out.  




But Nikon, Minolta etc ... have all quit the dedicated film scanner business now.  They can calibrate and clean it but there are no parts available.  I have enquired even to Tokyo.  




Edit to add review:




Re: the $900 flatbed:


"As mentioned earlier, when scanning film material one cannot expect the same good results from a flatbed scanner as from a high-quality film scanner. The Epson Perfection V750 Pro is designed, just like his competitiors, to scan mainly reflected light material"





82 posts

Master Geek

  # 1721863 17-Feb-2017 15:06
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I can certainly vouch for the CoolScan 4000. I used it for hundreds of 35mm negatives. Awesome results, and it did scratch removal and colour correction (in software).




I've still got it tucked away in a cupboard somewhere - can't bear to throw it away :)


1635 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1722436 18-Feb-2017 20:41
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Even the flatbed scanner like the V700 best resolution is only 2300dpi.  I use 2400dpi because that's the dropbox option.  You will not get the 10,000dpi or whatever it is quoting.  Even the Nikon scanners are only 4,000.  You can scan higher but you won't get more detail, just larger file size.  But again, even if you use the V700 at 2400 and compare to the Nikon at 2400 the Nikon is still better (or the Plustek).  




Taking a step back.  In the film days, no one really scanned film, if they did maybe 1990s with selective pro's and amateurs.  The nicer flatbed scanners does provide a bit more than a lab's Photo CD so if you're happy with that.  In the day there were high end scanners but your mainstream photographer didn't use them.  Camera clubs might have scanned their 6x4 prints or their film with their flatbed scanners or simply just shot slide film and used the club's analogue projector.  

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