A couple of weeks ago I posted some film shots HERE, my initial title for that particular post was going to be quite simply “Film Heaven”. As I set about scanning the images for the post I began to feel a genuine sense of frustration. I was unable to achieve an adequate level of sharpness and in addition to this, much of the detail that was clearly evident on the film was not finding it’s way in to my scanned output. Annoyed, at the time I simply amended the title of my post to “Film Heaven or Hell” and vented some of my frustration about the Canoscan 9000f. It didn’t end there though, besides having a good moan about my scanner I began to look seriously at the options available to anyone in a similar position, options that won’t break the bank and are capable of producing good quality images.
With all that in mind I’m going to produce some posts about scanning over the coming weeks, I’ll mix these in with my other posts so we don’t get completely sidetracked and still have some images to look at, after all that is the prime purpose of this site.
After a lot of research on my part and also with huge assistance from several other sources I have shortlisted the options I will be looking at below. As I look at each option I will credit fully and in detail those individuals and companies that have helped me arrive at that conclusion.
So, after more expense and in a bid to make us happy scanners here are the contenders in no particular order –
- Canoscan 9000f – In the year or so that I’ve had the Canoscan 9000f I’ve had mixed results with 35mm film and a reasonable level of success with the MF scans. As I have one to hand, because it’s inexpensive and because it’s capable of scanning both 35mm and MF I’m going to give it one more chance.
- Canoscan FS4000US – This is an old scanner, it still commands a good price and there is a very good reason for that.
- Nikon ES-1 – I took some convincing about this option, of course it’s not a scanner but if you already own a Nikon D300s and 40mm Micro Nikkor f/2.8 then it’s very cost effective.
- Epson V700 – I’ve seen so many good quality scans from this machine that it has to figure in my thoughts.
- Reflecta Proscan 7200 – Again, when someone whose opinion you respect greatly tells you he is delighted with the results of this scanner it has to figure in this feature.
I’m not going to be producing technical reviews of these scanners as they already exist on the internet. I am going to show you scans of my images and share my thoughts on workflow along with contributions from other readers of this site. I won’t be doing any rating or scoring of these solutions as I’m optimistic that from what I have already seen each is a viable option in it’s own right dependent on your specific needs and budget.
I’m going to use Silverfast wherever possible as from my experience it is the premium scanning software.
I don’t profess to being a scanning guru, I do however like to get good results and this will be my sole aim. I will continue to give thought to the format of these posts over the coming days so if anyone has any particular ideas on this please share them.
If your reading this and your already happy with your scanner and it’s output that is great news, this is by no means a definitive list as I am restricted by both means and time.
I’d really like to get around to the Plustek Opticfilm 120 at some point but at the time of writing this I have been unable to source one.