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filmscanners: The hunt for a scanner for contact-sheets: Microtek 8700

A friend who shoots 5x4 and 10x8 just showed me some prints made from 
scans done using the Microtek Scanmaker 8700 flatbed. I have to say they 
were excellent. 

Specs at http://www.microtekusa.com/item.zhtml?pid=64&cid=3

This thing uses a tray for film up to 10x8. However I haven't been able to 
find out whether it might be viable for contact sheets of a whole roll of 
35mm, which is my main interest here. It comes with a variety of 
glassless plastic inserts for different formats, but the 35mm strip holder 
insert takes only 2 x 6frame strips. Does anyone use one of these and can 
tell me the maximum dimensions possible for an insert? Might an adapted 
Paterson contact frame work - just the piece of glass with the plastic 
strip-holders glued on?

The 8700 is not cheap, at about $850US / 650GBP, but I am fed up with 
having to pay through the nose for lab contacts, of generally poor 
quality (digital ones currently available are such low res you cannot 
judge sharpness), and slow turnaround. It'd pay for itself in <100 rolls, 
and after that, make a profit.

It just strikes me as weird that nobody makes a scanner for doing 
35mm/MF contacts a roll at a time. A purpose-built low-spec unit for 
<$300US-ish would sell well, I think. 3-400ppi would be plenty.


Tony Sleep
http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film scanner 
info & comparisons


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