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[filmscanners] Re: Flatbeds for 6x6 negs.
Allesandro Pardi wrote:
>By the way, how would you flatbedders rate 6x6 or 6x7 scanned this way
>versus 35mm fed to 4000dpi filmscanners? I moved to 6x7 to get better
>prints, but haven't decided on a scanner yet, so I'd like to know whether
>this new breed of flatbeds is enough to give justice to the higher format
>if I have to start saving my pennies for a true MF filmscanner to see the
First of all, my Umax Powerlook III is far from being a "new breed" of any
kind. It's a SCSI unit that's several years old now; an "eternity" in the
wacky world of digital imaging. ;-) I suppose you *could* call it's
contemporary sibling, (the firewire version), more of a new breed. Then
there are the latest Epsons which *are* part of the latest breed of
My experience is limited to my Powerlook III, a Polaroid SS4000, the Nikon
8000ED and the Minolta Scan Multi Pro. Rather than compare the flatbed to a
35mm filmscanner, I suggest comparing the flatbed/MF negs...to the MF
filmscanners/MF negs. Of course, it really all depends upon what you wish
to use your MF camera/scanner combo to ultimately make. Outputting small
prints? Large? Etc. Personally, I use my MF camera to make photographic
prints up to 30x40. I use my MF camera/flatbed scanner combo to make prints
up to 11x14. (I provide an 8x10 file. My lab prints directly onto photo
paper with a Kodak L.E.D. or Lightjet printer.) But that's using a 1200 ppi
flatbed scanner. I could go much larger with one of the "new breed" of MF
The downside of using a flatbed scanner for negs is usually the software.
Also, the resolution is usually lacking. Sharpening is always needed.
Plus, much more of a hassle trying to keep two sides of the scanning glass
clean...and two sides of the tranny adapter glass clean. (the absence of
ICE can really amplify this malady) Then there's the occasional encounter
with the dreaded Newton Rings.
The upside of using a flatbed scanner for negs is that the scanner's focus
has never been a problem throughout the frame. Also, I've found the scans
to be very fast using VueScan. (good quality, too). And because the
resolution is lower, the problem with dust, scratches, neg imperfections,
etc. is much lower. All in all, I'm still quite happy with my Powerlook III
for what I personally do.
Then I dabbled in the "new breed" of MF filmscanners. I tried the Nikon
8000ED and the Minolta Scan Multi Pro. Each one has its strong and weak
points. One thing they have in common is that the higher resolution
generates the need for ICE. (And even ICE wasn't enough for the Minolta!)
Another common trait is the much more lengthy scan times. Also, faster
cpu's and much more memory and storage space is a must.
To summarize, I would venture to say that the MF filmscanners are *clearly*
superior in resolution/clarity. I would go on to say that this superior
resolution seems to come at the expense of other problems. (banding, poor
focusing, noise/grain, etc.) How much of a problem it is can only be
answered by you. For me, it was enough to "wash my hands" of the latest
breed of MF filmscanners altogether. My humble opinion to you is to wait
for the next "new wave" of them. Hopefully many lessons were learned by the
engineers. I would keep my eyes peeled for the next MF Nikon scanner.
Joyfully, -david soderman- <><
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