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Scanner required for 35mm slides and negatives

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by Ray Proudfoot, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    I have several hundred 35mm slides from the early 70s to the late 80s plus a considerable number of colour negatives that I want to convert to digital images. Some may be printed but the vast majority will remain as digital files.

    I also have family photos with a few going back over 100 years but many taken in the 40s - 70s. I also want digitised images of these as I hold the only copies and would like to share them with family members.

    I did briefly consider an Epson V600 flatbed scanner which has received plenty of positive reviews for both tasks. But the downside is it's huge and probably not ideal for scanning slides & negatives. Photos would be fine of course.

    So I decided to split the project into two parts and acquire a scanner best suited for the source material. The Epson remains a possibility for prints but if anyone could recommend one with a smaller footprint I'd appreciate it. Largest photos are around 10x8 but the majority are 6x4 and a few even smaller.

    For scanning slides and negatives I've whittled it down to two but can't make a decision. The Reflecta ProScan is available for around £350. The alternative is the Plustek 8200iAi for £343. The Reflecta only ships with Cyberview and only from overseas whereas the Plustek ships with SilverFast SE Plus 8 on Amazon. I'd appreciate your views on which you consider better. I already own Adobe Photoshop Elements 14.

    Is Silverfast reasonably easy to get to grips with? I'm retired so the time to scan these is not an issue. If it takes up to 12 months that's fine.

    I used an Olympus OM2 with various Zuiko lenses for all these shots and film was generally 50-200 ISO so the quality is there. I just want to get the best possible images digitised so I can both share them and enjoy them on a 55" TV.

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi Ray, this question comes up a few times. While waiting for someone with some knowledge you could try the search facility to see what has been written in the past. Many people use Vuescan as the controlling software for scanners. Not my topic so I can't properly advise.
  3. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    Hi Pete,

    I already have used the search feature but didn't find much about Reflecta scanners. I've seen some discussion on Vuescan versus Silverlight. The former seems more user-friendly whereas the latter appears more powerful but more difficult to use. Arrgghh!
  4. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    The best 35mm negative/transparency scanner I've had was the Canon CanoScan FS4000US but sadly they're no longer made. They turn up on eBay quite regularly but are sort after so they don't sell cheaply. Vuescan works very well.
  5. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    Thanks Roger. I have also found a Nikon Coolscan V there for £600 but have no idea of its age or usage. Having never bought off eBay I'm reluctant to start unless I'm sure of what I need.

    Does Vuescan work with a wide range of films? Do you need to choose the film from a drop down or just keep selecting until you find an agreeable image?
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I just looked - if you select Colour, Film, Negative, Vendor => Kodak you get a pick list of 21 choices. I tend to use it just for hard-copy ordinary scanning. It can see my HP all-in-one across the network from my mac whereas it seems impossible to persuade windows to identify that the printer can also scan - I need to load the full HP driver set and run the HP scan program. to do that which is horrid. I'm using the paid for version of vuescan.
    Ray Proudfoot likes this.
  7. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    The Nikon Coolscan is a very good scanner. Vuescan seems to work with just about any scanner, film or O/S. Just choose type of film (trans/colour neg/mono/neg) resolution, bits etc. I'm using Linux.
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

  9. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I have a coolscan (Nikon) and still use it from time to time. I use Vuescan and think it easy and excellent.

    The real point of this post is to tell you that Kodachrome is a special case with more or less any scanner so if you have Kodachrome slides then be sure that you ask the right questions.

  10. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    @PeteRob , thanks, appreciate you taking the time to do that.

    @Roger_Provins , I know it is but a little reluctant to buy second-hand off eBay. Does £600 sound a reasonable price for the Coolscan V. VueScan appeals because you don't have to buy software again if you change scanners. If / when I bought a flat-bed I'd be annoyed if I had to buy SilverFast again which it sounds like I'd have to do.

    @RogerHicks, No because it doesn't address the negatives.

    @MickLL , can't remember if I have any Kodachrome. Possibly but not many. I tended to use the mainstream slide film from Kodak but did use High-speed Ektachrome for total solar eclipse shots. 160ASA if I recall. The rest would be 100 probably.

    So most of you seem sold on VueScan rather than the most expensive (and possibly powerful SilverFast). I think that helps on the software side. I just need to decide on the hardware now. I'll probably stay safe and choose between the Reflecta and Plustek. But if anyone is using either then I'd appreciate their views.
  11. Jacques Rebaque

    Jacques Rebaque Active Member

    I scanned my collection a few years ago using a Nikon Coolscan costing around the £500 mark off ebay. Took about 6-8 month to do the lot, mainly at weekends using Silverfast, it took a couple of weeks to master but it was very good when I did. Sold the Coolscan when I had finished for £545 again on ebay!! They seemed to hold their price then, don't know about now though.
    Ray Proudfoot likes this.
  12. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I haven't found any issues with Kodachrome when scanning, using Vuescan and a Nikon Coolscan IV. In fact if anything it produces better output than any other film.
  13. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Vuescan is much more user friendly than Silverfast imho. I would say that a used Nikon Coolscan might be a better choice than these two new, reviews of Plustek scanners have never been effusive. There doesn't seem to be much around about Reflecta scanners, they came to market quite late and I suspect they have not been big sellers.
  14. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    @nimbus, thanks for your views. I think you're probably right about Plustek and Reflecta. That's why this has been such a difficult decision.

    This is the CoolScan V that is being advertised on eBay. The model became available in late 2003. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-Coo...779230?hash=item3d458b8f9e:g:3ZoAAOSwTRFZnszD

    He lives in Warrington and is asking £595. I live around 20 miles away so a personal visit and demonstration might be possible. I thought about asking him to scan a couple of slides and negs which would allow me to assess it. Would you think that is a reasonable approach? 11 people are watching it (including me) but no-one has made an offer yet. Should I offer the asking price if I'm happy with the results or is it normal to negotiate?
  15. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Try an offer. Several have been sold recently for much less..
  16. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    Not without a demonstration first. Buying second-hand blind is not something I'm prepared to do.
  17. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I thought from your previous post you intended to do that.
  18. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    Yes I will once I've given it a bit more thought. It's a lot of money for something I have little knowledge of. I like to research thoroughly but given the age of the kit it's not easy.
  19. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I quite agree needs a bit of thought. Of course you can always resell once you're finished.
    I did notice a couple on the list I linked to had recently been serviced.
  20. Ray Proudfoot

    Ray Proudfoot Well-Known Member

    The prices seem to vary quite a bit. I'm pretty much a beginner with eBay as I tend to buy new but obviously can't here.

    It's a pity there isn't a counter showing how many scans have been made. Bit of a lottery really which together with my lack of scanner knowledge makes it difficult.

    Yes, once the scans are completed reselling seems sensible.

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