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Scanning Large Format transparencies


MikeBonsall 8 474 3 Guernsey
14 Feb 2007 3:51PM
I've been tempted recently by some really good deals on second hand Large Format gear.

One of my main concerns though is the cost of scanning transparencies.

The cost per image if I use my local pro lab is going to be high.

However I guess that I'm right in thinking that in order to do the format justice I would need to spend a considerable sum on a film scanner.

So my question then is what sort of scanner would I really need to look at to give me high quality LF scans?

Mike

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SandyMiller 8 926 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2007 4:09PM
I have always been very pleased with the results I have had with medium format from the Epson 4990 - I think the newer model is called the V700, which might be better but I read that the performances are fairly similar. I have never scanned LF but I read that the results are even better.

I think though that if you are not happy with these results the next step up pricewise would be a very large one so it might be worth getting a few more opinions than mine!
FatHandedChap 8 1.3k England
14 Feb 2007 4:22PM
One of these babies should do the trick!
KatieR 10 6.2k 6
14 Feb 2007 4:24PM
It's so cheap, might as well buy two :o/
strawman 11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2007 4:29PM
That Pentax MF Digital camera looks well priced in comparison.
SandyMiller 8 926 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2007 4:34PM
I'd be interested to know though if there is anything with the 5D that you are not happy with?

I also wonder how a scanned LF file (with something like the Epson 4990 or V700) would compare with a 5D file (apart from file size of course)?
FatHandedChap 8 1.3k England
14 Feb 2007 4:43PM
Can't speak about a comparison with the 5D, but I really miss using large format.

It's a completely different way of working, and really slows you down and makes you consider every aspect of each shot you're taking, especially when shooting on transparency. The movements are great and can give you some superb effects when shooting still life in the studio.

If I had the space and the money there would definately be one stashed in the studio for when time let me have a play.

Tony
Paulbee e2
10 36 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2007 5:13PM
I have a selection of 6x7cm Ektachrome transparancies taken on a Mamiya RB67. The scanner I bought three years ago to copy them to my computer was a Canon "Canoscan D2400U". It is a flatbed scanner with copying masks provided for 5"x4" film, 120 roll film, and 35mm film. I assume it has now been superceeded by other more up to date models, but gives me a superb scan on 6x7 and 35mm. The only drawback I could think of is that it may me a little slow for some people. However it gives a preview, lets you crop and adjust colour(if you wish to) before downloading to the computer. I have been happy with this equipment and would recommend it to anyone, although as I say it is likely that it has been replaced by later models .
Like Tony I really enjoy working with larger format, only getting a few frames per roll slows you down and makes you think, concentrating on such as composition and exposure.
Hope this helps. Regards Paul.
joolsb 10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
14 Feb 2007 5:47PM
I currently use an Epson v700 to scan my LF stuff - with mixed results. Well-exposed trannies usually scan beautifully but the limitations in DMax pretty soon make themselves felt when dealing with anything that's a bit dense.

The Imacons are probably the best short of a full-blown drum scanner and, if you know a shop specialising in photographic rentals, you might be able to rent one by the hour. Calumet in London have a workstation complete with Imacon available for about 30 an hour. Throughput is pretty good so you might be able to do 6 in one go - a lot better than commercial charges for quality scanning.
Phil_D 8 81 Scotland
14 Feb 2007 9:12PM
Your best bet would be to find your local friendly repro house, preferably on ewith a Crosfield or Screen drum scanner or a Scitex flatbed scanner and get them to scan to disk for you - shoudl n't cost the earth and the results should be excellent - i fthe operator knows what he/she is doing!

Phil.
MikeBonsall 8 474 3 Guernsey
16 Feb 2007 10:18AM

Quote:I'd be interested to know though if there is anything with the 5D that you are not happy with?


No there is absolutely nothing that I'm not happy about re the 5D. It's a dream of a camera!

I would just love to stretch my photographic skills further and LF just seems to offer such a big challenge, together with the potential for outstanding results...in time of course!

Cheers for all the info folks!

Mike
joolsb 10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
16 Feb 2007 10:31AM

Quote:I would just love to stretch my photographic skills further and LF just seems to offer such a big challenge, together with the potential for outstanding results...in time of course!


It is a big challenge but oh so satisfying when everything does come together. It's also terrifyingly addictive. Prepare to spend 10-20 mins agonising over a single shot, reciting endless lists of things you have to remember to do before you press the shutter.

You'll either love it to bits or run screaming in frustration back to your 5D. :O)
MikeBonsall 8 474 3 Guernsey
16 Feb 2007 10:45AM
It's interesting Jools that since I've been shooting digitally with the 5D I've found myself gradually taking fewer and fewer frames each time I go out on a shoot.

Like most people (even though I told myself I wouldn't) I became very 'trigger happy' with digital. The significant thing is that as the number of frames taken has decreased so the quality of images taken (and the ratio of good shots) has increased...well I think so anyway Smile

I'm confident that I would enjoy the challenge of LF. I'm just less confident that I would be happy with the running costs (especially as the quality possible with the 5D is just so dam good!)

I've still got some deliberating to do so watch this space.

Mike
joolsb 10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
16 Feb 2007 11:10AM
Yes, the running costs can be quite high - but the quality... What can I say? As soon as you put your first LF tranny on the light box, you'll be hooked - trust me.
MikeBonsall 8 474 3 Guernsey
16 Feb 2007 11:21AM

Quote:As soon as you put your first LF tranny on the light box, you'll be hooked - trust me.


That Jools is precisely what I'm worried about Smile

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