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Pro quality slide scans

6 May 2004 3:43PM
Hi, I bought a slide scanner (2880dpi)a few years ago which isn't quite getting the quality i need for some big prints.
Basically I have 3 or 4 slides which make up a panorama. I want these scanned at good enough quality to produce 12" x 24" prints. (There are a few other slides I want scanned too, but not enough to warrant buying a new scanner.)
Does anyone know of a reputable company which could scan slides to this quality?
Would there be a marked difference between 4000, 8000 dpi and a drum scan??


lucybear 19 173
7 May 2004 7:49AM
You don't say what format your slides are on - i.e. 35mm or 120. Drum scans will give you the ultimate quality and resolution, but depending on the format to be scanned, expect to pay around 15.00 + per scan.

I use the Nikon Coolscan 8000 film scanner which scans @ 4000 dpi and can give you approx 12"x18" print (@300 dpi) from a 35mm neg/slide. The quality is excellent and suitable for repro. Prices from this sort of scanner are a hell of a lot cheaper.

Forgive me but I will now blatantly and shamelessly promote my scanning service - click herefor details or call me on 01279 843509.

Hope this helps

7 May 2004 8:43AM
They're 35mm slides. If I didn't wish to print bigger than 12"x18" what would the difference be like between the Coolscan and a drum scan, in terms of grain, colour saturation etc?
Also, has anyone got a link to a drum scanning service?

Thanks for the link David. It'll be a couple of months before I'll be getting them scanned though (they're in a box hundreds of miles away!)

lucybear 19 173
7 May 2004 10:55AM
A drumscan will give you overall better definition - at a price. As an example, Menor Creative Imaging in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire use the Imacon Virtual Drum Scanner, and a 35mm neg/slide scanned to A4 @ 300ppi will cost you 16.00+ VAT each.

FYI, the Coolscan will produce excellent quality results. The grain, saturation etc is excellent. I read one review on it that said it was "...the next best thing to drum scans..."

Apart from offering scanning services, I am by trade a photographer. All my film work is scanned on the Coolscan in exactly the same way that I scan clients work. The scans have ended up on book covers, CD covers and my work (which has been scanned using the Coolscan) is regularly published in mags such as Practical Photography, Amateur Photographer, Digital Photo, Photography Monthly etc. The repro quality has always been excellent.

One thing to remember though - regardless of the type / make / model of the scanner you are using, the only way you are going to get a good result is by having a good quality, well exposed neg/slide to scan from!
brm 18 76
7 May 2004 11:18AM
We used to have everything drumscanned - and there is still nothing to beat it quality wise.

The thing to remember about any kind of scanning is that the results depend to a large extent on the operator. Repro houses etc. deal with a large variety of media to be scanned & do tend to know their stuff. We always used a test tranny before committing a job to a new repro & you could certainly tell the difference between an operator who knew his stuff & one that didn't!

If you're going to get them drumscanned I'd suggest you got a test scan done first - if happy with it then send the rest. They may well give you a discount for quantity - we got ours down to about 9 a scan I think.


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