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Photography Question 
Paul Man
 

choosing a flatbed scanner: comparison


Hi all,
I was hoping to get some advice on purchasing a flatbed scanner. (the only thing I can afford for a while)

I have searched hard and long for flatbed reviews that test their ability to scan 35mm negs and slides, but nothing to conclude really. Getting film scanner is not an option for me. Even used ones are $400+ Can.

I've been shopping around here in canada and I have found a few scanners that are comparable in price and that have had good reviews.

Canon CanoScan 5000F Flatbed which is about $230 CAN 2400 x 4800, 2400 dpi optical

MicroTek 6000 Flatbed $200 CAN 6400 x 3200-dpi, ??3200 dpi optical??

Epson Perfection 2400 photo $240 CAN 2400 x 4800 dpi, 2400 optical

I plan to do the unthinkable and scan negs, and perhaps slides, with a flatbed scanner. Not for professional use, but web publishing and for a preview. I would be able to get a pro scan done if needed at my lab, or at least a kodak cd scan. P.S. I don't have a printer ;)

I cannot afford a film scanner, and these scanners are pushing the limit of my budget.

A few important questions -------------------------

1) If I use a 1200, 2400, 3200 dpi otical res scan on a negative or slide what pixel size can I expect for the image.

2) Of the three scanners which do you think would produce the best results for my purposes.

3) I can save a lot of money going with one of these 3 scanners: HP 3670, Epson 1660, or a Microtek 4900. Do you think they would be suitable for my purposes? If so, which would you recommend.

4) Does anyone have some scanes from 35mm slides or col/bw negs that they can post in response to this message, I would love to see what I can expect. please don't post any scans from prints or MF.., they just make the scanner look better than its going to be.

Few, I know I'm asking a lot, any advice you can offer would be great!!

Paul. (poor student hobby photographer)


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1/5/2004 1:31:39 PM

 
Gary Wonning
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/29/2003
  I would also like some info on the same question.
Thanks;
Gary


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1/5/2004 6:54:24 PM

 
Sreedevi  Kashi   Hi Paul,
I have an Epson 1650 PHOTO, which is basically the same as the 1660. They had a 1650 and a 1650 Photo which they changed to 1660. For what you want to do with the pictures, this should be just fine. With this, which has 1600 dpi optical, you can scan your negs at a resolution as high as 12800 ppi. Epson has great scanning software known as TWAIN. This interface allows you to adjust gamma, and color correct, as well as change the resolution and decide what size you want it to scan the neg to. So, as far as how many pixels your file will be- that's entirely up to you. I actually find, personally, that scanning my images at 300ppi, but at 900%- or 9X the original size- works better than scanning at a higher resolution, but at say 40% of the size.

It will scan also in 48 bit color mode, or 16 bit BW mode. Photoshop will accept these, but you can't use all the applications of photoshop in this mode, so you'll have to change it in PS. It's probably better to go through PS and Import the image from Epson Twain, rather than opening up their Smart Panel- I suppose it doesn't really make a difference, but when you go through Smart Panel, after it scans the image, it'll convert the resolution down to 96ppi- but then the image dimensions change with it, so it's still the same size in pixels.

I printed out a 13x19 composited image for which I'd scanned all the negs using this scanner, and the print looked great- I of course used the printer at my school- Epson 3300 I believe. So if you did decide to print, I don't think you'll have a problem. For the web, though, you don't need to spend a lot of money.

One thing about it is that it could take you time to learn how to adjust when scanning- using the color controls to adjust color can be really tricky, and sometimes it's best just to do that in PS. But there is a grey balance which is great for getting rid of any hues. Also, I find that the image preview shows the images at a higher contrast, and then when they pull up in PS, they're not as saturated looking- but that doesn't matter, since you can fix it in PS. Make sure you have all your computers monitor settings and color settings together as well, as this will make your adjustments more accurate.

I'll post some images for you after I change them to this site's specifications and let you know what settings I used to scan them.

Generally, you always want to get a scanner with a higher optical resolution, but for your needs and your budget, this should be just fine. I've even used this scanner, PS and the Epson 820 photo printer- which is dirt cheap, but has an illogical ink system- for professional jobs- menus, headshots, advertisements, banners, posters, etc.

Feel free to ask me more about it, and I'll get some pictures up to show you how it can scan.

Sreedevi


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1/6/2004 3:32:57 AM

 
doug Nelson   A 2400 ppi scan will give you about an 8 x 10 at 300 ppi. You can figure out what half that and 50% more ppi will give you.
You might consider getting an Epson with Silverfast scanning software included. Silverfast is becoming a standard scanning software, because scanner makers seem to put their research and development money into the hardware, not the software. You can learn the basics of digital photo editing and Silverfast and be that much farther ahead when you can afford a film scanner.
I would not scan at any more resolution that the scanner's stated resolution. All scanner software can give you some wild interpolated figure, such as 9600 ppi. That means that the software is generating additional pixels, based on neighboring pixels to boost the resolution. You CAN boost resolution, but there are very specific Photoshop techniques and special software to do this.
Plan on buying Photoshop, Elements 2, or, at least, Photoshop LE. Elements or PS/LE may come free with your scanner.


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1/6/2004 5:39:54 AM

 
Sreedevi  Kashi  
 
 
Paul here are some images I scanned from the negs, and one from a slide. Most of my other stuff is zipped on CD's now.


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1/6/2004 2:19:06 PM

 
Sreedevi  Kashi  
 
  Joe
Joe
scanned at 3200 dpi, originally 4200 pixels high (the length) before resizing for here. from a 35mm neg..
© Sreedevi  Kashi
Pentax K1000 35mm ...
 
  Arthur
Arthur
scanned at 300 dpi and at 900% using 16-bit mode from b&w neg.
© Sreedevi  Kashi
Pentax K1000 35mm ...
 
  Drunk Desi
Drunk Desi
scanned at 300 dpi, 1500 pixels on the short end
© Sreedevi  Kashi
Pentax K1000 35mm ...
 
  The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man
b&w neg scanned at 3200 dpi, in 32bit color mode, with a length of 4200 pixels desaturated in PS
© Sreedevi  Kashi
Pentax K1000 35mm ...
 
  The beauty of a sunset...through the LA smog
The beauty of a sunset...through the LA smog
slide scanned at 300 dpi, 3000 pixels on the long end
© Sreedevi  Kashi
Pentax K1000 35mm ...
 
 
Paul here are some images I scanned from the negs, and one from a slide. Most of my other stuff is zipped on CD's now.


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1/6/2004 2:41:58 PM

 
Sreedevi  Kashi  
 
  The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man
scanned at 3200 dpi, originally 4200 pixels high (the length) before resizing for here. from a 35mm neg..
© Sreedevi  Kashi
Pentax K1000 35mm ...
 
 
Paul here are some images I scanned from the negs, and one from a slide. Most of my other stuff is zipped on CD's now.


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1/6/2004 2:50:58 PM

 
Paul Man   thanks for the samples.. what scanner did you use by the way?

Paul.


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1/6/2004 4:27:48 PM

 
Sreedevi  Kashi   Epson 1650 Photo Scanner


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1/7/2004 4:02:08 AM

 
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