scanner for BW negs in filing pages

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Lloyd Erlick, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Lloyd Erlick

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    june 2605 from Lloyd Erlick,

    Well, here is an incongruous question to be
    asking in a film darkroom list...

    I'm thinking about unloading a few dollars on
    a new scanner. I've been scanning my
    negatives for years instead of making contact
    sheets. But the scanner (HP 4C with
    transprency adapter top lid) is about ten
    years old now, and has been operating under
    Windows 95. Lately I got a new, current,
    computer and have been meaning to set up my
    old win95 machine to run the scanner. I liked
    the idea of being abloe to set a scan in
    motion and then turn to my new computer to do
    other things.

    Unfortunately, the task of getting the old
    machinery up and running has turned into the
    old familiar Windows nightmare. It's telling
    me the hard disk failed (I hear it
    spinning...) and ... I just can't go on. I
    remember the torturre too well.

    Anyway, to make the sordid tale shorter, I
    admit I'm beaten and I will spend money if
    I'm permitted to slink away quietly.

    I'm used to scanning my negs in their filing
    pages (I use the PrintFile version), whihc
    fit nicely and easily and quickly on the
    flatbed. The 4C has a lid that contains a
    light that tracks down the length of the bed,
    so it covers the whole surface (big enough
    for 8.5x14, or legal size, although I only
    need 8.5x11).

    So my question is, can anyone recommend a
    suitable currrent, USB-type scanner that will
    do transparencies. What am I looking at
    paying, and does it come in racing green??

    Thank you very much.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 26, 2005
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  2. Lloyd Erlick

    Rod Smith Guest

    If the main problem is with the software and not with the hardware, you
    might look into VueScan ( This software works with
    your HP 4C, according to its hardware compatibility list, and it's
    available for Windows 9x/Me/NT/2K/XP, Mac OS 9/X, and Linux. It's demoware
    -- you can download it and try it out, but the demo version plants dollar
    signs all over your scans. Pay the $50 or $90 (depending on version) fee
    and you get a license number that makes the software produce scans without
    the dollar signs. In sum, if you're satisfied with your current hardware,
    VueScan might be just what you need.

    If, OTOH, you want to take this opportunity to upgrade your hardware,
    there are a lot of options. You mentioned (but I snipped) that you can
    scan an entire page of negatives in their sleeves with your current
    scanner. I'm not sure how common that feature is. How important is that to
    you? Are you willing to scan the negatives one strip (say 3-6 frames) at a
    time? Do you want something that'll do double duty as a document scanner,
    or are you looking for a dedicated film scanner? You asked about price,
    and the answer is that prices range from about $100 (maybe less if you get
    lucky or have VERY low standards) up to many times that.

    FWIW, I'm very happy with my Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400, which is a
    dedicated film scanner that can scan a strip of up to six negatives at
    once. It's pretty high-level and expensive as consumer-grade film scanners
    go (about $600 or $700, IIRC), but of course pretty cheap compared to
    something like a professional drum scanner. I've also got an Epson Stylus
    Photo RX500, which is a multifunction scanner/printer/card reader IIRC, it
    was about $200 or $250. It's much lower resolution (2400 dpi vs. 5400 dpi
    for the Minolta) and produces somewhat blurrier scans, but depending on
    your needs it might be OK. It can't scan an entire sheet of
    transparencies, though; the transparency light in the lid is only big
    enough for a single strip of 35mm negatives.
    Rod Smith, Jun 26, 2005
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  3. Lloyd Erlick

    Alan Smithee Guest

    Get the newest Epson the the 4870 or 4990, should be able to slap a print
    file sheet on there and rough scan the whole thing.
    Alan Smithee, Jun 26, 2005
  4. Lloyd Erlick

    John Guest

    All under Linux/BSD ? Unfortunately I don't care for KDE (K-freakin'
    everything !!) and use Gnome under Ubuntu Linux when I try to escape the MS
    realm. SANE doesn't support my Visioneer 9220 and I don't bother scanning
    John, Jun 26, 2005
  5. Lloyd Erlick

    Alan Smithee Guest

    Further to Epson scanners... I bought my from out of London,
    Alan Smithee, Jun 26, 2005
  6. Lloyd Erlick

    Rod Smith Guest

    Yes, I use Linux for scanning. I loaded the Minolta's Windows software
    under Windows XP, but it kept re-doing preview scans for every little
    tweak (changes to the color balance, that sort of thing), which made it
    unbearably slow. Maybe there's a way around that; I didn't bother looking
    into it in any depth. I'm using VueScan for scanning, which works well
    enough for me. Unfortunately, it looks like VueScan doesn't support
    Visioneer models, so it won't help you with that.
    Rod Smith, Jun 26, 2005
  7. Lloyd Erlick

    John Guest

    Interesting. I'll have to check it out when I get ready to buy a new
    scanner. Hopefully going to get the Epson Perfection 4990 which I see
    VueScan does support. Thanks for the info .
    John, Jun 27, 2005
  8. Lloyd Erlick

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    jun2705 from Lloyd Erlick,

    Thank you all very much. It looks like I have
    to decide between the Epson Perfection 4990
    and Epson Expression 1680. Since the 1680 is
    about triple the price of the 4990, I guess
    the choice is predictable.

    As one of you kind posters mentioned,
    slapping a page of filed negs on the flatbed
    is what I aim to do, so the transparency
    scanning area is the crucial detail for me.

    Thanks very much, and if anyone has any
    further ideas, please don't hesitate, your
    call is important to us ...

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 27, 2005
  9. Lloyd Erlick

    jo.sto Guest

    Lloyd, please let us know how it goes. It would be of great interest
    to some of us who are basically totally non digital, but would like to
    learn how to speed up some of the tedium of the old fashioned process.
    jo.sto, Jun 28, 2005
  10. Lloyd Erlick

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    On 28 Jun 2005 00:15:32 -0700,

    jun2805 from Lloyd Erlick,

    Well, I've been using a scanner in place of
    contact sheets for years. It simplifies the
    whole procedure, and in my case it means the
    contacts actually get made. Previously, I had
    to push myself to make contacts, and often
    didn't. "The tedium of the old fashioned
    process" indeed!

    I'm basically non-digital myself. I like the
    computer for communications (such as this
    list), keeping files (I've archived years
    worth of material I've found online), storing
    my own records (I can now find negatives of a
    portrait session from the past ...), but I
    don't find inkjet prints to be a suitable
    replacement for my own prints. I like digital
    for the ancillary processes, not the finished

    But the biggest advantage is that I can edit
    my work onscreen. I always hated little dinky
    contacts, and MF contacts are in that
    category, to me. Scanned contacts can be
    enlarged to fill my computer monitor no
    problem, so I can evaluate my portraits
    easily. And I can show them to clients
    easily, too, as well as provide the client
    with a CD of their portraits. The frames are
    inherently rather too low quality for use in
    making digital prints, so the scans I give my
    clients probably can't be used to undercut my
    sales of fine portrait prints. If people want
    to use my 'contact' scans as wallpaper on
    their computers, or even on their own
    websites, well, more power to them.

    And best of all, ever since I began scanning
    my contacts, I have been able to go into the
    darkroom knowing in advance which frames I
    wanted to work on. I now know with close to
    hundred per cent certainty that the prints I
    spend time making will be frames worth the

    Between the ease of editing and the improved
    darkroom efficiency, the scanner has been a
    very significant tool. It probably pays for
    itself in saved darkroom materials alone.

    Oh, and by the way, in terms of editing the
    work, the largest factor necessary to
    evaluate is the expressive content. I make
    portraits, so facial expression, as well as
    body language and human interaction between
    multiple subjects, are the big things I have
    to judge. Proper exposure, focus and all that
    are important too, of course, but without the
    content I don't care about those details.
    Onscreen editing makes it easy to judge
    faces, so it's a great tool.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 28, 2005
  11. Lloyd Erlick

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    I've a new Apple Mini Mac in mind for this fall. I'll add on
    a scanner. I've in mind a flat bed which will scan strips of
    negatives. I seem to recall that they are being made.

    I've given those three ring types a try but have opted for
    glassine sleeves. Maybe I'm all thumbs but those pages
    are, I thought, more hassel than needed. My post on the
    " ... 6x7 format" thread expands. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jun 29, 2005
  12. Make sure you check the acid content of the glassines,
    I have heard they are not acid free, probably the reason places
    like Light impressions does not sell them.
    Gregory Blank, Jun 30, 2005
  13. It sounds like you have very good and well thought
    out reasons for doing what you do.
    Gregory Blank, Jun 30, 2005
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