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Best 35mm scanner for color/resolution to get? Found an interesting comparison...
Old 05-07-2017   #1
moodlover
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Best 35mm scanner for color/resolution to get? Found an interesting comparison...

I own an Epson flatbed scanner. Never scanned 35mm cause I heard the resolution and color rendition is poor. So I'm checking out Nikon Cool Scan V and come across this interesting comparison of Cool Scan vs Epson:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpilla001/8734810329/

Here, the Epson V500 clearly has better shadow detail. Its highlights are on the brighter side but that can easily be controlled in Epson Scan software, which has the best highlight recovery of any low-end scanner software.

I was expecting to see a world of difference in detail but clearly this is not the case, so why spend $500 on a Cool Scan if my Epson can already do the same? In my last thread, with extensive testing I discovered that the Cool Scan 8000 for medium format was no better than my Epson V800 for medium format. Not in terms of color (which always came out funky from both the CS8000 and Epson and needed correction, or resolution once the Epson was slightly sharpened.

Anyways, I need an excellent 35mm film scanner that gives me the Pakon/Kodak colors easily. Ive heard raving reviews of the Pakon F135+ that has perfect color rendition every time but for $1200 on eBay the price is ridiculous. I can buy a Cool Scan 5000 with that. Then again, I have no idea what a scan from Cool Scan 5K vs Cool Scan V vs Pakon 135 vs Epson looks like, anyone have any comparisons?

Suggestions welcome!
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Old 05-07-2017   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post

Anyways, I need an excellent 35mm film scanner that gives me the Pakon/Kodak colors easily.

Suggestions welcome!
I'm assuming you've scanning color negative film?
I used to have a Minolta Scan Dual IV, and did a bunch of comparison test with it and my Epson V750. With slide film and true B&W film, the Minolta definitely had better resolution, but with color negative film I found the Epson actually had better results and better color, and I very much prefer the Epson software to any I have tried.
I use this method, http://www.coltonallen.com/getting-t...epson-flatbed/
and I find with that, I get great color every time. It is slower, and takes some practice.
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Old 05-07-2017   #3
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Epson is underrated. Dynamic range is better than most drum scanners because better AD converter and most drums have banding or dying tubes. If you scan MF and take care of flatness then results are very good.
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Old 05-07-2017   #4
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Pakons are not 1200 elsewhere. Join the facebook group and they pop up for sale routinely. Around 500ish-600 for the non plus, more for the plus model. Worth the money and I would pay that today though I paid $250 for my plus 4 years ago. The price then went down to 200 before they rose again. And yes, the colors are spot on which makes workflow so much quicker and nicer to deal with. Their are scanners that are higher rez but for the whole package, hard to beat a dedicated lab scanner. If you don't go pakon, look at noritsu or frontier. Of course, that pakon is tiny compared to those.

edit to add: the plus and non plus have same resolution using TLX client. The plus is just faster.
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Old 05-07-2017   #5
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You might also want to take a look at the PacificImage PrimeFilm XE (Reflecta ProScan 10T) at $329. It as an actual resolution of 4100 which is comparable to the Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED. I went with it because I was unsatisfied with the scans from an Epson V700. The V700 has an actual resolution of around 2300, and I'm sure the V500 is lower. Review here:

http://www.filmscanner.info/en/ReflectaProScan10T.html
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Old 05-07-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
I'm assuming you've scanning color negative film?
I used to have a Minolta Scan Dual IV, and did a bunch of comparison test with it and my Epson V750. With slide film and true B&W film, the Minolta definitely had better resolution, but with color negative film I found the Epson actually had better results and better color, and I very much prefer the Epson software to any I have tried.
I use this method, http://www.coltonallen.com/getting-t...epson-flatbed/
and I find with that, I get great color every time. It is slower, and takes some practice.
Color film yes. Wow your tutorial is the one I first used to learn the basic Epson Software years ago, by far one of the best. Thank you, so cool to see your work. I am blown away by your 35mm work on your flickr, how is all that Epson??? The color is just so perfect. Is it using your tutorial method? I've found that the method doesnt always get correct color (usually requires color correction in the levels panel). But sometimes the casts are so difficult to remove, they arent just midtone casts, they are funky highlight-midtone-shadow colors that are super hard to get rid of.

Do you have any advice for which holders to use for 35mm on the Epson?
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Old 05-07-2017   #7
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Originally Posted by jzagaja View Post
Epson is underrated. Dynamic range is better than most drum scanners because better AD converter and most drums have banding or dying tubes. If you scan MF and take care of flatness then results are very good.
Very bold statement, dynamic range of the Epson V700/800 better than most drum scanners? Where do you get that info? Even in this subforum there is a drum scanner thread with the most beautiful scans in the world, Epson cant match that im sorry but id love to be proven wrong
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Old 05-07-2017   #8
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Originally Posted by Jon Buffington View Post
Pakons are not 1200 elsewhere. Join the facebook group and they pop up for sale routinely. Around 500ish-600 for the non plus, more for the plus model. Worth the money and I would pay that today though I paid $250 for my plus 4 years ago. The price then went down to 200 before they rose again. And yes, the colors are spot on which makes workflow so much quicker and nicer to deal with. Their are scanners that are higher rez but for the whole package, hard to beat a dedicated lab scanner. If you don't go pakon, look at noritsu or frontier. Of course, that pakon is tiny compared to those.

edit to add: the plus and non plus have same resolution using TLX client. The plus is just faster.
Interesting, will have to check out the group. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 05-07-2017   #9
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Does anyone have any thoughts about the Pakon F135+ vs Nikon CoolScan V?

I really want something that represents film color correctly (new Portra for me usually) and I heard the Pakons cant color correct the new Portra 400 well since the scanner is older than the film. The other downside is the 2000DPI turns me off.
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Old 05-07-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
Does anyone have any thoughts about the Pakon F135+ vs Nikon CoolScan V?

I really want something that represents film color correctly (new Portra for me usually) and I heard the Pakons cant color correct the new Portra 400 well since the scanner is older than the film. The other downside is the 2000DPI turns me off.
Color correction is done in the software not the hardware. A resolution of 2000 is insufficient to resolve the grain.
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Old 05-07-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzagaja View Post
Epson is underrated. Dynamic range is better than most drum scanners because better AD converter and most drums have banding or dying tubes. If you scan MF and take care of flatness then results are very good.
Better AD converters in the Epson? I have both an epson and a drum scanner and the Epson can't touch it in DR.
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Old 05-07-2017   #12
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Color correction is done in the software not the hardware.
I know that. When I say "Pakon" I'm obviously talking about the whole system not just the physical part.

Quote:
A resolution of 2000 is insufficient to resolve the grain.
That's not what this image shows, seems to resolve the grain enough for me
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Old 05-07-2017   #13
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Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
That's not what this image shows, seems to resolve the grain enough for me
You may change your mind after you gain some actual experience instead of relying on images from the internet.
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Old 05-07-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
That's not what this image shows, seems to resolve the grain enough for me
Look up grain aliasing, what you see in the Pakon scans are not actually representative of the actual grain and grain size
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Old 05-07-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
Color film yes. Wow your tutorial is the one I first used to learn the basic Epson Software years ago, by far one of the best. Thank you, so cool to see your work. I am blown away by your 35mm work on your flickr, how is all that Epson??? The color is just so perfect. Is it using your tutorial method? I've found that the method doesnt always get correct color (usually requires color correction in the levels panel). But sometimes the casts are so difficult to remove, they arent just midtone casts, they are funky highlight-midtone-shadow colors that are super hard to get rid of.

Do you have any advice for which holders to use for 35mm on the Epson?
I find it helpful to think of color correction as a 3 zone process, highlights, shadows, and then midtones which is more global. I try to get close in Epson Scan, but I usually find the histogram in Epson Scan errs on the side of preserving highlights. After scanning I open in Photoshop, run levels and almost always need to reset the bright points in each color channel so that I have a true bright white in the frame. After resetting the highlights, then reset the shadows so that I have a true black point. Once I know the highlights and shadows are good, I can focus on adjusting the individual midpoints to get overall neutral balance. In most of my images this is sufficient for color correction. Sometimes, I will get images that require a bit more work, like when I get an image with a red/magenta cast in clouds and a cyan/blue cast in shadows. Correcting images like that can be done using color curve adjustments in the individual color channels. For instance, in the case of magenta highlights and cyan shadows, a slight s curve in the green channel might fix it. Depending on where you anchor the middle of the s curve, for everything above the anchor you're adding some green, and everything below you're removing some green.

I actually just use the stock Epson 35mm holders that came with my V750.
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Old 05-07-2017   #16
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Okay well how about the CoolScan 4000 or V? I had an issue with CS8000 in that everything I was scanning had poor colors from NikonScan 4. Not sure how people get correct color out of that thing
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Old 05-07-2017   #17
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Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
I find it helpful to think of color correction as a 3 zone process, highlights, shadows, and then midtones which is more global. I try to get close in Epson Scan, but I usually find the histogram in Epson Scan errs on the side of preserving highlights. After scanning I open in Photoshop, run levels and almost always need to reset the bright points in each color channel so that I have a true bright white in the frame. After resetting the highlights, then reset the shadows so that I have a true black point. Once I know the highlights and shadows are good, I can focus on adjusting the individual midpoints to get overall neutral balance. In most of my images this is sufficient for color correction. Sometimes, I will get images that require a bit more work, like when I get an image with a red/magenta cast in clouds and a cyan/blue cast in shadows. Correcting images like that can be done using color curve adjustments in the individual color channels. For instance, in the case of magenta highlights and cyan shadows, a slight s curve in the green channel might fix it. Depending on where you anchor the middle of the s curve, for everything above the anchor you're adding some green, and everything below you're removing some green.

I actually just use the stock Epson 35mm holders that came with my V750.
Very insightful thanks for the response. Ive found after reading your tutorials and practicing on hundreds of 6x7 negatives this is exactly what I must do. Do you wet mount on your V750-m?

Your work is spectacular, for Portra how do you like to expose your film? Ive found for 6x7 Portra 400 that if I overexpose more than 1-2 stops the negative is too dense for the V800 to penetrate and color casts are too strong.
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Old 05-07-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
Very insightful thanks for the response. Ive found after reading your tutorials and practicing on hundreds of 6x7 negatives this is exactly what I must do. Do you wet mount on your V750-m?

Your work is spectacular, for Portra how do you like to expose your film? Ive found for 6x7 Portra 400 that if I overexpose more than 1-2 stops the negative is too dense for the V800 to penetrate and color casts are too strong.
I haven't tried wet mount scanning, and probably won't. I'm pretty disabled (I can't do much with my hands) and require assistance with everything I do, so I think wet scanning would be too complicated.

Thank you for your kind words regarding my work
I have found that (for me) Portra 400 works best at 320. That way you don't risk underexposing the shadows, but the shadows still stay close to the range of tones of the unexposed film base. I have often found that Portra 400 at 400 can give grainy/noisy shadows.
You are right about the highlights becoming too dense for the scanner when you start overexposing it more, and because the highlights get denser and denser, the histogram in Epson Scan becomes less and less accurate, which can really give you color balance problems. This is a big reason I disagree with the practice and common recommendation of just overexposing C-41 film by 1 stop for no particular reason. There are definitely times where overexposing works well, but I only do it if I have a particular reason to do so.
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Old 05-07-2017   #19
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I have found that (for me) Portra 400 works best at 320. That way you don't risk underexposing the shadows, but the shadows still stay close to the range of tones of the unexposed film base. I have often found that Portra 400 at 400 can give grainy/noisy shadows.
You are right about the highlights becoming too dense for the scanner when you start overexposing it more, and because the highlights get denser and denser, the histogram in Epson Scan becomes less and less accurate, which can really give you color balance problems. This is a big reason I disagree with the practice and common recommendation of just overexposing C-41 film by 1 stop for no particular reason. There are definitely times where overexposing works well, but I only do it if I have a particular reason to do so.
Yes I too disagree with the practice if scanning at home. It depends on which scanner you have that will determine how much to overexpose.

One last thing about your tutorial vs your work on Flickr: I find that all your flickr work has a bright, airy look that wasnt really explained in the tutorial. I can pull out a pretty flat, color-correct image in Epson Scan but when I try to apply a brightening curve to it the highlights quickly clip and give an over-punchy contrasted look. Your upper midtones and highlights seem to be high and bright without clipping or bunching together, they smoothly transition into higher values, without bringing the blacks up with them. Could you please advice how to do this?
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Old 05-07-2017   #20
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I use at the moment a Minolta dImage 5400ii (5400dpi scanner) and also an old Nikon LS-2000 (2700dpi scanner). The Minolta is the clear winner but the old Nikon still does surprising well for it's age. For the Nikon there are even instructions on the internet for cleaning it's mirror and lubricating it's parts. I picked up a second Nikon scanner from a junk pile and after a couple of hours was able to get it fully working. The only drawback is finding a SCSI to USB convertor these days.
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Old 05-07-2017   #21
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You may change your mind after you gain some actual experience instead of relying on images from the internet.
What a snotty reply. Here is a comparison.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=148419
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Old 05-08-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
Does anyone have any thoughts about the Pakon F135+ vs Nikon CoolScan V?

I really want something that represents film color correctly (new Portra for me usually) and I heard the Pakons cant color correct the new Portra 400 well since the scanner is older than the film. The other downside is the 2000DPI turns me off.
Handles portra 400 perfectly. Never had any issues. In fact, never shot a negative it didn't like. Only times I have had issues is because of my sloppy development or using expired/way exhausted chems. Rez is 3000x2000 so 6mp. A true 6mp. Not a flatbed 6mp. Sharp and extremely detailed 6mp. I have printed tack sharp 12x18 and could easily go more without up rez software. I have seen examples much much larger where others have increased resolution through software.
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Old 05-08-2017   #23
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Originally Posted by moodlover View Post
Very bold statement, dynamic range of the Epson V700/800 better than most drum scanners? Where do you get that info? Even in this subforum there is a drum scanner thread with the most beautiful scans in the world, Epson cant match that im sorry but id love to be proven wrong
I had 6 Scanmates drum scanners and only one was usable sorry. Spectral response is nice from Scanmates that is why scans are nice. I laso tried best produced PMT scanner period - Cintel Millenium mk2 - again color separation was questionable, even old Spirit can do better. Problem with Epson is poor focus, film flattness. Overall Epson is trouble free and fast. My friend did glassless frames for Scanmate F8plus. Try with Epson.

If you are lucky to find good Scanmate/Tango go with it but it will die soon. Or try invest 1500 eur on new tubes. I posted MF scans when you can't tell which is which.
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Old 05-08-2017   #24
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I had 6 Scanmates drum scanners and only one was usable sorry. Spectral response is nice from Scanmates that is why scans are nice.
My Scanmate produces vastly better results than my Epson. Much, much better resolution and DR. Film actually look like film.
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Old 05-08-2017   #25
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So you are lucky Kamph Mine never exceed 12 stops that was even hard to reach. Do you have DR target scanned? I used real world samples from underdeveloped slides but have somewhere DR target from Stouffer. Resolution up to 2500-3000dpi and you can't tell difference on MF scans. For 35mm better use dedicated scanner but I haven't been interested in 35mm format.
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Old 05-08-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodlover View Post

One last thing about your tutorial vs your work on Flickr: I find that all your flickr work has a bright, airy look that wasnt really explained in the tutorial. I can pull out a pretty flat, color-correct image in Epson Scan but when I try to apply a brightening curve to it the highlights quickly clip and give an over-punchy contrasted look. Your upper midtones and highlights seem to be high and bright without clipping or bunching together, they smoothly transition into higher values, without bringing the blacks up with them. Could you please advice how to do this?
If you have set your white/bright point well, and if you're working within well profiled and calibrated system, applying a brightening curve shouldn't clip your highlights as long as you don't push the curve up so much that the top of it starts to level/flatten.
I usually try to scan so that I end up with a balanced scan exposure (not too dark, not too bright), then reset levels in PS, then I usually apply a tone curve where I pull up the middle of the line, then pull the lower 1/4 of the curve back down to almost the original line. I will rarely pull the lower end below the original line. It is dependant on the particular image I might be editing though, and very much a personal preference thing.
Over time I have found that I prefer generally brighter images, so I attempt to edit my images so the histogram is more pushed to the right than pushed to the left.
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Old 05-08-2017   #27
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I once compared some scans of the same neg against each other. not looking for color but resolution. I applied no sharpener, straight from the source.
http://kayknofe.de/ComparesCrop.jpg
Note that my V500 nor the bad lab scan resolved that scratch. No amount of sharpening brings that back. Not that I need scratches but we can take it as an example for detail.

the LS8000 I own now is definitely better than the plustek, maybe in the Canon class.

Color is a question of software! (if everything else is working as intended) - I use Vuescan for years now with all scanners.
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