Tired of scanning....
Old 11-13-2015   #1
MiniMoke
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Tired of scanning....

Yes, I have become tired of scanning, and I sold my latest scanner, the not so bad Canoscan 9000F MkII.

But what now? Well I am outsourcing the job - seems to be the latest trend globally anyways.

I found a lab in Germany who are doing a pretty good job and extremely fast!

I sent my first test film (Test for the lab and the 'new' Oly XA2) on Monday 9th, in the afternoon and I got the download link for the scans yesterday, 12th. Pretty impressive speed!

The quality (I chose the highest resolution they offer) is very good - better that all I did get out of my numerous scanners I owned, just the Nikon Coolscan IV came somewhat close, but only close.

And then there's the extreme gain in time! For me this gives Film the ultimate edge over digital (at least until the next GAS attack or lottery win...).

If you want to take a look at their offering and prices, here's the address:

www.MeinFilmLab.de

They speak german and english and are impressively fast to answer any requests. Even if you have any special requirements, they can discuss it with you.

Just to make sure everyone understands, I am not affiliated with them in any way and will not benefit from this post.

Give them a try, it's really worth it.

Here are some pictures, only lightly touched by Lightroom.

And why not check out my Blog and Flickr too ?

Tracks by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr

Stop smoking! by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr

Do ! by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr

Corrugated shed by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr
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Old 11-13-2015   #2
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I tried that route too but it didn't work out for me. At 11€ you get 1000dpi scans and my experience with automated lab scanners is that they rank up the contrast a lot to give you shots that seem to pop (which also makes it easier to get shadow and highlight color balance in check). - as in your examples
I get the same deal locally here btw.

Their size L is only a tiny bit better and even XL is outperformed by my LS8000. I paid 1000€ for that scanner - at these prices it already paid for itself AND i get better scans.

[EDIT] I just saw they are giving you an option on contrast/white balance upon order - this has a nice touch, but then: who would order high contrast scans ? people shoot film but are too clumsy to push a slider existing in even the worst photo software?
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Old 11-13-2015   #3
sevo
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Well, Frontier scans are Frontier scans. Good for printing at minilab scale, but not really intended for anything else. It should be possible to create some default processing in Photoshop or Lightroom to massage them into something more useful, but they will never reach the quality of a good individual scan...
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Old 11-13-2015   #4
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I understand if you don't have time, don't like scanning, find it a chore that you don't want to do, you like Fuji Frontier scans (I do)...

But at those prices, you can buy the best desktop 35mm scanner (a Minolta 5400) even if you shoot only a small amount of film. Hell, you can buy one of those scanners every year (if you only shoot 20 rolls of film per year!) for that kind of money, if you are concerned about longevity of those scanners.

IMHO you pay way too much for somewhat quicker turnaround compared to European drug store chains (DM, Mόller) that will develop and scan the film for a fraction of that price.
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Old 11-13-2015   #5
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I have tried the local photography stores (such as there are still in business) and of course they offer scanning too, but the resolution was ridiculous. Barely good for posting on the web.

No way to ramp up the resolution for them - and they mostly send the film to Fuji in the Netherlands to get them processed, so it should be the same Frontier scanners.

Normally I have to wait about 2 weeks for my scans to return.

I am very happy with the resolution of my scans at MeinFilmLab (XL size at 3649Χ5444), and the color and contrast come out quite OK. In my humble opinion at least....

At the price of 200€ for a new cheap Canoscan 9000F MkII from Amazon that gives me a LOT of work and much less quality and resolution, I can have a dozen rolls developed and scanned.

B/W I develop myself and send them the rolls for scanning at 12€ in highest resolution.

Now if I factor in a really good film scanner like a Nikon LS8000 at about 1000 € if I could find one in a reasonably good condition, and always leaving a margin for an overhaul if I get a dud, I can get 60 rolls developed.

That covers me for about 2 years at my pace! And the scanner WILL fail one day and have to be replaced.

I can't speak for everyone, but for me this makes sense!

And wifey if happy as there is no monstrous scanner on the desk in the living-room
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Old 11-13-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Hell, you can buy one of those scanners every year (if you only shoot 20 rolls of film per year!) for that kind of money, if you are concerned about longevity of those scanners.
Yes longevity is a concern for me, and scanners as the Minolta in reasonably good condition will get rarer year by year...
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Old 11-13-2015   #7
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I feel it too. I was thinking about getting a V550-V600 for MF at least. Currently I'm sending film to a lab and the Frontier Scans they do are great (3400x2400) for 35mm but the $$ add up nicely and I'm a student on a budget.
Given that I shoot 6x9 sometimes I'd wish for more control and file output and I'm thinking that the slower pace of shooting 6x9 will not make scanning as tedious. Many people have V600s and seem to get quite good results from it for Medium Format.
35mm does seem quite hard though with the sheer quantity of frames and the low true resolution of flatbeds.
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Old 11-13-2015   #8
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I'd still favor a Minolta if I wouldn't need MF scanning too.

I once made a comparison between my choices I had in that moment - I was like you fed up of single frame scanning with the Plusteks and the bad quality of a flatbed. I got tjhe Canon FS4000 that was capable of 6 frame batch scanning at a quality higher than the Plustek.
Here is the whole frame as scanned by the lab
http://kayknofe.de/_Fuji_Frontier.JPG
and here the 100% crop comparison between V500, Plustek8200, lab and FS4000
http://kayknofe.de/ComparesCrop.jpg

The point is: I find that even down scaled to internet size (i.e. sub 1000dpi equivalent) I think one sees a difference if you do not resharpen things - I had something on my server for that too but I can't find it now.
I know it's a different thing if you print with a sane enlargement - but who wouldn't like to have to potential to print bigger
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Old 11-13-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
I feel it too. I was thinking about getting a V550-V600 for MF at least. Currently I'm sending film to a lab and the Frontier Scans they do are great (3400x2400) for 35mm but the $$ add up nicely and I'm a student on a budget.
Given that I shoot 6x9 sometimes I'd wish for more control and file output and I'm thinking that the slower pace of shooting 6x9 will not make scanning as tedious. Many people have V600s and seem to get quite good results from it for Medium Format.
35mm does seem quite hard though with the sheer quantity of frames and the low true resolution of flatbeds.
I think for MF a Flatbed if great. It just doesn't cut it for 35mm film.

I had the V600 and the Canoscan 9000F MkII and I found the Canon better (and cheaper) than the Epson....
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Old 11-13-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k__43 View Post
I'd still favor a Minolta if I wouldn't need MF scanning too.

I once made a comparison between my choices I had in that moment - I was like you fed up of single frame scanning with the Plusteks and the bad quality of a flatbed. I got tjhe Canon FS4000 that was capable of 6 frame batch scanning at a quality higher than the Plustek.
Here is the whole frame as scanned by the lab
http://kayknofe.de/_Fuji_Frontier.JPG
and here the 100% crop comparison between V500, Plustek8200, lab and FS4000
http://kayknofe.de/ComparesCrop.jpg

The point is: I find that even down scaled to internet size (i.e. sub 1000dpi equivalent) I think one sees a difference if you do not resharpen things - I had something on my server for that too but I can't find it now.
I know it's a different thing if you print with a sane enlargement - but who wouldn't like to have to potential to print bigger
Sure, the Canon wins in your comparison! No question!

The lab resolution is 1800 x 1200 according to the file infos, isn't it? Not the full res the Frontier allows, so it could be a draw between Canon and lab scan!
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Old 11-13-2015   #11
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Yeah .. that's true, not even 1000dpi
But still the canon is real 4000dpi - for about 200€ with the problem of a noisy CCD and the difficulty to find one with a good CCF lamp (hence my upgrade to the LED driven Nikon, on a side note: the CCFL produced great colors and was super awesome with C41 b/w films)
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Old 11-13-2015   #12
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I am with the OP as to my feeling about scanning: absolutely hate it and I always have a backlog. I can say that developing is still fun, but scanning . . . . I just can't stand cutting and placing the negatives into the scanning tray. But at the same time I am not paying €11 a roll to have my film scanned. It's a dilemma.
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Old 11-13-2015   #13
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Perhaps I am the only one - I find scanning quite therapeutic. I have scanned in all my old phots, they are now in hanging files, all numbered and cross-referenced.

I find it quite a nice job to judge the scan, then do a little work in PS to make the shot have something special - that is what photography should be about.

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Old 11-13-2015   #14
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For my personal work on the web or cataloging, almost anything will do, as long as it is clean, and not too manipulated. For exhibiting or client work, obviously one has a drum scan made.
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Old 11-13-2015   #15
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I recently switched to a mirrorless digital camera and macro lens setup and haven't looked back. A $20 copy stand, a $10 film carrier, a $50 light pad, and about $150 for a Pentax screwmount macro, adapter, and extension rings. Took a day to get it all set up right and make some Lightroom presets but it's very fast and the results are great.

edit: of course I already had the camera.
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Old 11-13-2015   #16
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i scan mine at 3000x2000, a whole roll of uncut film under 5mins (!) using the Pakon 135+

though no longer cheap (i bought mine at 250 before shipping), it is still worth a look.

http://www.aaaimaging.com/other-equi...m-scanner.html

I still have my 3200 ppi minolta but i keep that around in case i need to scan at grain level.

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Old 11-13-2015   #17
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You're lucky.
Now they charge $375 for non-f version
http://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/400971627205

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
i scan mine at 3000x2000, a whole roll of uncut film under 5mins (!) using the Pakon 135+

though no longer cheap (i bought mine at 250 before shipping), it is still worth a look.

http://www.aaaimaging.com/other-equi...m-scanner.html

I still have my 3200 ppi minolta but i keep that around in case i need to scan at grain level.

raytoei
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Old 11-13-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstep3 View Post
Perhaps I am the only one - I find scanning quite therapeutic. I have scanned in all my old phots, they are now in hanging files, all numbered and cross-referenced.
I have a job for you my friend, 45 rolls to scan, number, date and order
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Old 11-13-2015   #19
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I have the Pakon also from when it cost $250.
It's convenient but not super. I sold my nikon cs50 and the post office broke it in shipping.
It's back now. Anywhere to send it for repair ? (Small plastic internal parts).
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Old 11-13-2015   #20
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Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
I recently switched to a mirrorless digital camera and macro lens setup and haven't looked back. A $20 copy stand, a $10 film carrier, a $50 light pad, and about $150 for a Pentax screwmount macro, adapter, and extension rings. Took a day to get it all set up right and make some Lightroom presets but it's very fast and the results are great.

edit: of course I already had the camera.
This is the route I'd go at this point.
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Old 11-13-2015   #21
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I would normally get a basic scan at the lowest resolution when I process my colour film in the lab, it's 3$ more. It gives me a sort of a digital contact sheet, the prints I like I re-scan on my Coolscan IV and then print. The rest I kiss goodbye Scanning whole roles is tedious and unpleasant
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Old 11-13-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k__43 View Post
I tried that route too but it didn't work out for me. At 11€ you get 1000dpi scans and my experience with automated lab scanners is that they rank up the contrast a lot to give you shots that seem to pop (which also makes it easier to get shadow and highlight color balance in check). - as in your examples
I get the same deal locally here btw.
Well, my first impression was that this were HDR shots.
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Old 11-13-2015   #23
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When I pay for lab scans I understand I'm paying for convenience (of having someone else do it) more than quality (high res but often over processed or too contrasty)
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Old 11-13-2015   #24
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Frontier or Noritsu scans can be exquisite. Just have to use a good lab.

I'd go crazy if scanning was strictly flatbed...

Pakon for C41 and B&W rolls (5 min for 36 exp) for me...
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Old 11-13-2015   #25
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Well, my first impression was that this were HDR shots.
The first B&W she was jazzed up somewhat, I admit, bit the color scans were just touched up in Lr, some clarity, contrast and sharpening (not much), essentially.
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Old 11-13-2015   #26
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OK, so I'd like to see the originals because what I see now is not what I would want returned from a lab. But I agree already that those might not say much either as a raw scan often needs work.

Otherwise I do agree, scanning is just too much hassle and I'd like to take it out of my flow as well. That's why I came to the thread. but after the images I wasn't convinced at all that it would be an alternative.
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Old 11-13-2015   #27
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In the US, scans by Precision (sponsor here) and North Coast Photographic Services are excellent. I can do a little better with my Coolscan V, but only with quite a bit of work. The downside is that jpg (8-bit/channel) is the only option.

Frontier and Noritsu can do good scans. Most mini-labs did scans only good enough for 4x6 prints, in my opinion.
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Old 11-13-2015   #28
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And, MiniMoke, your images look good. Thanks for sharing them.
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Old 11-13-2015   #29
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OK, so I'd like to see the originals because what I see now is not what I would want returned from a lab. But I agree already that those might not say much either as a raw scan often needs work.

Otherwise I do agree, scanning is just too much hassle and I'd like to take it out of my flow as well. That's why I came to the thread. but after the images I wasn't convinced at all that it would be an alternative.
OK Spanik, here are the original files, original resolution - only .jpg but untouched downloads from the lab. I'll be happy to have your opinion!

Now please all also consider that these pictures were not made with some fancy Leica and Summilux lens, but with my humble Olympus XA and the film is just a Fuji Superia X-Tra 400 ASA.

Lehnen400002925-08 by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr

Lehnen400002925-13 by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr

Lehnen400002925-20 by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr

Lehnen400002925-06 by Frank Lehnen, on Flickr
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Old 11-13-2015   #30
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And, MiniMoke, your images look good. Thanks for sharing them.
Thanks you honour
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Old 11-13-2015   #31
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And, now, the full size scans look good. I'm betting these are the same scans I get from the two places I mentioned.
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Old 11-14-2015   #32
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
i scan mine at 3000x2000, a whole roll of uncut film under 5mins (!) using the Pakon 135+

though no longer cheap (i bought mine at 250 before shipping), it is still worth a look.

http://www.aaaimaging.com/other-equi...m-scanner.html

I still have my 3200 ppi minolta but i keep that around in case i need to scan at grain level.

raytoei
Saw a video of the Pakon in action. I don't know about the results but the operation is like a dream come true! You start with the roll of negatives - no cutting, no straightening, no fitting into a damned holder - just get it started and five minutes later you have the scans.

I'd like to get one, but the price has reportedly skyrocketed and you apparently have to have a windows operating system. On top of that I wonder whether it could work on a 240 volt electrical system.

Is there any other scanner that operates this easily?
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Old 11-14-2015   #33
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To the OP

Sorry for diverting attention from the main concern of your thread. The scans look good to me, but I cannot pay €11 per roll plus the very high mailing costs from Norway. I will say costs are relative: here I was paying the equivalent of €25 a roll before I acquired my flat bed scanner.
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Old 11-14-2015   #34
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OK Spanik, here are the original files, original resolution - only .jpg but untouched downloads from the lab. I'll be happy to have your opinion!

Now please all also consider that these pictures were not made with some fancy Leica and Summilux lens, but with my humble Olympus XA and the film is just a Fuji Superia X-Tra 400 ASA.
Well, that is far more in line of what I'd expect. I think that is an acceptable quality. Now the question is reduced to would I pay that price for it? I recently did some Provia 100 slide film with the V700 and the result is about the same. But the work involved is a lot more. Just getting the dust off, putting the film in the holder, making sure it is flat etc makes this a very unrewarding experience. Certainly if you compare this to the same slide projected. So yes, I could see it as an alternative to home scanning.

I can see why you did the changes to the raw scan now. Probably not what I would do, but that is a matter of taste.
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Old 11-14-2015   #35
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Saw a video of the Pakon in action. I don't know about the results but the operation is like a dream come true! You start with the roll of negatives - no cutting, no straightening, no fitting into a damned holder - just get it started and five minutes later you have the scans.

I'd like to get one, but the price has reportedly skyrocketed and you apparently have to have a windows operating system. On top of that I wonder whether it could work on a 240 volt electrical system.

Is there any other scanner that operates this easily?
I guess other minilab scanners are comparable in convenience (and some models superior in resolution) but they usually are also more costly.

The power adapter of the Pakon will work from anything from 100 to 240 V, no problem there. People are running it on a virtual machine off Apple or modern Windows OSs it seems, but the easiest thing is to have a dedicated older box wich runs Windows XP.

The results are quite good if you can live with the 2000x3000 pixels resolution limit. I especially like that it also gives very nice b&w scans. I bought two of the Pakons when the price was still low (around 300), I am not sure if I would pay 500 or more for such a unit.
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Old 11-14-2015   #36
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Exclamation

Quote:
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Well, that is far more in line of what I'd expect. I think that is an acceptable quality. Now the question is reduced to would I pay that price for it? I recently did some Provia 100 slide film with the V700 and the result is about the same. But the work involved is a lot more. Just getting the dust off, putting the film in the holder, making sure it is flat etc makes this a very unrewarding experience. Certainly if you compare this to the same slide projected. So yes, I could see it as an alternative to home scanning.

I can see why you did the changes to the raw scan now. Probably not what I would do, but that is a matter of taste.
Yeah, I just appreciate the quality of the scans - certainly better than anything I got out of my V600 or 9000F MkII scanners, better also than the Plustek 8100 and a bit better than my Coolscan IV (LS-40).

I had to sell all those scanners over the last year and of course there's the time and work used up by scanning.

As to the processing of the negs, well every one had got his own (bad) taste!
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Old 11-14-2015   #37
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I guess other minilab scanners are comparable in convenience (and some models superior in resolution) but they usually are also more costly.

The power adapter of the Pakon will work from anything from 100 to 240 V, no problem there. People are running it on a virtual machine off Apple or modern Windows OSs it seems, but the easiest thing is to have a dedicated older box wich runs Windows XP.

The results are quite good if you can live with the 2000x3000 pixels resolution limit. I especially like that it also gives very nice b&w scans. I bought two of the Pakons when the price was still low (around 300), I am not sure if I would pay 500 or more for such a unit.
Thanks for your post - very encouraging. But a Pakon 135+ on e-bay with the asking price of $799 has sixteen people watching it! Rather discouraging . Still looking for an alternative to my flatbed scanner so that I can shoot film at some volume; otherwise it seems like I will have go more toward digital.
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Old 11-14-2015   #38
FujiLove
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The other advantage of the Pakon is the extremely good colour balance. It has built in profiles for a lot of film, and does a good job even with the ones it doesn't understand. I think this is because it scans the whole roll in one go, so it can compare all the images to eliminate colour casts.

If you get one, make sure you join the Pakon Facebook group. They will get you set up and running.
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Old 11-15-2015   #39
traveler_101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
The other advantage of the Pakon is the extremely good colour balance. It has built in profiles for a lot of film, and does a good job even with the ones it doesn't understand. I think this is because it scans the whole roll in one go, so it can compare all the images to eliminate colour casts.

If you get one, make sure you join the Pakon Facebook group. They will get you set up and running.
Colour photography doesn't matter too much for me; I've been shooting 100% b&w now for the last few years - though I suppose if I got one of these scanners I could revisit that decision.

I found this (apparently lesser) related model on e-bay. Anyone have an opinion on it?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nexlab-F-135...QAAOSwuMFUlErs
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Old 11-15-2015   #40
robert blu
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Being now more involved in instant photography I'm not shooting much conventional film lately, sometimes I shoot Cinestill 50 and send them to this lab for developing and scanning.

To my eye quality is good enough and the price convenient (it would be different if shooting a lot as I did times ago).

robert

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