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Thread: scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

  1. #1

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    I switched from film, 35mm, 6x9, and 4x5 to digital 4 years ago and now have returned to film. My darkroom had been condemned by building inspectors as it was in the basement of a hotel, and the chemicals were not allowed there. I now live in a condo, but local codes in VT make darkrooms iffy.

    Having donated my enlarger and lenses to a photo school, I used a 1999 UMAX Powerlook scanner with transparency adapter with mediocre results.
    The software provided by Umax gave terrible tones and colors. I tried a demo of Silverfast 6 Ai and was amazed at the increase in sharpness, clarity and tonality in color and b/w. The only hitch is why spend $300 plus for the software when the scanner on Ebay gets less than $50.

    I have been looking at the Microtek 1800f which sells for around $900, and includes Silverfast 6 A1. I know it will handle the 4x5 film and allow prints up to 30x40. I am uncertain about the 6x9 film, as the scanner has only 1800 x 3600 dpi optical, and may be limited on enlargement sizes. I shoot b/w ISO 100, and color negs.

    As a 73 year old amateur with limited gallery exposure I want to expand my photo horizons. This my first post to this site, although I read the messages often. Any ideas will be appreciated.

    Jim Latchis

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    View Camera has an article on scanning large format film in our May issue.

    steve simmons

  3. #3

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    I own a Microtek 1800f. I like it a lot.

    A lot is going to depend on how large you're going to print. If you're getting a printer that's not capable of printing wider than 17", then you can probably buy a scanner like the 1800f, scan 4x5 and 6x9 on it, and be pretty happy.

    If you're planning on making 30x40 prints from 6x9 negatives, you're probably pushing the envelope a bit. But then, you' be pushing the envelope no matter what you do going from 6x9 to a 30x40 print.

    Scanners for 120 film exist which can give you far higher resolution scans than the 1800f will do.

    To get better than the 1800f for 4x5, you're getting up there in price, at least last time I checked.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5


    Here is a link to another part of this site where there is a scanner comparison. Other scanners will be added soon.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    I just went through the same process. I also considered the Microtek 1800, but settled on the Epson 4990 Pro version with Silverfast. I am positively impressed. I have also a Nikon CoolScan 4000 ED for 35 mm runing under Nikonscan and the results in terms of tonality and shadow/highlight detail are comparable. I printed one 4x5 Velvia 100F scan (780 MB) on an Epson R1800 and was blown away. Particularly the lack of any grain on a 13 x 19 inch print is simply stunning [A Kodachrome 64 35 mm slide printed to that size does show some grain]. Re color, consider investing in color management. The Epson 4990 pro comes with MonacoEZcolor 2.6. I also bought the Monaco Optix spider for proper monitor calibration. The screen images (in PS proof mode for particular paper) and the prints now look for all intents and purposes identical.

    I did print an older scan that is accepted with a stock agency, and found it a tad off looking at them on the now calibrated monitor. After minor color adjustments, the print was just as seen on screen. So I am a 150% convert of color management.

    my 2c. Good luck.
    Daniel Geiger
    geiger at vetigastropoda dot com

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    I use a Nikon 9000 scanner and an Epson 4990.

    The Nikon is a phenomonal instrument - easy to use and excellent results. However, for scanning brownie film, I highly recommend the optional glass film holder - the film 120 holder that ships with the scanner isn't very good at holding the film perfectly flat.

    The Epson is an OK scanner. It's limited dynamic range is evident in some of the higher contrast scans.

  7. #7

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    Thank you for the replies. I later did a search in this site and found many who favored the Epson 4990 over the Microtek 1800f, even though the Dmax was lower. As was stated on Ken Rockwell's site you can always order the 4990 at Amazon, give it a whirl and return it if not satisfied.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    " . . .found many who favored the Epson 4990 over the Microtek 1800f even though the Dmax was lower."

    Manufacturer's dMax numbers , at least in the price ranges you're talking about, are meaningless, pay no attention to them. There is no industry standard for testing and stating dMax in a scanner so the manufacturers apparently just come up with a number in any way that looks best for their scanner.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    After some initial disappointments with my 1800f I am now producing scans of very high quality. This scanner has a high potential but it takes some work and modifications to get there.

    Mods include AR-coated glass in the glass transparency tray, diconnecting the reflective bulb (Silverfast keeps the reflective lamp on while scanning transparencies, which gives stray light and heats up the scanner), and moving the power supply out of the scanner.

    However, where this scanner excels is for 8x10" transparencies, as there are few scanners in this price range that can scan 8x10 trannies. For 4x5 and smaller I would take a very close look at the Epson. Of course, for 6x9, a dedicated film scanner like the Nikon 8000/9000 would blow the Epson (and any other prosumer flatbed) away.

  10. #10
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    scanner for 6x9 and 4x5

    Hello Jim,

    Take a look at the View Camera article ... I wrote it .... then contact me if you have additional questions. Next, depending on where you are in Vermont you may want to come over and see how the 1800f performs. I also have the 1899f's low price brother, the i900. Finally, my last scanner was a PowerLook III and I ran it with Vuescan. I believe I can show you some comparison 4x5, 8x10 and 6x9 transparancy scans.

    Our tests, and those you will se where Ake sent you showed that you see significant differences in the ability of the higher priced scanners to retreive shadow detail. If you are intent on printing larger than 11x14 you should look at the 1800f or higher.

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