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Thread: About scanning negatives (4x5)

  1. #1

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    About scanning negatives (4x5)

    My question is simple (I hope). Is this done on a regular scanner or does one need a "special" scanner (i.e. one desgined specifically to scan film negatives)? I have an HP ScanJet 5300C and was wondering if I could scan it there. Or is it the software that does the job? Do I need special software to accomplish this? Thank you.

  2. #2

    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    Usually, you need a dedicated film scanner. One, because film scanners have a resolution that matches the actual resolution of your film (maximum detail) and Two, because I'm pretty sure that to scan film you need to put light through it, and only film scanners have lighting units.

  3. #3

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    The documentation for your scanner should indicate whether it can scan negatives or not. I have a fairly old Epson with templates to slide 35mm, med. format, or 4x5 negs into. You remove an upper cover to allow a light in the top cover to shine thru the negatives during scanning. Probably a long way from optimal, but it does a credible job.

  4. #4

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    The official spec sheet for the scanner shows nothing about scanning transparencies.

    The term of art here is "transparencies": some (older) scanners allow you to add a "transparency adaptor", while others are designed to scan them, with no adaptor.

  5. #5

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    The official
    The term of art here is "transparencies"
    Pardon my faux pas.

  6. #6

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    bobmysiwyg -

    Oops -

    I wasn't trying to correct anyone. I was just trying to give people a search term, who might be looking for a scanner to handle Large Format slides and negatives.

    I should have chosen my words more carefully. Sorry !

  7. #7

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    No problem. My original response was slanted to my own use, negatives. Transparency would be a more all-encompassing term.

  8. #8

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    Okay, then. Can you guys/gals suggest a good scanner to scan 35mm, MF, and LF (4x5) negatives? I am not going to print from the scan; I just want to scan to, say, post the images on the internet, etc. Even though I don't intend to print from the scans, I do want something that will give me a great image. Thanks.

  9. #9

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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    Literally any flatbed with transparency scanning capability is fine for web resolution.

  10. #10
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    Re: About scanning negatives (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by bensyverson View Post
    Literally any flatbed with transparency scanning capability is fine for web resolution.
    Yes, even ancient ones. I have just put into semi-retirement an old Acer 1240UT. That scanner was only $100 when it was new, and I bet you could find something similar for less than the price of shipping it. It had an optical resolution of 1200 spi, and maybe effectively reached 800, but that is sufficient to make a file of 800x1200 pixels of a 35mm slide.

    I am also searching for one of those slide duplicator attachments that goes onto the front of a 1:1 macro lens. I have the lens, and I think I could run a big stack of old slides through that sort of a device, using my 5D as a "scanner", with good results and far less effort than using a film or flatbed scanner. It won't work for negatives, of course.

    Rick "but avoid those reflective transparency gimmicks" Denney

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