You now can say "hi" in Russian if you can read Cyrillic. That was my Flickr moment of the day :)
Frequent readers know that I am much more passionate about film photography than digital. See those articles:
- Should you buy an full frame DSLR or invest in Medium Format gear ?
- What does it take to start shooting film ?
- What could be the best camera in the world?
However, shooting film raises a question: how do you get a digital version of your shots? Well the best way for me is to get a negative scanner, or a scanner that can scan negatives. The difference? There used to be scanner just for negatives, working magnificently, but there are no more on the market for a few reasons: they were more than 3000$ and demand was little.
Now most people use a flatbed scanner that can scan negatives. Flatbed you said? It means a normal one if you prefer, the ones with a glass, a hood on top etc.
The great news is: best flatbed scanners perform just as well as dedicated used to , and cost much much less: about 10-15% of the price of the other. Also, they allow you to take all film sizes, and not only 35mm. That is a huge plus.
Today I'll review what I believe is the most well spread scanner for that purpose on the market, the Epson V700 Perfection (yes, they dared).
Now the next 5 lines are for those who are reading that on their smart-phones and won't go all the way down as their bus is about to reach destination:
- get one, it does the job well at a reasonable price
- no the V750 (one version above) offers nothing that is worth the extra bucks
- yes it does from 35mm to large format, and normal scanning too, comes with a decent scanning software and costs about 550$.
- the only flaw: the film holders are kinda crap, it's much better to scan against the glass, but it requires flat films or a anti newton glass.
Now the detailed version for tablet users bored in the train:
- Dual lens system, can go up to 6400 dpi (on a 6x7 neg, you can images that are so ridiculously big your computer pukes them out of indigestion)
- 16 bits per pixel in BW, 48 in color
- USB 2.0
- film holder for 35mm (20 shots), medium format (6 to 8 shots) , large format and slides.
- Comes with a LaserSofr Imagine SilverFast, Photoshop Element, Epson Scan
- Has a dust removal technology
- you can scan normally (normal paper), on the glass or on the holders
- the most important: image quality
- scanning speed
- reliability (so far mine is a rock and trust me, it's been thru a lot)
- ease of use
- software is simple and work well
- film holders have adjustable height. More or less a few millimeters, etc. However, since film rarely is flat, and the holders only pinch fil on the edge, the film gets curvy in the middle, hence out of focus. You simply can't solve it unless you buy better film holders with a anti newton glass to compress them flat. For that reason I shoot on the glass, and use small yet heavey metal parts to keep the film flat. My anti newton glass order is pending. Once you have one (70$), it's a perfect system.
- the software works well, but sometimes bugs and get you kinky stuff with color negs. For example, the color rendering on the preview has nothing to do with the final file. Rare occurrence, just relaunch.
- Too much anti dust removes actual details from the picture. Just clean your stuff.
Would I recommend it: yes, a million times .
When I got it, I wanted to be independent with my medium format scans, not rely on the cost of printing, and have the freedom to do with scanning what i'd do in a dark room if I had the time and the skills. This brings me the best of both world, film for shooting, digitalization for everything else.
I had one main ask, I wanted ultra sharp, beautiful rendering that would honor my Mamiya RZ67. It does it brilliantly.
Last but not least, you can get huge files for super large printing.
Example 1, Trix 400 at 1200 Dpi + crop on 120 film.
Example 2, Portra VC, (crop soon to come)