The shift from film cameras to digital cameras was merely a decade ago. There are lots of photographers, architects, medical researchers, and professors who still have a very huge pile of images and negatives they’ve collected overtime, in the digital camera era too. Though they may be very important and dear, they can be destroyed by fire, theft, or aging, then could be lost forever. Nevertheless, using a 35mm film scanner, they can be scanned and saved as JPEG files which can be edited, copied, modified, duplicated or even uploaded online and readily available for eternity.
Nowadays, digital 35mm slide scanners or film slide scanner that are competent to scan negatives also can be purchased for as low as $100 and up to $1500. It is simply a push of the button after placing the negative or slide to the holder on the scanner. The scanner makes a scan of the slide or negative and converts it as a digital image. The only difference between a flatbed scanner and the 35mm film scanner is, the latter has focusing optics making it possible to get high quality image from the slide or negative. These devices include imaging software for image adjustment, resizing, or cropping. With digital image processing software like Adobe PhotoShop, LightRoom, and Google Picasa the scanned images could be modified.
Clearly, your needs, wants, and budget will influence the 35mm film scanner you choose. If you are an art professor by profession, you might want the best scanning done for your pile of slides. On the other hand, if you’re just looking at saving your family pictures you may go for the one that is about $100 – $200. With those cheaper 35mm film scanners, your might want to use PhotoShop, Picasa, or other processing software to make sure the images turn out well. Most of the scanners work with Windows OS and very few work with Mac too, so it’s ideal to check if they work with Mac while buying.
The Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED, which costs $1,200, is an example of a high-end 35mm film scanner. It includes image processing for scans of negative films and has an amazing optical resolution of 4000 dots per inch dpi, just like in printing. Not only this, you can load up to 50 slides for scanning and leave the scanner as it continues on it’s own to get the lot done. At this pace it’s not impossible to scan 200 a day. The automatic slide loader gives it the convenience you’ll need for scanning many slides, and its optics are fantastic: even detail in shadowy areas is reportedly a lot better than expected. This model’s main drawback is common to all 35mm film scanners in that it occasionally jams, but jamming is reportedly rare with this particular model.
On the other end of the price spectrum, the Wolverine F2D costs around $100. However it’s not making high claims about it’s quality. The software and installation of this model is reported to be easier than other scanners in this budget range. A 5 megapixel CMOS camera with a fixed focus lens and white LED lights to illuminate the slides or negatives, form the main components. Exposure and color balance are chosen automatically. Hence, scans of fine negatives give good quality scans, than that of ill-exposed or unfocused ones. Anyways, be advised that a good software like Photoshop would be necessary. Straight from the scanner, the images are reported to be dark with color balance favoring reds and browns, but this is often overcome with PhotoShop. This machine is another good choice for scanning many slides or negatives.
The large pile of film slides or negatives which contain memories of cherish-able moment that are irreplaceable, generate the need for retaining them forever and these innovations hasn’t only made it possible and also easier. In the choice of a 35mm film scanner, it is crucial to be aware of that which you are getting up front. To scan your piled up negatives or slides a scanner worth $100 would be sufficient. For photo lovers, who are looking to save those memories and ready to perform some basic editing this basic equipment would be ideal. However, for preserving archives of historic or otherwise very valuable slides and negatives, then a high-end 35mm scanner like the Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED will be an even more satisfactory choice.
January 12 2011 11:42 am | Uncategorized