So as you may know from previous posts I have a love for old film cameras and have many in my collection (actually I have added a few since the last mention but I’ll cover that in another post).
Recently (since the beginning of the year) I have been taking some of them out for a bit of exercise which has been fun. But, that doesn’t get them seen anywhere outside my house now does it.
So obviously I needed to digitise them and after investigating a few options like building my own rig to use my SLR as a scanner or using a bought slide attachment for the SLR both of which would have been successful. I decided instead (especially as my SLR is going) to buy a proper scanner. Mainly because I wanted it to be easy to do rather than a complicated project of mounting and lining up and getting the light right etc.
Having decided a scanner was the way to go I then looked at what was out there in my price range – I’m the lower end of the market. There are two options immediately available; dedicated film scanners and flatbed scanners. Flatbed scanners have the advantage of being flexible enough to do documents and film negatives in various sizes. Flatbed seemed like a good option and people seemed to rate them, but I still had doubts something told me to keep looking as I felt that a tool dedicated to one thing must be better. I found a very good review site that does a detailed test of lots of different scanners comparing them like for like; I highly recommend it (http://www.filmscanner.info/en/FilmscannerTestberichte.html). In reading these reviews I came across the following sentence; “However it cannot be expected that a flatbed scanner, which is designed to mainly scan reflected light material, will yield as good results when it comes to scanning film material as a pure film scanner” this together with some other comments on other sites convinced me to go for a film scanner.
I had been recommended to look at the OpticFilm 8200i Ai, this was above what I wanted to spend but it had a sister the OpticFilm 8200i SE which was identical other than some clever colour software. This was in my range and so I researched that. The guys at ScanDig had tested it and said it was very good (yay) then right at the end of the review they said that the Reflecta ProScan 7200 was even better – okay better check that out then. Now in the US when I look for Refecta I find nothing, seems only to be available in Europe 😦
After a little more digging I find Prime Image is the name that these scanners go under over here. Being slightly older the price had come down and it was well in my range 🙂
But then I saw it had a bigger brother; a newer model and my favourite scanner review site tells me its in the same image quality range as some of the big Nikon scanners. Hmmm….
So I finally decide to stump up the extra cash and get the XE model.
I’m very pleased with the results so far, it’s very easy to use. I think there is some improvements to be had with a few adjustments here and there. Here are some images taken on Kodak T 400 using my little Voigtlander Vitomatic rangefinder with it’s little 50mm 2.8 fixed lens.