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Flat bed Scanner for Negatives


Well-Known Member
I already have a film scanner ... but have hundreds of old rolls I want to scan and am considering a flat film bed scanner to scan a roll of 35mm at a time. The dedicated film scanner does a great job, but it is just to slow both in scanning and in workflow. Ideally, the flat bed scanner would also do a good job on medium format.

I need to be able to generate a minimum 2 megabyte file from each 35mm frame. Is this realistic? Anybody have any recommendations?
The scanner should also have good software to expedite the ability to quickly save each indidividual frame. And did I mention that alot of these are 30 year old black and whites (Plus X and Tri - X).


I'm an active photographer, but I too have a vast personal archive that I'd like to digitize. I'm interested in hearing experience and ideas for "massive scanning" projects, thanks, Wyatt
The price for a Sony UY-S100 is over $6,000 at B&H. I was thinking more of a low end 300 to 500 dollar unit! Also, the Sony seems to do it in strips, just like a film scanner. I was thinking more in terms of some type of strip loader where you would load all 6 or 7 strips of five to seven negatives and scan the entire roll at once.


I have a Canon D24OOU flat bed scanner which is an excellent scanner generally and received good reviews when it came out and it was a reasonable price. It will have been updated to a new model by now.
But although it will scan 35mm, the scans are not really very good. It is fine with medium format. My understanding is that all flatbeds which will scan film are like that. I didn't know about the Sony mentioned by Craig.
I have the same problem and invested in the Minota Elite 5400 film scanner. It is good but what a job it is scanning all one's old pictures.
I have the Canon FS4000 film scanner and the process is indeed slow: minutes per frame. I suggest you consider a DSLR, macro lens, and film holder. Users of this approach report seconds per frame and, of course, megapixel results equal to the sensor. I was quite impressed by the images.

For color negs, you will need to calibrate the light source, and use a filter to counter the orange mask. B&W should require nothing more than minor post-processing (inversion, levels, gamma).
I have a 4870 for a week now and it has just blown me away. I use it for G2 and Hassy negs. I scanned a 2-1/4 square Kodak 400NC neg at 4800 and printed it on my 7600 with no apparent grain showing and cropped to a 24 by 36. The beautiful quality of the Zeiss lens was fully captured in the 3 dimensionality of the print. Most amazing is that I used the Epson software on "automatic" and it is spot on. The photo is of a beautiful woman with a flawless complexion and the comments I get are "I feel that I can reach into the print and touch her". I couldn't imagine a drum scan giving me a more satisfying result...Tom
I see lots of scanners that will handle 35mm slides and medium format negs. Are there any that handle mounted MF slides?
Hi Juan,

I have a 3200 - and it is ace. I use it for 6 x 4.5 - and it does an excellent job - it comes with the Silverfast software which is pretty extensive (you can find tutorials for this program on their site).

In terms of operation, it is a bit fiddly with medium format negatives/slides because the holder is quite poor to say the least - but you can buy a third party holder or you could make one (which is what I did).

For 35mm, it will take two strips of negatives - and there is a slide holder. I have not had many problems with my negatives & slides, and you can get large files with a lot of detail on them.

In terms of speed - I'm afraid I have nothing to compare it against - but typically a 300dpi scan of a 6 x 4.5 slide will take around a minute (but I don't have a fast machine).

Would I recommend getting one? Yes - especially now that the price has dropped because of the introduction of the 4870.

For those who have ROLLS of 35mm negatives to scan, I have seen (somewhere - about a year ago!!) an adaptor to scan straight off the roll. Unfortunatly, I cannot remember which scanner and manufacturer that was - it may have been one of the high-end Microtek.



for an overview of the different scanners on the market.

Cheers, Saras