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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).




New Member
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 Sony UY-S100 can scan a 35mm frame at 6 Megapixel in 11 seconds. See:

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It has a SCSI interface. I don't know the price.

Best Regards,



Well-Known Member
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.




Well-Known Member
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.


Well-Known Member
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).


Maybe someone who has been using Epson Perfection 3200 or 4870 or the CanosCan 9900F will say something? Pretty please?
I have also been thinking about getting a flatbed scanner for my old negatives and slides, and I am tempted by those 3. This is a review of the latest Epson:

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New Member
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


Well-Known Member
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.


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for an overview of the different scanners on the market.

Cheers, Saras


The Nikon Coolscan 5000 has an adapter that will take a roll of 35mm film. This isn't available for the Coolscan V.


Saras, I have also been looking for a good quality scanner and have been considering two Epson models - the 2450 and the 3200. Can you tell me what options are available in terms of third-party holders for medium format? I have been using a Minolta Scan Dual III for 35mm and results have been good - even though the process is very slow. Thanks. Rob


Hi Rob,

I've come across a number of systems that may be helpful.

For negatives this looks the best - although I haven't used it myself.

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Then there is a German system recommended by Silvfast:

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However, this system seems geared for slides and relies on using their slide mounts.

And then there is the DIY option!! I mainly scan mounted slides and found that I could adapt a Kenro product. It's a card about 0.5 cm thick and A4 size whicxh has 6 slots for 6x4.5 slides. You can slide the slide into these slots - they are a firm fit and hold the slide steady and at an acceptable height about the scanning glass (ie. I haven't had any problems with unfocused slides). The card cost me about £6 - which is not a lot compared to the other systems - and of course it is usable and durable. Now, what Kenro product is it? Unfortunatly, I don't have the reference number to hand - but if you are interested, I'll dig it out for you. Please note I am not refering to the black masks they make - I tried using them but couldn't get it to work.

Hope that has been of some help.

Cheers, Saras

PS To all that use flat-bed scanners - do not discount the problem of dust - using a dedicated film scanner is a lot easier in that respective!!


There are two models of Pacific Image Electronic which does a full roll at a time Primefilm 3650u Pro and one for mounted slides PowerSlide 3600.

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I have been using a canon fs4000 film scanner for over a year now, scanning raw files with vuescan and then editing the developed image in photoshop.
having recently compared a 35mm slide scan with that of an epson 4870 i must say that i was fairly disapointed: the epson does deliver a bigger file but detail and sharpness is much lower than that of the canon.
I would only buy it for scanning prints or medium and large format.
I haven't compared my scanner with the minolta 5400 nor the nikon 5000, but i'm sure these newer models will be faster and deliver less shadow noise than the canon...
I had a minolta scan dual and the canon was a big stepup from that... The recent version should be the choice for low budgets, though.


The optics on film scanners are optimized for a
much smaller area than is the case for a flatbed.
So if quality is paramount, I would opt for the first- if cost and versatility matter more, a flatbed is the way to go (especially for medium format).




Well-Known Member
I'm about to purchase an Epson 4870 flatbed scanner for medium format scans. Any comments? Is it worth the extra 200 bucks for the pro version with the ICE software? Can anybody recommend a better scanner for less dollars?

Thanks in advance.



Well-Known Member
Hi Michael.

The Epson 4870 Photo (not Pro) comes with ICE. The difference is the other so called "Pro" software, which is grossly over-priced. Just get the regular one and spend the difference on film or View-Scan.

Note that the 4870 has a D-Max of 3.8, and the new 4990 has a 4.0 D-Max, for not much more $. Check it out at the Epson site
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(where I think they are running a sale right now!)

I've been using the 4870 for a year now and the Hassey shots scan wonderfully.


Active Member
> Don't be influenced by the reported Optical Density capabilities of > any consumer, prosumer or even most professional scanners. The figures > are deceiving and silly. They merely represent the theoretical > capability based on the factory specs of the A to D convertors the > happen to use! Generally speaking, the D Max is more likely to be 3.2 or so. If it were indeed 4.0 it would be worth 4,000 and would carry a spec sheet and certification traceable to the National bureau of standards like other finely calibrated supersensitive instruments.

Still you should read the reviews on the scanners and they are good.