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Learning to Scan Medium format Images


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I knew when I decided to go back to shooting film I was going to have to learn to scan in my MF film negative. I already own a dedicated BenQ 35mm Digital Scanner and I bought an Epson 700 with Digital Ice for my medium format.

I am still in the learning process with the Epson and I am wondering if anyone here has come across any website where they were able to quickly learn the best way to setup and scan their negatives with a flat bed similiar to what I have. Silverfast SE was included but I have read that some prefer Vue Scan software. Does anyone here have any opinions on this?



Well-Known Member
MF forum has its own section about scanning.

Other users have reported about Epson V 700 and V750 scanners.

From a test about Epson scannners I remember the 700 end the 750 have about the same performance.
The V750 does not reach the DPI Epson says it should give not even half that figure. The V700 is just as good as the V750.

look here:
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You should be happy that you got the V700 rather than the V750, which is
pretty well just as good, as previously mentioned. I use a V700 with VueScan Pro which works very well. The version of Silverfast bundled with the scanner is pretty lame. VueScan works very well as long as you take time to learn how to use it, it's not as user friendly as some packages. I scan slides and negs at 3200 ppi, any higher means very large files. Transparencies are pretty easy but with negs you have to very carefully adjust parameters until you get decent results, then save the settings. Scan to 16 bit "raw" tiffs or DNG if you wish ( I find it's of no advantage). If you get VueScan, make sure it's the Pro version and read the help and tutorials on the VueScan site, you have to do this if you're to get the best results.

I find the V700 a decent scanner, especially for the price, but it will never give pin sharp grain, unfortunately. The only way to get this is to spend a LOT more.


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I understand that if you do a wet scan, you get an increase in color saturation and better resolution especially towards the edges or all across the film because only wet scanning keeps the film prefectly flat. Another plus seems it conceals sctratches. Only cons are harder to keep dust away and dealing with the wetting agent. Definetely not for volume scanning. Some people see a clear increase in quality. There are 2 places I know that have inexpensive adaptors for the V series scanners. One is Better scanning and the other is
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Please post your findings and results.

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Good discussion so far.
Has anybody got an example of a wet scan vs a dry scan?
Also an example of a scan on a V700 etc vs a Nikon coolscan or more expensive equipment?


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I don't think I have any examples to give you, but personally I wouldn't go without wet mounting any longer. There is a big difference with the scans, especially with the V750/V700.

I've personally made 30x30 prints with scans made from the V750. It takes a lot of work getting the sharpening skills down. Once it's done, though, it looks pretty darn good. Of course you can get a sharper image right off the bat with a Nikon 9000 or a Hasselblad scanner, but those aren't options, so you use what you have. Look up and follow how some people do their sharpening and you'll start developing your own technique. Everyone does things differently and each slide and each resolution has a different sharpening technique.

As for the software itself, after months of trying to decide whether to upgrade or not, I ended up upgraded my Silverfast to the latest version they have on their website. The latest version has the Multi-exposure feature and I had heard some horror stories about it. I actually experienced the double-image people reported, but I found that if your slide doesn't pop because of the heat difference or it's wet mounted then you don't need to worry about it. If it does pop because it's not wet mounted, just let the slide/neg cool off and try again.

Hope that helps a little.

Good luck!



Well-Known Member
Does anyone have recommendations regarding the best software for use with V750? I notice that I'm not happy with my transparencies.


my two cents here :)
I have the coolscan and I HATE it! I guess it's a horses for courses but I do 80% black and white and the cold led light of all the coolscans is terrible with black and white. Grain, grain and more grain. I found the Nikon software typical nikon ... which is to say pretty much unuseable except for small batches. I think it must be orphaned because it only seems to work with my non intel machines (mac osx) and I personally hate the hide and seek interface used to control the settings.

Vuescan is far better as software, but then while it works fine on my two Epsons but it displays only one frame at a time in batch mode. That part there may be some kind of mistake on my part because it is counter to what thought it would work like ... but I can't seem to get it to change. Vuescan is great stuff and it can save raw files. That both saves time and gives much more flexible files for editing later.

So just to put out a contrary voice about the Nikon and indulge in my paranoid tendency to wonder if that review site may not be inept or motivated by selling much more expensive gear ... I think the Nikon is a great scanner - which really dislike using due to the fact that Black and white is very poor with it.
I wonder about german site rating the Epson so poorly. They seem to focus on resolution not being 6400, but somehow overlooking the fact that far better and extremely expensive scanners like imacons scan at what ... 1600 or a bit more? I know that the performance of the epsons can be improved by buying better holders which have an height adjustment on them. Unfortunately I no longer have the site selling these bookmarked (sorry) but apparently it can really make a difference on the 700 and 750's.

For the issue of color correction problems ... what I do is scan clear base (locked exposure) and use it as a grey card of sorts. One click and the rest of the same brand of film is very close to spot on; and using raw makes this very easy. I also use the clear base from each film to make a noise ninja profile to help with grain resulting from scanning noise.

Like I said .... my two cents worth ... in a world where two cents no longer even buy ya chewing gum. :D


Active Member

`i think the site you are referring to is"Scandig DE, a german site, which really goes into the theory and usage of both Epson scanners, the reflecta, and the Nikon 9000; they also say that these scanners do not get anywhere near their claimed resolution.


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hi Pavel
i dont understand this. i use a 9000 scanner my self and think its very good also for bw.
what is this cold light ? The files are gray scale anyway or are you actually scanning bw with color information? if so isnt this something you could tome in photoshop?

and the grain: i dont understand that you can object the scanner being able to scan the grain? if you dont like the grain you reduce size or scan with lower resolution. personally to me the beautiful grain of film is one of the reasons to stay with film versus digital. digital grain is terrible...



Well-Known Member
I've read comments like this "digital grain is terrible" (vs the beautiful grain of film) before, but I honestly don't understand it. Perhaps if a person was never going to scan the film (ie stick with a analog and wet darkroom process/print), but if you scan the film, you now have "digital grain" of one sort or the other. It might even be an exaggerated form of digital grain (ie. grain twice removed/exaggerated).

Frankly, I've never found the grain of film vs digital to be an issue, but maybe I just don't understand what you're looking at.



Active Member

Im sort of asking or starting this to learn because im an amateur.
But here an example of what i mean, well maybe its called noise?
Follow the link below and scroll all down and click "NESTE" (next) in this way go to page 3.
scroll down and there are two pictures with six samples of exposures on two different digital cameras. There you see the grain im talking of. In most cases you cant to my mind have this digital grain because it is ugly.
Theres a difference between the nikon and the canon. The canon making more "color-noise" which is worse.
To my mind film grain is much more acceptable and even nice so you can exposure and/ or blow up even to a degree were you have quite some grain. I dont think that would look good difgitally.
But its also a question of taste.

heres the link:
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BTW excelent article on how to slightly overexpose on digital cameras to reduse noise. Unfortunately norwegian...
I attached an image crop to show what i like with film grain. i sharpened it to emphasise the grain. To me this is beatiful. I attached the full image also. Image scanned on nikon 9000. I forgot the film but can check later.

Another question: in the same article the author explaines how the raw file is working in a way that leaves less data to the shadows than the high light. This is basically (very simplified) why he want to overexpose to get rid of noise. Does the same go for film scanned in a proper scanner? i was quite happy with the nyances in the dark part of the image.

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That is not a nice thing to suggest.
I had Google translate the users manual of my navigation system and ended up with a hairdryer that is no good at all.

Please respect the noble profession of a translator and use the old method: word by word with some understanding of syntaxis to give a readable result.



Active Member
funny translations

i tested the text in google translate and its ok though there are some real funny and entertaining episodes :)