No, not the Police listening "prepping for a bust from the po-po" type Motorola radio scanner, but more about film and slide scanners.

I was digging through my wee treasure trove of old negatives and slides, and I realised that I have a lot of great railway stuff hiding away and I really should pull finger and get them digitised before they go rotten...
Whats more perplexing is that I dont seem to have anywhere near the same number of prints as I do negative frames and thus wonder what I have ever done with all the other photos over the years? Hmmmmm. 

Needless to say I would love to get some of them online, especially the older stuff, so, scratching around on Trade Me I found three options for purchasing a film and slide scanner.

First up is this el cheapo wunder scanner..

a 9MP upright one hit wonder with a price tag of a measly $159.00....
*Outstanding image quality thanks to 9 megapixel image sensor (3696 x 2464) 
*Package includes everything you need to get started 
*Scanner for 35mm film, slides, negatives 
*Stand alone unit (no computer needed) 
*Saves scans as JPEG files to SD card"
Having used a similar cheapo upright that belonged to my father, I was not that thrilled with the results, and concede that the one frame at a time scan is bothersome and time consuming hence I am a bit reluctant to buy one myself.

Next pick out of the bunch is this $350.00 Canon LiDE 700F Scanner USB 2.0 HS flatbed......
Which boasts:
High quality scanning at 4800x9600 dpi 
- 7 EZ buttons allowing you to quickly create a multiple-page PDF file optimized for your originals, as well as copy, scan or e-mail images quickly and easily 
- FARE Level 3, the optimal solution for film scanning 
- Automatic dust & scratch, fading, graininess and backlight correction technology 
- Film scanning: 6 frames of 35mm filmstrip (negative/positive) 
- One-plug-in startup - No power cord needed

Ahhh Canon, a name one can trust. Better resolution, no doubt better quality, powered via USB (take it anywhere!) and does 6 frames of a negative at once. Seems to be good value for money...

Last on the watchlist is this rolls royce luxo barge Canon (mmm cant go wrong there!) $500.00 monster - the mighty Canon CS9000F.

- High-resolution scanning up to 9600x9600dpi and 48 bit input/output resolution. 
- FARE Level 3, the optimal solution for film scanning. 
- Automatic dust & scratch, fading, graininess and backlight correction technology. 
- Continuous scanning of up to 12 frames of 35mm filmstrip or 4 mounted slides. 
- 7 one touch buttons allowing you to quickly create a multiple-page PDF file optimized for your originals, as well as copy, scan or e-mail images quickly and easily. 
- Backlight-style Movable Light Source Film Scan Unit for high speed film scanning. 
- White LED scanning for high brightness scanning. 
- Ultra fast book scanning in 7 seconds. 
- USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface for fast data transfer 
- Instant warm up allows operation virtually the moment the scanner is turned on. 

Type: Flatbed (Film, Photo and document) 
Resolution: Optical resolution/9600 X 9600 dpi (film scanning) 
Maximum Size: Document - A4/Photo - LTR (216 x 297 mm) 
Scan Speed: Preview Speed/Approx. 3 sec. 
12.1 msec/line (4800dpi) 
12.1 msec/line (2400dpi) 
6.1msec/line (1200dpi) 
1.5msec/line (600dpi) 
1.1msec/line (300dpi) 
Greyscale, B & W 
12.1 msec/line (4800dpi) 
12.1 msec/line (2400dpi) 
6.1msec/line (1200dpi) 
1.5msec/line (600dpi) 
1.1msec/line (300dpi) 
0.8-36.3msec/line (Colour, Greyscale, B&W) 
Interface USB 2.0 Hi-Speed 
Dimensions 270 x 480 x 111mm
Hubba hubba, this thing does it all - 12 frames of negatives or 4 slides, makes coffee and poaches eggs too!! It has a massive resolution and would be able to do justice to old photos too. 

The ultimate plan is for said scanner to shared out around the tribe once I have finished with it so the extend family can do all their bits and pieces too, so build quality and robustness is a key factor here.

With WOMAD only 2 weeks away, I might be tempted into splashing out for the CS9000 sooner than one thinks.

I have heard that the Epsom scanners are held in high regard too, but sorry, not this kid! I have owned a couple of Epsom printers and a scanner in the past and they were the worst, most unreliable bit of kit I have ever owned, and have vowed never to return for more.

Being a one-eyed Canon owner, I can really only see one true path here - what say you??


Gary Lowndes
2/27/2013 05:04:55 pm

My Canon scanner (white LED flatbed type, an earlier version of the big beast) has done stirling work making a small dent in my dad's slide collection, he has one of the el-cheapo ones himself but I don't think he's ever taken it out of the box. They're *very* fiddly.

2/27/2013 05:19:55 pm

I have a huge project slowly progressing - scanning bazillions of family negs and slides, prodigy of my 1980's Canon AE1.

A few years ago I bought a Canon CS5600F scanner, looks like the older version of the 9000 and it's had a thrashing, still going strong, and as good as the day I bought it.

Although 9600 dpi is possible with this baby, (tried that and wow amazing but very large filesize) I scan 35mm negs at 3200 dpi to give 22Mb or so uncompressed TIF file size. This provides a compromise between quality (plenty) and filesize.

Manage to do old 620 negs at 2400 dpi too by scanning halves at a time and stiching together in PShop.

BTW my ol' AE1 is still around. Must give it a crack sometime.

Yeah, so through with my one eye, Canon, what else can I see?


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