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Thread: Scanning Facility Recommendations

  1. #1
    brettpatrick
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    Scanning Facility Recommendations

    I searched the forums to find any recommendations for sending medium format film to be scanned. I didn't find many. Gophoto and scancafe seemed to be the two most popular options. Neither of those houses scan above 4000dpi.

    Can you recommend any other labs or individuals that do high resolution drum scans for a good price? USA preferred.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    If you want scans at greater than 4000 ppi it generally means a high-end service, because you won't get much benefit from the extra data unless the person doing the scanning knows what he's doing.

    You might talk to Lenny Eiger:

    EigerPhoto scanning and printing services

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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    AgX Imaging in Sault St. Marie, MI, does Imacon scans for $10. If you don't quite need what Lenny does, this is an economical and recommended option. I've been very happy with the scans which Mike Lussier does, and he doesn't do it "quick and dirty".

    E-6 Film Processing | Digital Scanning | Slide Imprinting | Historical Processor Chrome | AGX Imaging

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    brettpatrick
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Thanks for the leads. I appreciate it.

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    GoPhoto scanned thousands of my family's Rollie negatives at hi-res and they're fantastic. All the work is done here in the US-of-A and they really take pride in their work.

    They scanned the entire PGA (golf) library of photos!
    Brad Husick

  6. #6
    brettpatrick
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Thanks Brad. The problem with GoPhoto is the resolution. I want the ability to make big prints and their scanning tops out at 4000 dpi. I'm looking for 8000.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Brett, do you have any clear indication that your film resolves beyond 4000 ppi?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  8. #8
    brettpatrick
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Lars, no I do not. I am assuming it does since it's 6x6 medium format but its an assumption.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    My own experience, with fine-grained slide film, is that with MF at 4K on a drum scanner the finest detail is mostly grain. This is 6x9 using a Schneider Digitar 120 lens. My guess is that the film (original Velvia 50, E100G) was the bottleneck. With slow black and white film the situation is of course different. And aperture and diffraction plays a huge role of course.

    Why don't you have Lenny Eiger scan one of your sharpest photos at 4K and 8K so you get an idea of what's possible? That Aztek scanner is really good. Imacon is 3200 I think? But high quality better than a low-end drum scanner.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Also, send a couple negs to gophoto as a comparison test. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I know the CEO and he's building a top-notch company.
    Brad Husick

  11. #11
    brettpatrick
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    I'm appreciate all the advice. At this point I need as much resolution as possible to make big prints. I've found an affordable company that is willing to give me a very good price on drum scanning, Big Al's out of Minnesota.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Good to hear Please let us know how it works out.

    BTW ask for wet mounting. It really makes a difference, but it's a lot more work so cheap scans might be dry mounted.
    Last edited by Lars; 4th March 2012 at 21:40.

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    AGx has gone up to $12.50 per scan but I second the recommendation. Mike does a great job using a Hasselblad X5.

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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by brettpatrick View Post
    I'm appreciate all the advice. At this point I need as much resolution as possible to make big prints. I've found an affordable company that is willing to give me a very good price on drum scanning, Big Al's out of Minnesota.
    Big Al's uses a Heidelberg drum scanner, according to their website, but they don't say what model. Most of those are limited to 10 microns scanning aperture, which limits the real hardware resolution. I've seen tests where even scanning at the highest listed resolutions, the actual number isn't even half of that, and worse, because it's interpolated in one direction, you often see stair stepping in those scans on diagonals.

    Most medium format films just don't have enough information to warrant scanning above 4000 ppi, not to mention that most of the lenses don't either. You have to have a very sharp emulsion with the sharpest lenses shot at the optimum apertures on a very stable tripod. In those rare instances, you will see a small increase in resolution on the scan, which may or may not make it back onto the print. You'd be surprised at just how well a great 4000 ppi unsharpened drum scan interpolates up. In many cases it's just as good and less expensive and faster.

    I have my own Howtek 8000 HR and have done extensive testing on all sorts of different films at both 4000 and 8000 ppi and I speak from experience. There are only a few emulsions that make any sense - things like Velvia 50 - sometimes, T-Max 100, Technical Pan, and that's about it. On every drum scanner I'm aware of that can scan higher than 4000, they all jump from 4000 to 8000 with nothing in between. The Howtek 7500 does 5000 ppi in hardware and drops in one step to 2500. And when I talk about the highest resolution scanners, I'm talking about those that have an actual 3.17 micron aperture to generate that rez.

    You seem to think you need all this resolution because someone told you that you did. Or something. How big are you planning on printing, and on what material with which printer? I suggest having two scans made by someone that really knows their craft and has either a Howtek/Aztek 8000 or an ICG and making comparative test prints at full size - and not just small crops, as they change your perception of how the larger full print will look.
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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    I scan that size for clients
    I use Heidelberg Tango XL Drum Scanners (max 11000 ppi true optical 16bit Lab)
    These are oil mounted, meticulously done. I have over 30 years experience drum scanning and have used many different types of scanners over the years.
    These things take time to do properly and with attention to fidelity of the original.
    For scans that large (500MB-1.2GB-8bit 1-2GB-16bit) I typically charge $150/scan that size and need at least 10 at a time to make all the work worthwhile.
    I have done larger from 4x5-11x14 film for certain photographers and museums, but that is probably what you are looking for here.
    You want to do large prints? How large? Inkjet? Substrate? RIP? Color? BW? Who is printing them and with what? These all matter.
    For instance, a 6x6cm trannie at 8000PPI could comfortably print 10feet square. You want to print that large or are you cropping a small part to say 8ft x 4 ft?...it makes a difference.
    As others have noted here, your originals need to be able to resolve the difference, but so does your printer, your substrate...and on and on...
    Lots to it obviously...

    The scanning biz has wained over the last 5-10 years so I am selling one of my scanners and replacing with a modern MFD system from my product studio. Recent tests have shown it to be the drum scanner's equal and at a much cheaper price point per original (For scans that size we are talking about half or $80)

    If interested, pm me

    Good luck to you in any case, enjoy!

    Eric
    Last edited by Egor; 6th January 2016 at 20:07.

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    Re: Scanning Facility Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    I scan that size for clients
    The scanning biz has wained over the last 5-10 years so I am selling one of my scanners and replacing with a modern MFD system from my product studio. Recent tests have shown it to be the drum scanner's equal and at a much cheaper price point per original (For scans that size we are talking about half or $80)
    Eric refers to our DT Film Scanning Kit. Bests the best drum scanners out there. Hundreds of times faster. Not really important if you're scanning one or two frames; critical if you're doing any meaningful volume.

    Also, with our system, in addition to the standard TIFF delivery it's possible to provide a raw file compatible with Capture One or LightRoom where drum scanners either produced a TIFF (losing the advantages of a raw workflow) or a raw file only compatible with their own software (which basically no one has anymore and which isn't developed for the future).
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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