Sweet spot for scanner price + quality?
August 10, 2013 9:47 PM   Subscribe

I need to buy a scanner that can handle photo prints (up to 8.5x11") and also 35mm slides and the occasional glass plate negative, and I'm bewildered by the number of options. Does anyone have a good amount of experience using a make/model for this kind of work that they can recommend?

It will be used only sporadically, so I'd like to keep the cost down, but am willing to make an investment for the long term if there are no good (relatively) inexpensive options.
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The best bang for the buck is probably Canon. The 700F at under $100 has been on my wish list for a while.
posted by kindall at 10:00 PM on August 10, 2013

Mine is older but a Epson Perfection 4490 Photo Scanner or similar is great. Does slides, auto detects type of materials, does multiple photos and corrects for alignment. Flawless.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:22 PM on August 10, 2013

I'm a fan of the CanoScan line, too.
Do glass plate negatives require backlighting to be read, the way film slides do? If so, that particular requirement may be problematic with any contemporary consumer-level scanner.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:36 AM on August 11, 2013

Best answer: The Epson V700/V750 is about as good as it gets for a flatbed film scanner. While neither are cheap, the 700 is considerably cheaper and doesn't really lack any features compared to the 750. I use one for scanning large format negatives up to 8x10, and a museum that I worked at used one for scanning glass plates as well. I've only scanned 35mm film with it a handful of times but it handled that format just fine.
posted by Venadium at 6:14 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Refurbished Canoscan 9000F direct from Canon for $119.99, free shipping. Epson often has similar direct deals, but their current offerings are a lower tier than the 9000F. I haven't used the specific model, but was very happy with a more-or-less equivalent Canoscan model for years. I feel there is a point of diminishing returns at about $200 when it comes to consumer flatbed scanners, especially for 35mm negatives. The price at which flatbeds overcome most of their typical shortcomings (lens diffraction, light diffraction, cheap lenses, poor edge-to-edge focus) is rather steep—see the Epson V700. Not that I don't wish I could afford one.
posted by Lorin at 9:30 AM on August 11, 2013

I have a 5 year old Canoscan 600F. It's a great piece of kit and shows no sign of stopping.
posted by merocet at 10:43 AM on August 11, 2013

If the ability to scan those glass plates is a must, then keep in mind that neither of those Canoscan models can scan large format negatives
posted by Venadium at 3:49 PM on August 11, 2013

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