Cheap medium-format film scanner?
November 20, 2005 8:59 PM   Subscribe

Is there an inexpensive film scanner capable of processing medium-format negatives (120 film, 6x6)?

As far as I can tell, none of the local photo labs actually print photos anymore: they just scan the negatives and print the scans out on photo paper, using a fancy inkjet printer. If that's all they're going to do, I figure that I might as well just scan the negatives myself, and use Ofoto on the rare occasion that I actually want prints. Problem is, it's a bunch of work correcting images scanned with an ordinary flatbed, and all the consumer-oriented film scanners seem to be incapable of processing anything larger than 35mm. Am I out of luck or is there some cheap film scanner which can be adapted to handle 6x6 negatives?
posted by Mars Saxman to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
my ex-girlfriend has an epson 2450 which came with a variety of holders, which could accept 6x6 (and even 6x7, 6x9 as I recall?) the latest epson is a 3200 or something, and has the same features as far as I know. it did a pretty good job in my experience (but of course nothing close to drum scan)

of course it was a slow process as it could not scan more than a few frames at a time.

if there really is not a color lab in your city that will make real prints from negatives, maybe there is one that will print from positives -- cibachrome/ilfochrome or even fuji pictrostat... (assuming you don't mind shooting slide film)

but I have to imagine there are still pro labs in seattle, no doubt someone will weigh in with one.
posted by dorian at 10:01 PM on November 20, 2005

I have several epson flatbed scanners that can scan transparencies and they're great. I get better prints from those scans and output on an R1800 printer than the local labs have given me. Last I checked, the 4990 flatbed is the best Epson has (not quite as good as advertised but still very good). Get the Pro model, use DigitalICE, and scan away. It supports 35mm, med-formats, and 4x5 large-format. It's better with med- and large- formats than 35mm, but you'll still get good results with 35mm.
posted by mumeishi at 8:25 AM on November 21, 2005

usenet will also prove quite a good source of advice, if no-one else happens to comment on this -- the people in that particular group are quite knowledgeable and friendly.
posted by dorian at 5:50 PM on November 21, 2005

Thanks for the tips.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:11 AM on November 22, 2005

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