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Scanning 35mm film negatives.( a flat bed story)

Scanning negatives

I don’t know you but here in Montreal; where I live; is expensive to develop and print 35 mm film rolls, specially when you become really excited after you buy a few good films like t-max or tri-x 400 or that good ektar 100,

you will definitely want to shoot more and more often, and that my friend is a lot of money. So trying to cut some expenses I started to figure out a solution that could allow me to still shooting with films and don’t forced me eventually to sell my equipment.

The Epson v550

In my research plan my main idea was to get an old dedicated film scanner but once I saw the prices I got disappointed, I couldn’t afford 700, 800 or 1000 dollars on just a scanner, instead with that money I could buy a new mirrorless camera!!! (I would love to)

So I decided to don’t spend more than 100$ on a scanner that could help me to still shooting films, developing for cheap and digitalizing my shots and in that way I could still having good results and “IF” I need to print in a really good resolution then I could go for a dedicated Photo studio that could provide that service with better scanners. Then I was introduced to the Epson v550, not the best in the line but good for me, I bought it used in a Photo Studio near my place.

Is an old fella!, is slow and grumpy and make noises haha, but do the job well and every time surprised me more.

It will take a fair amount of space in the desk. The front has 4 buttons: PDF, email, copy and start, there’s also a “ready and error” LED lights. The ON/OFF button is located in the right side of the unit

This is the 35mm film negatives tray

This is the 35mm film negatives and slides tray

And this one is the medium format tray

The v550 is relatively easy to use, the software kind of sucks but once is set up it can work nicely, I tried Vuescan and Silverfast and actually I like more the Epson Scan. As I said before, I’m actually really impressed with the results of the scans.

You have to be really careful with the trays, they are more in the weak side, so keep it in mind when you are handling the trays and films.

This photo is an example of what this scanner can do


*Optical Resolution 6400 dpi

*Scan documents, Photos up to 8.5 x 11.7’’

*Color Depth 48 bit

*Dmax 3.4

*Scan 35 mm Negatives and Slides

*Scan Medium Format Film

*Upload to photo-sharing & Cloud sites

*OCR & PDF Creation Software included

*Programmable 1- touch Scan Buttons.

My verdict ?:

I’m quite happy with this scanner, mine is a little bit old and beat up but still performing well, some old dust residue on the main screen but I can fix it on post, anyways you will need to spend some serious time in front of the computer if you want to digitalize your photos with this scanner, as I said, its slow and only can scan in small batches so then take your favourite Photo editing software and clean the crashes and dusts of your scans. Overall is a good buy, if you can afford a better more expensive like the v700 then go for it, if you are only starting and want to try first, then go for the v550. Anyways, enough with the bla bla bla, go and trigger that shutter !!! see you soon.

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