How to scan 4x5? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

It's a dummy-question since I'm an ignorant when it comes to computers. I've recently scanned some of my 4x5 slides with a cheap and simple HP ScanJet 5200C Scanner. Some of the slides turned out acceptable in my opinion but most were miserable. The stronger exposed the slides were the better the scanned images looked. Can anyone tell me if I am a complete idiot to even try to scan pictures with that kind of scanner. Are there special scanners for slides (large format) and what does an acceptable one cost. Thanks for every information on how to scan slides, especially how to prevent dust spots.

-- Tom Castelberg (, April 29, 2000


I get very acceptable results from a Mustek 12000p scanner with transparency adapter from 5 x 4, and useable results from medium format. However, if I was in the market for a scanner now, I'd go for the Epson Perfection 1200photo. I've seen really good results from it.

Of course, if money's no object Nikon's LS4500 is very nice.

-- Pete Andrews (, April 29, 2000.

For those who, like me, consider themselves grossly undereducated with respect to scanning, there's a very helpful website I found out about through one of these Greenspun sites:

It may not answer Tom's exact question, but there is a full book or two of helpful info there.

-- Simon (, April 29, 2000.

I use a Microtek ScanMaker 4, which is a print scanner that has a tray below for slides and negatives. Works very well.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, April 29, 2000.

Hi Tom, a friend of mine has a gaget for scanning slides which looks like a tent that he places over the slide. Basically it looks like a 90 degree corner of mirrors. In case of 4X5, I guess it would be two mirrors 4 inch wide by 5 inch long formed so they would make an triangle with the slide at the base. Seems to work for him on a cheap scanner. Good Luck, David

-- david clark (, April 29, 2000.

I have the Microtek Scanmaker 5. I use it primarily to scan 6 x 9 cm slides, but have also done a few 4 x 5 slides with it. It sells for about $1,500.00 now (when it originally came out several years ago it was closer to $5,000.00, I've been told). It does an excellent job; and for 4 x 5 does an even better job. One of the nice things is that it comes with a free calibration utility and a free 4 x 5 Kodak IT8 slide for calibrating; the IT8 slide alone usually costs close to $100.00. You can get better scanners, but not in this price range. I get very nice Ligjhtjet 5000 prints up to 11 x 14" from 6 x 9 cm. You could probably get as large as good 16 x 20 " prints from 4 x 5". There is sometimes noise in the deep shadow areas; as you learn to use the scanner you can minimize the noise with various controls. I sometimes also use the Photoshop despeckle command for shadow noise, which reduces detail, but often h

-- Howard Slavitt (, April 29, 2000.

I too have the Microtek Scanmaker 4 at home and love it. At work we have a Leaf scanner, Polaroid 45 and a Microtek Scanmaker 5. I think for the money, the Scanmaker 4 is the best bet for personal use. The software is really easy to master and is quite intuitive. I have really good results scanning a 4x5 @ 300 dpi. Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (, April 30, 2000.

No matter which scanner you settle on (and Howard's suggestion of the Scanmaker 5 is an excellent one) you need to get a proper Tango drum scan as a reference. West Coast Imaging does excellent work and will take care of your slide better than anyone else around.

I had a Umax Powerlook III for about five months, but after seeing the results from the Tango I sold the Umax to pay for more Tango scans. They're that good. Instead of noise you get shadow detail. I would never bother sending anything less to a Lightjet for output.

-- Darron Spohn (, May 01, 2000.

you don't need to spend a million dollars to get a slide scanner. I am very happy with my brand new UMAX Astra 2000. IT has a built in ransparency scanner up to 4x5. I can also scan my negatives for proofing without printing. Sometimes it takes a little toggling the swithces to get teh best scan but I am very happy w/ the results.

I paid $200 with shipping!

good luck,


-- paul schuster (, May 01, 2000.

Paul, do you mean the UMAX Astra 2200, rather than the 2000? Also, what files sizes do you get when you scan a 4x5 slide at full resolution?

-- Joel Collins (, May 04, 2000.

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