4x5 Slide Scanner needed

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I currently scan medium format slides and would love to find a good quality large format (4x5) transparancy scanner.

I understand Nikon had the 4500 that would do 4x5 but now the new releases don't seem to provide for 4x5

Any recommendations would be appreciated (not flat bed scanners)



-- Larry Gaskill (covenant@essex1.com), April 05, 2001


New scanner will be on the market in 2 months, look promising at the "market price" Canon D2400uf with carrier for transparencies up to 4x5


-- Martin VanMeter (vanmeter@ace-plc.com), April 05, 2001.


You're looking for a dedicated film scanner, not a flat bed, like the Canon correct?

-- J (jimzpace@yahoo.com), April 05, 2001.

I am lucky enough to have a friend with a Polaroid SprintScan 45, which looks outwardly alot like the Nikon you refer to. This is a fabulous scanner with the exception of the 4x5 carrier which only allows for a scanning area of roughly 3.6 x 4.6 inches and makes it difficult to scan the edges of a sheet of film because of the design.

It produces extremely rich and accurate scans with absolutely no loss of shadow detail. It is also very fast. The specs from polaroids website say : 2500x2500dpi single pass, Dmax=3.8, 5 minutes at maximum resolution.

He paid something in the neighborhood of $8k many years ago for it. There is a newer model which has higher resolution and costs in the mid $3k range I believe. I wonder if there is a better holder available though.

-- Richard Ross (ross@hrl.com), April 05, 2001.

Hello guys I have for sale the polaroid 45 sprintscan, an x-demo, definitely not a used scanner! for AUS$5,500 + shipping costs (its best if you have a UPS/Fedex account number). With the cheap aussie dollar it is a good buy for US buyers out there!

-- Renee Galang (r.galang@chisholm.vic.edu.au), April 05, 2001.

Larry, Don't waste your money on all those High end scanners. Check out he Epson 1200U Photo scanner. For a few hundred (not thousands) it will scan up to a 4x5 negative or slide. It also does regular flatbed scanning as well so you can digitize prints when the negatives can't be found. You can go up to the 1600U if you really want the top of the line but the 1200U does fine. Make sure you get the Photo model which comes with the lid with the neg/slide scanner attachment. Check it out at the epson site and then check prices on ebay. Good Luck. Doug

-- Doug Theall (rooster_two@yahoo.com), April 05, 2001.


You didn't mention what you planned to do with the scans of your transparencies. That is a key question when deciding which scanner to purchase.

Transparency scanners have received a great deal of discussion in the PDN Pro Forum. Go to www.pdnonline.com. In the center column in the lower half of the opening page is the link to the forum. You can post your question there after you register, or you can search for past discussions concerning transparency scanners in the Tech Talk forum.

Regards Bruce

-- Bruce M. Herman (bherman@gci.net), April 06, 2001.

I had an Epson 1200 'perfection' for precisely two days. The lens was so bad that it couldn't resolve anything near the claimed 1200dpi. I tested it with a high resolution glass plate, and it acheived about 13 lppm, or just over 600dpi. The same plate in a proper 35mm film scanner was resolved at over 60lppm.
I then spent hours trying to get a better focus with the darn thing, and came to the conclusion that the lens was just a pile of crap.
I don't know if the 1640 is any better, but most of the reviews I've seen don't rate it very highly for sharpness.
If anyone has any objective measurements of the 1640, I'd be very interested. Comments like 'tack sharp' won't be accepted as evidence.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), April 06, 2001.

What Pete says is often the problem with "affordable" scanner. They claim a certain resolution, but when you compare them with high-end scanners at same resolution, it's a totally different evaluation system. Just like looking at something through the bottom of a bottle or through a perfect optic.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), April 06, 2001.

Thanks for your contributions.

I currently scan my medium format slides with a Minolta Dimage Multi

I use for archival purposes, sending slides through email to friends and others. I usually print an 8x10 or 10x10 and put better prints in show book. I also produce a cd slide show to show off my work.

I still would prefer the best quality possible if I am going to go through the effort etc.


-- Larry Gaskill (covenant@essex1.com), April 06, 2001.

Re: the Epson 1240/1640U scanners.

Are either of these capable of 'decent' quality 600dpi scans? It sounds like they have enough resolution, but how does the shadow detail hold up (from transparancies) and how is the color rendition? I am glad to have a Polaroid 45 available to me, but I would still like one on my desk. I really only need it to produce 600dpi scans for making 8x10 samples for my portfolio book and my web page.

-- Richard Ross (ross@hrl.com), April 06, 2001.

I have the 1640SU. At 800DPI is VERY sharp and it is a true 1600DPI. I scan primarily slide film and happy with it. A drum scan or the new dedicated film scanners with higher d-MAX will definitely get more from the shadows but in my opinion it the best buy below $1000. Since I ALWAYS bracket, I found out that I can scan the slightly overexposed version and get more from the shadows. If the contrast is too great I can scan the overexposed to get the shadows, the uderexposed to get the highlights and "merge" them in PS. Or for those killer shots (that I will take someday :-) I can alway send it out for drum scan.

Overall, I'm happy with it.

-- Sorin Varzaru (svarzaru@bigfoot.com), April 06, 2001.

I know that a flat bed will not compare to a neg scanner and a neg scanner will not compare to a drum scan, but... I assisted a photog who had an agfa flat bed (I can't remember the model, but it was under $1000) and it gave GREAT image scans for the $$$. I've heard the same from other people who owned agfa's. Now I've also seen drum scans and they are better and bigger files, but hey, if you want a value, the agfa is nice, if you want the best quality possible, the drum scan is it. I am not commenting on the middle ground - the medium and large format neg scanners - because I have not personally seen scans from the newer models yet.

-- Jason Janik (janikphoto@yahoo.com), April 11, 2001.

I too am searching for a dedicated film scanner, in my case from 6 x 6cm up to 5inch x 4inch but I do need high end quality without drum prices. I have heard that the Microtex Artixscan 4500T might be the one, has anyone any info on this?

-- David Booth (info@kilworthstudios.com), April 29, 2002.

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