Advantages of a Dedicated Film Scanner for your Negs
The Dedicated Film Scanner has become a necessary piece of equipment for the digital darkroom that enables the photographer to continue to shoot pictures the traditional way with film and slides.
The scanner allows you to convert the film to digital files and take advantage of the use of software editing, enhancing and publishing. There are some clear advantages to using a dedicated film Scanner over a flatbed scanner when scanning film or slide negative transparencies.
Both a film scanner and flatbed scanner operate using a light source and sensors that scan through the transparency. A dedicated film scanner utilizes a transmissive light source while a flatbed scanner uses a reflective light source.
A transmissive light source is a direct linear light source that reflects through the transparency. A reflective light also shines through the transparency, however it is contained or diffused under the glass bed of the scanner and reflected off another surface. This is the lid or top surface of the flatbed scanner.
The result is greater density and clarity scanned from the transmissive light from a film scanner. Current higher quality flatbed scanners offer transparency and negative holders and often include an additional light source on the lid to mimic the transmissive light.
However, the ultimate operation of a flatbed scanner is still very similar to that of a copy machine. Although some may see an advantage in the flatbed scanner to scan batch negatives or slides quickly, the disadvantage becomes the ability to customize each individual slide or negative that may have different densities or exposure.
With a dedicated film scanner, you have the ability to expose or scan each frame at varying degrees of resolutions and corrections. Most dedicated film scanners also offer the batch feature as well. Two main components are essential for a quality scan: resolution and dynamic range. Resolution is the measurement of pixels the scanner can capture within the scan.
Dynamic range is the degree of tonality that is captured within the scan. Most dedicated film scanners offer dynamic ranges greater than 3.6 with 0, the purest white and 4.0, the deepest black. While flatbed scanners have improved greatly in the past few years with higher resolutions, you must be careful on those claiming very high resolutions.
This is often interpolated resolution or in simple terms, the scanner guesses on the number of pixels rather than contain the true optical pickup of pixels in the film scanning process.
About the Author:Author: Kimberly Rentler Copyright, 2005
Owner of a Film, Photo and Slide Scanning Service