There are updates to this page that haven't been applied because you've entered text. Refresh this page to see updates.
Hide this message.

What is the best medium format photo scanner on a budget?

I'm considering the CanoScan 9000F and the Epson V600. What is the best medium format scanner in this price range? And is it worth it? I need IR dust removal. How much more expensive would it get to obtain better sharpness? My logic is that I keep a decent scanner at home, and send special orders to the lab for professional scanning.

EDIT: I'm also wondering if stepping up to something like an Epson V750 is worth the extra cash, or if I need to step up to something like a Nikon CoolScan 8000/9000 to really see a big difference.
Michael T. LauerMichael T. Lauer, Amateur Photographer and Woodw... (more)
I use a Nikon 4000 (35mm) for slides and negatives.  I also have a need to scan 4x5 transparencies.  I've tried an Epson 3200 Photo and, while I was happy with the reflective scanning, I found the scans of transparencies to be a bit too fuzzy. 

In the past year I've gone to Windows 7 and needed to upgrade the Epson to a V750M (no drivers for the 3200).  The reflective scanning is improved over the 3200.  I have not tried scanning transparencies but I will note that the 750 has an oil-mount kit which should improve the clarity of the scans.  That said, I have not tried the oil mount as yet.  You can see Aztek's claim to resolution improvements at http://www.aztek.com/Epson%20V75...

A film scanner will bump-up your scan quality at a price.  As you likely noticed, high-end scanners like Flextight are very expensive.  Also, cost increases dramatically with the transparency size.

You might consider looking for a used Nikon 8000/9000 scanner.  With the move to digital workflows some of these are making their way to the used market.  It may be a way for you to bump-up the quality without as big of a drain on your wallet.

I will also note that software will improve your scans.  I recommend Silverfast http://www.silverfast.com/ and have used their software for many years.  The software supports IR dust removal so long as your scanner supports IR.
Steven LeeSteven Lee, doodler-in-charge
If you can find a used Nikon Coolscan 9000 series scanner, that's about the best medium format scanner for the money, even though it's a couple years out-of-production. The next step up is either on old Imacon Flexscan or newer Hasselblad Flextight scanner which can scan from 35mm to 4x5. It's quite expensive at about $16,000 USD, but still cheaper than most drum scanners. Unless you're scanning thousands of images or plan to offer the service to others, it may be more cost effective to send your work out to a reputable scanning service.
Robert LeeRobert Lee, Well, that's been fun...
I have a V600.  The Epson V600 and the Canon 9000F are equally good (equally mediocre is really more accurate.)  A 5X enlargement is about it.  So if you're shooting 6x7, 8x10 prints are reasonable.

I also have a Nikon CS9000.  This extracts about all there is on film, or about a 10X enlargement.  16x20 prints from 6x7 is routine.
Neven FalicaNeven Falica, UX specialist, film photographer
If you're on a budget, get Canon CanoScan 9000F, or used 8800F.
I'm using 8800F for more than four years, and if your scanning technique is good, you'll get great scans - scan directly off the scanner's glass, use A4 piece of ANR glass for flattening the film. Results are roughly comparable to Epson V700 scans for quite a less money.
Kirk LauKirk Lau, Photo and Electronics Geek Dad
If you are planning to just do medium format (not large, not 4x5, not 8x10... )
CanoScan 9000F II is great little device that are quite affortable.

But ... if you are planning to go up in your negetive size, then the Epson V  (V600, 700, 750... depends on when you are reading this answer) series is great.

The only problem is CanoScan 9000F is it doesn't cover anything wider than 3 inches...
If you have a vast archive of negatives you want to scan for professional purposes, then the v750 or a CoolScan is a good investment. You can scan your archive now and reap the monetary benefits of selling digital copies of your work.

If you are an amateur just getting into film photography then you might be better off with something cheaper. The good thing about film is that you can always scan it again. Therefore there is very little risk in buying something inexpensive like the 9000F or V600.

They are both high quality and you can't go wrong with either of them for producing large high quality images.

Later, should you find yourself with lots of negatives you want scanned to a marginally higher standard you can always buy the newest and best scanner (Epson v800 or whatever is released in the future) and rescan your negatives.
Write an answer