In the September Shutterbug, Joe Farace talks about scanning panoramics. He suggests (if I'm reading it right) that a dedicated film scanner is desirable for Xpan negs (unlike perhaps larger negatives for which he uses a flatbed). Anyone read it that way as well? Are the Xpan negs not quite "large enough" to make them equal to other medium format films on a flatbed? (I have no scanning experience so excuse my ignorance here.)
The limitation most dedicated film scanners have usually precludes scanning the longer film frame configuration produced by panoramic cameras. The reason is most dedicated film scanner manufacturers do not make holders that accommodate the longer frame size, and the scanner's software and firmware as well, is limited to standard format sizes. That is why flatbed scanners like the Epson Perfection 4990 Pro is a modest-cost solution for scanning non-standard panoramic film images.
Thanks David. Sorry, my question wasn't written clearly. I was wondering how much better a dedicated medium format film scanner would be for the Xpan versus a flatbed like the Epson 4990. My read of Joe's article was that the xpan negs really benefited from a dedicated film scanner (because the negatives are not quite that big???).
Unfortunately you did not identify the issue and article and I could not find what had been written. Because the X-Pan format is 35mm, what I assume is being done is putting the film image into a larger 120 frame in the carrier of a medium format dedicated film scanner. If the film can be held flat and is masked properly I don't see why a good result cannot be achieved.
However, unless you already have a medium format film scanner, and have a use for one, it would be an expensive solution compared to an Epson Perfection 4990 Pro, which in most cases actually has a higher optical resolution than most dedicated medium format film scanners.
Thanks David. It's the September issue and the article is wrriten by Joe Farace on scanning xpans.
With the Minolta Dimage Scan Multi II and Pro models you can get masks which you can custom cut to the Xpan format.
The masks have several configurations marked on them for you to cut out with a very sharp razor type blade.
I would largely agree with what Joe Farace said about scanning X Pan film images. However, immediately after his article is my report on the Epson Perfection 4990 Pro, which is a considerable improvement on the 4870 Joe referenced.
So considering the difference in cost between the Epson 4990 and a dedicated medium format film scanner, the fact dedicated medium film scanners mostly have a 4000dpi optical resolution as compared to 4800dpi with the 4990, and the Microtek 120f Joe used which does not provide Digital ICE, I would think the scales might be more balanced to the Epson 4990 unless a photographer also needed a dedicated medium format film scanner.
Great, thanks David. I really appreciate your insights!