Scanning analogue memories

When the quarantine started I decided that I would finally get around to purchasing a scanner for my 35mm negatives.

I’d been planning to do this for some time but hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I had the time to scan my photos I thought “why not!”.

I home developed a number of films over the last couple of years and I did manage a couple shots of them with the camera which I then switched from negative to positive in Lightroom but that’s not quite the same.

I didn’t want to get a large flatbed scanner as I didn’t want something that took up lots of room so I opted for the Plustek 8100.

It’s the length of a sheet of A4 paper but just a bit wider than a slide film slide with sealed slots on either side to feed the film or slide film into without dust getting onto the lens.

I have so far scanned three films and am really happy I discovered the film I shot in Málaga last April.

The first film I scanned was an Ilford and the scanning program has settings to balance the exposure correctly.

For Fomapan 100 (the film I shot in Spain), there were no such settings so I had to make my best guess.

This is how the shots came out scanned from the Plustek and then passed through the monochrome filter in Lightroom.

Scan Vs Lightroom

Which do you prefer, the sepia left or the Lightroom monochrome?

The wonderful thing about scanning these images is that they have been a wonderful reminder of our trip to Spain last year.

We were due to visit this spring but that’s not going to happen anytime soon and I wish everyone in Spain (and everywhere else), all the very best.

The Plustek is relatively easy to use and with the “autopilot” feature in the application, its easy to select, alter and scan the images.

Medium sized images come in around 50mb (about 4 minutes) and large full sized scans come in around 200mb (about 8 minutes a photo).

I scanned my photos as TIFFs and you get lots of detail in the images.

Of course the drawback with the Plustek is that you can only scan 35mm film but at present that’s not an issue for me.

It’s great that the Plustek is small, quiet and can actually fit in a small carry bag (which it comes with), to keep everything clean and safe.

Here’s the scan of the above photo from Málaga. This was a tiny lane in the middle of the city where we stopped for a coffee.

This was shot with the Rollei 35 with Fomapan 100.

All in all I’m very happy with the Sharpness of the Rollei. My ability to develop my own film and the Plusteks ability to scan images clearly and easily.

I’m really happy with these scans and enjoying the memories of Spain therefore I will share more photos over the week.

I hope you enjoy the scans.

5 thoughts on “Scanning analogue memories

  1. I bought a Plustek back at the start of 2019. I have an Epson V550 flatbed too, but I was finding the scans to be a little mushy. The Plustek really is a step-up in quality. It takes a lot longer to scan a roll (approx 3 hours for 36 frames if I scan at 3600dpi, which I’ve found to be the sweet spot in terms of quality – anything above that doesn’t seem to resolve any additional detain and just produces bigger files), but the extra time is worth the payoff.

    I still scan medium format on the V550. The quality is no better than it is for 35mm, but the bigger negative size means it’s less noticeable. I’d love a Plustek 120 scanner though. 🙂

  2. Yeah it’s a good scanner and produces good work. I have today had some problem with under exposed film but I think that’s more to do with the film than the scanner.

    All the scans have come out very well and I’m very pleased with my purchase.

    I don’t think I home develop enough medium format to warrant another scanner just yet.

    I guess I’d better develop more film!

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