Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.


Scanning Negatives and Slides

the joy of scanning

in Book Reviews , Thursday, July 02, 2009

I know it’s insane, but I actually enjoy scanning film. I enjoy the discovery process in a freshly developed roll of Velvia 100F, I enjoy extracting the best out of it by careful scanning and retouching. And I enjoy printing it.  The creative process is so completely different from a RAW workflow that I cannot mix the two. Some days are “scanner days”, some are “Aperture days” - and these days can stretch to weeks.

I’ve just read “Scanning Negatives and Slides, 2nd Edition”, by Sascha Steinhoff. I’ve been aware of this book for a while, but I didn’t expect much from it. Well, I was wrong. Although it is about 10 years too late, it is actually rather good. Steinhoff covers the background and general techniques, reviews the main software options (Silverfast, VueScan, NikonScan) without pulling any punches, and covers fairly esoteric topics such as Scanhancers in quite some depth.


The author has been criticised for a strong bias towards Nikon scanners, but I don’t see this. He discusses Nikon a lot, but what else should he do ? Apart from the stratospherically priced Hasselblad Flextights, nobody else makes serious film scanners any more. And Nikon probably will not for much longer either.

I’ve been scanning film for well over 10 years, and I thought I’d find little if anything new here. Well, I was wrong. Although this book would be an invaluable resource for anyone starting out in film scanning, it has plenty to offer for the like of me too.  And it avoids padding. Highly recommended.

Posted in category "Book Reviews" on Thursday, July 02, 2009 at 06:18 PM

Older Comments

from The Cap'n on Thu, July 09, 2009 - 7:39

Thanks for the hint - though it sounds as if anyone who want to be scanning film long-term had better go out and buy another (back-up) scanner while they still exist….

from Yubi on Fri, July 10, 2009 - 5:51

oh, didn’t realise that things were evolving that fast! And me with tons of slides ....