I’m technically confused.

I’ve decided I need to take more pictures. And I really want them in digital form. But I’m not buying a new digital camera because I want an SLR and I’m not willing to spend $1,500 to $10,000.

So the next best thing is to shoot film and scan it. Of course one advantage of digital cameras is you don’t have to pay to have things printed. The scanning alternative to this scanning negatives/slides instead of prints. This is where I get confused.

If I could scan negatives I could save a lot of money. But according the the reviews I read a slide scanner will scan at 2700 ppi to 3600 ppi. Now a slide is about 1 inch horizontally. Which would imply you would get a horizontal resolution of 2700 points.

Now a mid-range desktop scanner will scan at 1,200 ppi. So if I put a 4 X 6 print on the scanner I will get an image 7200 horizontal resolution.

This site says “In order to have that accuracy from the 35 mm film, the film scanner must be able to get those 8400 dots from the film. The long edge of the film is 36 mm = 1.42 inch so a film scanner of 8400/1.42 = 5915 DPI is required.”

So the flat bed would seem to be getting more of the actual picture than the slide scanner, but everyone says slide scanners are better. This site says it is because the photo paper is only about 300 dpi.

Of course for me it probably doesn’t matter. I don’t really need 8700 dots of information. The question to me is can avoid processing costs by getting a film scanner and just developing my negatives at the store and scanning with the film scanner.

Written while listening to “Unchained”
album Van Halen Best Of Vol. 1

by Van Halen