Minolta Dedicated 35mm Scanners

MF on DSLR is fine if you’re stitching images, if you’re not it seems kind of pointless to shoot MF to then “scan” on a smaller sensor…

I would agree but with the advent of high pixel count full frame you are getting close to good MF scanners.

However you would need to get collimated light source.

Hi res MF scans also take really long to scan. Annoyingly long …

It can still be downloaded online right?
I had no issue finding it. Getting it to work on modern 64bit os is the issue.

How do we contact you for the special driver file?? I had the Minolta software running fine for years but recently started getting an error regarding bad request from Microsoft Visual C++ runtime… Tried re-installing but it cannot find the scanner (and the opening graphic is not the one I had… can’t remember which install setup I used!) THANKS

Hi @studio3D … pls send me an email and I’ll send it to you.

Thanks
Sam

Hi guys,
I have recently acquired a Minolta Dimage 5400 Mark I.
Is there any way to batch scan my images in professional mode after cropping and adjusting photos?

Here’s a different take on this. I cannibalised the Dimage 5400 lens from a non-working scanner bought on ebay. It’s absolutely outstanding. This little jewel of a lens (it’s miniscule) outperforms everything up to (but not including) a printing Nikkor between 1x and 2x at a fraction of the price. Extreme sharpness corner to corner, a perfectly flat field and virtually zero chromatic aberration. It behaves as a super achromat and puts to shame any and all modern macro lenses - but only in a narrow window of operation. It’s utterly useless for general photography.
As it’s a tube lens, mounting is a problem but with the right adapters from the likes of RAF camera, can be done. As it has a fixed aperture, everything has to be set manually but once that has been overcome the results are sublime.
My set up consists of a Nikon PG-2 focussing rail modified to allow vertical adjustment of the camera, a Nikon PB-6 Slide Copy attachment and a Nikon Z7 camera with the Dimage lens attached with a custom adapter and some Nikon K manual extension tubes. Lighting is with diffused flash from an SB-800 Speedlight.
Faster, simpler and much less frustrating than struggling with an aging scanner and complicated software - and more to the point, better results. I sold my Nikon Super Coolscan 9000ED scanner (for more than I originally paid for it) in favour of this set up and I have no regrets.

Don’t crop and adjust in scanner software, do it later in postproduction.

That’s all true, however you loose medium format capability unless you cannibalise a 8000 or 9000 plus ICE makes scanning medium format still viable. Cleaning up MF is a pain especially if one keeps it flat with a glass.

We also need to remember that the scanner results are more even because it is a line sensor which means it uses only a line of the lens.

But yes - I am just sending my 8000 to service so I yes. Scanner - such a blursed thing.

Medium format is less of a problem for me than most as I only have a relatively small number of 6x6 transparencies from a one time flirtation with a Bronica EC. (But this thread is about Minolta 5400 scanners which can only deal with 35mm film.)

I scan MF with a vertical set up. An Olympus Macro Stand with a diffused flash firing through a masked transparency from below. The flash is enclosed in its own box to avoid light spill. Lenses include a dedicated Olympus 80mm F4 bellows macro, an Olympus 90mm F2 macro and a Nikkor 60mm F2.8 micro. Camera is a Nikon Z7.

I don’t see why scanner results should be more even. Irrespective of whether a slide is scanned line by line or all in one go, a lens’ performance is generally better in the centre than the edge. Perhaps I’m missing something?

Cleaning is a problem with all formats! I am perhaps fortunate in being careful with storage and being an amateur more interested in quality than quantity, can afford to spend more time and effort on this aspect. I appreciate that those scanning hundreds or thousands of slides (maybe even for a living) will come at this from a different perspective.

ebay is the place - but most sellers of broken Minolta 5400 and Nikon scanners have gotten wise. They remove the lens before advertising the scanner ‘for parts’. The lens sells for about £270-£300 on its own.
As only the mighty Printing Nikkors at around £8000 outperform it (and then only by a tiny margin), it’s the photographic world’s secret bargain of the century.

This is why — in a scanner the film moves while the light and the lens are fixed meaning the scanner uses only a tiny, most perfect “strip” of the lens. Also this “strip” stays the same with every line scanned so there is 0 difference between lines. But of course — we are talking heavy OCD nobody can see with a naked eye now.

Cleaning becomes a bigger problem with bigger formats as the surface for dust etc to stick on enlarges. Cleaning up a 6x9 takes waaaaay longer than a 35. Cleaning up a LF I can’t imagine.

You surely are a tremendously patient person :slight_smile:

My understanding is different to yours.

In most (all?) film scanners the film, the light source and the lens are static. A stepping motor moves the CCD sensor array along the film recording, in the case of the Minolta Dimage, 5400 samples per inch.

A lens doesn’t have a ‘most perfect strip’. The ‘most perfect’ part of a lens is its central portion with a drop off in performance towards the edge. When scanning, the whole lens is used from centre to edge albeit using only a narrow strip.

This why the quality of a lens for scanning is so important. It must have excellent resolution and contrast from centre to edge, it must be distortion free (must have an extremely flat field) and must have minimal chromatic aberration. The lens in the Dimage 5400 is outstanding in all these respects outperforming almost all other line scan lenses and embarrassing the hell out of even the best general purpose macro lenses.

I accept your point about cleaning larger format transparencies and yes, I am a tremendously patient person. I print at up to A! size so attention to detail at every stage becomes critically important.

In small scanners light and lens / line sensor are linked and move together.

I am 99% certain Minolta uses the same architecture. I had a 5400 II but I never opened it, so I won’t put my hand in fire over that.

In medium format Nikons it is the opposite — the LED, the lens and the line sensor are static while the film tray moves. This I can send you a video if you are interested.

Regarding the lenses — line scanning is still an on going thing in quality checking and similar stuff. There is a guy who does a great job writing and testing line scan, macro etc lenses.
https://www.closeuphotography.com/lenses

What you can take from his tests is that a SIGMA MACRO 70mm F2.8 EX will come damn close to the best industrial lenses while it has auto focus and no mounting adventures. I am positive you can not notice a difference (at regular viewing) between line scan lenses at Sigma when applied to scanning. But hey, you gotta love your lens, so whatever rocks our boats, right? :slight_smile:

The bigger difference in scanner / DSLR is the colaminated light in scanners vs. duffused in DSLR. This makes the grain slightly less contrasty in DSLR scanns. But again this is pure pixel peeping.

The other is film flattnes that will get troublesome without glass in MF especially in scanners. When adding glass you are adding 2 surface per one piece. This means that with 2 glasses you have 6 surfaces for dust to stick on! Now this is when ICE really comes showing its use. I simple leave the scanner working while I do other stuff and the scans come out clean. With DSL I spend about an hour preparing them (cleaning, inverting etc).

And the dust has to be retouched no matter the size of the print. Oh right - for extremely small prints it perhaps isn’t necessary.

Thank you for the nice debate and best of luck with your work!

What moves and what doesn’t?
I wasn’t being pedantic on this but it seems like it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
My experience was with a Nikon 9000ED but I’m happy to accept that it may be different in other scanners.
I sold the 9000ED last year (for more than I paid for it) because with the advent of high resolution digital cameras, there are clear advantages in speed and convenience with no downside as regards quality.

I am well aware of the closeuphotography.com website and use it as a valuable resource. Another is coinimaging.com with lots of tests of all kinds of macro lenses.
Your view of the Sigma Macro 70mm F2.8 EX is incorrect in the wider scheme of things. Yes, it’s a good macro lens but not a patch on the Sigma Art 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro which in turn, is not a patch on almost any scanner lens. These, like the Nikkor Scanner 100mm ED and Printing Nikkor 105mm lens and of course the minuscule Dimage 5400 are simply in a different league. General purpose macro lenses are not designed to do what scanner lenses do and so don’t do it as well. That said, scanner lenses have a very narrow field of application and are pretty much useless at doing anything other than high resolution, flat field photography - which is why they excel at photographing film. Whether it matters or whether “you can notice a difference at regular viewing” is a moot point. It all depends on what standard you work to. Some are happy with the results from a reversed zoom lens while for others nothing but a Printing Nikkor will do.

DSLR scanning doesn’t have to be limited to a diffused light source and it baffles me why it’s so popular given the increased risk of vibration and unwanted colour casts. For me, flash with diffusion dialled in to taste solves all those difficulties. Diffused light sources by the way, don’t make softer images. A sharp original is sharp whatever the light source. Diffused light sources lower the contrast or perceived sharpness (acutance), not the resolution. Perceived sharpness is readily tweaked in post process.

Film flatness is always a dilemma. Glass carriers solve that problem but introduce added difficulties with dust and reduced image quality. Slide mounts are almost universally unsatisfactory as they fail to hold the film flat especially if using a warm light source. Most complaints about unsharpness at the edges of an image are due to this more than any other cause. The conventional advice about stopping down the lens to gain more depth of field is misguided because what is out of focus at F4 is still out of focus at F16 - just less obviously. With film there is only one plane of sharp focus.

There is only one slide mount which fulfils the brief for film flatness - the now rather rare WESS AHX500K and the MF equivalent. These have little pegs top and bottom which accommodate the film sprocket holes. When closed together the film is put under tension achieving almost perfect flatness. When gently tapped with a finger, the film ‘sings’ like a drum skin and will not ‘pop’ or distort even in a hot projector.

Retouching is always a pain whether it’s dust on the film or a dirty sensor. For dust on film digital ICE is one answer but also has an effect on sharpness. You can’t beat getting the film spotless in the first instance.

I have used a Minolta Dimage 5400 (mk1), since 2007 and lost use of it when I upgraded my iMac to Mohave since there was no updated software from the manufacturer. A little over a year I realised that VueScan has provided support so in the past several months I have used it to begin scanning my 35mm negatives from 1980 to 1999. I have only reached into mid 1984. The tiffs are very good but the prices is extremely slow and the color correction a challange. It may take many years to complete if I can’t find a more productive process.
A week ago I came across the Negative Lab Pro application that can work for creating Raw DNG files using the equipment and applications I already have, namely my Minolta scanner, VueScan, Negative Lab Pro (trial version), and Lightroom Classic.
However I have run into problems getting viewable Raw DNG to work with Lightroom Classic. I have followed the instructions from Nate but when the scans are done and saved there is no viewable image just a completely white image. The tiff appears to have the expected number of pixels and size just no viewable image. I have reached out to Nate for guidance and an awaiting a response.
My only option if that does not work would be to invest in some more equipment to use my camera to create the raw files needed to work efficiently to correct tone and color. The negatives are dated so it’s a challenge.
Any thoughts or advice would be welcome.

I solved the issue with respect to the completely white image scans.
It was related to the scanner and I needed to run the Calibration from the VueScan menu.

I posted some remarks regarding batch scanning and running Dimage Scan software with modified drivers in the other thread.
Might be interesting to anyone wanting to scan using windows

Hi, I have a minolta scan dual IV. Every time I try to use negative lab pro, however, I am not able to choose profile for my negative in lightroom, as there doesn’t seem to be a profile for scan dual IV. When I looked into the files, I think there was only scan dual II in vuescan profiles for negative lab pro. I am wondering if there is any solution to this problem?

Hi Sam,

I could use the corrected driver. I’m trying to insatll the 1st version Elite on Windows 10 64bit. I also am looking for elite II to buy so I’ll want to achieve setting this up.

Thanks a bunch.

Paul