What do you have to say about this man's statement on resolution :- ). And how a 8,000 ppi scanner is useless for small format film, etc. Maybe he doesn't have one.
Well, there are a couple of issues here. The first is the scanner hardware. There are many claims that are based upon people that used Tango's, primarily labs, in the old days. They suggested that 1) you couldn't get anything past 4,000 and 2) that you couldn't scan negatives (at all). Both of these claims were hardware based. The Tango is a good scanner, but it was limited by being a "6 micron" engine, meaning that its components were rated to that tolerance. There are approximately 4,000 6 micron slices in an inch, so its understandable how they got their numbers.
The Aztek Premier and the ICG 380 are 3 micron engines, with a tested resolution of 7300 or more, or one could say, close to 8,000. The PRemier has an 18,000-step stepper motor and could have offered 18,000 ppi but chose to offer the max of 8,000 instead, because that's what it can actually deliver, in real resolution. When you have a 3 micron device, all the parts work better, like a large lens that has to retain its perfectly sharp polish across the entire surface. Regardless of what aperture you set things at, its still better at overall optical resolution.
Further, it is foolish to suggest that there is a max of 4,000, as the number of samples is only tangentially related to resolution. The resolution is primarily connected to the aperture the scan is set to (and the micron tolerance of the device). One looks all the way down to the grain of the film and sets the aperture to match the size of the grain. The Premier has the ability to set the micron size of the sample in 3 micron increments, for example, 6, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 19 microns. It goes much larger but this is the range film lives in... The number of pixels you end up with is a key to being able to make a print at a decent size from small film. 8,000 ppi gives you 12,000 pixels from a 35 mm neg, at the full resolution the scanner is capable of. That's a 40 inch print at 300 dpi. IF you are working with a scanner that is only capable of 6 microns, then its interpolating. However, if you do that with a scanner that can do the 8,000, it isn't. I have done many large prints from smaller negs, altho I prefer at least med format, these prints hold up very well.
Finally, it takes some time to do a scan properly. At least an hour of my time, ina ddition to the time its on the scanenr. It is not an automated thing, where you can set high and low points and let 'er rip... If someone is charging you $40 or less, they aren't even looking at your film. It has been said many times, and I concur, that the operator is a major factor in doing scans. Why is this? It's because there are many decisions that can be made, and the good operators know how to set up the file so that you can make the kind of print you want to make. That's why I would never suggest you send your film to a lab to be scanned. They don't want to study your work to see what your aesthetic goals are. The art of scanning starts with knowing what kind of print your client wants. Then it is an operator's job to make that possible. This is done primarily with curves, making sure that key areas of tonality separate properly - so that they can be masked in PhotoShop and controlled. If I don't like the say the scan turned out for the goals to be reached, I do it again. All work here is guaranteed.
My philosophy is that I never deliver a junky scan for this much, a little better for that much, and if you want the whole thing, oh my g-d, it will cost you a fortune. I'm a photographer. Like all of you, I want only to deliver my best work. So I charge by the size of the original, deliver full resolution, 16 bit RGB scans. The 35mm's are usually 500 megs, the rest between 1.7 and 3 Gigs. That's unless you need some more. I can do a 4x5 at 6 Gigs or an 8x10 at 24 Gigs, something I just did for a guy who wanted to make a full-rez 35 foot print.
I hope this helps clarify some of these issues... for some.
Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing