Unlike slides and other transparencies, you cannot simply look at the negative itself to see what color combinations and tonal changes you should see (on screen) in the digital image that has been created with a film scanner. Scanners use film profiles for different types of negatives. How well a scanner does in converting negatives depends, in part, on whether the available profiles match the negative type you have and the quality of the scanner optics and software. Most low to moderate price scanning services use the NIKON scanners exclusively for standard size negatives (up to 4”x5”). You may read that this equipment represents the state-of-the-art. Rarely, do you hear about the limitations of these scanners for negatives.
In comparison to the NIKON scanners, the Flextight X5 has many more profiles for different types of color negatives, and it is also possible to create custom profiles for film types that Hasselblad does not provide.
Another factor is the necessity for repeated scans of the same film frame. Getting the best scan for a particular color negative can be time-consuming. Multiple scans and variations of the scanner settings are sometimes necessary to achieve the best result.
The Flextight X5 is a “virtual” drum scanner. In practice that means the operator can create different versions of a scanned image without having to redo the scan by placing the negative into the scanner several times. That not only saves time and gives customers a chance to review alternative results, but reduces additional handling of the film itself. Drum scanners like the Flextight X5 are much more expensive than other types of film scanners. Among drum scanning services, there may also be quality differences in the results. These are partly related to the type of equipment that is used and the technical expertise and experience of the operator.
Drum scanning services charge higher prices than those that use cheaper equipment. In this instance, quality and price are related. If you care about quality, just remember: The Bitterness of Low Quality is Long Remembered after the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten.
Information used in the post was gathered from www.filmscanner.info.