Are the Epson V700 / V750 scanners the "ultimate" machines now?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by vick_ko, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Are the Epson V700 / V750 scanners the "ultimate" machines now?
    I'd be doing 35mm up to 4x5 inch LF film, BW and colour on it.
    ....Vick
     
  2. "Ultimate" machines are very expensive drum scanners, but for home use - for 35mm and medium format the best are the Nikon scanners (the 9000 is in theory available but out of stock everywhere...) but for 4x5 the Epsons are what you want.
    The resolution numbers they give for flatbeds are... well, lies. Sure, it will spit out a 6400 PPI file, but the optics and sensor limit the real resolution to (according to filmscanner.info test) about 2300 PPI. This means that from 35mm you can get a good 8x12 print, and it goes up from there. The Nikons are a bit more ultimate than that because with 4000 PPI and good slow film you can get unreasonable amounts of detail.
     
  3. I dont even think its really a 2300 dpi equivilent, but I guess it depends on if you get a good one or not. I recently read its a 1 in 4 chance and I believe it.
    I compared a V750 (bought one) to my Howtek 4500.
    A drum scan at 2000 dpi resolves right at 40 lp/mm. The V750 even at 4800 dpi then resized to 2000 dpi still could not match it so I find the claims of resolving 46-48 lp/mm suspect. Reading lp/mm is a judgement call anyway.
    My V750 showed zero difference between 4800 and 6400 dpi.
    My take on the current scanner situation is this.
    If you need to scan 4x5 you are basically stuck with either older film scanners like a sprintscan 45 ultra if you can find one, a drum scanner, or just suffer with a softer V750.
    That said if you shoot LF and MF and don't resolve over about 35 lp/mm anyway then maybe you dont need anything better than a V750.
    If you have a Rollei 6008 then a V750 scan will return about 1/2 of the detail you could get out of a drum scan.
    IMO the V750/700 is just not good enough for 35mm.
    The best for 35mm is a Nikon 5000 if you can find one for a reasonable price or some of the older 35mm scanners. If you shoot MF too then a Nikon 8000 or 9000.
    The latest primefilm 7250 pro3 is a pretty decent 35mm scanner and good for an honest 3600 dpi. Not bad at $420 with rebate, but its no nikon.
    If you want to shoot serious large format too you might as well just save up some $ and buy a 4000 dpi drum scanner. I bought mine about 6 years ago for 1G and its still running. Need to have the drum resurfaced though.
    If you want to look around at some scan comparisons of mine, go here....
    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/scan_comparisons
    Here are some 35mm test scans of the PI 7250 pro3
    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/pi_7250_pro_3_test_scans
     
  4. I dont even think its really a 2300 dpi equivilent, but I guess it depends on if you get a good one or not. I recently read its a 1 in 4 chance and I believe it.
    I compared a V750 (bought one) to my Howtek 4500.
    A drum scan at 2000 dpi resolves right at 40 lp/mm. The V750 even at 4800 dpi then resized to 2000 dpi still could not match it so I find the claims of resolving 46-48 lp/mm suspect. Reading lp/mm is a judgement call anyway.
    My V750 showed zero difference between 4800 and 6400 dpi.
    My take on the current scanner situation is this.
    If you need to scan 4x5 you are basically stuck with either older film scanners like a sprintscan 45 ultra if you can find one, a drum scanner, or just suffer with a softer V750.
    That said if you shoot LF and MF and don't resolve over about 35 lp/mm anyway then maybe you dont need anything better than a V750.
    If you have a Rollei 6008 then a V750 scan will return about 1/2 of the detail you could get out of a drum scan.
    IMO the V750/700 is just not good enough for 35mm.
    The best for 35mm is a Nikon 5000 if you can find one for a reasonable price or some of the older 35mm scanners. If you shoot MF too then a Nikon 8000 or 9000.
    The latest primefilm 7250 pro3 is a pretty decent scanner and good for an honest 3600 dpi. Not bad at $420 with rebate, but its no nikon.
    If you want to shoot serious large format too you might as well just save up some $ and buy a 4000 dpi drum scanner. I bought mine about 6 years ago for 1G and its still running. Need to have the drum resurfaced though.
     
  5. For me, scanning is as important as a step as shooting. For me, what ever I use must be reliable, just like my cameras.
    Technically the best pro-sumer scanners out there are Nikons. However it is quite difficult to buy new ones. No vendor seems to have a supply. When they do, they go fast. Nikon is keeping the enviable end of production quiet. To me, this is going to be sooner than later.
    The epson scanners are not bad. Not great, but not bad. The quality from my 4490 is about 1800dpi (real) and I think a V700/750 is supposed to be in the order of 2200 dpi ish. My 4490 was about $150. I didn't see a V700 ($600-700) enough of a value gain. Yes the V700 comes with better holders, but they are not great holders. Everyone replaces those. My 4490 will do 35/120, but to do 4x5 and larger you will need the V700/750 because of a larger light hood. There is the tax.
    Here is the kink. Everything breaks! Simple fact of life. If I had to buy a used scanner (supply chain issue), I would get nervous about getting service/parts. Look at the Jobo's and see where that one is going. Those guys are starting to have a heck of a time replacing broken widgets.
    If you are like me, shoot film->scan->digital work flow...., missing the scanner step pretty much halts the entire process. I don't consider the used market (or about to be discontinued market) a safe way to go despite the technically superior gear.
    In short, the epsons are a reasonable choice for 120 and up. You can make decent scans with 35, but you have to work at it. There are other NEW scanners still made that do 3200+ dpi for 35mm. I get impressive results from my Plustek 7200i, despite the rumors from people whom have never used one. The cost was about half that of the street price of a Nikon 5000 (4000dpi, I think).
     
  6. I agree. A plustek 7200i or PI 7250 pro3 in combination with a Epson V700/750 is about as good as it will get for new equipment, without spending mega bucks. I just wish they would put a better lens on the V750.
    Back when I was testing the V750 all I could get out of my scanner was 41lp/mm at 4800 and 6400 dpi, but maybe I did not get a good scanner.
    Still that combo is going to cost over 1G and if you shop it like I did and get lucky you might be able to find a drum scanner for less than a used Nikon 9000.
    Drum scanning is an entirely different world though. A lot of setup time, a lot of materials, maintenence and slow scanning and its a big machine.
    If they break down its costly. If you detroy a drum, bend over.
    Also you will probably have to buy some current software for one unless you get lucky and thats expensive too.
    For me one type of Ideal all around setup would be a PI 7250 pro 3 (mostly because it will scan an entire roll and has a drive) and that will handle most normal 35mm film, A good V700 for preview, and something like a 5400 - 8000 dpi drum scanner.
    8000dpi only because I like to shoot a lot of microfilm.
    Then again a Minolta 5400II 35mm scan is as sharp as any drum scan I have done.
     
  7. FWIW, my V700 is _extremely_ fussy about film height. Even slightly off, and the results are uninspired. But I have acquired test scan snippets that were very close to the Nikon 9000. The V700 has some color fringing, though. For B&W, with work (and the betterscanning glass holder), it should be very close. I don't know if it would be possible to hold 35mm film and slides flat enough, though. But I haven't put in the work to get a whole MF frame in optimal focus, so this is still theoretical.
     
  8. I think if you wet mount some 35mm microfilm like bluefire on glass on the V750 with tweaked focus height vs the same mounted in the Nikon glass holder you would see a huge difference between the two.
    I have looked at all sorts of tests and I have seen those type of comparisons, and my opinion is that they were just bad scans or very soft film.
    If you really want to know how sharp a scanner is you need to scan some microfilm.
    This is not a Nikon 9000 but it will give you an idea of what I am talking about.
    For the best comparisons I have seen a Nikon scanner with good focus, very sharp and flat film is close to equal to a Howtek 4500 drum scanner.
    00WFSo-236901784.jpg
     
  9. See my recent post on how to make the stock V700 film holders work to hold film perfectly flat (I made little magnetic widgets that trap the film flat, I suspect this will work with other holders as well). You also need to adjust the height of the holders to an optimal position (mine is the tallest spacer plus 4 sticky note thicknesses).
    Once you do all that, you scan at 6400 ppi, do a little noise cleaning, and sharpen/downsize to 3200 ppi. Voila, you get about 3000 lines/inch usable worth of output. It is noticeably better than 2400 ppi scanning.
    It is a little work, but I only do that process for pictures I really care about. For medium format, this is really decent. I can make good looking 10x15s from 35mm, with 12x18s a stretch.
     
  10. I adjusted the heights about a million times and did weeks of testing.
    I spent a lot of time testing that scanner and tried all sorts of tuning.
    The crops above are 35mm microfilm that was booked and was very flat film.
    All three os the scanners were manually focused on the center of the frame. Both the 5400II and the Howtek can be focused manually. The V750 with shims.
    I tired several different adjustment heights, glass carrier with kami fluid and adjust height etc etc etc. you name it.
    No way you are getting a true optical 3000 dpi. That is 60lp/mm. Maybe 2400-2500 if you have an exceptionally sharp scanner.I shot a USAF test target and got 41.
    If you really want to know what it will do without guessing shoot a USAF target with microfilm with a super sharp lens at F5.6 and scan that.
    That said the odds of getting a good one are supposedly 1 in 4 so maybe that is the difference.
    Maybe you just have an exceptional good scanner and I got a bad one, but the best mine would do no matter what was 41 lp/mm. There was zero difference between 6400 and 4800 with my scanner. If you are seeing a difference between 4800 and 6400 then obviously your lens is better than mine was or tighter tolerances etc.
    Post one of your good 3000 dpi crops unsharpened, IE native scan at 6400 dpi. I would like to see it. If I could find one that would do an honest 50-60 lp/mm I would like to have one for preview scans.
     
  11. Troy, I placed my USAF glass test target directly on the bed of my Epson V500 to measure that scanner at 1270 and 2000 ppi resolution (better resolution of lines running along the scan bed than of lines running across the bed). Do you think making a microfilm test target gives a better test? To make a test target with Bluefire Police flm, would you use the full-range developer or the high contrast (lith) developer?
    FWIW, my USAF target V500 scan and results are posted in this thread:
    http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00UZJA
    Back to the original question: Is the V750 the ultimate machine now?
    - For 35mm, certainly not.
    - For MF, a V750 at 2300 ppi resolution would be enough for pretty large prints, and therefore quite useful, but not ultimate.
    - For LF, how much resolution do you want?
    Ultimate? I recently visited Clyde Butcher's gallery in Big Cypress Swamp, Florida. He displays large prints... 4x5 feet. They are magnificent, fully detailed, and stand up to very close inspection in gallery lighting. All done with wet darkroom printing. A 12 foot image hangs in Terminal 3 at FLL airport. Now that's LF! Maybe that's the definition of "ultimate."
     
  12. I have been wrestling with the question of how to approach a hybrid workflow (645 & 6X7 film to digital) for a while now, because of the scanner issue. I have a 35mm Nikon film scanner, so that size film is already covered. I don't want to spring for another Nikon due to both price and potential service issues; most of what I do these days is digital (darkroom is gone) and the MF volume is not enough to warrant the expenditure anyway. The best answer that I can come up with, is to get one of the Epson flatbeds (probably the 700) and use it to contact print and make enlargements/print up whatever size the image will hold up to. If I want to do a larger display print, then take it out for a drum scan, done by someone that knows what they are doing.
    One thing that I learned while scanning 35mm film is that the process has a fairly steep learning curve and is quite time consuming; I am not terribly fond of doing it, which has tempered my rush into MF film scanning. One of these days I'll bite the bullet......
     
  13. The best answer that I can come up with, is to get one of the Epson flatbeds (probably the 700) ...​
    This is a good solution, and you may not have to spend even that much.
    I own both a V500 and a Nikon 9000. The Epson is good for about a 5X enlargement while the Nikon is good for up to the limits of most film, around 10X. Thus, it is indeed the case that between these two, 8x10 prints from 6x7 scans are indistinguishable.
     
  14. This discussion reminds me of why most people no longer scan film unless they have to...
     
  15. This discussion reminds me of why most people no longer scan film unless they have to...​
    Exactly.
    Epsons state of art? OMG no. IMO not worth the time, at least for me I spent a lot of time trying to use one and I only have about 10 scans that I'm keeping. With a Nikon or Minolta I keep about 100x more and spend much less time per image. A Epson is definitely not something I would recommend I'd rather recommend sending the film out to a service like scancafe.com (even over getting a Nikon or Minolta scanner);
     
  16. It sounds like there are a wide range of experiences out there with the V700. Maybe that in and of itself is scary. But at least for MY copy, with good technique, I get 3200 PPI results that I am happy with. I have printed these at 300 dpi and I like them.
    Here is the center section of a picture I developed last night, from medium format 6x6, Tmax 400. I will first post the picture, then 3 identical crops. The first was scanned at 2400 ppi, then upsampled with bicubic to 3200 ppi. The second was scanned straight at 3200 ppi. The third was scanned at 6400 ppi, then bicubic downsampled to 3200 ppi. When you compare them side by side, the texture and detail of the 6400 ppi scan looks much better to me. The only thing done to each was a 100% USM, 1 pixel wide, at the very end.
    I know Epson skips scan rows when you don't select 6400 ppi, just because the scan speed increases, no matter how small your crop. Who knows what they do with the pixels on each row. I also know lenses don't go from some resolution to no resolution all of a sudden, so there is some information in the 6400 that isn't in the others. Take control with a 6400 ppi scan and process to taste, then downsample to 3200. It looks good enough to use.
    00WFlH-237015584.jpg
     
  17. 2400 upsampled to 3200
    00WFlJ-237015684.jpg
     
  18. 3200 ppi straight scan
    00WFlL-237015784.jpg
     
  19. 6400 ppi scan downsampled to 3200 ppi
    00WFlN-237015884.jpg
     
  20. Richard Karash [​IMG][​IMG], Apr 16, 2010; 10:09 a.m.
    Troy, I placed my USAF glass test target directly on the bed of my Epson V500 to measure that scanner at 1270 and 2000 ppi resolution (better resolution of lines running along the scan bed than of lines running across the bed). Do you think making a microfilm test target gives a better test? To make a test target with Bluefire Police flm, would you use the full-range developer or the high contrast (lith) developer?
    FWIW, my USAF target V500 scan and results are posted in this thread:
    http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00UZJA
    Back to the original question: Is the V750 the ultimate machine now?
    - For 35mm, certainly not.
    - For MF, a V750 at 2300 ppi resolution would be enough for pretty large prints, and therefore quite useful, but not ultimate.
    - For LF, how much resolution do you want?
    "
    >>>>​
    Directly on the bed will not necessarily give you the best results depending on your scanner. The epsons are set up to scan film above the glass surface somewhere around the height of the film holders.
    That would give you the lp/mm of the scanner with that medium.
    If you want to know what it will do with a particular film then I would suggest you shoot and develop it the way you will shoot it normally and go that route, IE shoot bluefire with a sharp camera and develop it low contrast. I don't think it would matter with an Epson anyway they are so fuzzy.
    My V500 is so soft it makes me sick to look at film scans, even microfilm.
    The Epson scanners are pretty darn inefficient and you have to scan super sharp film to fully resolve them, IE if you scan a 48lp/mm piece of film with an Epson scanner that will resolve 48lp/mm it wont return a 48lp/mm file. It loses info like about 25% due to lens CA and other scanner issues.
    4x5 feet is a 13x enlargement.
    My rules are this. I want to resolve 4lp/mm in print. That's good for a 20" view distance. If you are resolving 40 lp/mm (drum scan at 2000 dpi) you can print 10X or with 4x5 almost up to 36" x 40" or so.
    Now if you can get that from an Epson scanner it would work fine and in the link, he may be printing more like 2-3lp/mm which is okay just not as sharp in print thus you have to stand back more. Pretty typical these days with people printing D camera images huge
    To print 4x5 film at 4x5 feet on a lightjet at 204 dpi you would need a crisp 2600 + drum scan dpi scan or the equivilent.
    For LF that becomes more difficult especially with 8x10 film, because you are stopping down a lot more so lens diffraction can become an issue, also film flatness, squareness of the lens to the film plane, lenses are just not that sharp etc etc. All the LF problems that decrease sharpness.
    I have taken a few 8x10 photos that were worthy of a 3000 dpi drum scan and more 4x5 images. Most top out at with a 2000 dpi drum scan and its just not worth going beyond that especially if you are scanning 16 bit tiffs. A 4000 dpi 4x5 16 bit tiff is huge. A 4x5 Epson scan at 6400 dpi 16 bit tiff is way too big to deal with for the end results.
    A lot of MF has the same issues as LF, lenses just not that sharp, film flatness etc. That said I have a few stunning sharp Rollei 6008 images that are as sharp as 35mm with a 4000 dpi drum scan.
    So in general considering if you can get good enough quality out of a V__ scanner to enlarge 8X - 10X, maxed out you are talking 8x12 or maybe 10x15 for 35mm, 22.5" x 22.5" for 6x6 and roughly 36x40 for LF. Still not bad.
    That said I never could get any scans as good out of my V750 at any rez that were as crisp and detailed as my drum scanner at 2000 dpi so there are some significant losses going on there.
    With a 4000 dpi drum scan of 35mm microfilm you can print to 18"x24"
    With a 5400 dpi drum scan as above you can print at 24" x 36"
    8000 dpi which is really pushing it you could print at 36" x 48". That is about 85 mp in digital terms.
    To me LF photography is more about the experience of shooting LF and all the tedious steps you go through, along with the movements more than just film real estate. It really slows you down and the equipment is heavy and cumbersome.
    These days I would rather wander around with a 10oz Nikon 35TI and some bluefire film.
    For color photography I would prefer to have a Sony 900 or a Pentax 645D, but right now I cant afford either.
    No I do not think the V750/700 is the ultimate machine. They are decent IMO for a 8x - 10X enlargement depending on how sharp the film is and about the only thing available new, they just need a better lens, better film holders and better glass bed
     
  21. Well, for one thing, any "ultimate machine" becomes an obsolete old hat down the road... As to scanners, asides from the 2 available Flextight models, there still is (or appears to be) the Coolscan 9000 ED. Very recently I sold my 5000 ED, because "when the price is right"... And right it was. And I still have the above mentioned Epson for various uses, but not for 35mm.
    However, soon I will get a brand new Coolscan 9000 for less than what the market estimated the 5000 to be worth. In my opinion there's a game being played here. Including on this very website, where certain Players seem to be trying to influence others into believing that the 9000 Ed will no longer be available. With Singapore & other dubious sources being advanced... Meanwhile several vendors offer USA Coolscan 9000 EDs brand new in a few stores and on eBay. Granted, for more than the $ 2000,- I am willing to pay... +/- 3 K they're asking, with one down to - 2.5... When I inquired with the vendor about the UPC # and about USA warranty, I got a lame reply of the unit still being in transit with UPS. Obviously someone, somewhere in this country bought a LOT... Money being made here. Buyers beware. As often, patience will pay.
     
  22. I had an Epson V700 for a while and did not know what I was missing until I used a friend's Nikon Super Coolscan LS-8000 ED. If you do shoot 4 x 5, then perhaps the Epson is for you, as the only alternative is a drum scanner.
    But for 35mm and medium format, the Epson is so-so at best. I don't know if I would go as far as to say it sucks, but it that is not that far off the mark. I now have my own LS-8000 and it blows the Epson's door clean off the hinges. A side by side 4000 ppi comparison between the two is like night and day.
     
  23. Hi everyone
    I am a UK based professional landscape photographer and I shoot landscapes on film exclusively using a medium format camera namely a Pentax 67II, I make very satisfactory enlargements onto canvas at 50 x 40 inches. My framed prints upto 32 inches long are very crisp and stand unreasonably close scrutiny. My scanner is a Nikon 9000ED and the tranny is kept flat with a glass carrier which is admittedly expensive but gives me the quality I desire. I used to scan my medium format material on a flatbed Epson 3200 and the quality difference both in resolution and recordable dynamic range were acres apart. In the UK the Nikon 9000ED retails new for around £2750 (UKP), glass carrier another £350. That is not peanuts, but scanning is a doddle the results are to my mind stunning and the 9000ED scanners are readily available, I am amazed that they are so difficult to get hold of in the US.
    In short I heartily recommend them I would love to have a go with one of the old Imacon or new Hasselblad scanners as I am led to believe there is another jump in quality, however whilst I am happy that the difference in cost between the Epson and Nikon is entirely merited, at £14000 (UKP) for the Hasselblad I would take considerable convincing that the next step up is also a worthwhile investment.
    Here is a typical scan from a Velvia transparency with very minor processing and sharpening applied. http://www.naturephotographers.net/imagecritique/largephoto.cgi?ref=145201
    I hope that helps.
    Ian Cameron
    www.transientlight.co.uk
     
  24. I know of several people buying Coolscans 9000 by the truckload hoping to sell them at a premium.
    Their business model seems to be sound and safe. The Coolscans seem to keep their value better than the US dollar.
    If it were me, I would place an order with Adorama or J&R and just wait... (Since I already own one it is easy to say though).
     
  25. There is a problem with discussing scanners as "best" or "not best" without seeing that in the context of what you want to achieve with them. If what you want is to make scans for viewing on screen and small prints from MF then I'd suggest the Nikon 9000 is overkill and unnecessarily expensive. If what you want is to make 30" x 30" prints from a MF film then whilst the Nikon 9000 will do an adequate job there are other scanners that will do better in absolute terms. If you want to make 16" sq prints from MF originals, the Nikon 9000 will perform pretty much as well as anything, but unless you need a lot of these over the course of a few years it might be better not to buy one but to get the work done by a lab and avoid the capital cost. You can draw similar, scaled up or down conclusions about pretty much any scanner, including the V700/750, just so long as we're talking applications and volumes, not quality in an abstract or absolute sense.
    I had a Nikon 9000ED and sold it to buy a V700. Not because I seriously think that it makes better scans than the Nikon, but because it does a great job faster on the applications I carry out in decent bulk, like scanning for the web, making CDs of work to send to people, making relatively small files to feed into blurb photo-books and so on. On the other hand i make large prints from relatively few images these days, but they need to be great scans. So I buy in these big scans at a price which makes it easy to justify not owning the scanner myself, and at a quality which means I miss the Nikon not one bit.
     
  26. After trying out too many scanners and spending a lot of time comparing this and that, what I like to do is scan with whatever scanner/camera/film I am using that will give me a 2 pixel edge max.
    3 pixels deep is still workable but 2 is a lot easier to sharpen.
    4,5 and more is just way too fuzzy to work with for me.
    Most V750 scans I did at 2400 dpi looked pretty decent as long as the film was sharp and usually about a 2-3 pixel edge. That said with a drum scan that same image at 2000 dpi would have a 0 pixel edge, very crisp and clean with more detail.
    I did have a few 35mm V750 scans that I did at 2400 dpi and reduced inside Silverfast to 1800 dpi and they looked fantastic. Its just 1800 dpi is a pretty small file.
    Big enough for an 8x10 print though.
    Here is one of the 35mm scans reduced to 1800 dpi.
    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/image/68475777
     
  27. Ian; there are many new Nikon 9000's and Epsons too on ebay.
    A NIKON 9000 costs 3000 bucks
    An Epson V750 costs 500 to 850 bucks
    With many folks originals and applications the Epson is a better bang for the buck; it does not pull out all the details in a sharp original. Folks get different results with flatbeds.
    ie one gets more "useable dpi per dollar" with a flatbed. ie dpi/usd :)
    in Europe it might be dots or pixels per mm per euro? :) ie dpmm/euro :)
    My flatbed results reflect that they are OK; but leave out high end details.
    Here I have owned flatbeds for along time; early pro units we had cost 3 grand and only scanned at 800 or 1200 dpi; and were slow too. A modern Epson pulls in about say 2000 to 2400
    THAT LAST amount of details costs one more in cost!
     
  28. One might say a modern Epson is a good consumer flatbed; but if you want the best fork out 3 grand for a real film scanner like the Nikon 9000
     
  29. I have found that on average a V700/750 will pull about 40 lp/mm with sharp film.
    A 4000 dpi drum/nikon glass mounted scan will pull somewhere around 70-75 lp/mm with sharp film or maybe a true 80 lp/mm with something like microfilm..
    A 5400 dpi drum or KM5400II scan will pull about 100 + lp/mm but only with microfilm. The KM 5400II is actually resolves a little more detail than my Howtek.
    8000 dpi is too expensive but I would like to try some microfilm at 8000 dpi just to see what it would do.
    If you are going to print at 4lp/mm its just simple math.
     
  30. Ian, have you ever tried to have your slides scanned using a drum scanner and compared with the 9000? I have my slides scanned by a friend on a Nikon Coolscan 9000 and I am very satisfied with the results. I have a few slides, though, where would consider trying a better scan. As far as the Epson V750 is concerned, I shall do a test next week, comparing to the Coolscan. I was asked by a friend who has the Epson to provide a slide I had scanned on the Coolscan already. I might post the result later.
     
  31. My Nikon 9000 makes my Mamiya 7s and Leica M6s the best digital cameras out there. I hang on to my 4x5 stuff just so I can scan the 6x9s I take with it. I also save many thousands as I don't have to buy the equivalent digital cameras (like a $7000 M9).
    If it wasn't for the 9000, I'd bag it all and be completely digital. I think there is still quite a market for high-quality scanners. I would hope companies that make film would still support good scanners. I researched the V750 ad nauseam and decided it wasn't for me, unfortunately. I pay $20 a pop to have 4x5s drum scanned, when I need them.
     
  32. I personally doubt you would see much difference.
    Besides the system resolution will be lower than the film rez, so if its velvia you might be at
    70-80 lp/mm. If its average B+W film lower.
    Way back I had a soft MF lens and was comparing scanners using that lens and E100G without really realizing that I had a system rez that was somewhat soft.
    I guess I was resolving about 40lp/mm. I scanned it with 3 different scanners including a Nikon 8000 and they all looked about the same as for detail.
    It took me a while to figure out what happened, but that's when I decided that it was important to know the limits of the equipment and film I was shooting before I started jumping to conclusions.
    Most people I have done drum scans for that had also done Nikon 4000 ED scans and whatnot, saw little if any gain in resolution.
    Fact is if it is average 35mm film and resolving in the 70s IMO either would look about the same as long as the film is flat in the Nikon.
    Here is a 4000 dpi E100G drum scan crop from the center of a Rollei 6008 frame. This is probably one of the sharpest 6x6 images I have ever taken. I don't have even one RZ67 lens that can resolve this sort of detail. Maybe the 65mm floating element lens would. this image would be good for a 36" x 36" enlargement.
    00WFqv-237065584.jpg
     
  33. Ian Cameron. If you are interested in what you can get out of your work with an Imacon, then David Hall at Blueskyimages (www.blueskyimages.co.uk) offers good scans from an Imacon. Depending on size of scan required, I'm paying between £6.50 and £10/scan and for that you get the scan hand-cleaned in photoshop, so no Ice to soften the image and importantly no hours spent in front of a computer cleaning and cloning. To me, the availability of that means that I don't need and can't justify the ownership of a scanner to support my prints.
     
  34. David - my experience with the Epson flatbed is similar to yours - I have a Nikon 5000 for 35mm and I used to have an Epson V700 for MF (Mamiya 645 and Fuji 6x8). I was never happy with the Epson - it took a lot of time and effort to get a reasonable result and even then I was not really happy. Finally I cracked about a year ago and bought an Nikon 9000 ED and the glass holder (about $2400 in the US - although I live in Canada). The Nikon 9000 may not quite get drum scanner results but it is very close and is a massive improvement over the Epson. Even without the quality improvement the time saving aspects of the Nikon make it worth the money.
     
  35. Thank Troy Ammons for excellent comparison scans. You will note that the Howtek was by far the better scanner. However the Howtek was the only fluid scanner (wetmounting) of the lot compared. For one, the focus plane of the drum scanner will be right on and the focal plane of the Nikon or Epson will not, due to film curvature. Additionally fluid scanning enhances the resolution of the scan substantially as it increases contrast and dynamic range. The resolution of the Nikon 9000 and the Epson V750 is greater fluid scanning or wet mounted. With fluid scanning the resolution of the Nikon 9000 is boosted to much beyond 4000 dpi .
     
  36. Fluid scanning does not increase the apparent resolution IMO if you are talking comparing wet to dry scans on a drum scanner.
    Also I dont think you can really compare the Nikon 9000 to a drum scanner anything unless you use the glass carrier.
    Iffy film flatness kills rez. Thats a pretty big issue with the KM 5400II.
    How can you boost a film scan past its resolution ??
    Wont happen. No magic resolution boost happening when you wet scan. Matter of fact there are more
    transparent surfaces for the lens and light to go through.

    IMO if you are using a top scanner with a deep Dmax the big difference between wet and dry scanning, is the reduction of grain, scratches, dust and inperfections. There will be a slight gain in apparent Dmax but very slight. I am talking drum scanners not CCD scanner so much.
    I think what you are seeing is On the Nikon when wet scanning is the difference in film flatness, or maybe the CCD acts differently to wet scanning. I know it did absolutly nothing for my V750 as far as its real measurable resolution goes.
    Drum scanning is different though since it samples RGB at every pixel location.
    As far as drum scanning, I get the sharpest scans when I dry scan the emulsion side. IE I wet mount the back to the drum and the top is dry. I usually only do that for test scans and what not.
    The Rollei scan above is a dry scan and so are the microfilm boat crops. Microfilm scans good dry. If only I didi not get newton rings, I would not have to even fluid mount the back with microfilm.
    Wet scanning the emulsion side with a piece of acetate is next. Almost as sharp as above, but a less grain/noise with color film.
    I think most people wet drum scan the non-emulsion side and that is significantly softer than a dry emulsion scan
    I think Microfilm scans better emulsion up and dry.
    That said, it usually takes a balance of the right aperture and wet scanning to get a perfect scan ready to print straight off the scanner.
    With microfilm 4000 dpi and 6 micron aperture is about perfect, but notice the Howtek was having problems with the horizontal lines on the grate and the KM5400 was still resolving more detail.
    With a 2000 dpi wet scan and E100G I open up the aperture one step and it kills almost all of the grain and returns a ready to print file. Very sharp edges and nice color depth. Those make absolutely perfect enlargements from 4x5 film with very little work.
    4000 dpi with E100G is a little more tricky because it is resolving more grain, but its similar. Open up the aperture 1-2 steps and wet scan. There is some grain there but not too bad.
    With B+W film, You can scan according to how much grain you want to resolve, IE emulsion side dry the most, emul side down and wet the least, open up the aperture even more and smoother still.
    I really hate scanning color negatives. Can be touch and go. Some films work great and are easy to scan and some just give me fits.
     
  37. I'm not going to compare my 700 to anything but I will say it gets unfairly "tested" by critics around here who have never owned one or parrot what they've heard from from web chatter. These scanners can make a fine looking 8x12 from 35mm and very nice 11x14's from 645. I use my holders at the lowest height for best focus. (my machine) Two things are critical for the best possible scans. First the emulsion side must be facing up. Second the film needs to be perfectly flat. Curl will quickly kill the limited focus and the holders are to flimsy to sufficiently straighten a curled film. I seem to get my best scans using the 3200 dpi setting no matter what the actual resolution might be. (see test scans below.
    00WFzk-237127684.jpg
     
  38. And here's the 100% crop. I've had less grainy shots look even more impressive. (ps the truck is covered with water droplets if this look a bit strange to you.)
    00WFzn-237129584.jpg
     
  39. I think I'll have to run some tests. I should have a couple of rolls of 120 in the
    fridge.
     
  40. That does happen a lot. A lot of people suffer from pride of ownership too.
    I personally suffer from the ultimate sharpness bug. Probably why I like microfilm.
    Some people I have run into that own a V750 without ever having owned anything better think its the best thing since sliced bread and even compare it to drum scans.
    People who have never owned a V750 dis it completely and say its a waste of time. It does fit a certain market and price point just like the plusteks and Pacific Image scanners
    Its a decent scanner, its just limited and needs a better lens IMO.
    There aren't any reasonably priced scanners that will scane multi formats like it will do and scan reflective media too.
    It would be nice if the next one was good for an honest 3200-3600 dpi, IE 60-65 lp/mm or so.
    I would be the first in line for sure.
     
  41. Troy says "Some people I have run into that own a V750 without ever having owned anything better think its the best thing since sliced bread and even compare it to drum scans.
    People who have never owned a V750 dis it completely and say its a waste of time."
    You about hit it on the head. It's somewhere in between.
     
  42. I've never used a film scanner because all my work is either large format (4x5 and 8x10) or digital. For my 4x5 and 8x10 b&w negatives the Epson 4990 (the predecessor to the 700/750 series and essentially the same scanner in terms of resolving ability with both being right at a tested 2100 - 2200 ppi) with a UMax holder does an excellent job on prints up to about 16x20. A drum scan will do a little better when printing that size or smaller, mainly by producing a little more detail in the shadows, and a lot better when you get into larger prints.
    I have to respectfully disagree with someone who said a 700/750 would do a good job with 35mm and prints up to 8x12. I wasn't even very happy with my 6x7 negatives at 8x12, I never even bothered trying 35mm. But to some extent this is a question of personal standards. What one person finds acceptable another might not. Since I came to digital printing from many years of darkroom work, including a lot of 8x10 contact printing, my standards may be different than some others (not better, just different).
    The problem with flat bed scanners for home use is that in my memory there's never been much of a middle ground. You either got a prosumer scanner for $700 -$1,000 or you had to jump up into the $5,000 range for an Imacon or the like. There just hasn't been much in between.
    I guess this long answer to your question is that the 700/750 series IMHO is the ultimate in home flat bed scanners for 4x5 and 8x10 film. There has to be something better in film scanners for smaller formats.
     
  43. 35mm scan from v500. The V700 should be a bit better.
    00WG6m-237203584.jpg
     
  44. You got a good V500 then. My V500 is so soft it makes me gag.
    I think that is a big part of the Epson film/scan problem, is the unit to unit variation and I am
    100% convinced its mostly the lens. I can understand in that some of the older high end scanners capable of a clean 2000 dpi or so had lenses that cost as much as the rest of the scanner. Not an option on a V500/600 or even a V750. If the V750 had the best focusing lens you could buy with a better glass bed and better tolerances it would probably cost $2000+.
    Brian Ellis
    Here is one of my sharper 35mm V750 scans.
    It works for a 8x10 at 200 dpi. There are some other scans of the same piece of film in that section.
    I used to have a 4870 and it never cut it for 35mm. The V750 barely works at about 5-6 mp.
    Good enough for the internet or a small print.
    http://www.pbase.com/tammons/image/68475777
     
  45. Brian says "I wasn't even very happy with my 6x7 negatives at 8x12" and "But to some extent this is a question of personal standards"
    Rather insulting Brian. I shoot with a 25mp Sony, Leica, Nikon and top lenses and throw in a Mamiya 645 pro tl for fun. I know what good detail looks like. I have good equipment and good technique. I think you have a bum scanner or just don't have a clue as to what you are doing.
     
  46. dae

    dae

    I'm lost as to what all the fuss is about. I scan 35mm B&W (Pan F) on a V700 at 6400 , process in CS4 and print at 18x12 on an Epson R2400. Don't know anything about LP/mm but the results are impressive enough for me.
     
  47. Back to the V750... I'm happy with the sharpness and detail of V500 scans of 6x9 when printed at 12x18. This means the V500 is useful to me (and the V750 would be better) for enjoying my MF shooting. My rule of thumb is V500 is OK for prints up to 6x the film linear dimension.
     
  48. For the money, and with proper handling, the Epson's are quite good. Ultimate? That be my old ScanMate with ColorQuartet which I can't really use since the software is ancient. So its kind of moot. My older Imacon's produced better results than the Epson (they are also long gone). The question should really be, what's a good produce, for the money, that you can run with current software on a current OS and what hoops (gel or oil mounting) is required. For the price of a drum off a drum scanner, you could probably purchase several Epson scanners. And they are built for the "average" (non pro scanner) operator. The host software is also important as a great scanner with poor software is a doorstop. At least you can drive the Epson with Lasersoft which no match for high end scanning software is vastly better than the stuff that normally ships with the consumer scanner so keep that in mind too.
    Ultimately I'm very happy I capture with a 5DMII these days and only have to deal with scanning a few times a year. I miss that routine about as much as printing in the darkroom <g>
     
  49. Here is another TriX neg scanned at 2500 ppi
    00WGFH-237257784.jpg
     
  50. My V750 and Nikon 5000's are being used for quick reference, and very rarely at full resolution. I'm just wondering why would you want to do that anyway. With so many shot on film, I simply do a 6-10mpixel scan of each image, lightly processed and filtered and then stored in a catalog. When the need for a high reproduction print arrives, off the film goes for a drum scan (which I normally outsource). There's no real sense in storing gigabytes of scans... you have all the information ON FILM, why replicate? (and please, don't tell me it's a backup, my film negs/slides have outlived all my digital equipment).
     
  51. I simply do a 6-10mpixel scan ... There's no real sense in storing gigabytes of scans... you have all the information ON FILM, why replicate?​
    You have competent equipment for 135. With most films, a 4000dpi scan from the 5000 is indistinguishable from that out of a drum scanner. A slightly tweaked machine will also digitize an entire 36 frame roll unattended in an hour. When a 6MP scan is not materially faster to do than a 21MP scan on this machine, it makes sense to digitize every frame and at the highest resolution.
    I use a Nikon 9000 for 120 film. The workflow isn't as fast as the 5000 for 135, but essentially the same argument applies.
     
  52. @Michael Ferron - I said my standards might be "different." I used the word "different" to avoid any implication that I was saying my standards might be higher (and therefore better). Then to make it clear beyond a doubt (I thought) that I wasn't making a value judgment about my standards vs anyone else's, I added the phrase "different, not better." If you or anyone else took this as an insult, my apologies. None was intended and I'm frankly surprised you'd consider it an insult to say that different people have might have different standards.
     
  53. The Nikon Coolscan 9000 is still available new. I had to special order one from my local camera store. Was told it would take 4 weeks. It ended up taking 7 weeks. I paid $1999.99.
     
  54. Thanks for letting us know, Jeff..! Exactly what the interested community needs to know, contrary to what some Hypsters here want us to believe. Even on eBay some have dropped their prices. A few days ago one went for $ 2450,-, brand new, USA. I, for one, went ahead as you did, ordering my replacement for under 2 K and (somewhat) in the future delivery.
    Patience usually pays.
     
  55. Many years with the Minolta Dimage --- love their 120 film holder --- mainly B&W ...... Have a Epson 2450 for 4X5 .........
     
  56. Excellent thread - I'm back in the market looking for a replacement for my old canon 4000. All of this discussion comes in the nick of time. Earlier while I was shopping I came across an interesting thread thread earlier today - http://photography.bhinsights.com/content/future-without-photos.html
    There seems to be a lot of discussion here about printing vs not printing, etc.
     
  57. Like wise...a very timely thread as I am wondering how to digitze 35mm , 645, 66, 67, 69, 54.
    The thing really holding me back are the whispers about a V700 replacement!
    If I knew when that was coming I'd be in a better position to decide what to do right now.
    Anybody have any idea on that?
     
  58. Brian;
    Flatbeds have been hit their 5th time constant when Vista came out and about the 1st time constant when XP came out.
    Waiting another year for a better flatbed is like waiting another year for a better circular saw, vacuum cleaner or stapler; the product is about fully mature
     
  59. Waiting another year for a better flatbed is like waiting another year for a better circular saw, vacuum cleaner or stapler; the product is about fully mature​
    Or better horse and buggy. The scanner market is pretty much a dead market and the likelihood of seeing big companies making them seems iffy at best. Maybe a repackage, but its hard to believe we’ll see much growth in this market.
     
  60. Hi Kelly,
    Certainly I wouldn't wait a year. What I've googled to find is typically forum posts from the end of last year with the notion to wait a few months for the new Epsom. So more or less the only info out there points to about now being the time the sucessor is launched. I would imagine this would lead to a decent discount of the v700/v750.
    Andrew,
    I don't know how difficult it would be to do this nor what price it would be sold at but how about an autofocus flatbed? That would, in theory, get rid of the bugbear of film holders & height adjusters. If the 'bad scanners' are actually good scanners with bad users unable to ID the best scan height then you'd also be looking at a better than 1 in 4 chance of getting a good one. In theory! ;p
     
  61. I don't know how difficult it would be to do this nor what price it would be sold at but how about an autofocus flatbed?​
    Its not difficult, its a basic business decision to build a team to make a new product, market it etc when the sale of scanners is probably pretty darn low.
     
  62. Ah well here goes. Going to order a v700 right now. Nodoubt somewhere deep inside Epson and alarm bell will ring tomorrow morning "Bri's ordered! Now lets roll out the v900".
     
  63. Ok Its arrived and I will ask on a new thread but dupe it here...could anyone recommend a web from their favourites about this? A sort of total newby intro to film scanning with the v700? I've seen from posts above about scanning at one size then downsizing etc it can't be as straight forward as it may seem. Ditto things concerning making the scanner scan a particular area of film. I'm hoping a basic but very informative web page / site could help me get good scans faster rather than maybe going along thinking I'm doing well only to realise I need to redo the last 3 months worth of scans because I missed some good info somewhere.
    BTW I know very little about digital things in general.
     
  64. Brian, you will need a new computer too. lol
    Years ago, when I was using a 2 ghz single-core Athlon processor, I upgraded from 512 MB of RAM to 1 GB, just so I could view my giant TIFF scans from my HP 4995 flatbed scanner (4800 dpi). It was a choice between the more expensive Epson 4890 or that $200 HP. I was shooting 4x5 transparencies and negatives. After realizing how long it takes to scan a 20 square inch negative at 4,800 dpi I decided to scan at 2400 and 3200 dpi. My best results came from scanning at 4,800 dpi and downsizing to 3,200 dpi. Why? Because the computer was churning away, taking all night to do the processing on 4,800 dpi images. The 3,200 dpi images didn't look as good coming straight from the scanner, and the 2,400 dpi scans were almost like preview scans to me. I thought, "What's the point in shooting large format and scanning at medium resolution?"
    After a few scans and lots of time I realized I would need to build a much faster computer. I decided to get a Mac, because I realized I would need a really powerful system to edit multi-gigapixel scans. I never bought the Mac workstation system I wanted. It was too expensive. In fact, I realized that shooting large format was a very expensive and slow process best left to experts. I went back to shooting RAW with my ten megapixel digital. Now I shoot RAW with a 12 megapixel camera, and I'm satisfied with it, though I would love to be able to shoot wildly artistic stuff with a high-res tilt-shift lens (too expensive). If I win the lottery, I'll get an Epson 750 with a new Mac Pro workstation fully configured with extra drives to speed up my swap files, extra RAM to handle the giant multi-gigabyte files, and a 30 inch screen to view the most detail I can. I'll buy that 8x10 field camera I've been wanting and a 72mm Super Angulon XL. I'll dish out the five grand to get that amazing convertible lens I can only dream of today. Then I'll have somone else do my scans most of the time, since it's cheap enough (cheaper than film and processing anyway), and since I'll have to send out my color film for processing anyway. The scanner will still take all night to scan at top resolution (the only resolution to use), since I'll be scanning at even higher resolutions and the 8x10 film is four times the size, so it's a one picture per day process (well, maybe two if you can scan while working on the computer during the day time). But large format people are like that, right? (one picture per day)
    What do we really need a multi-gigapixel image for anyway? Who prints bigger than 20x30? I get beautifully clear prints at that size from my Sony R1 (a 10 megapixel APSc sensor camera with a nice f2.8 Zeiss lens). If I can get such high quality from that camera, what do I need an 8x10 for? That's sort-of where I stand right now, shooting hundreds of photos each day, and wondering how much I would miss that ability, if I were to hike around with an 8x10 in a backpack, Benbo II tripod over my shoulder, and two loaded film holders packed in with my camera, lenses, dark cloth, and light meter.
    I still yearn for the experience of shooting large format, I still have my 4x5, I still need to get a computer fast enough to edit the images, and I still don't know why I would need such high quality images. The main reason I yearn to shoot large format film I guess . . . I'm a romantic, and I realize that 4 gigapixels is better quality than I will ever be able to afford in a digital camera. Sure, some day I'll be able to buy a 200 megapixel SLR, but not next year . . . or even the year after that. So I hope that one day I'll have ten or fifteen grand to buy large format equipment. Of course, I'll probably spend that much on a new SLR and lenses, so I'll probably need forty or fifty grand to spend on camera equipment, which means I'll need a lot more than that, because I'd much rather spend a few grand traveling than get a bunch of equipment that I really don't need, so I'll probably really need about fifty or sixty grand. Maybe I don't need to win the lottery. Maybe I can just sell a couple thousand prints instead. Anyone got any ideas how to do that in a year or two?
    Seriously, the Epson scanner is amazing. It will give you better results than that cheap HP I used, and that's more than enough to produce incredibly good quality images. No, it's not the ultimate scanner, but it is probably the ultimate value in a flatbed scanner, and it's made by one of the best and most reliable companies in the business, as I'm sure you know. Scan at top resolution (expect to leave it overnight if you're scanning 4x5 large format film or larger), and downsize to a resolution you can actually manipulate in Photoshop, like something around 20 or 30 megapixels.
    It's going to take some playing around. Have a few nights available, because you're going to be up late!
    Good luck!
     
  65. Wow Scott I nearly missed this reply.
    Would you believe I've only just got around to trying to use the scanner properly. I'm quitepeeved off at my first attempts with colour negative. For instance I generally get a setup and do a couple of shots at different apertures one after the other (= no great differences between then other than dof) and two 6x9 negs side by side on the scanner are hugey different. I mean I know I did them all on a certain colour background but one is sort of that colour whilst the other looks like its been shot against a grey background. Wild. I was hoping for better.
    So far the Dual core laptop is managing ok but I've been looking at newer PC's since my 1Gb 1.5GHz single core PC is suffering. Even the dual core (2Gb) has run out of memory and refused some Photoshop edits on me. You can get hex cores now, overclocked ones at that. They must be amazing on 64 bit systems ... the ones I were looking at (but can't afford) can take 16Mb of memory on their MoBo's. I have yet to get to a 5x4 scan but I'm confident I can do it with my current line up it can do it considering it did OK with the 6x9's (taking about 5mins).
    The thing I do need and soonish is more HDD space. Right now 1Tb external HDD are coming in at about 50UKP which is amazingly cheap IMO.
     
  66. I found a cool 2 TB external drive from Western Digital Brian. It was $189 at CompUSA about a month ago, so I'd be willing to bet it will be cheaper now on-line. What I liked about it was that it works as a network drive, with a 1 Gb Ethernet port (that way it doesn't use one of my fire-wire ports). I'm working with an iMac now (24 inch dual core 2.33 Ghz with 3 GB of RAM). I have 4 external hard drives connected to it right now. Three are firewire 400, so I can only use two at a time (for some reason they don't daisy-chain like I expected, so only two will work in a series at a time). I also have a 1 TB firewire 800 drive from Western Digital, which seems to be working quite well. I need another one right now. Imagine me with an 8x10 camera?!? lol
    I'm planning to get a switch and a couple of those network drives, when they come out in 3 TB or maybe 4 TB versions. That will be my ultimate solution hopefully, but of course, now there is the new USB 3 drive I just saw at Costco for $100. It was 1 TB, and I'm looking for a netbook right now with a USB 3 port, because if I'm going to buy a netbook, then I need one with USB 3, of course!
    Computers just aren't fast enough yet, and Windows 7 really SUCKS! I still plan to get that Mac Pro workstation some day . . . hopefully next year . . . after I get the new Sigma SD1 and a bunch of Sigma EX lenses. Then, eventually, I'll get myself a 4x5 field camera and an Epson V750-M scanner (or whatever is the best value by then). I've found that shooting is the key, not equipment. I still want stellar quality though, and there is no replacement for large format. I'd like to hear more about your experiences when you start scanning 4x5 film Brian.
     
  67. Perhaps this has previously been discussed? How to flatten the 120 negative in its epson V700 film holder. It makes a difference if the negative bows even a little. As of now I "sandwich" the negative in its holder above and below with strips of stiff contact paper leaving exposed only the frame I wish to scan. I do the same on the Microtek 120ff scanner. I am attaching an image which depicts what I am trying to describe. The image is the microtek film holder which holds only1 film strip but the idea is the same. In the attached image the frame I am set up to scan is the frame in the second slot. Is there an after market vendor out there you sells a film strip holder with cross "ribs" perhaps between frames (like the coolscan 35mm holder) to fix my problem?
    00Zbx4-416023584.jpg
     
  68. I have ordered medium format film holder and ANR glass for the V700.
     

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