epson 2450 vs. 3170 vs. 3200

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by alec_holst, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. which one of these scanners will be superior for scanning 6 x 6
    black and white negs and color slides. i have a dedicated 35mm
    scanner so that is not an issue. I will mostly be using tri-x, tmax,
    provia and velvia. i use photoshop for prost processing so the
    bundled software shouldn't be much of an issue ( i assume?). thanks.
  2. The newest scanner would be the most superior (the Epson 4780 or 4870 or something like that), but I routinely scan 6x6 negs on my Epson 2450 and it works just fine. I've made prints up to 15x15" and they looked great--I've never tried larger because I have no need to. $199 at the clearance store with free shipping.
  3. Here we use an Epson 1200U; an Epson 1250; an Epson 2450; and an Epson 3200. I cannot tell an improvement of the 3200 verus our older 2450; if anything; our Epson 2450 is our sharpest Epson of all four units. Of course the first two are only 1200 dpi/ppi. The Epson 2400 and 3200 dpi units are not even twice as good as the 1200 dpi unit; maybe 1.5X. Flatbeds dont pull out the entire cigar in resolution.
  4. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Kelly if you catch this a direct question for you as I know through your work you have a lot of experiance with this subject.

    If the largest print to be made from a 6X6 source is going to be 8.5 X 8.5" do you see any reason to get a scanner (I'm looking at the epsons) that is more then the 2450 in resolution?

    I have thought about the new Canon 9950F for it's 35mm batch scanning abilities (I would still use my FS4000US for actual print scanning) it also has the ability to scan more then one stip of 6 X 6 at a time I believe. But it is rather expensive for the home printer while the 2450 is quite reasonable.

    Any thoughts?
  5. I've had both an Epson 2450 and now an Epson 3200. The 3200 is definitely superior for medium format to the 2450, but not dramatically better. From what I've read, the Epson 4870 is a bit better than the 3200 but again not dramatically better. I don't have any experience with the 3170, but it was my impression that it was similar to the 3200 but wouldn't do scans larger than 6 cm wide.

    For reversal film, dmax could be an issue with any of these scanners. I do mainly negative film, b/w or color, so dmax is not an issue for me. The dynamic range of negatives is well within the capability of any modern scanner. For the few transparencies I've done, I haven't had any problem with the Epson 3200, but I am extremely careful about exposure. Any overexposure could put you beyond the dmax of that scanner. The Epson 4870 has a slightly higher dmax than the 3200.
  6. Leonard and Alex; I wonder if there is a serial number to serial number variation of these units; which might explain the vast differences in results folks get from them? Maybe the scan bar varies by batch or something??. Some folks here on say these units are real bad; and have returned them; and quoted "they are only good enough for web usage". Our are abit way overkill for web usage. Here our 2450 is abit better than the 3200; but that is just our units. Your results maybe just the opposite. Ours is a real real early 2450 unit; when they first came out. We tried a scan with a friends 4800dpi unit; and it wasnt that much better; so we never got one. There has to be some variation in these units to have such a wide range of test results. <BR><BR>If one assumes they will pull out say a 1500 dpi/ppi usuable scan; then a 5x enlargement would make a 10x10" print at 300 usable pixels per inch being sharp. In a psoter printer the ppi printed at is usually one half; or 150ppi; for a 20x20" print. Here we have printed nice 30x40" prints from 4x5 negatives scanned with the Epson 2450; here the large negative area is doing the work.
  7. We once paid over 1000 bucks for a 1200 dpi/ppi flatbed; and over 1200 for a 600 dpi/ppi flatbed; when they were state of the art. These had radically less dmax than todays Epson's; and were slow slugs with parallel ports; but better with scsi. We got these at our shop long ago. When the 1200 dpi unit was the tops; the "flatbed thought" was that 1200 dpi/ppi was the max a flatbed scanner would really scan in real resolution; this wasnt a bad take about a decade ago. Each newer unit has had quicker scans; better dmax; but more of a fluff factor in quoted resolution to real resolution.
  8. Kelly - Yes, you are right. There is often a wide variation in performance from scanner unit to scanner unit even withing the some model line. Some people have tested for sharpness and found their scanner's optimal sharpness point to be under the glass while others have reported it is 2.7 mm or more above the glass. The relatively wide depth of field with these scanners allows Epson to get away with level of quality control. If you get one that is actually right at 1 mm you are very lucky!
    Dougs MF Film Holder for batch scanning of 120/220 medium format film with flatbeds
  9. I have only the 2450 to comment on... I did resolution tests once upon a time and found
    that the ideal focus point was just a minute amount closer to the glass then where the film
    ended up sitting with the Epson neg carriers. Not enough to cause a big stir with 35mm or
    6x6, but enough to throw off my Minox and other subminiature negative scanning. I have
    a dedicated 35mm film scanner, though, so normally scan submini and 35mm with that
    when I'm doing critical quality work.

    I bought one of Doug's film holders and find it to be a nice improvement: it holds the MF
    negatives flatter and in better alignment with the best focus point for the scanner.

    So far the 2450 has done a good enough job with B&W/color neg and color transparencies,
    allowed me to make prints up to 13x19" with a little bit of careful Photoshop processing. I
    have less success with transparencies than with negatives ... Many transparencies that look
    so neat on a screen halfway across the room simply aren't good originals for scanning.

  10. so it's narrowed down to the 3200 and the 2450 and that one is consistently better then the other? very interesting, any other suggestions/comments?
  11. i meant one ISN'T better then the other....
  12. If the 3170 is anything like the 4180 ditch it. Shadow details are constantly missing from my scans (6x7). I'm looking for: Duoscan T2500, Powerlook 3000, Linotype Saphir II, Leafscan 45, right now. These maybe older but dmax will kill my 4180. I've scanned at 48-bit/4870 DPI and 24-bit/2400 DPI and no difference....

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