Epson V550/V600 MF scanning - worth trying aftermarket film holders to increase scan sharpness?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by pablo_escobar, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. OK -- my preference is for the left-hand image (of the side by side 100% crops.) It looks like a scanned image that will sharpen up well with Unsharp Mask, revealing an amazing amount of detail. (One of the minor miracles of scanning to me. When I look at the raw scans they always seem hopelessly soft and dreary, but a little local sharpening, a touch of global sharpening, and a bit of a curve and VOILA! Nice pictures!)
  2. I don't know anything about your film holders, but I generally agree and suggest a well-thought-out holder is worth the money, to achieve good quality scans in a reliable and repeatable manner.

    The biggest issue solved by a good holder is flatness. If the film curls at all, you are throwing away sharpness at best; at worst it affects contrast, colour and exposure in localized areas of the film, which is diabolically hard to clean up in post.

    Finally, I would avoid putting film right on the glass plate of the scanner. You will get Newton rings, maybe not all the time, but when you do it will drive you crazy, and make you use a different technique (holder.)
  3. Just sharing my 2c. The holder is better made than the OEM Epson, it does hold your film flat. I will post an image from a best and worst case scenario. Ie - when the film is already quite flat and when the film is quite curved.

    For me this improves your flatbed scanner but it isn't going to transform your flatbed scanner into a dedicated scanner. If you are really looking for sharper scans, have a look at using a dSLR with a macro lens and a light table and photograph them 1 by 1. Maybe not all photo's, maybe just the handful. But you would still need to hold your film flat somehow ... when you use the camera to scan it. I read that the Epson V700 effective resolution is around 2300-2400 for a 6x7 neg that's a 38MP file.
  4. My curly films once cut and sleeved has become less curly. Anyway I have two comparison fwiw ...

    Outline. Left is the Hassie and the right is the RB67.

  5. First the 6x6 comparison. Left is the Epson OEM holder with the plastic feet adjusted to the plus mark and the right is the Better Scanning holder calibrated with my own eyes. Using LR both are +1 EV but no other adjustments made, no sharpening added nor with the scanning software.

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  6. 2nd test.

  7. I scan 35 & 120 negs with the emulsion down in my V600. Anti Newton Glass placed on top of the negs in the Better Scanning carriers flatten the negs & provide an order of magnitude in sharpness compared to the Epson carriers. The BS carriers are calibrated with nylon set screws & stay in alignment for ??? Two years now on the V600. Three times in the past 4 years or so I wanted a SUPER PRINT, so those negs went out for drum scanning & printing. 11x14's hold up well when "proofed" by Costco. Bill

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