How to get better results with a HP Scanjet G4050?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by christian_seebode, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Hello,
    after extensive research on this forum I purchased a HP G4050 photo scanner to
    scan in 35mm/MF negatives and slides. I plan to use it for my archive only;
    occasional enlargements will be made by a professional lab.

    So far so good. However, as the manual and CD which came with the scanner seem
    to be designed for illiterates rather than for newbies who are trying to do
    serious work with this machine, my scanning results lag far behind the the
    optical capabilities of Summicron, Planar & Co.

    Could you give me away some tricks how to do better (in terms of resolution,
    format etc.) or a good website which I could study in peace?

    Thank you very much in advance.
  2. Hmm. You might do better by posting this in the Digital Darkroom Forum.
  3. Thanks for the advice. Can one of the mods kindly move this for me?
  4. I think just about everyone will tell you that scanning 35mm film with a flat bed scanner is sub-optimal (to be polite about it). The advertised high resolutions for the flat bed won't be as good as even a lower resolution dedicated 35mm film scanner.

    You can try Vuescan (you can try it before you buy it) which has a lot of options that might help you improve the scans but you may still find that the results are less than you'd hoped for.

  5. The reviews on the web are pretty iffy on this one. None from any of the serious digital darkroom enthusiast sites. The tales of HP being slow to support Windows Vista with drivers are classic HP. You can be 100% sure that this scanner will NEVER be supported on whatever Microsoft OS comes after Vista. HP has zero (zip, nada) loyalty to customers after the purchase. (A huge change from the HP of 20 years ago.)

    I was woefully dissatisfied with my first scanner, which was from HP, and I got into the same old Windows version problem -- they never provided reliable software for Windows 2000, and I had a $575 paperweight when I upgraded from Windows 95 to Windows 2000.

    Be sure you have downloaded the latest software from HP. I don't know why vendors even include CD's of drivers anymore, they are always incredibly old and buggy by the time they reach the consumer.

    VueScan is your best hope for competent software to drive this scanner. It's very powerful, but the user interface is naively bad in my opinion.

    I suspect the real optical resolution of this scanner is somewhere in the range of 1200 to 2000 pixels/inch, forget about the 4800 number, that's specsmanship, not real performance. Scanner specifications are all lies.
  6. Robert - I cannot agree with you on this. I have used Polaroid and Nikon Coolscan film scanners but after finding no real advantage against a Canon 9950F flatbed I now only use the flatbed and have dispensed with using the other two. I'm not printing larger than A3 in colour and B&W so I am not seeking absolute perfection but I can honestly say that I have been disappointed with the appparent minimal quality improvement by using the Coolscan. The Polaroid was some time ago and at that time was one of the best. The Coolscan I borrowed is much better but I could not justify the price. The Canon has given me excellent results and of course I have all the other advantages of a flatbed. Sorry to disagree.
  7. You didn't really disagree so much :)

    I did indicate that the results may or may not live up to expectations. Really in the eye of the beholder. I personally can't live with a flatbed scanner for 35mm film, but that's just me. If you're happy with your results, that's really all that counts.

  8. the reviews I read on that one didn't look that promising... sorry. I bought an Epson 4990, which was $100 more (with huge rebates)... I think you kind of get what you pay for...

    Probably you are pushing it with that scanner and 35mm films... MF and LF it will probably do fine.

    Some flatbed scanners can be improved by shimming the film holders above the glass to the correct focus plane (just have to experiment).

    I doubt Vuescan will improve your scans. I've compared it to Epson and Nikon scanning software and it does no better. Better just figure out how to get a high bit depth scan and do everything in Photoshop.

    Good luck!

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