Plustek 7400 vs Epson v500

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by guy_mor, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. So, I need a scanner mainly for slides and negatives, but also for photos.
    That's why I wanted to get the Epson v500.
    But then I realized I could get the Plustek Opticfilm 7400 for a similar price.
    From what I see, the Plustek is supposed to be a professional, dedicated film/negative scanner.
    So, what do you guys think - the Plustek is better, right?
  2. The plustek is *not* a professional scanner. It will do a better job at 35mm film than the v500.
    The plustek you mention does not have infra red ability (unless you left out an 'i' by mistake), so no ice for you. This may be enough of a point to choose the v500. If you are in the monochrome market ice does not work, the the Plustek is the one for you.
    I have the 4490 (pre-v500), Plustek 7200i, epson v700. before the v700, I used the 4490 for my 120mm film and the 7200i for my 35mm. It took a bit of convincing to stop using the 7200i over the v700. My work with slides (really dense film) made the v700 win me over. I now have more desk space... ;)
  3. In a word, maybe. I could never get good results out of the 7400 I owned, especially with B&W and color slides. I get much better results with my lowly Epson 3170. It may only be because I know it so much better, know how to set it up and get decent results. I am getting ready to buy the V600, though, because of the LED light and it's a bit faster. The V500 is a good machine, there are many photographers who get excellent results from it.
    I think it really depends on what you plan to use it for. I can print 8x10s and the occasional 11x14 with decent scans I get on the 3170, if the negative was good. I also scan 6x6, it gives nice results with that as well. If I were using it for commercial use, though, I would save my money and get a Nikon, or perhaps the new Pacific Image Primefilm 120.
  4. So you guys are saying that the Plustek, which is a dedicated film scanner.. is not as good as the v500, which isn't?
    I think I might be able to afford the 7600i or whatever it's called - would that make a difference?
    Lastly, should I get the v500 or the v600?
  5. The plustek is far superior in 35mm scans. I will also say it also works much better under vuescan than silverfast, but that is just my take.
  6. The V600 allows you to scan three medium format 6x7 at one time vs. one for the V500. They both scan the same quantity of 35mm. Also, the V600 does ICE on prints and film while the V500 only does it on film. If you have any beat up prints that might be a buying point too. Also, the V600 is the later model. Whether Epson resolved any design issues left over from the V500, I don't know. But it's possible that the product is made better because of that. I own and use the V600 so there might be some prejudice in the slant of my comments :)
  7. Also, I can't speak for the Plustek but the V600 is so-so for 35mm and better for medium format. You can check my Flickr to see both type scan for comparisons.
  8. I had the lower version of Plustek for a short time and it produced better results for 35mm than the replacement Epson 4490. If you don't do MF work and don't intend to start any time soon, personally I would use the Plustek some consideration.
  9. You guys must have figured out how to use the Plustek, then, because I could never get good results with it, especially B&W. I used Vuescan, too, because the Silverfast did not work for me. Here's an idea, Guy, buy the Plustek and scan with it for a month. If you don't like it, sell it on Ebay, I ended up selling it for only $10 less than I paid for it.
    Peter, I am surprised you can get FAR better results vs. the Epson V500. Care to share some secrets on how? Seriously, I was ready to throw the 7400 out the window.
  10. So Michael, if I did a post about such a thing, would you or anyone be interested?
  11. Guy: The V600 seems to do better with medium format than 35mm slides as I originally stated. I can't say the noise is really "that bad" since I have no other scanners to compare too. I have seen others who scanned using the V700 and Nikon dedicated scanners and they all appear to scan 35mm better. Cannot say how the V600 does against the Plustek though since I never had a Plustek.
  12. This is what I get from my v500 using TriX scanned at 2000ppi.
  13. I can't say if the plustek is better. I have considered for a long time to pick up the Plustek 7400 but I have not really got round to it yet as I have not seen any direct comparisons with the v500 to know if it is worth it for me.
  14. Absolutely, Peter. I will be sticking with film for a long time to come, any ideas anyone has with scanning is of interest to me.
  15. Stuart, thanks for the photo.
    I have to ask - are those artifacts in the shot caused by the lack of "ICE" on the Epson scanners?
    Also, since I only own 35mm slides/negatives and 35mm cameras.. does everyone here agree that I absolutely should get a Plustek?
  16. ICE can't be used on real black and white film, it sees the silver particles as dust and tries to remove them. It works on chromogenic C41 black and white as the black is dye clouds, formed the same way as the colour dyes in colour negative film.
  17. Michael: I will post something during the week. I will drop a url in this thread.
    Guy, my recommendation is yes. It would be the best bang for the buck.
  18. Okay, but which one - the 7400 or the 7600i SE?
  19. My money would be on the 7600i. You would have the infra red for ice.
  20. Those are dust spots. Old neg and not very clean. Digital Ice does not work on traditional B&W. I'm not sure I would buy a v500 again just for 35mm. I had some prints and medium format negs to scan as well as 35mm so the v500 seemed to be a logical choice at the time. If you have a lot a 35mm and intend to shoot more 35mm then the plustek scanners look quite tempting.
  21. Okay, well.. the V500 and the Plustek 7600i SE are the same price where I live.
    So, I have to choose between better 35mm quality and slightly worse 35mm quality and the ability to scan photos.
    Guess I'll have a long think about that.
  22. I think it's more like reasonable quality from the plustek compared to lowish quality from the Epson when scanning 35mm film.
  23. You can get a reasonable image from the 4490/v500. It just requires more work.
    The plustek image is straight out of the scanner. The 4490 image used a home made wet mount tray adjusted for best focus. I was able to get a reasonable amount of detail out of the scan, with a lot more work. How I made the tray is here
    This is one on the plustek....
    Notice that you can clearly see the grain. Although both scanners are fixed focus, the plustek easily positions the film in the best position.
    Here is the same frame on the 4490.
  24. Hey Fellows-
    I've been reading these film scanner threads all night and am trying to make some sense of it all. i've never had good luck with document scanners that claim to "do film", so I've always had high-end scans made at the photolab when I really needed something from the film days digitized. Lately however I've been offered a job to scan, post and make available as prints, a large archive of film (over 100 years worth, so large Brownie size b/w negs to 35mm and slides). I also have 7 years of medium formate chromes I made while a student at SAIC where they had this marvelous thing called an Omnipro that got me addicted to printing ciba- or ilfo- chrome prints. The archiving job pays Ok - $20/hr - but I don't want to hit them with charges for equipment, I figure I'll take that out of my wages. And since my wedding business is not flourishing I think this archiving thing might take up some of the slack. I really like the Plustek 7400 and I figure over half my work will be 35mm slides and 35mm strips - so I came up with this question: if I splurge on the Plustek, is there an inexpensive scanner that I could additionally purchase that would handle the larger format stuff adequately? I just don't see one machine being able to do it all.
    That being said, may I introduce myself? My name is Doug, I'm 42 and I live in a remote part of the Blue Ridge Mountains nearish to Blacksburg, VA where Virginia Tech is. I've shot weddings off and on for the past 12 years or so, in addition to working at "pro" camera shops as a salesman (most recently Hunts/SBI In Providence), and lately I work as a Christmas Tree farmer and odd-jobber.
    Here are a couple portfolios of what I do for fun, mostly night and low-light stuff. I hope you like it.
    Thanks for all the wisdom and tips I've gleaned here over the years. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them and I'm glad to have found a current conversation on this important - to me - subject. -Doug
  25. Have to say Peter there does not seem to be much difference between those two scans. Both the scans seem to be a little unsharp. I was hoping the plustek would be much better than the Epson. I would hope the Plustek would give me somewhat better scans than my v500. This is what I am getting from my v500 at the moment. Will the Plustek 7400 give me much better scans. I would hope so but I don't want to spend out for one just to find it is roughly the same.
  26. Stuart: The difference is how much work I had to do on the 4490 to get there. I'm not sure if you have done any wet mounts. Although you will get the best quality you can, it can get rather long after a while.
    But that is the rub with a dedicated scanner. It is designed to do one job. It will tend to do that one job much better than a multi purpose flatbed.
    Dag: Slides will be your problem with the 7400. The DMAX is a little low and will make dense slides look noisy. The ones I develop usually hit a DMAX of 2.9+. I have found my V700 (DMAX 4) to do a much better job, although it is noticeably less sharp.

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