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<p>Previous reader, now first time posting something.<br>

I'm having some image sharpness problems with my new v600 scanner. It can not even resolve the grain on neopan 1600 :(<br>

The scanned image was with vuescan 8.6.22 with no sharpening or noise reduction. The second image was inverted, cropped but otherwise straight from my 450d + canon 100mm macro lens.</p>

<p>I'll try and attach the 100% crops so you guys can see what I mean.</p><div>00W7Rk-233061584.jpg.c59e90a53fe95f2e55243afcc9c243d1.jpg</div>

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<p>I'm having some image sharpness problems with my new v600 scanner. It can not even resolve the grain on neopan 1600 :(</p>


<p>If you can't see the grain, the scanner is out of focus and nothing will be sharp. It took me a year to be able to scan 35mm in my 4490 in focus. I had to make my own wet mount holder because no one else did.</p>


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<p>We'll need to know what settings you're using. Grain reduction softens the image, as does multiple passes. What DPI are you scanning at?<br>

Does the scanner have to compensate too much for under/overexposure?<br>

Do you have dust removal turned on in Vuescan? Are you scanning from the film directly or are you scanning to a file then scanning that file, and if so what DPI is your original scan set too?<br>

Assuming that you don't have Vuescan set to auto, have you tried auto (guide me)?</p>

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<p>3200dpi and no dust removal since I am under the impression that it is useless for b&w film. Scan straight from the negative. The scene was exposed correct enough. 4 passes, multi exposure, 16 bit grey, no black or white point changes, no "s" curve. Auto level colour balance, GENERIC COLOUR NEGATIVE profile used.</p>

<p>Just tried the auto guide me mode, no difference.</p>

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<p>I would suspect a film holder height issue. Either the software has not told the scanner to focus at the height of the film holder, or the scanner/film holder has a mechanical issue that physically prevents it from focusing at the height of the holder. Read this forum question that I asked: <a href="../digital-darkroom-forum/00MAH5">http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00MAH5</a> Does any of this sound like it might be the cause? Perhaps you have not selected the proper film holder option? Otherwise try adjusting the heights of the film holder to see if that improves scan focus.</p>
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<p>I don't use the Epson software but using it doesn't change how sharp the scans are. I wasn't aware that the v600 could change focus...<br>

I'll uninstall the software and drivers, do a fresh install and try packing the holder up with some paper tomorrow after work. Now it's time for sleep.<br>

Feel free to keep the ideas flowing. I hate it when things don't work like they're supposed to. It seems that ever since I started working with film a few months ago I've had dilemma and delay after delay. It's really trying my patience.</p>

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<p>Somebody might correct me on this (I am not familiar with the scanner you mention).</p>

<p>In my experience, if you are expecting the same (even nearly the same) quality from 35mm film scans on a consumer-grade flatbed scanner as you get from your DSLR - you will continue to be disappointed and frustrated.</p>

<p>I initially purchased an Epson 4990 Photo flatbed scanner (which I believe was Epsons top of the line Photo flatbed at the time) and after working at it for months, the best I could do with properly exposed, 35mm slide film (Provia 100) was to achieve barely acceptable results that looked bad if printed larger than 6" x 9".</p>

<p>There were some differences according to which software I used (Vuescan, Epsonscan or Silverfast Lite) and I got better results if I did not manipulate the image with the scan software (beyond white-point and a bit of sharpening). However, the results were just plain disappointing.</p>

<p>My 4990 really struggled if the film was under or over exposed. Since I am not that good at reading negatives, I only scanned positive film with the 4990.</p>

<p>The 4990 film holders do not hold the film flat. If your film holders are similar, this could account for some of your lack of sharpness. I got into the habit of leaving my film strips under a stack of books for a few days before I scanned them. This reduced the amount of film curl.</p>

<p>It was very important to ensure I cropped-out the "film borders" in the preview window, before I scanned the frame. Scanning those dark areas seemed to throw the scanner exposure out of whack.</p>

<p>I also discovered that, if I left any of the film holder slots empty, I would get a strong magenta colour cast on the frames that I scanned. I got in the habit of filling the entire film holder and scanning only the frames I wanted.</p>

<p>The best thing I ever did to improve my 35mm scans was to forget the flatbed and buy a film scanner. I lucked-out and purchased a Nikon Coolscan V ED just before they were discontinued. The difference is like night and day. Even if I just use the default settings in Nikonscan, the results nearly matched the output of my DSLR for prints up to 8" x 12" (the largest size I print).</p>

<p>Dan Ferrel:</p>

<p>I was surprised to read that multiple-pass scans degrade image sharpness...I thought that 3 passes improved my images. It was the reason I bought Vuescan. I will have to examine that more closely.</p>

<p>Cheers! Jay</p>

<p> </p>

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<p>For 35mm my V500 doesn't get a whole lot sharper than that. I have found that negatives look a little sharper than mounted slides, but overall it's not much sharper than your crop, if any. Outside of experimenting with the holder height you don't have many options. There are some aftermarket adjustable holders, or you can monkey with it yourself like I did, but I never got much improvement even after I added 1mm of height. Make sure your negative is completely flat before scanning too. I'll put mine under a few college textbooks for a couple days before scanning just to make sure. </p>
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<p>I'm having some image sharpness problems with my new v600 scanner. It can not even resolve the grain on neopan 1600</p>


<p>Sorry, but it's your scanner. I went through two low end Epsons, a 4490 and a V500, and that's about the extent of what they're capable of.</p>

<p>Don't bother fiddling with film height. I have, and it won't help on these. The optical path just isn't of high enough resolution.</p>

<p>Actually, the problem isn't just Epson. Basically all consumer flatbeds are good for around 2000dpi. This is about 5MP from 135 format film (but keep in mind this yields a very decent 20MP from 6x7 120 roll film.)</p>

<p>For example, here's an overview test image:<br>

<img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00J/00J1d2-33809384.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="325" /></p>

<p>This is a crop from the Epson 4490:</p>

<p><img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00J/00J1dA-33809584.jpg" alt="" width="497" height="497" /></p>

<p>This is the same frame scanned with a Nikon 5000 dedicated film scanner.</p>

<p><img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00J/00J1d6-33809484.jpg" alt="" width="497" height="497" /></p>

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<p>Actually what I should have said was "if you have multiple passes turned on try a scan with it off and see if there's a difference". Vuescan relies on the scanner hardware for alignment from what I can tell, so if multipass isn't aligning properly it could give you softness issues. I have this problem with my HP scanner, but I shouldn't have made it out that I was saying that Epson has this problem as I've never used an Epson scanner. It's just a possibility that can be eliminated by doing a scan with multipass turned off.</p>

<p>If full auto gave you no difference, good or bad, then you may be stuck with what you have. Can you get a pro lab or mini lab scan of the same film to compare sharpness? Just one more possibility to eliminate.</p>

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I am also interested in this problem .It seems that these flatbeds simply don't do a good scan from 35mm:<br>

Look at this review of the V700 , which is superior to the v600 : briefly ,they don't do practically more than 6-7 MP, at best :<br>

<a href="http://www.filmscanner.info/en/EpsonPerfectionV750Pro.html">http://www.filmscanner.info/en/EpsonPerfectionV750Pro.html</a> , so, Robert is right.</p>

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<p>By the way, 135 format film well scanned and mildly post-processed can give technically high quality images. The following test frame was shot on Kodak Gold 100 then scanned on a Nikon 5000. The scanned image is about 22MP at 16bits deep per channel; I'd hazard to estimate that this level of detail is reflected pretty closely in the actual digitized image:<br>

<img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00H/00HFY0-31106684.jpg" alt="" /><br>

Here's a crop:<br>

<img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00H/00HFYC-31106884.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="500" /><br>

Here's another:<br>

<img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00H/00HFYD-31106984.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="400" /></p>

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<p>Don't be so quick to throw the baby out with the bath water, folks! Yes, in an ideal world, a dedicated anything is probably better than a general tool (flat bed). I have both. I bought a Plustek 7200i for 35 and a 4490 for 120.</p>

<p>The 7200i gives me real 3200 dpi and is sharp. Adequate for my needs.</p>

<p>The 4490, out of the box, shows poor thought and engineering in film holders. It's like they want to promote an after market. The real test of how good a holder/scanner combination is to scan and look for grain. If it is in focus, you are good to go.</p>

<p>Before you spend any money to fix your situation, put a negative face down on the bed (center) of the scanner. Get a sheet of glass from a picture frame on top of it, to hold it in place and to flatten it. You should get a sharper image. Yes you will have newton rings, but this is just to prove something. If your image is sharper, your scanner is OK and up to the task. If not, don't waste your time.</p>

<p>Betterscanning.com has replacement holders and ANG glass for 120. They don't work that well for excessive curl (LuckySHD 100), but have adjustable legs for focus. If the curl is too great, the film cannot rest on the edges of the form. Nice try, but it was no magic bullet.</p>

<p>Betterscanning.com has ANG glass for 35. They rely on the holders that Epson gave you. Film with curl has the same problems from above. The focus is not adjustable with this solution. I do not know of any replacement holders for 35.</p>

<p>As far as I know, there are no commercial wet mount jigs available for the 4490/v500/v600. This is too bad, considering how many of them are out there (and how badly the engineering of Epson is for this product). I decided to make my own. Here it is......</p>

<p>1 - 1 8x10 clip frame glass ($1-$4 depending where you get it).<br />2 - Cardboard from a cardboard box of some sort. Thickness to equal .5 to 1 mm, as required.<br />3 - Cellophane tape.<br />4 - 1 sheet of acetate (or mylar scanning sheet). Mine cost me $3 at an art store.<br />5 - Scanning fluid (<a href="http://www.scanscience.com">www.scanscience.com</a>) $25.<br />6 - 1 microfiber cloth ($1 at a dollar store)</p>

<p>Take the glass out of the clip frame. Cut the cardboard into 1/2 in squares. Tape them onto the 4 corners to form legs. Layer to get optimal height (experiment and adjust). If you use the fluid I suggested, you can use clear acetate, otherwise a sheet of clear mylar will have to be used. Cut a strip big enough to cover a strip of 120, in the usual length. Oversize it enough as it will for a flap covering the film. One edge (length wise) to the sheet glass on the underside (side with the legs) in the center. This has to be just where the stock holders would place the 120 film. You now have a holder.</p>

<p><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2723/4477601172_7e7678a896.jpg" alt="" /></p>

<p>Flip the acetate back and spray some fluid on the glass. Just enough to have the film stick to the glass. This is not the optical side, so its not that critical. Place the film (emulsion side) onto the glass as square as possible. Spray a healthy amount of fluid onto the film. Experience will dictate how much. Lower the acetate down, going from taped side to end. Take the microfiber cloth and squeeze the air out, going from taped end to the other, while holding the glass from the bottom, just under the film. This gives a gentle pressure from under the glass. You are only concerned with the film itself. You can see some bubbles in the shot above.<br /><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4015/4476822613_d654704c10.jpg" alt="" /></p>

<p>To scan, place the holder onto the scanner resting on the cardboard legs. The film never touches the scanner bed. Make sure the holder does not go up to the top edge of the scanner as banding from mis-calibration may result. You will know when you see it. The alignment of the holder is less important and making sure the strip is correctly oriented. It is easier to correct here than in Photoshop.</p>

<p>To remove the film, use a xacto knife to pry up the edge of the acetate and then the film. You do not need to re-spay the glass, just the top side of the film as you change strips.</p>

<p>The microfiber cloth is important, because it is soft. The scan surface is the acetate and can be easily scratched. You should expect to replace the acetate from time to time. The glass plate is only required for form and to let the light through. It should be a keeper.</p>

<p>The Lumina fluid is gentle on plastic parts and evaporates off the negs easily. Just expose them to air. The tray, as I have experianced, is not prone to making a mess. I just let it dry on it's own.</p>

<p>Sadly, that's all there is to it. The holder should be generic to any scanner. I can even scan my 110!</p>

<p>Here is an example <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4453982592/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4453982592/</a> . Choose all sizes to see the full detail.</p>

<p>I did all of this to get my MF scanned properly. As a bonus it does 35 (and 110) much better. The scanner does about 1800dpi natively, but the quality has vastly improved. I've been meaning to post this somewhere and I hope this is of use to someone.</p>

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<p>One more from the v500 at 1500ppi APX100 rodinal. Not a tack sharp neg hand held around 1/30th 35mm series E f2.5 wide open. It would produce a 10 inch wide print at 200ppi. There is not much point in trying to produce huge scans with these flat bed scanners. I find it better to shoot TriX in HC110 and scan at around 2000ppi that way the files don't get too bloated. At the moment I have APX100 and Rodinal to hand so I am using that. Otherwise I would just shoot TriX.</p><div>00W7no-233213584.jpg.20337c24baa0514e06fc2edce362543b.jpg</div>
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<p>My V500 is so fuzzy its disgusting. Bad example I guess.<br>

Thats after owning the 4870 which did a good bit better and the v750 that did a whole lot better.<br>

I have owned a lot of other film scanners and also own a drum scanner.<br>

IMO there must be a wide variation in quality between V500 V600 machines, as I have seen some nice V500 scans, but mine like yours is very fuzzy. If your looks this fuzzy I would send it back.<br>

This is how my mighty V500 holds up against a Primefilm 7250 pro3 and a Howtek 4500 drum scanner.<br>



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<p>Les, I don't have that strip anymore. It was from a test roll. However I have some frames from the same roll. Different pigeon, but same scene.</p>

<p>7200i: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4477936038/in/set-72157623737087706/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4477936038/in/set-72157623737087706/</a></p>

<p>Epson: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4477937080/in/set-72157623737087706/">http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterbcarter/4477937080/in/set-72157623737087706/</a></p>

<p>Go to all sizes to download and inspect. No grain reduction. In my opinion, the 7200i is marginally better. These are both 2400 scans. The 7200i can go up to 3200 real. and surpass the Epson, but my $10 mount is cheaper than a new scanner.</p>

<p>For me, it was all about getting a good MF scan. This is just a bonus as it can be a pain switching back and forth. Before, I would not even consider the 4490 usable with 35mm.</p>


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<p>The V750 is a totally different animal and resolves a lot more detail than a v500 or probably V600 by the looks of it.<br>

At least that is what I have seen.<br>

Comparing my old V750 to my current V500 is like apples and oranges.<br>

If I were to guess the V500 is resolving about half of what my V750 did.</p>

<p> </p>

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