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Scanning - The scanner article

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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2015 at 10:07
Originally posted by mirthseeker mirthseeker wrote:

Mark Segal has now published The Epson V850 Pro Scanner in Context in The Luminous Landscape. He has compared the new Epson to older scanners, (e.g. Epson V750, Plustek OF120, Nikon 5000, Nikon 9000, Imacon, Minolta 5400) in an 89 page PDF which makes for interesting reading.


It is quite an article! Gives me one of those I'm out of my depth moments...

This is probably an over simplification (difficult not to over simplify an 89 page article) but it seems to suggest that although the Minolta 5400 produces a sharper scan, you won't notice it in as big a print as you are likely to make.

What I'm not clear on from what he says is where some of the more affordable dedicated film scanners would sit, and where copying via a camera/macro lens setup (which he also did a very good article on at LL) comes in the scale of things - ie would you notice the difference between any of those at likely print resolutions?

I note Mark Segal shoots Sony (an a6000 is used for his camera/macro work) as does Christopher Campbell who gave him access to the really high-end medium format scanners... should they ever pass this way and feel like contributing we would be grateful
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote revdocjim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2015 at 12:01
I just bought a set of the film holders for this new scanner and am using them with my older V700. Epson says they aren't compatible, but as it turns out the incompatibility is only in the bundled Epson scanning software. I use Vuescan and everything works great. I've only scanned one roll of film so far but was very happy with the flat film, which is very hard to get with any consistency when using the older film holders. I paid just over $100 for the set of four holders. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new scanner! I can easily tolerate the longer warmup time of the older scanner so there isn't much reason to even consider buying the new scanner itself.
Gallery A7S, A7Rii, Batis 18/2.8, 25/2 Sony 35/2.8, 55/1.8, 90/2.8M, 24-105/4, Minolta 135STF, 200/2.8 Blog
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Post Options Post Options   Quote niji Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2015 at 13:03
I used to have my 5400 permanently set-up until my 2 year old boy started posting coins through the slot. I don't feel so silly after reading that article that I spent $100 on a hard case with foam inserts to store it in.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote C_Campbell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2015 at 17:40
Hi Bob,

First post here: it is hard to generalize about the relative ranking and capacities of the scanners, in part because there are so many different intended uses for the final scans. At some level, I was surprised that Mark did as well as he did with scans from the V850 as I only use my V700 in its reflective originals mode. But as I noted in the review, many of the prints were very close in quality. Certainly, the Nikon 5000 and Minolta 5400 are capable of extracting rather more information from 35mm film than the Epson flatbeds, but at smaller print sizes, the differences aren't huge.

As for "camera scanning," I have just been testing that method for myself, and the results are somewhat mixed (I will probably publish something on this shortly). On the one hand, with a Sony A7R/Metabones III adapter/Zeiss 50/2 Makro-Planar lens, and a good set-up, the image can be absolutely sharp over most of the frame. However, the old problem of film flatness that plagues virtually all scans that aren't fluid-mounted, or done on an Imacon (which bends, and thereby flattens the film during the scan) certainly applies here. By using the Adobe DNG Profile editor, I built a custom DNG to use in Lightroom to compensate for the fluorescent lamps in my transparency viewer, and then built a custom ICC profile using BasICColor Input and a HutchColor HCT target that I apply by round-tripping to Photoshop. With these two steps, I have to say that the color and contrast of my camera scans of transparencies are gorgeous, on par with the Imacon. But the corners simply aren't sharp, as the depth of focus is so narrow. So it's a great method for more casual scans, but not in my opinion suitable for large, exhibition-grade prints where the grain rendition needs to be entirely uniform.

Christopher Campbell

Edited by C_Campbell - 22 February 2015 at 20:36
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2015 at 20:32
Thank you for posting Christopher - very glad of your contribution!
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2015 at 11:35
Please note that I've updated the comparisons to include one of the top-end domestic film scanners (Minolta Dimage Elite 5400) - I have to say I'm very impressed with the output from this scanner (I now have to look for some film holders of my own, as the scanner I got off ebay did not include them and the ones from the Scan dual will not work with it); the JPGs come out a little flat, but I think that is because of the D-Range provided - there seems to be a lot of detail available in a RAW file.

Worth noting though that for general film scanning work the sub-£50-off-ebay Dual Scan II puts in a highly respectable performance.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 December 2015 at 16:30
This thread is already overflowing with info on a pretty complex subject, but I think I should add one more reference. I have an Epson V500 flatbed that is fabulous for reflective materials like prints, but not as much so for film; and although I have owned a few dedicated film scanners in the past, the one I currently use is the inexpensive Pacific Image Electronics PrimeFilm 7200. A number of PrimeFilm scanners are also sold under the Reflecta brand name. (Or perhaps it's the other way around - Reflecta seems to be the actual product developer.) Fortunately, ScanDig, the number one web source for scanner reviews, conducted a review of the Reflecta ProScan 7200 branded version of the PrimeFilm 7200. That review is not listed in the site's quick navigation pane, so it's easy to miss. For anyone interested, the review is here. The full list of reviewed scanners is here.

Edited by sybersitizen - 10 December 2015 at 17:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jimbrown82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2015 at 14:04
Bob - you mentioned Pixmonix is your post, but it looks like they took down the site and are now owned by ScanDigital.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2015 at 14:11
Thanks for that Jim - I've removed the DMAX link...
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