another scanner question (for B&W)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Voyager, Feb 24, 2008.

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  1. Voyager

    Voyager Subscriber

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    The "which scanner" question has been beaten to death on other sites, but since I have some very specific needs, I am asking for APUG advice. I use only b&w 35mm and 120mm film. I have a cheap document printer (which I might upgrade). I want to buy a low end (under $250.00 US) flat bed scanner that will allow me to: 1) scan to disk for competitions, 2) scan to the computer so I can then print a contact sheet (contact strips). I don't intend to make finished prints, as with any contact sheet, I just want to see my choices and figure what needs to be done before going into the dark room (and I don't want to set up the DR just to make a contact sheet). Any suggestions?
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    This is for scanning for the Gallery, right?
    Epson or Microtek are the leaders, I use an Epson 4990 for it's ability to do 4x5 and larger, it's also more than your budget. However, there are up-to-120 models which are less.
    Also check the hybrid photo sister site.
     
  3. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Whatever you buy, be aware that silver-based b+w film is much more demanding of scanners. A scanner with a Dmax capacity of less than 3.6 or so is unlikely to work.

    Regards,

    David
     
  4. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    Have a look at the Epson V-500...
     
  5. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    Vincent, we're on parallel tracks. I also need a scanner to: 1) evaluate my negatives prior to optical enlarging (I'm a B/W noob and sux at reading negatives), and 2) to post my...stuff on APUG--what scan quality is good enough for APUG standards. I've looked at the Epson V500, V700 and V750. The V750, do I really need wet scanning for APUG? I have also considered optical contact prints and my office document scanner, but I may be too impatient for that route.

    So I hope you don't mind if I tag along.

    Terry
     
  6. Voyager

    Voyager Subscriber

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    Terry and Patrick: I'll check out your Epson suggestions in a minute, thanks for that...

    T: don't know anything about scan quality for APUG (I don't use the gallery)--for myself, I sometimes enter local juried competitions that ask for submissions via CD, so the scan has to be as good as the photo (or reasonably so)...

    David: didn't realize the B&W/ scanner issue, and I appreciate the Dmax capacity suggestion (will I Google to learn more about what it means)...

    bdial: I'll check out your 4990, though it will be along while before I shift to 4X5, and when you say "sister site", are you referring to PhotoNet (PNet), or? personnel)...
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    No, I mean Hybrid Photo, http://www.hybridphoto.com, which is part of Sean's photographic web empire, and is dedicated to hybrid traditional/digital processes.
    Epson (in their U.S. site anyway) also sells "reconditioned" models at discounted prices. I presume they do this worldwide as well, since these are typically warranty returns which they replaced or sales demo units.

    FWIW, I think the quoted dmax for the 4990 is about 3.8, the newer ones are supposed to go to 4.0, I believe.
    Aside from dmax, most scans for posts on Apug, or even proofing, don't require really extraordinary capabilities from the scanner. Since most computer monitors have a resolution of 100 lpi or less, scans at very high resolutions don't accomplish anything for display on the web.
    The dmax spec refers to the maximum density the scanner can discriminate.

    Also FWIW, I've toyed with proofing on the scanner, and I haven't found it all that useful vs. exposing a contact sheet, YMMV though.
     
  8. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    It's actually 3.4:
    http://www.epson.co.uk/scanners/Epson-Perfection-4490-Photo-Scanner.htm
    The difference may not sound like much. but it does matter - a scanner with inadequate dmax will simply not render highlight detail in b+w negs properly (if at all) and conversely is likely to produce lots of artefacts in scans of the shadows of full-blooded prints.

    Also, as a guide: I have a Nikon Coolscan IV as well as an Epson Expression 1680 flatbed. I find the Coolscan (dmax 3.6) works well with color transparencies even when these are slightly underexposed for good saturation. It also works well with correctly exposed and developed b+w film - if b+w negs have been overdeveloped, however, the Coolscan really starts to struggle. This is why I recommend a dmax figure of 3.6 as a minimum.

    Regards,

    David
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2008
  9. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    David,

    Thank you for the Dmax information. I'm on the steep part of the learning curve and these little tid-bits really help.

    Since Mr. bdial turned me on to the "4990" I've been all over it.
    Per the Epson site the "4990" (not "4490") has a Dmax of 4.0, problem is there are none, they're discontinued. Sadly the 4990 appears to be a great piece of equipment for the price point. But again I'm a day late....


    Terry
     
  10. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    Vincent,

    FWIW, I just bought an Epson V700 (new, $475 USD). Decision was based on the review by Vincent Oliver at photo-i and information gleaned from hybridphoto.

    Terry
     
  11. spb854

    spb854 Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2008
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Will it take a 10x8 negative ?

    Ian
     
  13. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    Steve, it looks like you got a great deal and it does 120 as well...I hate you. :D

    This machine wasn't even on my radar, but I was looking for something with 4x5, 8x10 negative capabilities. I'm not sure If I'll ever possess those capabilities but I wanted to buy only one scanner, my first and last.

    Terry
     
  14. spb854

    spb854 Member

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    The largest it will do is 4 x 5. I don't have anything larger.
    BUT...I bet HP does have one that will do an 8 x 10.

    Steve
     
  15. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    I don't think a scanner is a very good piece of equipment to evaluate a negative. The best thing to use for that is a contact print -- you don't need anything special to make those.
    - Developer (D72)
    - Fixer (you already have it)
    - Water (stop/wash)
    - Photographic paper (grade 2, cheap)
    - A bulb
    - A piece of glass to keep the negative flat.

    Thats it.
     
  16. haris

    haris Guest

    And keep in mind that flatbed scanners (4990, V500-700-750 and other, OK, maybe Imacons are exception) being good for MF and LF are not particulary good for 35mm film...
     
  17. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    dfoo,
    I totally agree, a bunch of us have been cogitating that very subject over here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/20185-contact-proof-prints-120-do-you-make-them.html
     
  18. viridari

    viridari Member

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    Rather than start a new thread I thought I might search the archives for a relevant discussion. This one appears to be quite relevant so forgive me but I'd like to resurrect this.

    My Epson 3170 has (as of tonight) lost the ability to scan negatives. I can still scan prints, but trying to scan negatives puts it into a perpetual state of warming up.

    Right now I'm only working in 135 and 120 film formats but I expect to have a 4x5 camera within the next 6 months. So I'd very much like to have the capability to scan this as well.

    My working budget will be about $200.

    For those that have the Epson V500, do you find it satisfactory for 135 and 120 films, scanning for web? Better than satisfactory?

    Do I understand correctly that the lid does not adequately facilitate scanning negs larger than 120 film? (meaning I'll need to find another solution for 4x5 scans at some point)
     
  19. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi viridari,

    Scanner topics in the general forums have been pretty much regulated to discussion on Hybridphoto.com these days.

    Also, there is an active hybrid group on APUG that you can join, found in the groups section.
     
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