Flat-bed scanner: Epson 4490

Discussion in 'APUG.ORG's "Gray" Area Subforum -NOW HYBRIDPHOTO.C' started by jvarsoke, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. jvarsoke

    jvarsoke Member

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    I'm looking to get a flatbed scanner to scan prints (usually to post on the web), and contact-sheets (so I can create a database of my negatives). Occasionally I'll also want to scan negatives, though I'm not really sure why yet.

    Anyway, I read some previous posts and it looks like everyone's really happy with the Epson 3200 Perfection. Unfortunately, that's either last year's model or not readily available anymore. So I'd like to know what this year's equivalent is. Is it the 4490?

    Specs look a tad better, but I wouldn't really know:

    Also seems to come is ICE.

    I plan to only use this for B&W. And if it really matters, on a Linux box.

    200$ is about my price-point, give or take 50$. Any regrets with this one?
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    There are two models, the 4990 and the 4990 Pro. The only difference is some extra software. However, both models cost much more than you are willing to pay. The cheapest model is around $499, with the Pro being $599, give or take $50. At this time of year you might find it much cheaper.

    As for drivers, very few scanner drivers support Linux. The Epson comes with Windows XP or Mac OS-X included.

    Check out: http://www.kenrockwell.com/epson/4990.htm
     
  3. big_ben_blue

    big_ben_blue Member

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    I had testet a 4990 model (the larger brother of the one you're eying, clocking in at around 500USD).
    For print scanning, it seem to be a very cabable machine for the budget minded. ICE comes in very handy for saving you from spending endless hour fixing dust and scratches in Photoshop.

    Issues arise when you want to use the scanner for negs or slides. If you intend to scan 35mm - quality is so-so at best. D-max and maximum resolution as stated by Epson is rather optimistic. You don't gain much by using the highest optical res. A dedicated film scanner is a better option IMO.

    I used the 4990 to scan 4x5 slides, and results were a bit disappointing. Since the film is held by it's holder about 1/16" above the glass surface, sharpness suffers (everything appeared soft, in fact A LOT softer than the ancient 3pass Leafscan we used before). Maybe I just got a bad apple, who knows. If you can test your scanner beforehand - by all means do so!!! The Epson I used went back to the store.

    Microtek has the i800 for around 250USD. Don't know ho good it fares against the Epsons however. As for myself, I am thinking about getting an i900 with it's dedicated film tray design.
    You might want to check http://www.photo-i.co.uk/ and search their forum. It discusses everything Espon ad nausea.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  4. Imke

    Imke Member

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    I haven't used the 4490 but have the 3200, and I highly recommend it.

    I agree with Chris, the Epsons won't do you good with 35mm film, but I have gotten great results scanning 120 film, with no noticable sharpness or other issues.
    You should be able to find a refurbished one for $250.

    As for the software (I like the Silverfast that comes bundled with it) running on Linux, here's a link I googled (and knowing nothing about Linux, a complete shot in the dark): support.epson.ru/upload/library_file/11/scanner_linux.pdf

    Good luck,
    Imke
     
  5. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The Epson 4490 Photo comes with a built in transparency scanner that will cover 8X10. I doubt if it gets anywhere near its claimed 4800X9600 resolution, but it does have considerably higher resolution than most other flat bed machines. From what you say, I doubt if you need that much power in a scanner. The standard resolution for the web is 72 dpi, and most full-sized copy is scanned at about 300 dpi. Also, you say you only do reflective scans, not negatives and transparencies (though that is a possibilty in the future). If you are happy with your current scanner and it is still working well, keep it. If you need to replace it because it is unreliable, there are many good scanners that will do what you describe in the $100-200 range. When you start needing to handle transparencies or high resolution tasks, shop for an upgrade.
     
  6. numnutz

    numnutz Member

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    Vuescan comes in Linux flavor / it works with my Epson 1260 - a list of supported scanners is on site:

    http://www.hamrick.com/vsm.html

    there is a crippled demo version available so you can test it out

    nn :smile:
     
  7. foldingcamera

    foldingcamera Member

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    I have to say that I have used the Epson 3200 scanner on 35mm and now have the upgraded 4990, both produce brilliant prints from 35mm onto A3 paper using the Cone Tech Pietzography system with a now obsolete Epson 1160 printer. No point in upgrading I find, while the ink is still available for it.

    regards,

    Stephen.
     
  8. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    I bought a 4490 and made it run yesterday the first time. As a first quick and dirty test I scanned a 35mm color neg, IMO the acid test for a flatbed , prints they all do mostly fine.

    As a Newbie with flatbeds I still guess what it's max res is translated in a filmscanner value ? Is it the max horizontal value of 4800 ? The picklist of the scanner offers up to 12800, which maust be a interpolated res ?
    Regards,
    bertram
    Colour reproduction for the C41 neg was pretty off, resolution seem to be fine anyway for a flatbed.
     

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  9. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    The resizing of the gallery software messes it, no serviceable demo .
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'm surprised you are not using the Epson F-3200 Film Scanner, if you are doing just 35mm, rather than the flatbed scanner. I wish this particular scanner was available in the US, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
     
  11. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I have seen a few reviews of it and I don't think it is any better than the Epson flatbeds. From the sounds of it it uses the same internals. If you want decent scans from 35mm as well as medium and large format pick up a used Canon FS4000 or Nikon Collscan 4000 in addition to a flatbed (Epson 4870 or 4990). You should decent results with this combo for small enlargements.
     
  12. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I've pretty well decided for my own use, that I am going to get the new Konica-Minolta 5400 II Elite, and the Canon for my LF (and future MF) stuff.
     
  13. foldingcamera

    foldingcamera Member

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    My reason for going in for this scanner is that I have a large number of medium format negs, 6 x 6 & 6 x 9 taken many years ago with a TLR & a folding camera. the last of which I am gradually moving back to once I have tested some recent purchases. Also I have an old 5 x 4 Rochester Pony which, hopefully will soon be trying out when its sorted. Incidentally ICE & dust removal do not work on B/W only on colour.

    Stephen.
     
  14. roteague

    roteague Member

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    That is true. However, I have heard that the Silverfast Ai 6 scanning software has its own dust and scratch removal software, which is supposed to be pretty good. Of course, the ICE limitation doesn't apply much to me, since I mostly shoot Velvia anyway.
     
  15. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    Silver based negs usually are considered as beeing the acid test for flatbed scanners. If this works well the rest is mostly o.k. too.

    This is what I recently achieved with my new 4490 (which has nothing to to with the 4990 tho !!)

    Old neg from 1975

    I would consider this result as good enuff for web presentation. The tests with prints and 6X6 are not finished yet.

    The scanner is sold in Germany for about $ 290, should be cheaper in US

    bertram
     
  16. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    I bought the 4990. I didn't go for the pro model as I already had monaco color management. After upgrading to the full version of silverfast I only saved about $50.00. If I had it to do over I would get the pro version. My friend would have gladly payed $ 50.00 for the color management part of it. If you don't already have color management ( which is a non option if you want to get into it ) it is well worth the bump.
     
  17. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

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    4990 is about the double price of a 4490. Put $100 on top and you get a Minolta DualscanIV AND a 4490 , which I would consider to be the better solution if the focus is on 35mm negs ! If it is on MF then indeed the 4990 is better.
    bertram
     
  18. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I bought the Epson 4990 on Friday and spent the weekend scanning. I was surprised at the quality of the scans I was getting; I scanned at 600 dpi. I need the 4990 since I primarily shoot 4x5. I should be getting the Minolta 5400 II Elite in a month or so for my 35mm work; the 4990 will do it, but I want a dedicated 35mm scanner.