scanner choices

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Larry1948, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. Larry1948

    Larry1948 Member

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    I have a newly aquired rb67. I am told the negs are 6X7 (cm i suppose) will epson 4870 scan negs that size? will the 2450? 3200? i keep hearing mf then see 4X5 what about 6X7?
    or will i have to have one print done at developing and scan the print?
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    yes your RB will produce 6x7 cm negatives.

    And yes the 2450, 3200, and 4870 will all scan the negs for you. and they will do it rather well.
     
  3. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    The Epson 3200 will scan 6x7 (actually, 6x9), so the 4870 should, as well. Depending on how you plan to use the scans, however, you might also look at the better dedicated film scanners.
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have answered these types of posts before and generally live to regret it, but here goes...

    How much money are you willing to spend, what kind of film do you shoot, will you be scanning prints as well as film and what do you intend to do with the scans?

    If you only intend to scan film then the cheapest dedicated film scanner will beat all flat beds (with the execption of the microtek duoscans).

    If you only scan for contacts and the web then it realy doesn't matter much unless you shoot tranies and or B&W (and then only if your negs are pretty dense and you give a sh!t about highlight detail).
     
  5. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I'm curious mrcallow. Why do you have egg on your face? Or have you already explained it in another thread somewhere?
     
  6. kswatapug

    kswatapug Advertiser

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    The differences of the Epson 4870 vs. the 3200 are best summarized in three points:

    1. The maximum resolution for scanning on the 4870 is 4800 dpi vs. 3200 on the 3200. This is important when scanning smaller format film, which needs the extra resolution for quality enlargements. In fact, one cannot use the 4800 dpi setting on a 4x5 piece of film anyway. The max the scanner will permit for a 4x5 tranny is 3200 dpi (which results in a file size of 1gig! So, if you plan on scanning more medium format film than 4x5, the extra resolution may be worth the higher price. As for 35mm, you are almost surely going to obtain better results with a dedicated 35mm film scanner than you will with a flatbed, so this shouldnÂ’t factor into your decision.

    I actually only use my 4870 for scanning 4x5, using a Nikon 8000 for medium format and 35mm.

    2. Digital ICE. While this significantly increases the scan time (from 45 minutes to 5 hours for a 4x5 transparency at 3200 dpi on my G4), it saves an inordinate amount of manual labor spotting out dust from continuous tone areas like sky or water. The amount of dust can be reduced by spending more prep time cleaning your film and scanner bed, but some always seems to sneak in. I opt to ease the pain by running 4x5 scans on my Epson overnight with ICE, starting it just as I head off to bed so that a scan is waiting for me in the morning.

    3. Price. You know what you want to spend. You can save some money buying the 3200, but you pay for that savings in your time.

    Some final thoughts. It is not necessary to purchase the more expensive Pro model 4870, which just includes more software. The Epson scanning software that comes with the basic 4870 is easy to use and results in remarkable scans.

    Charles Cramer uses his Epson 4870 to proof his 4x5 negatives. He finds it does a better job for that task than the TANGO drum scanner, and it is a much simpler process than wet mounting the film. He still scans his 4x5 transparencies on the TANGO, but notes the perceptible gap in quality has narrowed considerably in recent years. So, ask yourself these questions: What type of film will you be scanning? What size will your enlargements be? How much is your time worth? And, what can you afford to spend?
     
  7. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Ah! I disagree .... I'd recommend the PRO version over the PHOTO versions, as it comes with Monaco EZ Color calibration software, an IT8 print target and an IT8 transparency target. Essential for colour management. You really cannot calibrate the scanner properly with the Photo versions. It's one thing to have scanning software, it's another to have scanning AND calibration software. And it's only $100 more which is a steal.

    With the Monaco Ez Color software, you will also have the ability to calibrate your monitor and printer as well.

    You can buy all models directly online from Epson's online store.

    Regards, Art.
     
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Saying that an inexpensive scanner is better than a drum for proofing is like saying a spade is better than a backhoe for planting tulip bulbs.

    The gap between any and all of epson's scanner line (or any flatbed scanner) and any decent drum scanner is planetary.


    Larry1948,
    What are your needs (see my first post) or should this just be a thread about the general properties of epson's products?
     
  9. kswatapug

    kswatapug Advertiser

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    >I have answered these types of posts before and generally live to regret it, but here goes...<

    I couldn't agree more, and probably should have stopped myself from responding to the post, because these often spiral downard into pissing matches.

    It is just short of impossible to demonstrate the quality that is possible from these machines without physical samples. The progress in just four years since my first flatbed, a Linocolor Saphir Ultra (which just died) and the Epson is startling. Even in the hands of fairly inexperienced users, results are remarkable. I'm happy with mine and can only carp about scanning area (I used to be able get tranny scans of 8.5 x 11 off the Saphir) and speed (5 hours for a 4x5 with ICE is a bit much), but I generally think it is difficult to be dissatsified with the output quality of current offerings, especially for the average consumer.

    As for the Monaco EZ color, I guess I overlooked the potential value of that software since I already owned a MacBeth system, and at a minimum, one can muddle through with simply an accurately calibrated monitor and a good set of downloadable printing profiles.
     
  10. ghinson

    ghinson Member

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    I've often wondered about this. There is a 4-5 year old Nikon film scanner for sale on eBay (one that will do medium format negatives as well as 35mm) and looks like it will sale for about the same price as a new Epson 4870. My research on the Epson says that people are generally happy with its results on MF or LF, but not for 35mm. That's probably okay for me, since I mostly shoot 6x6. And the Epson has digital ICE.

    Any thoughts on comparing older technology film scanners (such as the Nikon LS-4500) vs the best new flatbeds.

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  11. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I can't reference it right now, but the Epson 4870 PRO model has had many, many rave reviews. And for the price, I could not recommend a dedicated film scanner to 99% of the film photographers out there.

    Regards, Art.
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What are 99% of film photographers doing that would preclude your recommendation?

    General differences Flat bed v. Dedicated film scanner:
    1) No glass
    2) better illumination
    3) focus reliability
    4) purpose built

    The LS-4500 may be an exception to what I have said here. It has resolution limits on any image larger than 6x4.5. For 6x4.5 and smaller i have read some very good things about it -- I have not used it. I have used the the 35mm nikon film scanners and they are very good. At a resolution of 2k the old 35mm LS2000 (I think this is the label) was not far from an Imacon Flextight II (15k when new) at the same resolution and far better than a Microtek ArtixScan (1.5k a year ago) and a Cere Scitex Eversmart Pro (32k 4 years ago and still considered the king of the flatbeds). Of the Nikon scanners the LS 8000 would probably fit your needs best (assuming they are the same as Larry1948's and assuming Larry1948 wants to do more than create contact sheets and jpegs for the web). It is one gen out of production, but an excellent scanner.

    Another MF scanner that could be had used for the same price as the Epson is the Minolta Dimagé Dual Multi II (the name is similar I don't have the time to look it up). This is a *very* good scanner.

    Flatbeds at the consumer level generally suffer from focus issues and are not focusable. Glass is a major impediment when scanning transmissive images -- this is true for high end scanners as well as low.

    When compared to a dedicated film scanners good flatbeds do not fair well, consumer flatbeds fail badly (this includes the epson expression "pro" line). Flat beds are designed for reflective scans and modified for transmissive.

    When I read some of the comments written that put on par flatbeds to film scanners or even drum scanners I am simply left speechless.

    There really is a difference a very large difference. I work with these things daily and have been using them since the mid 80's.

    I really don't want to get into a pissing match about the virtues of Flatbed v. film scanners. I would have loved to have given an informed answer to Larry's question, but Larry has decided for whatever reason to abandon his thread.
     
  13. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    OK, you win this thread. I think I'll abandon it too.

    Art.
     
  14. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So what is your problem art? Other than the desire to support your purchase, do you have evidence that flatbeds are better than film scanners or are better for a photographers needs?


    In stead of trying to belittle what I have said offer a supportable counterpoint.

    xoxo

    jdc
     
  15. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    You know Mr. Mcallow (and I belittle people?), eveything you wrote about drum scanners versus flatbeds was 100% correct, but you didn't READ the guy's initial post. I believe, and will stand by my post, that what I suggested to him, an Epson 4870 PRO, is a good recommendation for him.

    Epson 4870 PRO, $599 at B+H:
    Includes Monaco EZ Color calibration software, can scan all sizes of film upto 4x5 and paper upto 8x10.
    Here's a few reviews:
    http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson%204870/page_1.htm
    http://homepage.mac.com/xpan/MindFlash/shortcut/2004/2004-04/2004-04-12a.html
    http://ostg.pricegrabber.com/rating_getprodrev.php/product_id=1905483/id_type=M/ <--This is a consumer review site, so you can ignore.
    Plus it's been reviewed in PDN, PhotoLife and others as well.
    Nikon Coolscan VED, $569 at B+H:
    No Calibration software, only does 35mm film and slides.​
    Microtek AtixScan 120tf, $1500 at B+H:
    No discernable difference to the Epson except for the price. No calibration software, no IT8 targets, no other media types except the scanning of 35mm and 120 size film.​
    Aztek Premier Drum Scanner, starts at $20,000: http://www.aztek.com/ ICG drum scanners start at GPB17,000: http://www.icg.ltd.uk/
    and Heidelberg drum scanners start at $100,000: http://www.heidelberg.com/www/pages/startpage.jsp

    You can recommend your $$$ drum scanners all you want, just like I could recommend the Aston Martin Vantage V8 for the guy looking to buy a car.

    Regards, Art. (Hoping to grow up to be like MISTER Mcallow one day. OK now, I outta here!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2004
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have an LS-4500AF that I acquired used for around $300 (originally on the order of $12K with all accessories!), and it's developed alignment problems, making it unreliable for color work (requiring 3 passes), and not worth repairing. For B&W it's not bad, but the interface is somewhat limited and old fashioned (I much prefer the interface on my Agfa Duoscan), and it's pretty slow. I would not be surprised if a current flatbed like the Epson 4870 were sharper than the LS-4500.

    One big issue with the Duoscans is that if you do transparencies and negs on the glass tray with another sheet of glass on top, you'll get MUCH sharper results than with the dedicated glassless neg holders. I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true of other flatbeds.
     
  17. ghinson

    ghinson Member

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    Is the LS 8000 the same as the Coolscan 8000? These still sell for over $1,000 on eBay. I did notice a LS-5000 for sale but have not researched it yet.
     
  18. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Art,
    I never recommended a drum scanner and still have no idea what larry's requirements are or why for the same cash you'd recommend a flatbed for scanning film over a dedicated film scanner.

    Eat your wheaties and you may yet.


    If I recall correctly the Duoscan is a Microtek design that uses a separate lamp for film. I have used the older design by Microtek and continue to use the newer (Artex)version and have found them to be excellent scanners.
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The ls 5000 is 35mm only. The LS 8000 may be the same as the Coolscan 8000. I have seen the LS8000 on ebay for around 500.00. You may want to save a search on ebay and have it automatically search for the LS8000/coolscan 8000 daily. You might also do the same for the Minolta it will probably go for less.