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Thread: scanner choices

  1. #1

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    scanner choices

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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. #2
    david b's Avatar
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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.

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    rbarker's Avatar
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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.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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    jd callow's Avatar
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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).

    *

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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?

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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 shouldn’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. #7
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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.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  8. #8
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kswatapug
    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.
    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. #9

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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. #10
    ghinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcallow
    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).

    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

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