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  1. #1

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    another scanner question (for B&W)

    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. #2

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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. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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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. #4
    Patrick Latour's Avatar
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    Have a look at the Epson V-500...
    - Note to self: Next time processing a film, take notice of the shape of the beer bottle and the shape of the fixer bottle, and note the differences. -

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Frazzetta View Post
    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...120mm film. I have a cheap document printer (which I might upgrade). I want to buy... flat bed scanner that will allow me to: 1)....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....Any suggestions?

    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. #6

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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. #7

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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. #8
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post

    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.
    ...
    It's actually 3.4:
    http://www.epson.co.uk/scanners/Epso...to-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 David H. Bebbington; 02-25-2008 at 07:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Iwagoshi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington View Post
    It's actually 3.4:
    http://www.epson.co.uk/scanners/Epso...to-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 recommend a dmax figure of 3.6 as a minimum.
    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. #10
    Iwagoshi's Avatar
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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

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