Epson scanner for monochrome negatives

Discussion in 'Dry Process Prints' started by derek andrews, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. derek andrews

    derek andrews Member

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    Hi, I'm current!y using an 'oldish' Epson scanner for my negative to convert to digital. Any advice on what would be a good 'newer' (used) scanner, preferably Epson, but would consider another make. Thanks
     
  2. rrusso

    rrusso Member

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    You didn't mention what size negatives you'll be scanning, or what you consider "oldish", but I have a V600 which I like a lot and more than does what I need. It handles 35mm and 6xX MF.

    I looked at the V750 and up models, but didn't feel that the (what I consider) marginal increase in resolution was worth it...YMMV.

    If you'll be printing really big, then it might be worth it.
     
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    derek andrews

    derek andrews Member

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    Sorry, yes it's an Epson 1260 using ScanVue software and I'll be scanning 35 mm negs.
     
  4. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member
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    V600 and newer might get better. And they have great Epson scanning software as well. But if 135 film only, Plustek is better.
     
  5. brent8927

    brent8927 Subscriber
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    I use a V700 and love it for medium format, but if I were shooting 35mm I would definitely use a dedicated film scanner--unfortunately I don't know which ones to recommend since I haven't shot/scanned 35mm since ~2002
     
  6. jim10219

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    I agree that if you're only shooting 135, that a dedicated film scanner is the way to go. Either that, or a DSLR scanning setup (which is what I do).

    I have an Epson 4990 that works great with 4x5's. But it isn't worth my time for 135 film. I can get much better resolution from my DSLR setup in about the same amount of time.
     
  7. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    What's your budget?
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber
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    Epson are nice scanners. So my question is why do you want to switch scanners? Something different is not always better.
     
  9. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber
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    I use a V750 Pro and love it for MF and LF negs. For 35mm I use a digital camera and a macro lens. I feel I get better results than using a flat bed scanner.
     
  10. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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  11. foen

    foen Member
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    Could you explain exactly your workflows? I got the same Stuff but I never found a proper way to use...thank you
     
  12. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I bought from Epson an extra 35mm film holder so I have two. The dried film is cut into strips of 6 negatives , a total of 6 strips. These are placed in the V700 film holders,,four strips in one and two strips in the other..The film holders are in turn placed in the scanner and a prescan shows the area occupied by the negatives, This area is then scanned at 800dpi to produce a digital "contact sheet" from each holder. The individual negatives on each computer screen "contact sheet" are viewed at higher magnification and the best negative(s) selected for scanning in the Plustek 8100 which has a higher resolution than the V700. Each selected negative is then scanned in the Plustek at its highest resolution setting, 7200 dpi which is said to give a true resolution of 3600 dpi compared with about 2300 dpi max from the Epson.This scan is stored for possible printing.
    To get the final stored scan I scan the negative as a transparency,invert, sharpen hard and adjust black and white points and some adjustments to taste.
    Hope that helps.
     
  13. foen

    foen Member
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    Did you use vuescan? What about settings? Thank you !!
     
  14. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I am using the software that came with the scanners, Silverfast SE for the Epson and Silverfast 8 for the Plustek.
    Sorry, I don't think it is much use giving pages of settings for these specific scanners, it is easy enough to figure out with some practice.
     
  15. If you want to buy a new Epson photo scanner go to epson.com and see what they have available for reconditioned units. The cost will be much lower and it will have a warranty almost as good a new one [shorter coverage], but it will be fully tested.
     
  16. ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    The V600 is beaut for 120 but I would rate it as only marginal for 35mm. Still, if it's all you have and that's what you shoot, with careful work you can get some excellent results. The keyword here is 'careful'.

    I get my best results by scanning at the lower range of contrast (to get everything out of the negative) and also turning off all the 'add-ons' in the scanner. This will mean more post processing work, but you won't be doing PP on each and every negative you take, will you? Do I? Well, yes, sometimes. Trying to PP everything is a quick and easy way to a painful life. Trust me on this.

    My workflow is much like Alan Johnson's (#14). I also have several 35mm holders so I can be loading the next one and refilling my wine glass while the current lot of six is scanning. If you intend to scan your archive, as I am currently working on mine (75,000+ 35mm images dating back to the early '70s). Two or more holders will save you a lot of work and likely a nervous breakdown. Alcohol and coffee consumption will also be (positively) affected.

    I am nearly 70 with a lifetime of images to work with. This year I'm traveling but from mid 2018 I plan to be at home more and scanning to try to come to terms with that damn archive. I figure if I live to 90, I may see the end of it. Maybe. If I keep on shooting, well.

    I also own a Plustek 7600i which I bought new in 2010. I know the newer models are (sort of ) better in overall quality but not in scan speed. The 7600i is what I have and it's what I work with. I'm convinced the bundled Silverfast software was designed to satisfy neurotic Germans and it can easily drive one insane, but once you figure it out, it's OK. It came free with the Plustek but I wouldn't buy it. Vuescan is probably better, but Silverfast is what I have and I've learned to work with it. If my ancient laptop set up for scanning ever conks out, I'll surely go with Viewscan.

    Do tests on a series of negatives (with different contrasts) on the Epson. Keep detailed notes re settings, scan times etc. All this will save you many future headaches. I scan in rows of six at 1200 or 1800 and redo my keepers (usually 1 in 6) on the Plustek at 2400 or higher.

    Oddly (but perhaps not surprisingly), my 120 shots are far better than my 35mm and my rate of keepers is much higher. I wonder why?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  17. jtk

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    I've used a Nikon V for years. Zero difficulty with the Nikon Software but that doesn't work with Windows 10 so I use the Vuescan that I bought a decade ago for my Epson...it's updated for free and it works with the Nikon Digital Ice, which despite folklore and bogus reviews doesn't hurt sharpness...it sharply resolves and distinguishes various grain and dye clouds, which is then sharply resolved by Canon Pro10 as it was when I still used top Epson. Resolution equals best optical enlargement. I rarely want to scan entire rolls because I know in advance which frames want printing and I edit on lightbox with an Agfa loupe (in other words I have no need to simulate proof sheets).

    With respect to idea of copying negs with digital cameras, there's the matter of dust, which Digital Ice eliminates automatically...but prevents proper scanning of Kodachrome. So I copy Kodachrome with Pentax prime macro and invert in PS.
     
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