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05-29-2010, 01:38 PM   #16
graphicgr8s
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Wonder what the comparison would be to a drum scanner.

05-29-2010, 01:53 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
Wonder what the comparison would be to a drum scanner.
That is hard to tell. I guess it depends on which drum scanner and how well it has been maintained


Steve
05-29-2010, 02:13 PM   #18
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From what I remember, Imacon "virtual drum" scanners didn't have much practical advantage over the best Nikon Coolscans back then though much more expensive. Wet scans however, are entirely different, but must be a mess to operate.
05-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #19
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Stop the Presses! Late-Breaking Developments

Well, late-breaking scans at least. The development happened some months ago

As noted in the OP and in comments above, I had reservations about the ability of the Epson holder to maintain adequate flatness with the Rollei Retro 100 negatives. This afternoon (actually, just a few minutes ago) I hunted up some TMax 100 negatives that I had in the archives. TMax 100 is notably flat after processing with negligible curl.

Here is the comparison with a flatter negative:


Vernal Falls: Epson V700 @ 2400 dpi



Again, this is a straight scan with no USM and auto exposure. The negative was positioned in the holder emulsion-side up with the spacers at the "+" setting.


Nikon 5000 ED vs. Epson V700 @2400 dpi: Full Resolution Crop



The Nikon image was scanned using the FH-3 Strip Film Holder, emulsion side down, no USM, auto-exposure and auto-focus.


As you can see, the images are comparable. What a relief! What does all this mean? In a nutshell...
Negatives scanned on the Epson V700 MUST be flat. Repeat...FLAT!!!
If you need to mount on glass...mount on glass. If you need to wet mount...wet mount. Whatever it takes, make sure that negative is flat! Good scanning technique will yield really good scans!


Steve

(Slightly embarrassed by the original comparison...relieved by the sequel...)


Last edited by stevebrot; 05-29-2010 at 09:28 PM.
05-29-2010, 11:44 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Who owns a $5000 scanner? The Nikon cost less than 2x that of the V700.

I compared two scanners of good reputation at the same scanning resolution using the stock negative carriers for both scanners. If both are capable of scanning at 2400 dpi, I would expect similar results. Sound logical, eh?

Keep in mind that I OWN both scanners and paid full price for both. I would really have loved to have posted a comparison with both images looking the same and including a paragraph trumpeting the high value of the V700. After all, it was my market research that led to the purchase and I would look like a pretty smart guy. Right now, I both look and feel like a pretty dumb guy.

As for the Miata vs. Ferrari analogy...I would expect both to handle about the same at 25 mph. 2400 dpi should not be pushing the limits for a scanner (V700) advertised as supporting 9600 dpi.


Steve

BTW...You are local to me. If you like, I would be pleased to let you see the results in person and even scan the one of your negs if you don't like mine.
I am not doubting that the Nikon is a great scanner. I am just commenting on the fact that they are really apples and oranges. I guess I am just confused, did you expect that the Epson would perform as well as the Nikon. I certainly didn't mean to cast dispersions on you personally. Just trying to understand the logic behind the exercise.

In olden times I used to do a lot of neg scanning with a UMAX scanner, and to this day, I have yet to find a flatbed scanner that can compete with the old Astra 3 pass line (probably just romanticizing the old days...)..
05-30-2010, 02:30 AM   #21
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What I'm seeing in your latest example is better shadow detail from the Epson, albeit ever so slightly less resolution, too. Very interesting.

I have both the V750 and a Konica-Minolta film scanner. I would always prefer the K-M to the Epson when scanning slides, but with negatives the situation is less clear, especially with Silverfast's Negafix, which I don't have for the K-M (I never scan with the Epson driver, and never use DigitalICE, which soften the scans and removes fine detail). I work hard on the Epson scans - I too use the + position on the holder. I carefully sharpen after capture in Photoshop using Photokit Sharpener, then do another round of sharpening later in the process, usually after a small local contrast boost. The results are often better than what I can achieve with the K-M. In short, I think the Epson, far from being overpriced, is actually criminally underrated.
05-30-2010, 02:32 AM   #22
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Nice photo by the way!
05-30-2010, 08:49 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtroute Quote
I am not doubting that the Nikon is a great scanner. I am just commenting on the fact that they are really apples and oranges. I guess I am just confused, did you expect that the Epson would perform as well as the Nikon.
Yes, the Nikon is a great scanner. It is one of the few units on the market that actually comes close to delivering its advertised resolution. In its own way, the Epson is too. The two may be apples and oranges, but both claim to produce the same thing.

The reason why I compared the two goes something like this:
  • There is a recurring question on this forum and elsewhere regarding whether to buy a flatbed or a dedicated film scanner
  • The Nikon 5000 ED is often held up as the quality standard for dedicated film scanners
  • The Epson V700/V750 is often recommended as a flatbed scanner
  • While the Nikon will deliver close to its advertised 4000 dpi resolution, the Epson is reputed to only manage about 2100-2400 dpi, depending on reviewer
  • For many users, 2400 dpi on 35mm is quite adequate, so the question often breaks down to Nikon vs. Epson
Although they were purchased for difference purposes, I own both scanners and felt it might be helpful to actually do the comparison. After all, 2400 dpi is 2400 dpi. If I do the comparison, I can truthfully state that the two scanners are comparable at that resolution. I.e. No need to spend the extra money if you don't need better than 2400 dpi.

I also had a degree of personal curiosity. When I was doing my initial scanner shopping, the good folk at Pro Photo Supply in Portland steered me away from the Nikon 5000 ED and presented the Epson V750 as a comparable and less expensive alternate. Needless to say, Pro Photo Supply's credibility took a bit of a dive in my mind as I continued my market research.

QuoteOriginally posted by mtroute Quote
I certainly didn't mean to cast dispersions on you personally. Just trying to understand the logic behind the exercise...
Sorry my comment came out sounding that way. I have been in sort of a testy mood for the last several days and it has worked its way out into my forum posts. Seriously though, If you or other forum members in the Portland/Vancouver area are interested in doing a "test drive" of either scanner, drop me a PM and we will see what we can do.

After having done this comparison, the big question that remains in my mind is how the upper end Pacific Imaging and Plustek dedicated scanners compare to the Epson at the same price point or $100-$200 lower. If a person does not need the ability to support larger formats, these offer a less expensive alternative with a smaller footprint.


Steve

05-30-2010, 09:04 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by artobest Quote
What I'm seeing in your latest example is better shadow detail from the Epson, albeit ever so slightly less resolution, too. Very interesting.

I have both the V750 and a Konica-Minolta film scanner. I would always prefer the K-M to the Epson when scanning slides, but with negatives the situation is less clear, especially with Silverfast's Negafix, which I don't have for the K-M (I never scan with the Epson driver, and never use DigitalICE, which soften the scans and removes fine detail). I work hard on the Epson scans - I too use the + position on the holder. I carefully sharpen after capture in Photoshop using Photokit Sharpener, then do another round of sharpening later in the process, usually after a small local contrast boost. The results are often better than what I can achieve with the K-M. In short, I think the Epson, far from being overpriced, is actually criminally underrated.
I agree with your observation regarding contrast and resolution. Both scans were done using default exposure and curves, and the Nikon scan definitely has higher contrast is a little darker.

I have no doubt that the Epson images can be significantly enhanced with judicious PP. As for appropriate price point...I guess that is a personal thing. The best price I could find was still more than I wanted to pay. Bottom line is that it is a capable and quality product within its limits. There is more to a scan than resolution and the Epson does a really nice job in the tonality department.

QuoteOriginally posted by artobest Quote
Nice photo by the way!
Thank you. I had not done anything more than a proof with this negative and was pleasantly surprised when I did a larger and more careful scan. I really like the tones in the rock cliffs.

Steve
05-30-2010, 09:53 AM   #25
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For completeness and also because I can be a little obsessive, here is a comparison between the two scanners at 4000 dpi. That is the max for the Nikon.


Nikon 5000 ED vs. Epson V700 @ 4000 dpi

[IMGWIDELEFT]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4653365304_5c1fd9f871_b.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

The downsampling for the Epson was done at scan time using the Epson Scan software.



Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-30-2010 at 05:37 PM.
05-30-2010, 03:46 PM   #26
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Medium Format

Hello Steve,

A small contribution to your thread if you do not mind.
I got my hands on an Epson V700 and ran a 120 negative Efke 25 on Pentax 645 that I had previously scanned with my LS-8000.
I scanned at what looks the best height for the Epson i.e. 3.5mm or high on the stock holder. The neg was very flat as I use a ANR glass on top.

Nikon LS-8000 @ 4000 ppi 100% crop

Espon V700 @ "6400" ppi reduced to 4000 dpi in CS5 bicubic sharper

Same as above but sharpened with Akvis Enhancer plug-in.

I tried USM but did not get as good a result.
I also tried scanning directly at 3200 dpi and the result looked a tiny bit sharper but not enough to be conclusive.
I have read in a review that 6200 down sampled was giving a little bit more in shadow detail so that is what I will be using I guess.

I tried going higher than the max position and the result was very poor.

Note that the grain is a lot more visible on the Nikon scan but so are the details.
On both case it gives a file that is about 19*13 at 360 dpi.

To me it is a no contest.

As of why I got a V700. Here lies the rub.
The LS-8000 is so freakin' unpredictable. WHen it works you get this nice result. The problem is to have it working. Mine has been struck with the "Unknown holder" syndrome
I will try to send it to the Nikon service center in Vancouver. If they cannot repair it which happens very often or the repair is too expansive then I will be using the V700. While it is not the sharpest, it at least works, and that will be my first and last encounter with Nikon.

Cheers,

Luc

Last edited by lbenac; 07-14-2012 at 07:05 AM.
05-30-2010, 05:34 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbenac Quote
Hello Steve,

A small contribution to your thread if you do not mind.
I got my hands on an Epson V700 and ran a 120 negative Efke 25 on Pentax 645 that I had previously scanned with my LS-8000.
I scanned at what looks the best height for the Epson i.e. 3.5mm or high on the stock holder. The neg was very flat as I use a ANR glass on top.

Nikon LS-8000 @ 4000 ppi 100% crop

Espon V700 @ "6400" ppi reduced to 4000 dpi in CS5 bicubic sharper

Note that the grain is a lot more visible on the Nikon scan but so are the details.
On both case it gives a file that is about 19*13 at 360 dpi.

To me it is a no contest.

As of why I got a V700. Here lies the rub.
The LS-8000 is so freakin' unpredictable. WHen it works you get this nice result. The problem is to have it working. Mine has been struck with the "Unknown holder" syndrome
I will try to send it to the Nikon service center in Vancouver. If they cannot repair it which happens very often or the repair is too expansive then I will be using the V700. While it is not the sharpest, it at least works, and that will be my first and last encounter with Nikon.

Cheers,

Luc
Thank you Luc for the contribution. The comparison is about what I would have expected and is similar to what I got with 35mm.

Anyone in a position to compare a Pacific Imaging or PlusTek to the V700? How about either of those two against the Nikon?


Steve
05-30-2010, 06:46 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Thank you Luc for the contribution. The comparison is about what I would have expected and is similar to what I got with 35mm.

Anyone in a position to compare a Pacific Imaging or PlusTek to the V700? How about either of those two against the Nikon?


Steve

Hello Steve,

I updated my previous post with a sharpened version of the same image. This helps a lot. I am printing the two image NIKON and ESPON sharpened on 13*19 to compare for real.

> Prints are not totally dry but I can get a good idea.
>Nikon print shows more cleaner details i.e. stores on a windows (about 1cm square on the print) show each blind. The ESPON print just show an almost plain surface
>this is of course looking closely at the print, on a wall looking at let's say 1m from the print there probably would not be much difference. That said what is the first thing we are all doing when we see a print we like... ?



I used to have a Plustek 7600. Huge files with half the resolution and poor Dmax. Not a good option. I will put my Minolta Dimage Elite or DualScan IV any day.

Cheers,

Luc

Last edited by lbenac; 07-14-2012 at 07:05 AM.
05-30-2010, 07:40 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbenac Quote
Hello Steve,

I updated my previous post with a sharpened version of the same image. This helps a lot. I am printing the two image NIKON and ESPON sharpened on 13*19 to compare for real.

> Prints are not totally dry but I can get a good idea.
>Nikon print shows more cleaner details i.e. stores on a windows (about 1cm square on the print) show each blind. The ESPON print just show an almost plain surface
>this is of course looking closely at the print, on a wall looking at let's say 1m from the print there probably would not be much difference. That said what is the first thing we are all doing when we see a print we like... ?



I used to have a Plustek 7600. Huge files with half the resolution and poor Dmax. Not a good option. I will put my Minolta Dimage Elite or DualScan IV any day.

Cheers,

Luc
Thanks for the update. I played with the Epson images a little after my last post and managed significant improvements in apparent sharpness just by applying a ton of "clarity" in Lightroom. My understanding is that "clarity" involves slight sharpening in conjunction with increased local contrast. The process generated some artifact as a trade-off, but that sort of thing comes with the territory I guess.

Thank you also regarding your opinion of the Plustek 7600. I almost purchased that scanner and am glad that I bought the Nikon. Now all we need is for someone to weigh in on the Pacific Imaging unit.

BTW...What is the location for your comparison shot? It does not look like anything I have seen in the Lower Mainland. (Edit: Figured it out...Squamish?)


Steve
05-30-2010, 08:19 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
BTW...What is the location for your comparison shot? It does not look like anything I have seen in the Lower Mainland. (Edit: Figured it out...Squamish?)
Steve
You got it. There are al lot of new buildings in Squamish. It has probably triplicated in the last 15 years.

I scan raw with VueSacn and then reverse the curve in ACR and apply some "Clarity" as a matter of course. You can also play in PS with USM and large radius for local contrast. I would do that only for digital image. If yu check Luminous Landscape or Bruce Fraser book there is an article about local contrast using USM. Note that Clarity works great.

What I read about Pacific Imaging was the same then for Microtek, nonexistent technical support and less than reliable equipment.

Cheers,

Luc
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