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06-24-2010, 10:53 PM   #1
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Scanners: Epson 3200 vs Epson 4490

Hi, the two most economical options available to me right now for scanning 220 film from my Pentax 645 are Epson 3200 and Epson 4490.

They're older models I know and (of course) there are better options out there, but they're not in my budget for the time being ...

So I'd like to hear from people that have used both, especially with medium format film.

I wonder how image quality compares between the two? Also which is easier to scan with? - basically which scanner can handle more Pentax 645 frames at a time for full-res scanning?

Thanks!

06-26-2010, 01:56 AM   #2
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I can now cross the 3200 off my list based on bad feedback elsewhere.

Here's what remains at the best prices I can find here in Canada:
* Epson 4490 (new) $150
* Epson V500 (new) $230
* Epson V600 (local new) $300

Tough decision ... anyone else care to weigh in on these other models and how they compare?

Is the V series worth the extra money? Especially regarding workflow - I want to get the scanner that will help me save time.

I don't want to spend days scanning 645 frames any more than I want to spend days post-processing in Photoshop. Call me lazy, but I'd rather go out to shoot some more in that time.

[also posted on another site]
06-26-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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I haven't used any of those scanners but something close, a 4990. It came with two carriers for MF. One carrier looks like it cans scan 3 strips of 645 negs cut to length of 3 (9 total). I shoot larger negs so I'm estimating that.

But scanning in volume you're in for a lot of work nevertheless. And I'd say for each shot that you what to present in the best possible way, it's going to take more time post processing with a graphics editor giving each frame individual treatment. YMMV. But if you're good in an application like Lightroom, you can import lots of pictures, group them into similar lighting, edit one and apply it to all in the group and then tweak any differences needed to speed things up.

Last edited by tuco; 06-26-2010 at 09:58 AM.
06-26-2010, 11:42 AM   #4
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Just a small comment...Tuco's 4990 is a much different beast than a 4490 and had an original list price of over $500 USD.


Steve

06-28-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I haven't used any of those scanners but something close, a 4990. It came with two carriers for MF. One carrier looks like it cans scan 3 strips of 645 negs cut to length of 3 (9 total). I shoot larger negs so I'm estimating that.

But scanning in volume you're in for a lot of work nevertheless. And I'd say for each shot that you what to present in the best possible way, it's going to take more time post processing with a graphics editor giving each frame individual treatment. YMMV. But if you're good in an application like Lightroom, you can import lots of pictures, group them into similar lighting, edit one and apply it to all in the group and then tweak any differences needed to speed things up.
Well if you are good with Lightroom and Photoshop, you can have basic development parameters saved in LR to prepare your TIF and then batch action in PS to have all your layers ready to tweak. It is not as time consuming as you might think.
That said for a shot that you like you will spend the time regardless if it is post-processing or wet-printing. That is part of the love...
So for me I do not spend much time on the scan and just get a raw file with as much range as the scanner can give and then run the above after some triage and spend the time only on the shots I want to keep.


Cheers,

Luc
07-01-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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I took some developed film to a local camera store to scan and burn a dvd. Afterward I decided to search the forum about which scanner to purchase for my hobby. Also, I would like to scan old family negatives & prints, that won't happen at these costs. Just thought I would share my experience with you. It was a shocker to pay the bill next up is a scanner.

300 dpi resolution
13 120 mm negs @ $20.67
1 DVD @ $ 7.99
_______
$28.66
Tax @7.725 $ 2.22
_______
$30.88
07-01-2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kaufeetime Quote
I took some developed film to a local camera store to scan and burn a dvd. Afterward I decided to search the forum about which scanner to purchase for my hobby. Also, I would like to scan old family negatives & prints, that won't happen at these costs. Just thought I would share my experience with you. It was a shocker to pay the bill next up is a scanner.

300 dpi resolution
13 120 mm negs @ $20.67
1 DVD @ $ 7.99
_______
$28.66
Tax @7.725 $ 2.22
_______
$30.88

There you go! A scanner will pay for itself pretty quickly if you are doing a lot of scans. Be prepared for many hours at the computer though.


Steve
07-06-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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I use the 4490, and I'm not sure what improvement the V series presents. These scan one strip of 120/220 film at a time. With normal frame spacing, you can scan 3 images at a time, but with the 645's 15 frames, you only can get 2

I believe the V500 is the equivalent of the 4490 when it comes to film scanning. You'll have to go up the Epson ladder (4990 or the higher V series) to get more per-scan capacity.

The Epson holders are a bit delicate.

07-08-2010, 10:42 PM   #9
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I have the V4990 and its great. But I rarely shoot film anymore so I'm looking to get rid of mine. PM me if you get my drift....
07-08-2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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I have access to a V500 and have used it to scan a few rolls of medium format film. I think it was $200 on sale 1.5+ years ago at a Henry's in Canada. I could only get 2 Pentax 645 frames to scan at a time, and the holder it comes with can be a bit awkward if your film wants to curl.

I helped with selecting the scanner and went with the V500 over the 4490 because of the LED backlighting. I haven't used a 4490 but I did quite a bit of scanning with older Canon and Epson scanners that had fluorescent lighting and waiting for the lamp to warm up was annoying.
07-09-2010, 07:24 AM   #11
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I bought my V500 about two months ago on Amazon (US) for $150, free shipping. I sold Photoshop Element 6 on craigslist for $25 to a guy who used it to upgrade to Photoshop (apparently you can upgrade from elements to photoshop if you have the right upgrade disc).

The V500 works pretty well. Digital ICE is a must. Sure, better scanners exist, but not at this price.
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