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09-05-2017, 04:49 PM   #1
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Christmas came early - free MF scanner Epson 4870

I have a Pentacon Six camera which I would like to use more to shoot some film, but development, scanning and printing is expensive. Hence I thought of at least doing the scanning myself, to save some money. Before I got the Six I bought an Epson v330, which is a nice film scanner, but unfortunately the backlight isn't big enough for 6 x 4 scans. But as life goes, I had other priorities than buying a 6x4 compatible scanner.

However, recently I found an Epson Perfection 4870 scanner on my way home. Someone had chucked it into the bins at my workplace. A huge, heavy thing, originally released 10 years ago. I took it home, installed the drivers - and voila! - I'm scanning 6x4 slides! However, currently only OS X's default programme Image Capture is able to scan, the Epson utility doesn't recognise the scanner.

Attached a sample shot scanned with image magic, no frame holder and only little adjustments. The film was expired and exposure was guessed rather than measured, the film lacks contrast and has thick grains, but apart from that it looks ok. Certainly better than the lab scan.

I wonder whether it's worth keeping the v330 though?

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Last edited by antipattern; 09-05-2017 at 05:08 PM.
09-05-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
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It looks pretty good to me.
09-06-2017, 08:22 AM - 1 Like   #3
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If the 4870 is in decent working order, it will perform about as well as a V7xx/V8xx in terms of optics if you obtain or make some holders that will place the film at the optimum height above the glass bed for sharpest focus (the V8xx will have better Dmax performance). At this age, the scanner most likely needs to be opened up and have the underside of the glass cleaned. There probably is a haze/fog from the outgassing of the plastic parts over time. Exploded diagrams are archived at the following link. You can also search Youtube for video instructions for the 4870/4990.

How To Dismantle Epson Scanners

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