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06-17-2018, 05:10 AM   #1
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Epson Perfection 3170 Photo

I have recently got back into developing 35mm B & W film scanned in with my Reflecta Crystal Scan 7200, but now I want to have a go at medium format.

I have managed to resurrect my 3170 to use with medium format B & W film taken with my Zeiss Ikonta 521/2 6 x 9 and Zeiss Ikonta 521 6 x 4.5 cameras.

I don't expect any great shots from them after all these years and may have to replace them in the future but before I started scanning I wondered how those of you who know scanners would rate the 3170 and whether it might be better to upgrade it to something like an Epson V550 or V600 photo before doing work which might have to be redone.

I have an iMac and I use VueScan, I don't like the way SilverFast ties you down to a specific machine.

06-17-2018, 06:25 AM   #2
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I have the same scanner and have used it for about 11 years for lots of things including scanning negatives (including medium format from y 645 and 6x7). It works but it's slow and limited. My research a few years ago identified the Epson V series as what I want to go to for an upgrade. Yet to pull the trigger on it though. IMHO you are looking in the right direction.
06-17-2018, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The biggest problem with the 3170 is the light source in the lid of the scanner. It is usually uneven in coverage and is so weak that it limits the ability of the scanner to "see" into the denser areas of the film. When people come to me asking for a film holder for that scanner, I advise them to take the money they were going to spend on a film holder and apply it toward a V500/V550/V600 if money is tight or a V7xx/V8xx if the budget allows. A used unit in good condition can be a great investment and sometimes refurbished units are available on the EpsonStore website plus I think it is Adorama that started selling Epson's refurbs.

Doug
06-17-2018, 10:49 AM   #4
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Here's an interesting read that may help.
Epson flatbed scanners: 2450 Photo, with a little about the 3200
Scroll down to the section 'Focus and Spacing'. I played around with my 3170 and found that I got better scans when the film holder was shimmed with a thick piece of paper.
If you want to spend the time, his whole site has boat loads of info.
Also play around with setting the White and Black points, gives you different effects. Since Vuescan lets you output a 'RAW' you can make changes without a rescan each time.
Good Luck

06-17-2018, 01:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doug Fisher Quote
The biggest problem with the 3170 is the light source in the lid of the scanner. It is usually uneven in coverage and is so weak that it limits the ability of the scanner to "see" into the denser areas of the film. When people come to me asking for a film holder for that scanner, I advise them to take the money they were going to spend on a film holder and apply it toward a V500/V550/V600 if money is tight or a V7xx/V8xx if the budget allows. A used unit in good condition can be a great investment and sometimes refurbished units are available on the EpsonStore website plus I think it is Adorama that started selling Epson's refurbs.

Doug
I note from your profile that you are in the scanner business and that's the sort of information I was looking for I knew that I was not happy with 35mm negs but I didn't know why, thank you very much.

---------- Post added 06-17-2018 at 09:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I have the same scanner and have used it for about 11 years for lots of things including scanning negatives (including medium format from y 645 and 6x7). It works but it's slow and limited. My research a few years ago identified the Epson V series as what I want to go to for an upgrade. Yet to pull the trigger on it though. IMHO you are looking in the right direction.
Thank you, I had noticed how slow it was and not particularly looking forward to spending acres of time on something that might not be right in the end.

---------- Post added 06-17-2018 at 10:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by thazooo Quote
Here's an interesting read that may help.
Epson flatbed scanners: 2450 Photo, with a little about the 3200
Scroll down to the section 'Focus and Spacing'. I played around with my 3170 and found that I got better scans when the film holder was shimmed with a thick piece of paper.
If you want to spend the time, his whole site has boat loads of info.
Also play around with setting the White and Black points, gives you different effects. Since Vuescan lets you output a 'RAW' you can make changes without a rescan each time.
Good Luck
There is eating and drinking on that site, even a review of the 3170 that shows up its deficiencies, I just have to make up my mind now if the upgrade would be really noticeable bearing in mind that my medium format cameras are not the world's greatest, from plugging around on the net the best price for an Epson V550 that I have found so far is 209 and for a V600 253 plus shipping. There is a huge jump to the 800 so it will be either one of those two if I decide to move.

Thank you very much.
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