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09-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #1
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Will the V500 meet my desires?

I'm looking for a scanner that can provide sufficient output to provide high-quality prints up to 11x14 or so (on the rare occasion I need a superior scan, I'll just send-out). I'm also a bit of a tightwad. The Epson V500 sounds like a pretty good choice to me, but I have some questions:

The maximum density is listed as 3.4. How does that affect output? Will I be able to get the maximum DR out of negatives? Is multiple-exposure-level scanning a method for getting the most out of negatives, and can it be done with the V500?

I mostly shoot landscape and nature, with some portraiture as well. I'm pretty new to the idea of scanning, but I really miss film and I've gotten tired of digital.

Anyone with any advice (particularly experience with the V500) is greatly appreciated. If I could get some full-res samples from anyone that would be great as well.

09-08-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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In one word : Yes !

I am scanning at 2400 dpi which is the best compromise of speed vs details.

I will post one later, I am not at home...

But you can look at some rescaled at 1024 pixels :










09-08-2010, 08:49 AM   #3
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Thanks! Those look good, but I'm curious about the grain. Is that a characteristic in this case of the film or the scan? I like grain sometimes but if I'm going to use some nice smooth Ektar I'd rather not have the scanner upping the grain.

I look forward to your fullsizes. Thanks again.
09-08-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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The grain is there presumably it was there in the original. The fact that you see it in the scans is actually a good thing and it means that the scanner was doing its job.

Cheers,
Tassilo

09-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by vparseval Quote
The grain is there presumably it was there in the original. The fact that you see it in the scans is actually a good thing and it means that the scanner was doing its job.

Cheers,
Tassilo
Most scanners may generate a grain-like interference artifact with some images. The actual film grain is usually much smaller than the scanner's maximum resolution. The artifact is more obvious with grainy film, varies between scanners, is made worse by applying USM at scan time and is often much more severe than what you would get from an optical print from the same negative.


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09-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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I don't own the V500, though I know that there are several users on this forum that do and are quite happy with their purchase. A few things to consider when comparing the V500 to its more expensive siblings:
  • Capacity of negative holders. The V500 has a narrower light source in the lid than the V700/V750. As a result the negative and slide holders have smaller capacity.
  • Maximum negative size. The V500 can be used for up to 6x12cm, but cannot be used for 4x5 or 8x10.
  • Optics. Epson claims that the V700/V750 have a special high resolution optic for film scanning. Whether this is significant for medium format would be difficult to tell without doing a direct comparison.


Steve
09-08-2010, 01:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I don't own the V500, though I know that there are several users on this forum that do and are quite happy with their purchase. A few things to consider when comparing the V500 to its more expensive siblings:
  • Capacity of negative holders. The V500 has a narrower light source in the lid than the V700/V750. As a result the negative and slide holders have smaller capacity.
  • Maximum negative size. The V500 can be used for up to 6x12cm, but cannot be used for 4x5 or 8x10.
  • Optics. Epson claims that the V700/V750 have a special high resolution optic for film scanning. Whether this is significant for medium format would be difficult to tell without doing a direct comparison.


Steve
Thanks for the info. Fortunately I'm only planning on shooting 645, and at a low volume at that. That's interesting about the film-specific optics, I just don't think I can justify three times the price (and up!) for that alone. When I need the highest-quality scans, I'll probably send out to a lab with a Nikon Coolscan 9000 or something similar, or possibly even a drum scanner.

About that grain-artifact issue, does anyone know if that's particularly more or less common with the V500 than most? And is it affected by the software used to run the scanner (i.e. Silverfast vs. the original Epson software)?
09-09-2010, 12:34 AM   #8
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In fact the second image is a Rollei R3 film exposed at 100iso (400 nominal) and developed in Rollei RHS and not RLS to see the grain difference.
So this is not an artifact but the real grain of the film but scaled down from 5600 pixel wide to 1024...

The only difference between V500 and V600 is that the window for 120 films is a little bit longer, so you can now scan 3 photos 645 at a time (2 with V500)...

I have never had artifacts with this scanner. For me it's a best buy !

09-09-2010, 07:33 AM   #9
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I made a 1:1 crop of two images. Original size of tif files : 4983 x 3608, 96MB and 102MB. Scanned at 2400 dpi.

Both files are Agfachrome RSXII 50 iso, expired in july 2006.
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09-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #10
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That looks pretty good. Does it scan at any higher resolution than that, or is that the upper limit?
09-09-2010, 08:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
In one word : Yes !

I am scanning at 2400 dpi which is the best compromise of speed vs details.
You could probably benefit by scanning at a higher resolution and doing a size reduction if your scanning software has that feature. That is, you scan at 4800dpi and the output is a file size of 2400dpi where the scanning software does some averaging with the higher resolution.

You are already scanning at fast speeds even at the highest resolution your scanner has and with multi-samples too! It's all relative. My 4990, which is older than a V500, is a speed daemon scanning at 4800dpi with 16 samples set compared to my 9000ED. I can't even set the 9000ED to 16 samples because it takes hours to scan a negative. But it is done in minutes with the 4990. I accept the slow scanning of the 9000ED because of the extra quality.
09-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
You could probably benefit by scanning at a higher resolution and doing a size reduction if your scanning software has that feature. That is, you scan at 4800dpi and the output is a file size of 2400dpi where the scanning software does some averaging with the higher resolution.

You are already scanning at fast speeds even at the highest resolution your scanner has and with multi-samples too! It's all relative. My 4990, which is older than a V500, is a speed daemon scanning at 4800dpi with 16 samples set compared to my 9000ED. I can't even set the 9000ED to 16 samples because it takes hours to scan a negative. But it is done in minutes with the 4990. I accept the slow scanning of the 9000ED because of the extra quality.
What's the benefit to the multi-sampling? I keep hearing it mentioned but haven't found a good explanation yet. Does it improve resolution, or DR, or both?
09-09-2010, 08:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
What's the benefit to the multi-sampling? I keep hearing it mentioned but haven't found a good explanation yet. Does it improve resolution, or DR, or both?
There are a couple of different technologies and several competing terminologies, but the intent is to increase dynamic range and allow for noise subtraction. How well it works depends on hardware capabilities and software support.


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09-09-2010, 08:50 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There are a couple of different technologies and several competing terminologies, but the intent is to increase dynamic range and allow for noise subtraction. How well it works depends on hardware capabilities and software support.


Steve
Makes sense. How would one expect the V500 to fare, perhaps running Silverfast software (from what I gather that's the best scanning software on the market?)?
09-09-2010, 08:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
That looks pretty good. Does it scan at any higher resolution than that, or is that the upper limit?
Conventional wisdom and my personal experience with the V700 is that there is little to be gained by scanning at greater than 2400 dpi. The optical resolution simply is not there regardless of manufacturer claims. That being said, I respect Tuco's results and if he sees a benefit to scanning high and down-sampling, I have to accept that it might be worth doing.


Steve
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