I want to convert all my old 35mm film (mostly b&w)to digital. The new epson v750 pro looks pretty good but some people say it can never match a dedicacted film scanner. If so, what is a good scanner in the $700-800 range. Also, does anyone know of a new film scanner coming down the pipeline to rival the obsolete KM 5400 II.
If you are only going to scan 35 mm, I would go for a dedicated film scanner. The Nikon V is probably the best one in your price range.
I agree with Doug. Flatbed scanners like the Epson 750 do an excellen job with medium and large format film, but seem to be somewhat lacking in performance with anything smaller. That's why I have both types.....
I am just finishing up my tests of the Epson perfection V750-M Pro scanner for a report for Shutterbug. I have one of the Minolta Scan Elite 5400 2 scanners, so I did some direct comparisons scanning 35mm E-6 films with both. The old assumption that a flatbed cannot do as well as a dedicated film scanner has to be reconsidered as there is very little difference in the results I obtained between the 5400 and the V750 on screen at 100% and I doubt any difference will be seen in a 13x19 inch print.
That it will do as well with B&W I have not tested in 35mm format. And, the V750 does not respond well to very high speed grainy films.
Your results are very encouraging. I have read other tests that suggest that the V750 indeed does come close to a dedicated scanner.
Questions for you: Did you find the height adjusters helpful? Also, did you happen to try out wet mounting? Finally, which issue will this test be in? I am very anxious to see the results.
If the film being scanned is flat, or in the case of 35 slides in 3mm pro mounts, the "0" setting provides critical focus. If very thin slide mounts are used, or the film is bowed to the film base side the "+" setting will correct the plane height for critical focus.
I did some fluid mount scanning, primarily of 120 roll film. This is the best way to assure critical focus corner to corner, and with B&W film fine dust, and scratches on the film base disappear or are greatly subdued, and grain is also less apparent in the final scan, particularly with some fine grained films. And fluid mount scanning is really the best and only way to scan 120 film cut in individual frames, and particularly the very thin-based Kodak films to assure they are flat and do not "pop" during the scan.
I have just finished over a month's quite intensive work with the scanner and will write my report in the next few days. It takes at least 90 days to go through production and printing and get on the newsstand, at the earliest.
I appreciate your good work. Your article on the Epson V750 Pro and V700 is out. Did you mean to tapdance around the difference in scan quality between the 750 and the 700? I am a regular user of Hamrick's ViewScan, and will continue to use it, so I don't need the full version of Silverfast. I am, frankly, trying to tapdance myself around fiddling with liquid film mounting, so I am leaning very heavily toward the 700. How does the scan quality compare between the two?
I also found your comments on your favorite MF camera, your Fuji 645, interesting. I am a very satisfied Bronica RF645 shooter, and love this camera as you do your Fuji folder, and look forward to scanning transparencies and negs.
I don't think I was "dancing" at all regarding the Epson V750 compared to dedicated (35mm) film scanner providing a direct comparison up front. If you are concerned about scan quality why would you use VueScan?
The fluid mount capability is only available with the V750, not the V700. It (fluid mounting with the V750) does make a very significant positive difference in the quality of scans that can be made of 120 B&W silver-based film.
I'd like to see a follow-up review comparing the V700 with the V750 pro. The 700 is drawing very positive comments on photo.net as being siginificantly better than the Epson 4990, but is the 750 THAT much better?
BTW, in the article, the scan examples are said to be of the Minolta 35mm film scanner and the V700. However, in the caption at the bottom of the page, the examples are said to be the Minolta vs. the 750M. Which is it? Either way, the results are impressive, and you are to be congratulated for bringing that out.
I use the Canon F4000 for 35mm, with VueScan for dense slides and, by habit, most everything else. Many of us out here use and like Hamrick's VueScan. A comparison between it and Silverfast might make for an interesting future article.
David, you've done more for the hobbyist who scans than anyone else writing in any photo mag. I apologize for saying that you tap-dance around the question. No one review can include every aspect of two different products.
For most of the 35 years I've been writing for photo magazines I have avoided making brand comparisons - I avoid horse races as well! As far as I am concerned thinking about products from the perspective of a contest is a diversion from what each does, and the result is as empty of substance and meaning as a debate between politicians.
You are confused I am afraid that the Epson Perfection V700 and V750 are actually different scanners, they are not, they are the same identical scanner with the Perfection V750M Pro having added software accessories and added hardware accessories that supports fluid mount scanning.
It has been a few years since I last tried VueScan, so maybe I should see if there is anything more to it than what I had seen awhile back. But even if I find it works acceptably, I'll not do a comparison.
I just refreshed my acquaintance with Hamrick's VueScan scanner driver software, and confirmed my original and dubious impression. VueScan is intended to be both affordable and easy-to-use, and so I accept and understand why Hamrick continues to enjoy success with it. The problem I have with VueScan is that the scans produced are of mediocre quality, barely acceptable although that is probably less apparent using VueScan with a basic, inexpensive scanner than it would be with a more expensive high performance model, and particularly one that is sold with reasonably good software.
So I downloaded VueScan and tried it with a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 II, the one 35mm dedicated scanner that has produced the highest resolution and best quality scans of any consumer scanner to date. The result of scanning sample of normally exposed slides of average subjects produced scan files that were automatically adjusted in all dimensions of image quality, brightness, contrast saturation and color balance, and these factors cannot be adjusted manually by the user. The results were all off in almost every dimension from what I obtain with this scanner on a regular basis either scanning to a 48-bit raw file with the Minolta software and color correcting in Photoshop CS2 or using Lasersoft SilverFast Ai 6 and doing all of the color correction and adjustment manually on the basis of a preview and then scanning to a finished, printable file directly.
The problem is this: to do software that is inexpensive and provides highly accurate automated easy-to-use software is much more difficult than making good manual image adjustment software, and therefor requires a huge software R&D investment. Epson, one of the leaders if not #1 in consumer scanners, provides rather simple easy-to-use automated software for their lower-end scanners that will be used primarily by snapshooters. But for their higher performance, professional and photo-enthusiast models they realize the limitations of their own software drivers and buys Lasersoft SilverFast drivers to bundle with their best performing scanners for their users to obtain the best quality from the photographs they scan.
At this point I should say something about Lasersoft, maker of SilverFast that is bundled with Epson scanners, as well as Microtek and others. Lasersoft was founded many years ago in Germany by Karl Heinz Zahorsky, who was a key member of the team that designed and produced the very first professional digital photo scanners. Lasersoft makes professional level scanning software for just about every scanner made including some of the highest performance and most expensive professional scanners.
SilverFast is available in less expensive versions for many of the more affordable consumer scanners in the SE version, and although it does contain some automated functions it is primarily a manual color correction and image adjustment driver that requires some knowledge and skill to use effectively but will produce precisely excellent finished scan files from all kinds of film and prints. SilverFast Ai 6 is a more sophisticated scanner driver and has all of the image adjustment capabilities of Photoshop CS2 and even more, providing the user with a set of efficient tools to produce professionally excellent scan files that obtain all of the information quality available scanned from film or photo prints in ready to use files.
In other words there is no basis for a comparison between VueScan and SilverFast, they are worlds apart.
When people want to buy gear, it is extremely helpful to have comparisons at hand between the various contenders. This has nothing to do with politics and everything with being able to make an informed decision.
There are lots of things that are not comparable, and should be dealt with on their own merits independently - that's why there is an long established phrase about comparing apples and oranges.
Hello! Nice article about the V750 in the latest SBUG magazine. Thanks. I have the V750 Pro scanning into an INTEL iMac 24" (yum) via PS CS2, for output to an R2400. Everything works fine! I like it.
However, Silverfast 6Ai was bundled with the scanner and I would like to use it too - but so far Photoshop "does not recognize" etc etc. (I have downloaded all the most recent software updates from Silverfast and Epson and I can also get the files as far as the Desktop - they just won't open ... only an 'error' message.)
Epson replied "... the bundled software is an old version and will likely not run with Intel Macs. Get the latest downloads." Silverfast.com has not replied to my query.
Does Silverfast 6Ai work with Intel iMac? I cannot seem to install it via Photoshop or through Silverfast "launcher".
Chances are high it is <User Error>. (I only recently found out the earth was not flat.)
I wouldn't think that software bundled with a new product like the V750 would be "too old" to run in an Intel Mac. What version of AI6 came with the scanner? When you downloaded the update, did it run automatically or was it saved in a file? If the latter, you have to open the compressed file (ZIP file in Windowspeak, don't know about Mac) in order to run the install software. Silverfast is sometimes slow to respond, but they will get back to you (they have to translate English to German first, you know.)
Danke Schon, Y'all. ;-)
Actually, Bill, Epson's support reply admitted that the bundled software was "an old" version. However, after registering the product etc. it was easy to get the latest updates downloaded and unzipped (manually). They also provided an "SF Launcher". The files did not automatically load into PS, nor will they open up for 'standalone' use.
I posted an inquiry at the Silverfast forum, but was told by the moderator that I couldn't ask such question at the forum - I had to go via the support route. "Ve hav our vays ..."
I guess I'll just wait a little ... seems like Silverfast 6Ai is worth using, from what I read. I was hoping someone at this forum would already be using SF with an Intel iMAC.
I would suggest following Lasersoft's advise and download the latest version of SilverFast Ai6 for the Epson 750M Pro. And, this is critical, before you re-install be sure both the Mac HD:/library/application support/ "epson 750", and the
Mac HD/users/<yourusername>/library/ preferences/"epson 750" files are deleted.
Although the SilverFast apps are not as yet in Universal Binary Code so they run native on Intel Macs, I have found after reinstalling the latest versions all of my SilverFast drivers and applications run fine on my Mac Mini.
OK here's my next dumb question: There are two versions of the updates - one is a TWAIN version which is a stand-alone and not loaded into PS, and the other is a PS plug-in. Sure you downloaded the right one?
TWAIN only applies to MS Windows. On Macs the same plugin works with the standalone as is used accessing the driver from Photoshop.
Thanks, David. I just realized that my "dumb question" was posted after your more useful response. Is it just me, or is software installation in a PC really more intuitive than with an iMac?
I would hesitate to use the word intuitive. Both systems in their latest configuration make installation of a new software application or utility as easily automatic as possible. Differences of any substance show up if problems arise and there is a need to re-install or to upgrade. Windows allows and encourages software developers to involve more different ways to interact with the operating system. This makes finding and solving problems more difficult usually because bits and pieces of an application can be strewn all over. With Apple OS X which is a form of Unix, it is more limiting in how applications are integrated. So you can manually clean out the few installed components thoroughly. With Windows if you install, remove, de-install and re-install you almost have to have 3rd party utilities to clean out everything, and those methods are not always reliable and can cause problems themselves.
Because of what I do for a living changing stuff to test and evaluate often and regularly I have found the Apple Mac is easier to deal with and any problems that do arise are more limited and predictable in how they are resolved.
Thanks for your input. Just to close off my part of this thread ... I did get Silverfast to work with my Intel iMAC - after 'cleaning out' all the previous Silverfast files as you suggested, and then doing an entire Silverfast install and update. After doing that sequence, what I discovered by trial and error (or hit and miss) was that the Silverfast Plug-In was somehow not being found when I tried to open Silverfast in CS2. When the Plug-In was correctly "pointed", voila!
I'm ready to do some serious work. Cheers.
Your review of the V750 was terrific.
You seem to have achieved about the best performance out of this scanner of any reviewer. Any thought to posting more detailed instructions or a tutorial on your scanning methods (secrets of success), especially as they relate to the V-series? I suspect there would be substantial interest among shutterbug readers.
Thanks, I'm pleased the review of the Epson Perfection V750 Pro was useful. Really there is no special secret to working with this latest Epson scanner that does not apply to working with most scanners if the software supporting the scanner is utilized fully.
I usually don't plug my own stuff here, but being you asked specifically, my eBook CD is available in a short announcement attached to my Digital Help column each month. It includes several lengthy chapters from basic to advanced scanning technique as listed below:
I am pleased to announce a new Bonus Edition adding 5 chapters to my eBook DIGITAL DARKROOM
RESOURCE CD. The CD now contains 21 chapters totaling 266 pages in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format, providing easy to read text and large high quality illustration. The CD is available for $20.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling (US Mail if available). Ordering is as simple as sending a check or money order for $22.00 made out to me, David B. Brooks and mailed to P.O. Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
1. IS YOUR COMPUTER SET UP FOR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY? - How To Stop The Default
Demon From Making Your Pictures Blah!
2. MANAGING COLOR - A Practical Understanding Of Color Management
3. WHAT A NEW DIGITAL CAMERA OFFERS? - RAW - Getting The Best Quality Photographs From Your Camera
4. MAKING DIGITAL PHOTO'S SING - Basic Image Optimization Using Photoshop
5. SCANNNING 1,2,3....... - How To Get The Most Digital Image Quality From Film
6. HOW TO SCAN PHOTOS WITH LASERSOFT SILVERFAST SE 6 - A Practical Guide To Image
Adjustment With SilverFast SE Version 6
David, I'm going to disagree with you on your thoughts regarding VueScan. It is very reasonably priced but it is more fulsome in its feature set than you are indicating and is not necessarily as fully automated as you state.
Having used a few versions of Epson's scanning interface, Canon's old FSGet for the FS4000, Microtek and Polaroid OEM interfaces for the 4000t and Sprintscan 4000, Nikon OEM software, Silverfast SE and Ai as well as VueScan; I'd rank VueScan near the top of the pile and better than Silverfast in some regards.
The best OEM software I've used is Polaroid's for the Sprintscan 4000. Same scanner as the 4000t but different software. FSGet was unquestionably the worst but then I never liked the FS4000 much anyway. Nikon's software is acceptable but their scanners fall way down on black and white film due to the highly collimated LED light source.
While VueScan can be set up to be quite automated, it can also be set up to allow full user adjustments. The RAW scan feature is a completely unadjusted scan of the film which then allows the user to make all adjustments; including inversion to a positive image if scanning neg. film, in the image editor. Arguably this is where the bulk of adjustments should be done anyway since the preview images in the scanning software itself are not typically overly good.
Where I find Silverfast falls down is that it has a tendency to clip highlights and shadows, compressing the image data and resulting in blown highlights and blocked shadows. In other words, it often doesn't handle images with a broad photographic latitude all that well. Scanning neg. film as a positive image with no adjustments then inverting in PS gives better results but still not necessarily terrific. I've found that VueScan can handle these types of images better in general. While it makes for a flatter scan in terms of contrast it also preserves more highlight and shadow detail which I can then continue to preserve in PS through the use of masks and selective adjustments.
The thing with VueScan is that you have to dig into it to reveal all of its features. In addition, depending on what selections you make in one area, certain options will then appear or be hidden in other areas.
Where VueScan falls down slightly is that Ed may be trying to be too many things to too many people. That is, by supporting so many scanners there may be some peculiarities of a few scanners that aren't picked up in the software like they might be in a more expensive software like Silverfast. That said, I haven't found anything untoward with any of the scanners I've tried VueScan with.
So, is VueScan perfect? Nope. Is it a good piece of software? Yep. Is it as good as Silverfast in all applications? Nope. Is it better than Silverfast in some applications? It seems to be. Not sure you can ask much more of a piece of software than that and on a performace:price relationship it gets very high marks.
When I have particularly difficult film to scan I'll try all three interfaces; Silverfast, VueScan and Epson Scan, to see which works best. Even the latest version of Epson Scan does the best job in a few cases (not many, but a few).
That there is disagreement on scanning software is maybe reason why there are still several software packages on the market to choose from. How each individual works and what their expectations and criteria of a good final scan are is extremely varied from what I have seen.
As to my poor opinion of VueScan it was first formed many years ago, and I recognize much has been added since. So just a few weeks ago I downloaded VueScan for my Minolta Scan Elite 5400 2, and tried it again. First of all the raw scan was very skewed, in other words the way VueScan read from the scanner was obviously off, and then after trying to adjust the scans I found I could not get a final scan that was in any way acceptable in color.
Secondly I totally disagree with your assumption, "in the image editor. Arguably this is where the bulk of adjustments should be done anyway since the preview images in the scanning software itself are not typically overly good." Since I retired from doing commercial photography, in addition to writing about photography, I have kept myself busy scanning from the 1.5 million images I made in a lifetime of photographing full-time, and using an image editor for color correction and adjustment is grossly inefficient as well as being inadequate. I don't think a scan driver software package is worth its salt if you cannot produce a finished, fully color corrected and ideally adjusted file directly as a final scan.
Your criticism of SilverFast regarding clipping may very likely come from leaving the Options setting at default, which includes 2% clipping top and bottom. With the AACO feature and now with the new Multi-Exposure feature in version 6.5, I can get clean, smooth detail out of shadows and highlights I have never been able to reproduce even with a $10,000 Imacon scanner. Maybe you just need to learn SilverFast more thoroughly and not spend so much time with VueScan.
But then I prefer an entirely manual approach to scanning using tools that will allow precise adjustment of every dimension of image quality and color. Others may like automation because it is quicker and easier. I subscribe to that old saw: you get out of something only what you put into it or pay for in both work and money. There really are no cheap and easy ways to obtain the ultimate potential of quality in anything and particularly photographic images on film.
David, I'm not questioning your knowledge or experience. I also didn't say I spent a lot of time with VueScan. Silverfast is still the one I use most frequently and I don't use default settings. I was simply trying to provide a different experience for comparative purposes and your attempt to be condescending and to belittle me is neither necessary nor appreciated. You seem to have a penchant for such an approach when anyone disagrees with your point of view and treating your readers and forum users as idiots is not an overly effective way to endear them to your publication. I would suggest that in doing so you are putting a very poor public face on the magazine.
Yes I get testy, sharp and critical in my reactions to messages at times, but it is in response not to an individual who I don't know any more than they know me, but the words they have written and what those words mean to me. If I am condescending and belittling it is of ideas expressed in a limited context of words, not the person who wrote them. Maybe your attempt to move the discussion in a different direction for comparative purposes conveyed something quite different as read than what you intended. No one can know what your intention was in what you wrote, just what was in the words, not what you had in mind.
If for one moment I thought the readers were idiots, I would not have invested much of my life trying to help photographers with information. It is not that I react to disagreements with me, but I am rather intolerant of ideas which have a questionable backing in reality and when written acquire a life of their own, and one that can be misleading and cause some a lot of confusion and disappointment if taken at face value. I don't do this for accolades or public acceptance by being likable and accommodating, I am quite aware my star rating is low. But I would rather be honest and candid and ruffle a few feathers than just provide what others want to hear. There are enough pandering sycophants on TV that we really don't need that here. The magazine doesn't need a good face just the hard facts and reliable information people look for and have expected over the last almost 30 years now.
i newbie plz how us the baton "add me"?
I'm sorry, I don't understand your question or your reference. We've been having a real problem with SPAM posts for several days so pardon me if I seem suspicious. Would you please enter some personal profile information on your home page?
Posting to a two year old thread is a sure sign of something suspicious.