Remembering your quite positive review of the Epson Perfection V750-M Pro scanner some time ago I was intrigued by your recent comments concerning the newer Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner which you say you are using. Especially as the V500 does not seem to have a Fluid Mounting option (although much lower in price). Could you impart some wisdom comparing the two scanners. Also the advantages of either with the Plustec OpticFilm 7500i taking into account the Fluid Mounting possibility for 35mm B&W negatives. Hope I
I would not take back anything I reported in my review of the Epson Perfection V750M Pro scanner.
But, like many of you who write to me about what to buy, I am also considerate of a limited budget, and the Perfection V500 Photo is about $500 less. In addition, all of my large format film has been scanned at least once or more times and the files archived. So all I still need is a scanner just for 120 medium format film. I already have two very good 35mm dedicated film scanners.
And the Epson Perfection V500 Photo has the same otical resolution as the V750M and V700 of 6400dpi. In addition the V500 has a new and different 12 line CCD sensor, which although not quite as sharp reproduces less graininess and even more smooth image tones, which suits me ideally as much of my work on medium format are images I did in Hollywood: glamour, portraits, figure studies, and the V500 reproduces skin tones very smoothly.
Finally, although fluid mounting has some distinct advantages, especially scanning B&W film, using it is tedious and time consuming, and I just don't have the patience for it, even though it is an advantage in terms of fineness of scan results.
At 75 years of age I tend to allow myself the luxury of being a bit lazy in some respects.
When I finally got my finances in shape to think about buying a modern scanner, I was disappointed to discover that Microtek is no longer marketing to consumers in the US, and that the ScanMaker i800 is not available.
Based on your reviews and my own research, the Epson Perfection line seems to the best current option for combined reflected/transparency scanners.
As far as I can tell, the V700 and the V750_M Pro are almost identical. The 750 has the fluid mount option, the full version of Silverfast, and Monaco EZColor. I've done fluid mount scanning, and am happy to live without it. I'm not sure if I need EZColor, and I could upgrade to the full version of Silverfast for less than the price difference of the two models, if I found I needed it.
The V700 actually appears to be slightly faster, although that is not a major consideration for me.
The V500 is VERY attractively priced, but does not have Digital ICE, cannot scan 4x5 film (a capability I would like to have, but not necessarily a deal breaker), and has a Dmax of 3.4, rather than 4.0.
So, I guess what I hope you can help me with is:
a) Would I notice the Dmax difference?
b) Would Digital ICE make my life easier?
c) How useful is Monaco EZColor?
d) Are there other scanners I should consider? (For example, has Microtek "partnered" with another company to sell their scanners here under a different name? Or is there a Canon, HP, etc., model that I should look at?)
A lot of questions, but you are my most valued source of information on the digital darkroom.
A. Dmax is relative to film density and only slide/transparency film have high density and seldom very much over 3.2 in real life. High scanner dynamic range creates a large space to fill, so all low density film like negatives scan into a very small segment of the gamut and then the information ramped up by software processing to fill the big gamut of a 4.0 scanner. Contemporary scanner CCD sensors are pretty good and efficient so its not like the old days when you needed some slop space to scan Kodachrome, one of the highest Dmax films. In other words high Dmax is less necessary now and it is probably better to not have an excess because that can be a disadvantage scanning color negatives for instance.
B. Digital ICE only works with E-6 and C-41 process films, it has to be turned off with B&W silver based film and Kodachrome. Software cleaning of dirt and scratches is available in SilverFast (SRD) and is much improved compared to when it was first introduced. And with the Plustek OpticFilm 7500i 35mm scanner you get iSRD which is very much like Digital ICE using an infrared dirt and scratch sensor. So whether Digital ICE is an advantage depends on what you are scanning.
C. Monaco Systems was bought by X-Rite quite some time ago and is not a currently available product with active support. In other words EZ Color is a software only color management system that always required the addition of hardware like a display colorimeter to be of any value, and the hardware is no longer available.
D. I have not heard of any alternative marketing in the US and Canada for Microtek scanners. Besides Epson there are some very good performing flatbed scanners available from Canon. Good information on the Canon scanners is available on the Canon web site. But the Epson V700 is the only model currently that does everything.
Personally I find a combination of a Plustek OpticFilm 7500i (35mm) and an Epson Perfection V500 (120 film and prints) cover my scanning needs with better performance than anything available previously.
<<Personally I find a combination of a Plustek OpticFilm 7500i (35mm) and an Epson Perfection V500 (120 film and prints) cover my scanning needs with better performance than anything available previously. >>
Thanks for your answers, David. I'm leaning more and more towards the V500, even for 35mm, at least for now. It has far more resolution than my old Nikon LS-1000, and outputs 48-bit files. I'm only making prints up to 8.5 x 11 right now, so the resolution should be adequate.
I would love to have the V700's 4x5 capability, but honestly, I don't think I'll drag out the view camera often enough to justify the price. Maybe if I ever get to retire . . . (And I do have a Calumet roll film back I can use if I really crave schlepping heavy gear around!)
By the way, I _may_ have been wrong about the V500 and Digital ICE: it is in Amazon's spec sheet, even though I don't see it in Epson's own specifications. We'll see . . .
Sounds like a viable and economic plan. If you do get it, the Epson driver is really only good for outputting raw unadjusted 48-bit files and then color correcting and adjusting them with Photoshop. So you may want to at least add Lasersoft SilverFast SE to drive the scanner for a more efficient photo scanning solution.