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Archive 2013 · Epson V700 scanner questions
  
 
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #1 · Epson V700 scanner questions


My apologies if this question is in the wrong forum category. I am considering the purchase of an Epson V700 flatbed scanner and research has turned up a couple of concerns. Firstly, many report that the 35mm negative film holders are flimsy; does anyone have experience with any 3rd party holders? Next, the Epson packaged software seems to have a few limitations. I am interested mainly in scanning negatives and slides; does the software do a preview, and adjust the scan for each individual frame? Is there other software worth looking at? I have Photoshop CS5 but would prefer to start with a fairly clean, balanced scan. Lastly, is there another option in a similarly priced scanner that might be worth considering? We will be doing thousands of frames of our own, and possibly more for relatives once they know what we have! Thank you.


Feb 01, 2013 at 05:38 AM
marko1953
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p.1 #2 · Epson V700 scanner questions


We use the v700 at school and I have scanned 35mm and 645 and 6 x 6 negs. It is true the neg holders are flimsy and may not hold the film perfectly flat. I looked into some 3rd party neg carriers but never actually went ahead with them . There are some great ones if you do a google search.i would highly recommend them if you want to do a lot of scans.
You can scan individual or batch negs and adjust as necessary. It is a great scanner I was able to make some great prints from the scans. The scans needed some basic adjustments in photoshop which was fairly easy to do.



Feb 01, 2013 at 11:13 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #3 · Epson V700 scanner questions


I've had Epson Scanners for years and now use a V700. It is by far the best of the Epsons I've owned.

The only third party film holders I've found were for medium and large format negatives. Yes, the Epson 35mm is flexible, but it works fine and is much better than the V500 holder. My scans of negatives are sharp corner to corner, as good as prints from my Leitz Focomat V35.

If you want to get additional software, the main choices are VueScan and Silverfast. I have used an older version of Silverfast and I don't know if I ended up with better scans than just using the provided software. Vuescan is less expensive. I would consider Silverfast SE Plus 8 because you can do multiple scans for negs with high dynamic range. I've done this manually and then combined the images in NIK's HDR pro. Silverfast will also output in DNG format, instead of just JPEG and TIFF.

You mention you have thousands of images to scan. I suggest starting out with the Epson software, which will probably meet your needs for almost all of your images. It is fairly flexible and I regularly tweak If you don't like it or unsatisfied with your results, you can explore Vuescan or Silverfast.

Good luck, it sounds like quite a project!



Feb 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #4 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Thank you for the advice and for sharing your experiences.

The flimsy film holders are an interesting phenomena ..... many people report that the scanner does exceptional scanning but they are not pleased with the holders, and yet I have noty come across an account of anyone actually breaking a holder! One person recommended a second holder for the simple reason that it could be loaded with the next batch of negative strips .... sounds like a good idea.

I have done some research into Vuescan and Silverfast and they do appear to have superior features. I am hoping to obtain scans with good exposure with no clipping and high dynamic range; I don't mind tweaking selected photos later in Photoshop, but it would be nice to know each of the scans contained "everything" that was on the neg. What I can't seem to find reference to is the requirement ( or not ) to adjust the histogram etc. for each and every frame after preview and prior to scanning. I was hoping that some sort of "cropping template" would not only indicate where each scan would happen on the plate, but also where the software would do a separate exposure determination for each frame. Adjusting the settings for every one of our many thousands of slides and film negatives has me thinking I'll need more than a few rainy days! Is there a batch feature to accomplish this?

Thanks again!




Feb 01, 2013 at 04:53 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #5 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Andrew,
Silverfast has a batch feature, but I'm unfamiliar with it. I would think batch processing would only work if you wanted to apply some generic settings to all images. I don't know how you could tweak. It might be faster to batch scan all, then tweak a few that need it.

Epson automatically shows you how it will crop. The exposure is determined within the crop area, so each image is adjusted. If you want to adjust an image, you can do so without affecting the others. I imagine Silverfast and Vuescan are similar.

Adding another frame for negs and slides is a good idea if you're going through a lot of images.

I suggest you triage your images and scan the best first. You probably need to consider disk space requirements. You also need to think about the scan resolution you want to use. High resolution eats up time and disk space in a hurry. I have some slides taken in Europe in 1966 (!). I scanned them in at a lower resolution than I would use for printing because I just plan to show them in our home theater.



Feb 01, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #6 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Budget 10 minutes per image. There is a lot of work involved and after doing 100 photos you'll wonder where the time went. That, or after an hour you'll wonder "is that all I've done?!".

If you scan everything as if it is worth keeping and printing then you will never have to scan them again and you won't even have to find the originals again.

If you scan poorly to save time with the intention of rescanning the better images as required then you'll need a system that allows you to physically find the original film image for any scan that you think deserves better treatment. Can you do that already ? Or do you need to start a naming/numbering/labelling/storage system for scans and films ? That's part of what gobbles up time.


Chances are that the auto-exposure settings of the scanner will work much like the camera - and be fooled just as easily by dark images and bright images. To play safe you might set your software to use low very contrast to preserve dark and bright bits and plan on making the corrections later in your favourite editing software.

Just like with a camera you will get excessive noise from dark areas that are underexposed and corrected later. That's in addition to the aliasing noise that occurs because the scanner has a fixed-grid sensor whereas the film does not have fixed-grid grains.

Even if you had a magic manual exposure setting that seemed to work it may come unstuck with different film brands or ISO values.

Scanning at 4000 dpi (about 24Mpx) and sharpening reveals more detail than scanning at 2000 dpi (about 6Mpx). It also allows you to down-sample to reduce noise and artifacts and still have enough data for a moderate size of print. But it's all more time and effort. Still, it's not 4 times as much time or even twice as much when you consider the whole project.

A 4000dpi scan turns out a 135MB tiff file with 16bit colour per channel, so they're big files. However, once processed they can safely be converted to smaller files and 8 bits per channel. And even a thousand scans will only take 135GB or 1/6th of a terabyte, so it's all quite manageable with todays big drives. It was a real pain to need six CDs to store the equivalent of a roll of film but those days are long gone.

At 10 minutes each, a thousand photos will take you 166 hours, or 3 hours per day for 55 days day in, day out. Where will you find all that time ? I think this will be a long-term project. If you can organise the physical film-and-scan link then do yourself a big favour and be very selective about what you scan. People are important, as are memories, but most of those pretty flower shots can be ignored.

- Alan



Feb 01, 2013 at 09:26 PM
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #7 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Hi dmacmillan,

Thank you for that further information. Does that mean that the native EpsonScan software determines tha exposure for each separate frame? I understand that it generates a scan area for each frame ( which can be tweaked ) but if it is also able to detemine the exposure for each frame that would be great....that's really all I am looking for in terms of archiving everything. I certainly expect to manually adjust each frame if I am looking for something different in terms of exposure or resolution, or just play with things in Photoshop later.

Your triage idea is a good one ..we do have some priority frames, and it may make sense to go through rolls later frame by frame and keep only the worthwhile ones. As far as image size goes, I am expecting to make this a long term project and will have hard drives standing by; I work with 1.2 GB aerial photographs numbering in the hundreds, so 1-3 TB hard drives are my friends!

Thank you again, I'll continue with my research.



Feb 01, 2013 at 10:51 PM
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #8 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Hi Alan,

Greetings from wintery Canada. Thank you for your in-depth reply and for sharing your experience. As you say, this is a long term project and it's all about priorities and organization as much as the scanning itself.

I have a home based business so it would be possible to set up a station dedicated to this task and then "work at it" when the time allows. If I am correct in my understanding, once I have the parameters set up I can just let the scanner carry on with the scanning ..... I don't really mind if it takes 15 min or more.

Part of the reason for considering this purchase, is to create a "backup" of the older slides and negatives. I, like many I'm sure, have a fear of losing the original negatives or prints, so I would possibly sleep better knowing all of the memories were tucked away somewhere safe.

There really is a decision to be made regarding the trade-off between scan time and output file resolution and usefulness. I am usually one to argue that "it should be done right the first time" however there are only so many hours in the day! I suspect that the number of prints we might do larger than 8" x 10" would be minimal, so for the cases where we need maximum resolution, we will just pull out the negative and rescan. Most of the scans will be used for replacing missing 4" x 6" prints in albums and digital home theater "slide shows", and of course, to serve as a copy to be stored off-site.

Just out of curiosity, do you know how long it might take to scan 20 frames ( 4 strips of film negative with 5 frames per strip ) at 2400 dpi and no dust removal turned on?

Thank you again,

Andrew



Feb 02, 2013 at 12:27 AM
anthonygh
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p.1 #9 · Epson V700 scanner questions


3200 seems about right for scanning 35mm negs with this machine. Epson scan works quite well once you get the hang of it......and once you have reviewed and selected a crop for each image it can be left to scan them and makes a pretty good job in my opinion.....I never manage to get Vuescan to do better.

It is possible to use ACR to open the files and fine tune the results and save the settings as a preset....you could do this for different film makes for example or subject types.

You might know this already...but the film holders have three possible height settings and it is worth experimenting to find out which works best.....from what I read the setting varies depending on the individual scanner....no machine to machine consistency it seems.



Feb 04, 2013 at 01:46 AM
xvvvz
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p.1 #10 · Epson V700 scanner questions


The amount of time for each scan will vary depending on the options you select (e.g. ICE) and the processing power of your computer. If you are relying on a lot of options in the scanning software, a faster computer with lots of memory can really speed scanning up.

You have to sift through some bickering but this thread on using ACR after scanning is kind of interesting:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=a3454567c25f8107fb19c8bf67d06cfc&topic=74301.0

Doug
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www.BetterScanning.com



Feb 04, 2013 at 07:50 PM
 

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AndrewNeale
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p.1 #11 · Epson V700 scanner questions


More useful information ... thank you Anthony and Doug. Yes, I have read about the height settings on the film holder and a few complaints that it really isn't a perfect setup. A local photo lab uses the V700 and claim that they place negs directly on the glass ( no holder ) and obtain good results. It seems to me you would end up with skewed scans.

As I mentioned before, I would likely set up a dedicated station with a fairly powerful computer so I once the preview was done, I could tweak the settings and just let it work away. Thanks for the advice on the resolution of 3200 and the possibility of employing ACR post scanning.



Feb 05, 2013 at 07:30 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #12 · Epson V700 scanner questions


I've been doing something similar in the last couple of years - digitising old negatives. I tried out the Silverfast software, but i didn't think it was any better for my purposes than the native Epson. It offers "profiles" for different film types, but actually identifying the film used i've found to be difficult (these are old family snapshots) and then the process of going through and finding the one that looks best is time-consuming. I find i get better results just with the Epson software plus a couple of mins in photoshop. I also find the Epson software scans a lot faster at the same resolution.

I wasn't impressed with the ICE/iSRD in Silverfast. It adds a lot of time to the scan, and the corrections varied from ok to poor. I end up in PS much of the time to fix the ICE correction anyway, so it seems easier to just sort the dust spots there natively. The best solution of course is not having them in the first place, so i am extremely diligent about clearing dust from both scanner and negatives before scanning. I also wear a pair of gloves so as to not get fingerprints anywhere.

I'm not unhappy with the film holders. I wouldn't call them "flimsy", more "flexible" as i've never had the feeling that they will break. There is a problem that the film will tend to curve up a bit. For normal strips the film gets held on 3 sides (2 long sides and 1 end), and this is really only a problem at the end which is not held down. Where it is a problem I get around it by just turning the strip around (so that the end is clamped) and scanning that neg again. I did test the holders vs just laying the negatives on the glass and there is a definite difference, so use the holders. Setting the height is simple enough - make a scan on the same negative with each height setting and choose the one that looks best. Keep that setting for the rest of the scans.

I scan at higher resolution than necessary (usually 3200) and then downsize later with PS to suit the actual quality of the image captured. It is easy to go overboard with this "quality" idea i find, so i try to be realistic about the image and its importance. In most cases i downsize to the point where i start to see loss of detail and then stop. This can involve a lot of downsizing, reflecting the quality of the cameras my mum used to use . I also try to keep in mind that almost everything i am scanning was a family snapshot destined to be printed at 6x4 or less and taken with a fairly crappy camera. Super high res versions are not required...

In terms of computer power, i'm going to buck the trend here. If this is a process that will just sit in the background and run as a batch job there is little point buying a super expensive PC to do it - the extra time it takes is probably not going to be noticed. Nor is it a "mission critical" application. Any post processing required will require your attention anyway, so you can do it on your normal workstation.



Feb 05, 2013 at 08:57 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #13 · Epson V700 scanner questions


AndrewNeale wrote:
Yes, I have read about the height settings on the film holder and a few complaints that it really isn't a perfect setup. A local photo lab uses the V700 and claim that they place negs directly on the glass ( no holder ) and obtain good results. It seems to me you would end up with skewed scans.

It is not the best method. It's a compromise. I imagine more sophisticated and accurate methods would have significantly increased the cost of the scanner. With a little experimentation, though, you can end up with sharp scans.



Feb 05, 2013 at 02:00 PM
xvvvz
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p.1 #14 · Epson V700 scanner questions


>>A local photo lab uses the V700 and claim that they place negs directly on the glass ( no holder ) and obtain good results.<<

When people claim this is the case, in my experience, it is almost always because they don't understand the software settings. Usually the problem is because they are using the "film with film area guide" setting instead of "film with film holder setting" with the holders. The problem is often due to people not realizing the scanning software many times defaults back to the wrong setting, therefore, you have to check it each time. Even the demo for Kami mounting fluid messed this up.

Scanning off the glass is often going to give you problems with Newton Rings too.

Doug
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www.BetterScanning.com



Feb 05, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #15 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Thousands? Your relatives and friends will never want to look at that many. I would never burden anyone with that chore. You need to learn to edit the lot down to the good ones only.


Feb 06, 2013 at 12:51 AM
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #16 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Jeffrey - I hear you ..... we may never be "showing" people these images, it is more an exercise in archiving them, similar to backing up 100 "good" digital images after shooting 300 images outdoors at a rowing regata for instance. We may indeed do a ruthless cull at some point but with 30 years of negatives and slides, I simply want to have a "backup" of the images for security and future editing/printing.


Feb 06, 2013 at 01:08 AM
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #17 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Doug - I too am skeptical about placing the negs/slides directly on the glas ( Newton rings ). I am hearing clearly that the native Epson Scan software is up to the task of generating a very good scan and experimenting with the settings is very worthwhile. Thanks for the advice.


Feb 06, 2013 at 01:11 AM
AndrewNeale
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p.1 #18 · Epson V700 scanner questions


15bit - Thank you for the detailed response. I'm please to know that the holders and Epson software does a really good job and that messing around with alternative holders and purchasing 3rd party scanning software isn't necessary. I do want to keep it simple and don't mind how long the project takes .... I have been storing negatives and slides for 30 years.... it's not like I am in rush to archive all of them this week! I have a number of computers in my home office and a couple of them more or less sit idle, so I will probably set one up dedicated to scanning.

I will certainly use your advice. Thanks again.



Feb 06, 2013 at 01:20 AM
I.G.I.
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p.1 #19 · Epson V700 scanner questions


Hi Andrew, I don't have any personal experience to contribute, but as I am also considering a scanner purchase for 35mm film I came across of a lot of interesting info on the subject of scanners on the Rangerfinderforum. If not familiar perhaps searching there may be beneficial to you. There I read that Epson 700/750 do a great job for MF, but not so much for 35mm; and that apparently Epson software is much more manageable compared to Vuescan, and especially to the pricey and tortuous Silverfast. Well worth reading the threads... Good luck, and happy scanning


Feb 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #20 · Epson V700 scanner questions


I.G.I. wrote:
Hi Andrew, I don't have any personal experience to contribute, but as I am also considering a scanner purchase for 35mm film I came across of a lot of interesting info on the subject of scanners on the Rangerfinderforum. If not familiar perhaps searching there may be beneficial to you. There I read that Epson 700/750 do a great job for MF, but not so much for 35mm...


I think you need to consider your use and expectations. I have no problems with making 13x19 prints from 35mm negatives and feel I could print larger. In wet lab days, I didn't consider 35mm suitable for situations requiring a print larger than 11x14. If you need to go larger, you shoot with MF or LF.

In my wet lab days, I printed 35mm with first a Leitz Focomat 1a and then a Leitz Focomat V35. The V35 was considered the pinnacle in 35mm enlargers. I've compared 11x14 prints made with the V35 with 13x19 prints made from the same negative scanned with the V700 and printed with a Canon Pixma Pro 9500. The prints from the scan were just as sharp. By using NIK software plugins for post processing, the resultant prints are actually better than the original wet lab prints.

When you make prints from MF and LF scanned on the V700, the results are simply stunning.



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:23 PM
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