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I have had a V700 from when they first came out, 3-4 years. It has been a good scanner, I find the set up a little fussy, I get nice 35s and 4x5s, I may not have set up the 2 1/4 holder that well. I find the scans better than a Nikon LS2000 and a Minolta Scan Multi, both turn of the century scanners. I recently had a 35 TriX neg that looks nice at 16x20, grain and all. The D-max doesn't seem bad to me, again better than my other 2 scanner options, has better dynamic range than either of the other scanners.
The V700 is definitely better than the V500, have seen comparisons. An MD I work with bought a V500 and wasn't happy at all with the scans, I suggested she buy a V700, she is now happy, though she still prefers the scans I do better, I hope so.
The one thing about the V700, it maxes out detail around 3200dpi, some say lower. A 3200dpi scan is not bad,
Check the Epson clearence center, they have had V700s at about $350 in the last few months, right now it is $429 I think, worth a look anyway.