View Full Version : Help with Epson 4490 scanner - settings?
I just recieved my Epson 4490 today, and of course immediately took it out of hte box and began playing with it. I put some 35mm negs in and scanned at a low resolution just to check it out, and then began playing around with the settings. First I scanned one frame at what I assumed to be the highest quality - 4800 dpi, 48 bit color tiff. I got an enormous file, and then when I opened it in Photoshop elements it told me the color depth was too high. Ok, so same settings except reduce from 48 bit to 24 bit. The filesize was much smaller, maybe around 75MB but still large for my tastes. Then I scanned it again at the same settings but saved it as a jpeg at the highest quality setting - down to 20MB! So I guess what I'm really wondering is:
1. 4800 dpi is the highest optical quality for my scanner - do I need to scan that high, or should I set it lower?
2. Color depth - 24 bit or lower?
3. What file format should I save as, and at what compression setting? The default setting for jpegs was 16, I set it at 1.
A little about myself may help. I am a hobbyist shooting 35mm and medium format - most of these scans will probably stay on the computer for now. If I make any prints they will most likely be 4x6 size, certainly no larger than 8x10. I have a relatively inexpensive Epson printer. Having said all that, I would like to scan these at the highest quality that most people would use - I tend to be a little neurotic and want the highest quality. I also don't want to have to rescan a bunch of stuff if I get a better printer or whatever.
So, gimme it all, highest quality and whatever works for you! This is my first time scanning film, so I know nothing. Thanks!
The 4800 DPI setting is of no use on this scanner. I'm using Vuescan and I'm happy with what I get, with the understanding that it's not what I can get with a dedicated film scanner or even a better flatbed. If you are a perfectionist then this is not the machine to use.
But, I can get perfectly fine 8X10's with it. In Vuescan I scan at 2400 and average down to a 1200 DPI TIFF with no ill effects, really . . . this will give you a pretty small file. For MF scans especially you will not see any degradation in an 8X10 print by using a 1200 DPI output from a 2400 DPI pass. If you want to print bigger than 8X10 then you should get a better scanner to begin with.
Don't use JPG!
I also scan at 2400 dpi, but I leave the files for what they are.
I mostly set the curve to linear, and no sharpening and all that stuff.
Then in photoshop I often do a levels adjustment and some dust cleaning and thats that.
Agree that 8x10 prints from 120 film scans are wonderful. Haven't tried anything bigger yet but I would probably have it scanned by a lab if needed.
Thanks for the input so far. Forgot to ask - would you use the same settings for medium format as you would for 35mm, since 35mm has to be enlarged more? Also, when scanning B&W, do you use the 24 bit color or 16 bit grayscale setting? I would think that the grayscale setting would impose its own tonalities iver the film, making all B&W look the same.
I use 4990, but 4490 is nice too. Epson flatbed are the best you can get for MF film. I use the standard TWAIN driver in PS. You can preview your frames and adjust the parameters before scan. 2400 dpi is good enough fro any print sizes you want, assume the neg is good. For 35 mm I batch 24 frames at once, after preview and adjusting every single one.
For a high-quality print you want 300 dpi, and thus for an 8x10 you want a file that is (8x300=2400) X (10x300=3000) or 2400 x 3000 pixels in size.
A 35mm neg is one inch high, so to get 2400 pixels (on the short side) you need to scan at (2400 / 1) = 2400 dpi.
A 6x6 neg is actually about 55mm or 2.16 inches square, so to get 2400 pixels along the side you need to scan at (2400 / 2.16 = 1116) or roughly 1200 dpi.
As you've noted, this produces large files. I usually scan at lower resolution to evaluate whether a neg is worth printing, and to give me a file for the computer. If I want to print I'll go back and scan at 2400 (with the 4490).
Many prefer to scan in colour and then convert to mono in Photoshop. Personally I prefer not to. Try a few samples both ways and see if you can see any difference.
Again, thanks for all your help. Just to clarify, when I'm talking about black and white, I'm talking about scanning B&W film, not scanning color film and making B&W prints or files. Also, what file format are you all using? My digicams are all inexpensive and I've never seriously used Photoshop before, so all I'm used to are jpegs, but I thought I read somewhere that tiffs are more the norm if you want better pictures.
>>then when I opened it in Photoshop elements it told me the color depth was too high<<
That probably only pertained to the particular Photoshop tool you were trying to use. Some only work in 8 bit.
While the scanner really can't resolve 4800 optical dpi, there still can be an advantage to scanning at 4800 dpi and then downsampling to your required resolution because it can minimize noise.
It sounds like you could really benefit by working through the tutorials at www.scantips.com (http://www.scantips.com)
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