Plustek vs Epson V700
Old 06-01-2012   #1
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Plustek vs Epson V700

Scanning a roll of film with the Plustek takes for ever. I have the Canoscan 8800f witch does a nice job with 120 size film but mediocre on 135.
Thinking about replacing both scanners with a Epson v700 or V750 for the convenience of batch scanning off 135 and quality improvement.

Since the Plustek 7600i is a dedicated 35mm scanner I wander what the quality difference is compared to the Epson 700 series.
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Old 06-01-2012   #2
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i do my contact sheet with my canoscan, then the chosen frames with the plustek.
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Old 07-17-2012   #3
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...and nothing happened after that.

So I'd like to post a new question. The OpticFilm 120 isn't out yet but I might have to decide against it and am considering my options.

I might keep my Minolta ScanDual IV after all, even though its DS Dual IV Utility software prohibits me from updating my current Mac OSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard to a newer version. VueScan makes the scanner lock up. Still, scans are good and I can handle the software.


That leaves a scanner for 6x6 negatives. The current Microtek ScanMaker 8700 can only scan up to 1200dpi and I need more than that. It needs to be replaced.

Q: Exactly why should I get (or not get?) the Epson V700, with regards to scanning 6x6 negatives?
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Old 07-17-2012   #4
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I like the V700 quite a lot for 6x6 once I got the BetterScanning holder and ANR glass. Works great. I hope it's enough to fend off the new Plustek 120.

I very much dislike scanning 35mm with the Epson and am thinking of getting a Plustek 7600 for 35mm. May just load up the roll on the V700 bed for a contact sheet (as Fireboy mentioned) and scan the keepers with the Plustek.

The 7600 is not terribly expensive, so I may just try it and see. But I would like to hear more from someone with both scanners about not just the quality differences, but also overall handling/process.
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Old 07-17-2012   #5
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Hi Jack,

got any scan to show from your V700? I'm particularly interested in sharpness at 100% as I am planning to print big-as-possible from the 6x6 scans... Any comment on that would help me!

BTW, nice avatar
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Old 07-17-2012   #6
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i used v600 previously, but when i switched to the v700, it made a lot of difference to me, in terms of shadow details, resolution etc. i now scan at 16 bit and at 2400 dpi. the v700 is slower to scan than the v600 though. i notice a very slight difference while experimenting with the adjustable height clips on the film holders, and naturally chose the height that gave me the sharpest details.
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Old 07-17-2012   #7
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I uploaded a scan from my last roll, taken with a Hasselblad 500C/M. Not sure it helps much, since it's basically a bunch of dead weeds in my back yard, but FWIW:

http://d.pr/i/GeAQ

Many folks will argue that the V700 (or V750) is a flatbed and cannot possibly create a decent scan. I can't argue definitively, but I'm satisfied with the results I'm getting, and that makes it good enough. I had the Nikon 9000 and sold it since the results I was getting weren't better enough to justify the price.

Of course as I shoot more, and (presumably) get better at it, I may become more critical of the results. By that time I hope to be able to pick up a used OpticFilm 120 (assuming they ever ship)

If my goal was to print "as-big-as-possible" I might hold out for the 120 version of the Plustek, but the V700 is a great start.
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Old 07-17-2012   #8
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Well, that certainly is plenty sharp at 100%, Jack!

Thank you for uploading that, it really helps!

Seems that with my lowest accepted dpi of 120 I would get an image approx 80x80cms, which is what I'd be aiming for.

Printing 80x80 cms with approx 200dpi might be nice too though...

I'll give it some thought and see what the Plustek will do pricewise once it's launched!
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Old 07-17-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzardkid View Post
Hi Jack,

got any scan to show from your V700? I'm particularly interested in sharpness at 100% as I am planning to print big-as-possible from the 6x6 scans... Any comment on that would help me!

BTW, nice avatar
This is a test shot and 100% crop with my new-to-me Mamiya 6 and 150mm. The original scan was 2400 DPI giving about 5000x5000 pixels. The V700 seems very good to me for medium format but sometimes I feel like I'd prefer the Plustek for 35mm. Having said that I'm often pleasantly surprised by the V700.
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Old 07-17-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzardkid View Post
...
That leaves a scanner for 6x6 negatives. The current Microtek ScanMaker 8700 can only scan up to 1200dpi and I need more than that. It needs to be replaced.

Q: Exactly why should I get (or not get?) the Epson V700, with regards to scanning 6x6 negatives?
I will let you in on a little secret.

The Minolta Scan Multi-1 (f-3000) can scan at double the stated resolution for medium format if you use the serial number from a Scan Multi-2 when you install the drivers.

Neither model has the Digital Ice (that is on the Multi-Pro).

The Scan Multi-1 is not loved on the resale market and you can often get a real nice one for $100.

True, they are older and SCSI only. I have no idea about operability on MAC or Windows post XP.

But there it is. Get Multi-Pro quality scans for $100.

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Old 07-17-2012   #11
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sorry. i don't have the 100% crop, but here's a nice image i scanned on the v700, then added grains and post processing.... 35mm acros 100 film
Scanned at 2400 dpi at 16bit gray.

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Old 07-17-2012   #12
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Originally Posted by buzzardkid View Post
Well, that certainly is plenty sharp at 100%, Jack!

Thank you for uploading that, it really helps!

Seems that with my lowest accepted dpi of 120 I would get an image approx 80x80cms, which is what I'd be aiming for.

Printing 80x80 cms with approx 200dpi might be nice too though...

I'll give it some thought and see what the Plustek will do pricewise once it's launched!
I print from my 6x6 negs from a v700 scanned at 300dpi up to 1.5 meters square with great success.

2 things to remember, scan the negs to the desired size ie 80x80cm for you @300dpi, this is better than scanning at 4800dpi original size then resizing in PS, and, make sure the film holder stands (small clips on the under side of the neg holders)are facing the plus sign. they come from the factory facing the negative but sharpness is increased when they are facing+ but you need nice flat negatives.
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Old 07-18-2012   #13
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Originally Posted by buzzardkid View Post
Well, that certainly is plenty sharp at 100%, Jack!

Thank you for uploading that, it really helps!

Seems that with my lowest accepted dpi of 120 I would get an image approx 80x80cms, which is what I'd be aiming for.

Printing 80x80 cms with approx 200dpi might be nice too though...

I'll give it some thought and see what the Plustek will do pricewise once it's launched!
(got longish, warning!)

I am following the Plustek with some interest too. Don't really know why, because I have enough scanners already. But I feel it's good for the market to address all the people that still want to keep film alive...

I am lucky (stupid?) enough to have both a Epson V700 and a Minolta Multi Pro with Scanhancer.

I used to have a Coolscan 4000 ED but it just died on me some 6 months ago, after more than 13 years of great and loyal services and enduring large dozens of thousands of scans. Still trying to revive it....

My first impulse was to buy a 5000 ED but I thought: the Multi Pro will be as good as the 5000 ED on 35mm (better, in fact, because of the 4800 dpi), it will enable me to scan my Xpan film at full-rez without stitching and will absolutely kill the V700 in MF at 3200 dpi.

A LS-9000 ED could even be better (as in "sturdier" and with better holder options) but it looks like gold is becoming underrated, these days, compared to the LS-9000 ED value climbing, so a Multi Pro would do (bought it at 1/4 the price of a used 9000ED).

I use all the scanners on a iMac 27 and my (usual) software is Vuescan. It worked better than Nikon Scan on my Mac (less problems) and it's probably the only option for the Multi Pro with Lion.

But I have gradually changed to Epson Scan for the V700: Epson has been updating the software and it's easier to get good results with the V700 using the Epson software. (it's of course possible to get great and equivalent results with Vuescan + Photoshop!). Moreover, for fast "contact-sheet" stuff, the thumbnail extraction works great in both 35mm and MF.

I have had the V700 for some years and to get real good MF scans I had to forget the original MF holder and go with BetterScanning adjustable holder and ANR glass.

Both things are important to my V700: adjustable height AND glass.

My particular V700 seems to be a bit off in the focus point, so much in fact, that the full adjustment on the Epson holders is not enough to get it right (I had to shim it with some strips of post-it paper). Either that, or I got a defective MF holder.

Moreover, MF film will sag a bit and a fully focused scan is tough to get, as DOF is really small.

With the BetterScanning holder, I'm very happy with the Epson for 6x6, 6x7 and 6x17, up to around 2400 dpi (which is plenty to print up to my Epson R2400 max size and real resolution).

I had a Epson 3200 before and when I got the V700 I was very disappointed with the results, much worse than the 3200. So, I decided to investigate (35mm scans looked ok, slightly better than the 3200, as expected) and the culprit was indeed focus and flatness.

It looks like the V700 has some variability on focus point between samples (or quality control issues with the holders!!) AND it has a very narrow DOF. That's a recipe for problems, no wonder a lot of folks have different results.

Is the Multi Pro heads-and-shoulders better than the V700 for MF?

Well, even after several "wow!!" and "jeez!!" and "honey, come and see this!" when pixel-peeping at 3200 dpi from Velvia, the practical answer is...

Not really...

And that is strange and unexpected...

My Epson maxes out at around 2400 dpi real resolution, although it pays to scan at 3200. Going above that, will only take more time and results will be exactly the same, for me (YMMV).

With no sharpening, the Epson scans look much fuzzier than the Multi Pro but they can handle a LOT of sharpening. It looks like the Epson's optical systems is a bit "weak", so micro-contrast is WAY worse than the Multi-Pro, but the detail is there. Epson Scan is probably "aware" of that and the Unsharp Mask option seems to correct that very well (that's one of the reasons to use the Epson Scan software). To get the same result with Photoshop, I have to sharpen at different radiuses and intensities.

The Multi Pro scans are just like the 4000 ED scans: they require almost no sharpening to look "perfect" (that is: sharp as a tack and grainy...) pixel-peeping on screen. And when you compare it that way to the Epson, the Multi Pro wins, even at 2400dpi. And the Multi Pro produces real 3200 dpi with MF (even 4800 dpi if you limit yourself to a narrower strip)...

But the question is, if I sharpen correctly for a A3+ print (and really print it...), I have trouble distinguishing between them.

And if I resize it to screen size (even big sizes), again I have a hard time telling them apart.

Most comparisons you'll see online use exactly the same conditions to compare results (ex: no sharpening and 100% pixels). It seems fair and objective.

But it's not, at least for me and my normal usage. It can be misleading.

I can sharpen the Epson's output to be almost on par with the Multi Pro up to 2400 dpi and that is the way they should be compared. Over-sharpening the Multi Pro files won't be a good move, unless you really like grain.

It's true that 3200 dpi is more than 2400 dpi. But it will take a really big print, on a really good printer, to make you go "uau!" with the difference, when starting from a good 6x9 slide or negative.

Anyway, resolution is not all: colour, DMax and speed are also important, of course.

Colour: when used with the same software, and profiled (I use Wolf Faust targets), colour is much the same (as expected, really...).

DMax: used with multi-sampling, I would declare it a tie between both. Maybe the Multi Pro is a bit better. Maybe... But, again unless you have a very hard image to start with, it's of no consequence for me.

Speed: without ICE, the Multi Pro is faster on 3200 dpi (but not by much using the Scanhancer, it lengthens the scan a bit). With ICE, it's a no-brainer win for the Multi Pro, the Epson will take a LONG time to scan a 6x9 at 3200 dpi with ICE (I will measure and post).

So...

That said, why do I keep the Multi Pro?

Because my Coolscan has died :-( and I can use the Multi Pro at 4800 dpi to scan both 35mm and my Xpan film (that I print on roll paper, really large) and it is better than the Epson for this.

I can even use the 4800 dpi "strip" I get with Vuescan driving the Multi Pro to get really good panoramas from cropped 120 film on my Mamiya 7 and have them printed on roll paper. I was planning to sell my GSW 690 III but from 6x9 it's even more impressive... (My Xpan may be facing decommissioning fast).

And I also like to pixel-peep at full-rez to test my lenses...

And why do I keep the V700?

Because it's a great, fast and accurate flatbed scan and nothing beats the comfort of slapping 2 strips of MF film (or 4 strips of 35mm) on the holders, choose a not-so-high resolution (let's say 1200 dpi for 35mm and 800 dpi for MF) and let the thumbnail extraction do it's stuff, while sipping some coffee. And you won't sip a lot, it will be fast and accurate.

In practical terms, if I use the Epson correctly (with a good and adjusted holder!) and with good sharpening technique (easy: use Epson Scan) and either resize for screen or print to A3+ on a R2400 (notice the implicit disclaimer!), the Multi Pro is not heads-and-shoulders above the Epson for "pure" MF (6x6, 6x7, 6x9) and can't do 6x17.

If you like to pixel-peep on full rez, or you feel that sharpening is cheating, or you print to billboard sizes with a printer that goes to (real) 600 dpi and like to look at it with a loupe, or you test lenses for a living, whatever, that's another story and some people just feel happier when they know they are getting "all" their images can give.

One of these days, I will print some scans on a really high resolution printer and report, I may change my view (but I am very happy with what comes out of my R2400).

So, there you have it. When back home, I'll try to post a few comparisons.

Final comment: from my experience, it's a pity Epson does not make a V700SE with better optics, holders and a even crude auto-focus (make it 5-steps and I would be happy!), for a premium. The V750 should have been that but it's not...

If you target 6x6, 6x7, 6x*, up to 6x17, and you print up to A3+, I think the V700 can be enough, if you use it right.

And it will do large format, of course.
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Old 07-18-2012   #14
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jvr: nice post!

here is a 100% crop. fuji gw690 with fomapan 100, developed in d-76 at the fotohub store.
scanned on the v700

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Old 07-18-2012   #15
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One possibility for "proofing" is to simply put the negs on a light table and take a picture with a digital camera. Even a point-and-shoot is fine. Invert using Photoshop. It's not as nice as paging through 16mp scans, but it's a lot better than people had when looking at an 8x10 proof sheet. Then pick the ones that you want to look at more closely on the Plustek.
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Old 07-18-2012   #16
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What I have done with the v700 is to use the 4x5 film holder for scanning 120 as well, I have made rigid masks to suit the various med formats I use that fit in the 4x5 holder, by doing this any film sagging or focus issues are avoided.
By doing this and raising the holder to the + position, and, just as importantly scanning to the size I'm printing at the resolution I'm printing, not resizing in PS! I'm happier with my v700 scans than with the drum scans I used prior to getting the v700, which in my opinion over emphasized any grain.

If you don't believe me, whatever scanner you use, try making a scan at for example a custom print size of 60cmx60cm @ 300dpi, and then make a scan at 3200 dpi at original (negative)size then resized in PS to [email protected] and compare them, the scan made to a custom print size will always look better at 100%
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Old 07-18-2012   #17
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My experience: had a Plustek 7600. I used it to scan a few hundred Kodachrome slides. After that I used it to scan in my negatives. Results were pleasing, but the process was arduous. I sold it and got an Epson V700. 35mm results are acceptable to me and more importantly the process is much less labour intensive . 120 very good. If I have a particularly good negative/slide I want to enlarge I scan it on a Hasselblad X1 that I pay to rent time on. It produces scans in a different league to the other two.
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Old 07-18-2012   #18
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A scanner is like a camera, the results totally depend on the person using it, and that goes for commercial scanning companies also, they are not all created equal, scanning is a skill that takes time to develope.
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Old 07-18-2012   #19
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Plustek 7300 at around 5000dpi

HP5+

Monument Circle, Indianapolis, 7-5-2012 by Peter Arbib, on Flickr


HP5+

Monument Circle, Indianapolis, 7-5-2012 by Peter Arbib, on Flickr


Fuji Neopan 400

Around Monument Circle 4-24-2012 by Peter Arbib, on Flickr
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Old 07-18-2012   #20
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d_ross,
If you are using the 4"X5" neg holder, then you are scanning one 6X6cm frame per 4X5 carrier. In other words, two 6X6cm negs per loading. Is this correct?
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Old 07-18-2012   #21
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d_ross,
If you are using the 4"X5" neg holder, then you are scanning one 6X6cm frame per 4X5 carrier. In other words, two 6X6cm negs per loading. Is this correct?

That's right Gerry, I find the extra time it takes of little importance when I'm making larger scale works, and it does make a big difference to the scan.

Doing that and scanning to a target print size @300dpi I get scans from the v700 that compare very well with many much more expensive scanners, including drum scanners in the wrong hands. I have been scanning my own negatives for many years now, but to this day I find I'm still learning little things that improve them.
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Old 07-18-2012   #22
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Quote:
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That's right Gerry, I find the extra time it takes of little importance when I'm making larger scale works, and it does make a big difference to the scan.

Doing that and scanning to a target print size @300dpi I get scans from the v700 that compare very well with many much more expensive scanners, including drum scanners in the wrong hands. I have been scanning my own negatives for many years now, but to this day I find I'm still learning little things that improve them.
Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try.
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Old 07-19-2012   #23
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Doing that and scanning to a target print size @300dpi I get scans from the v700...
I've heard this before, but never understood why would scanning to a target print size make any difference. And IRL never got a better scan* following that advice.

AFAIK, scanner absolutely doesn't care about it. It gets "sample at X frequency" command from driver and has absolutely no idea if the user specified a target print size @XXXdpi, final pixel size or resolution. Scanning program is responsible for resampling the data it gets back from scanner. I really doubt Vuescan or Epson scan has a resampling algorithm that is significantly better than those available in Photoshop.

I would really love to see a comparison of final scans using 'files size' (with used resampling algorithm specified) vs 'target print size' options, though.


* That is, I never got more detail out of the negative. Perceived sharpness varies with selected resampling algorithm, though. And I'm talking strictly about downsampling. Upsampling is another matter, but then I'm even more certain that scanning programs have absolutely no chance in beating specialized programs/algorithms for making up missing data.
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Old 07-19-2012   #24
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I've heard this before, but never understood why would scanning to a target print size make any difference. And IRL never got a better scan* following that advice.

AFAIK, scanner absolutely doesn't care about it. It gets "sample at X frequency" command from driver and has absolutely no idea if the user specified a target print size @XXXdpi, final pixel size or resolution. Scanning program is responsible for resampling the data it gets back from scanner. I really doubt Vuescan or Epson scan has a resampling algorithm that is significantly better than those available in Photoshop.

I would really love to see a comparison of final scans using 'files size' (with used resampling algorithm specified) vs 'target print size' options, though.


* That is, I never got more detail out of the negative. Perceived sharpness varies with selected resampling algorithm, though. And I'm talking strictly about downsampling. Upsampling is another matter, but then I'm even more certain that scanning programs have absolutely no chance in beating specialized programs/algorithms for making up missing data.
All I can say is try it, especially if you make large prints, I print my work 60cmx60cm and 80cmx80cm, I made several comparison scans when I first purchased the v700 and always got a better file to a target size @300dpi. I will add that when I got my own scanner the man who did my drum scans for me prior told me this was what to do as it meant there would be no resampling of the file size post scanning.
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Old 07-19-2012   #25
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I said that I did try it and unfortunately can't say that I noticed any improvement.

If you do the math you will find that if you specify a target print size and print dpi you will never hit the exact native resolution of the scanner so there will always* be some resampling (in you case in the scanning software which is not better at resampling than Photoshop or similar software). Btw, what algorithm did you use for resampling for the scans that turned out inferior? At what resolution did you scan?

* Unless you are really really lucky with your selected print size, dpi, film format, scanner's resolution...
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Old 07-19-2012   #26
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I said that I did try it and unfortunately can't say that I noticed any improvement.

If you do the math you will find that if you specify a target print size and print dpi you will never hit the exact native resolution of the scanner so there will always* be some resampling (in you case in the scanning software which is not better at resampling than Photoshop or similar software). Btw, what algorithm did you use for resampling for the scans that turned out inferior? At what resolution did you scan?

* Unless you are really really lucky with your selected print size, dpi, film format, scanner's resolution...
I guess this just goes to show that what works best you is the best thing to do I always thought that the scanner only ever scanned at its native resolution and everything else was resampled as per the instructions the operator gives the scanner re size and resolution via the scanner software, is it actually possible for any scanner to scan at different resolutions?
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Old 07-19-2012   #27
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the scans that I compared this method to were made at 3200dpi ( which I believed to be the native resolution the v700 always scans at) to the original negative size being 6x6 and then resizing them in PS up to the print size I scanned to in the others @300dpi, in every case I had a much cleaner crisper file with the target print size @300dpi.
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Old 07-19-2012   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_ross View Post
I always thought that the scanner only ever scanned at its native resolution and everything else was resampled...
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d_ross View Post
the scans that I compared this method to were made at 3200dpi ( which I believed to be the native resolution the v700 always scans at) to the original negative size being 6x6 and then resizing them in PS up to the print size I scanned to in the others @300dpi, in every case I had a much cleaner crisper file with the target print size @300dpi.
3200dpi is one of the native resolutions for V700 in the 'mechanical' sense. That is, this is one of the discrete values that the stepping motor can move at. V700 reaches it's max. real resolution (around 2300dpi) when scanning at higher 'nominal' resolutions 4800 or 6400 (4800dpi being the optimum choice as you gain nothing with scanning at 6400, but 4800 still gets more real data from negative than scanning at 3200).

Now to solve the puzzle of the magic 'scan to target size' setting...

As you say your target is 60x60cm and I bet you scan 120 6x6 negatives. Considering the size of the image of the 6x6 format (and my math being correct) your requested resolution is just a bit higher that 3200dpi. I don't know what scanning software you use, but I know that is such cases Vuescan then orders the scanner to scan at first next higher native resolution (4800) and then downsamples to the requested resolution.

So, you effectively scan at 4800dpi and get all the detail the scanner is able to pull from the negative. As a bonus you also get some sort of sharpening (as a result of downsampling). On the other hand, when you scanned the negative at 3200dpi you didn't get all the detail from the negative and then you had to actually produce additional pixels with upsampling in PS to reach your desired print size. No wonder this scan looked worse/softer.

But, I agree. Use what works for you. 'Scan to target size' works for you because your alternative workflow involves upsampling. And it doesn't work for me (or somebody else) that initially picks high enough scanning resolution to avoid upsampling later in the workflow and uses appropriate downsampling algorithm when needed.
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Old 07-20-2012   #29
jvr
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I've heard this before, but never understood why would scanning to a target print size make any difference. And IRL never got a better scan* following that advice.

AFAIK, scanner absolutely doesn't care about it. It gets "sample at X frequency" command from driver and has absolutely no idea if the user specified a target print size @XXXdpi, final pixel size or resolution. Scanning program is responsible for resampling the data it gets back from scanner. I really doubt Vuescan or Epson scan has a resampling algorithm that is significantly better than those available in Photoshop.

I would really love to see a comparison of final scans using 'files size' (with used resampling algorithm specified) vs 'target print size' options, though.


* That is, I never got more detail out of the negative. Perceived sharpness varies with selected resampling algorithm, though. And I'm talking strictly about downsampling. Upsampling is another matter, but then I'm even more certain that scanning programs have absolutely no chance in beating specialized programs/algorithms for making up missing data.
Fully agree. The best (technical) way to do it is to scan at the physical scanner resolution and then resize using whatever algorithm we want/like.

That said, if using the resizing algorithm that comes with the scanner software works ok, why not use it?

A good thing to use this approach is that the scanner software may use a resolution half (or even 1/4) the physical resolution, if that's enough to get 300 dpi - or whatever - at print size. It may be faster and/or consume less memory.

Anyway, theoretically, the best in terms of detail and tonality would be to scan at the max resolution and then resize.
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Old 07-20-2012   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_ross View Post
2 things to remember, scan the negs to the desired size ie 80x80cm for you @300dpi, this is better than scanning at 4800dpi original size then resizing in PS, and, make sure the film holder stands (small clips on the under side of the neg holders)are facing the plus sign. they come from the factory facing the negative but sharpness is increased when they are facing+ but you need nice flat negatives.
I see there is already a lengthy debate about the first item, so I will not discuss it. The second thing (facing plus sign) really depends on the unit. The exact focusing height/distance varies from scanner to scanner, which is why you can and should fine-tune. For your unit, turning the stands to face the plus sign is the best option (or close to it).
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Old 07-20-2012   #31
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I've a V500 which has similar specs as the V700 and I temporary have a Plustek8200 for 35mm to compare it with
I was always satisfied enough with the flatbed but now that I've seen the difference to what a film scanner can do I disgust the scans that come out of the V500. I had a 8800f before and can say it's not better and not much worse than the V500.

It might seem ok for 120, but actually all I can think is what would a real scanner make with those Mamiya 7 shots?


I find the work flow described before ok where you scan all with the flatbed and then scan the keepers with the plustek. actually one might think that the resolution of a flatbed is sufficient for the internet but even scaled down you can see the difference.

I'm so looking for the plustek 120! hopefully it will be in the reflecta M5000 price range
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Old 07-20-2012   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k__43 View Post
I've a V500 which has similar specs as the V700 and I temporary have a Plustek8200 for 35mm to compare it with
I was always satisfied enough with the flatbed but now that I've seen the difference to what a film scanner can do I disgust the scans that come out of the V500. I had a 8800f before and can say it's not better and not much worse than the V500.

It might seem ok for 120, but actually all I can think is what would a real scanner make with those Mamiya 7 shots?


I find the work flow described before ok where you scan all with the flatbed and then scan the keepers with the plustek. actually one might think that the resolution of a flatbed is sufficient for the internet but even scaled down you can see the difference.

I'm so looking for the plustek 120! hopefully it will be in the reflecta M5000 price range
As I told on a previous post, I have both a V700 and a "real scanner" (a Minolta Multi Pro). With proper technique, the V700 will output a 2400 dpi scan from 120 film which is more than enough to print to A3+, and the difference to the Multi Pro (which is as "sharp" and "resolving" as my previous Coolscan 4000 ED - or better, if anything) almost zero.

Proper technique: flat film, adjusted height, correct sharpening.

Don't know about the V500, but the V700 is clearly better than my previous Perfection 3200 (used for 120).

This won't mean that a 2400 dpi scan (3200 dpi and resize) from the V700 equals a 4800 dpi from the Multi Pro, as much as you sharpen it, if you look at the fles at 100% (not at all!).

It's just that if you resize for screen or you print to A3+, the difference is much smaller than I realized it would be.

It's a different story for my Xpan negs/slides, that I usually print on roll paper (ie, larger).
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 07-20-2012   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k__43 View Post
I've a V500 which has similar specs as the V700 and I temporary have a Plustek8200 for 35mm to compare it with
I was always satisfied enough with the flatbed but now that I've seen the difference to what a film scanner can do I disgust the scans that come out of the V500. I had a 8800f before and can say it's not better and not much worse than the V500.

It might seem ok for 120, but actually all I can think is what would a real scanner make with those Mamiya 7 shots?


I find the work flow described before ok where you scan all with the flatbed and then scan the keepers with the plustek. actually one might think that the resolution of a flatbed is sufficient for the internet but even scaled down you can see the difference.

I'm so looking for the plustek 120! hopefully it will be in the reflecta M5000 price range
Put it another way: if you already have a V700, and don't print to HUGE sizes, a "real scanner" won't make a ton a difference, if you take care of the details.

I never really tested the limits of my Epson R2400 and I tend to feed it with a 300 dpi file. But I almost bet I can't tell the difference between that and a 200 dpi file, even with a loupe (and I don't tend to look at A3+ prints with a loupe).

On the other hand, it's bliss to pixel-peep on a 4800 dpi scan of a Mamiya 7 shot from the Multi Pro, even if that resolution does not cover all the 6x7 area...

Come on, I have A3 prints from 6 Mpix files that came out my old Nikon D70s and look great!
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 07-20-2012   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr View Post
Put it another way: if you already have a V700, and don't print to HUGE sizes, a "real scanner" won't make a ton a difference, if you take care of the details.

I never really tested the limits of my Epson R2400 and I tend to feed it with a 300 dpi file. But I almost bet I can't tell the difference between that and a 200 dpi file, even with a loupe (and I don't tend to look at A3+ prints with a loupe).

On the other hand, it's bliss to pixel-peep on a 4800 dpi scan of a Mamiya 7 shot from the Multi Pro, even if that resolution does not cover all the 6x7 area...

Come on, I have A3 prints from 6 Mpix files that came out my old Nikon D70s and look great!
I don't print large but for 35mm I can tell the difference from my available scanner even after you scaled them down to a resolution fit for the net. Why wouldn't that be true for MF?
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Old 07-20-2012   #35
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I have to disagree with the "if you print big the v700 is no good" comments here.

Of course it is totally dependent on your work and how you want it to look, but for me I'm happier with my own scans made from the v700 than I was with commercial Drum scans that cost me $100 each! I found the drum scans over emphasised grain, and found the v700 gives a more photographic look, but I'm not a pixel peeper either.

I print most of my work large scale, the photograph in the attached pics is 1 meter square image size and I have included an unretouched 100% crop from the original scan, the film was TMax100. I am convinced that learning the tricks of scanning is half, if not more, of the battle. But as with everything else you have to find a system and equipment that suits your aesthetic.

I use the Epson software with the v700, I tried a couple of others but they didn't appeal to me.
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Old 07-21-2012   #36
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I don't print large but for 35mm I can tell the difference from my available scanner even after you scaled them down to a resolution fit for the net. Why wouldn't that be true for MF?
If you can really see a difference between what you call a "real scanner" and your V500 for web resolution (say 1280pix), something must be wrong with your V500 or how you use it. (I'm talking about resolution, you may prefer color and/or tonality, something that can be easily corrected on post).

Never tried a V500 but you mention, on a previous post, that it has the same specs as the V700. It should be ok for 35mm on Web (and probably even when printing large), let alone from 120 film.

Why the difference? Because the neg size is much bigger, so a much small enlargement. On the limit, take 8x10 (LF): a 150 dpi scan should give you a pretty good 1200x1500 file, more than enough for the Web.

I would say any scanner goes to 150dpi...

Now, take something like half-frame 35mm. To get the same pixel count you would have to scan at around 1500 dpi, more of a stretch.

With the Open (golf) going, still haven't got the time to make a few crops from the Minolta Multi Pro and my Epson V700 with and without sharpening at different resolutions, let's see if I can do it tomorrow. I will also include some 35mm scan to compare with my old Coolscan 4000ED.

But believe me: with proper sharpening, you could even prefer the V700 at 3200 dpi: since the grain is much less noticeable, tonality (especially with 400 ISO and upper film) will be more smooth, without any (drastic) loss of resolution. Several other posters referred that too: it looks more like film. In a good way.

At 2400 dpi is close enough for me to declare it a draw.

Again, if the V500 has the same specs as the V700, you should really try a better holder, some ANR glass and invest an hour calibrating height. Oh, and use Epson Scan: the sharpening algorithm seems very well suited to the scanner (suprise!).

Or maybe the V500 has the same specs as the V700 but it's different.

Or we were all very lucky with our samples of the V700 and pretty unlucky with the samples from other scanners.
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 07-21-2012   #37
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When upsizing your image to the print size in PS, try this:

instead of just at once upsizing it to the desired size, increase size by 10% a number of times until your required size is reached, then downsize to the actual correct dimensions.

Apparently the algorithm that PS uses is particularly good at creating an 11th pixel by 'reading' the original 10 pixels. Anything else is worse, too 'diluted'.


I'm learning lotsa new tricks in this thread, thanks to all posters!
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Old 07-21-2012   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr View Post
Never tried a V500 but you mention, on a previous post, that it has the same specs as the V700.

...

Again, if the V500 has the same specs as the V700...
The V500 is NOT equal to the V700. Maybe there is an "optical resolution" spec which matches, but the results are not the same resolution.

I get nice sharp prints from my V500 scans up to 6x the linear dimension of the film; based on reports of others, the V700/750 produces higher resolution. The V500 will be fine for screen images from 35mm. I use mine for medium format.
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Old 07-22-2012   #39
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Yes the V500 has only about the same specs .. apparently the V700 has some more real life resolution.

I'd prefer actual sharpness over high pass filtering (or any other more clever method) in digital.

for the difference .. I'm not an exert but my guess is that when downsizing it is better to have more transients in the shot and the resizing algorithm might work better then .. I don't know really. You are prolly right when you pre-sharpen and then downsize the result should be equal-ish
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Epson V700 vs Minolta Multi Pro
Old 07-23-2012   #40
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Epson V700 vs Minolta Multi Pro

Ok, finally got the time to post a few samples, all at 3200 dpi and no ICE, unless labeled otherwise.

Epson V700 with BetterScanning 120 holder + ANR Glass, Epson Scan
Minolta Multi Pro with Scanhancer, Vuescan.
Slide film, Velvia 100
Camera: Fuji GSW690 III, handheld.

Disclaimers:

1) The slide is a regular shot, no tripod, no critical focusing. (I will post a few deitals of some tripod test shots). So, some (probable) camera shake, some parts of image with less than stellar focus, some motion blur (leaves moving with wind). Real life, not optimized conditions.

2) Maybe using the Minolta Software the scans will be (even) better. If someone is kind enough to post a link to a version of Minolta software that runs on Lion, I would be happy to rescan and post.

3) I will be using links to my Dropbox, as attachments have to be so small that differences will probably be lost. If you can't see the files through the links, I will also post a link to the overall folder (files have descriptive names).

First, the overall image, so that you people can see the kind of cropping (enlargement) we are talking about. Scanned with the Epson, but at this resolution even with my old Coolpix 880 would be enough...

Scanned at 3200 dpi, no sharpening
Original size: 10459 x 6990 pixels
Resized in CS5 with Bicubic Sharper, no additional sharpening.
Auto Contrast (I usually scan with a bit of leeway both on highlights and shadows, overruling Epson Scan).

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...pson%20Web.jpg

Next, a 732x837 pixel 100% crop to show some detail (try to find the cropping place. Hint: middle right):

Epson V700, no sharpening:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...%20Sharpen.jpg

Looks a bit fuzzy, especially when compared to the next one, from the Multi Pro, again with no sharpening:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...%20Sharpen.jpg

Notice that the Multi Pro shows the grain in all it's glory (in fact, more than it should show but that is something I got used to with the Coolscan 4000ED). That's the price to pay for more "sharpness", at least without a drum scanner.

Using the Scanhancer does help with the grain:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...%20Sharpen.jpg

It also makes the scan look a lot like the Epson, with much lower local contrast.

So, it would seems that the Epson gets a beating...

Except that we can be really agressive with sharpening with the Epson:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...%20Sharpen.jpg

This was done using Nik Sharpener Pro plug-in with some tweaking, but using the Smart Sharpening tool from CS5 you get exactly the same results.

You don't even need to use CS5, the Epson Scan software does a good job sharpening:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...Sharpening.jpg

It enhances more the lower frequencies than the high frequencies. This means that prints will be good and pixelpeeping would be worse than it could be.

A simple Smart Sharpen filter of around 80% and 1 pixel on top of it gets it to the Nik Sharpener Pro territory:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...rudius%201.jpg

If you compare the Epson + Nik version to the original Minolta scan, with no sharpening, probably you know will have a hard time telling the Minolta is better.

How about sharpening the Minolta? Well, you could...

But simply applying high frequency sharpening (the kind that makes small details pop on pixel level), grain will be too apparent, at least for me. And while sharpening on a lower frequency will indeed "show" more detail, that would happen anyway when sharpening (correctly) for printing...
Sincerely, I could get no better than what it was, without making grain to much apparent...

And with the Multi Pro and Scanhancer?
Well, it's much better than without Scanhancer:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu82...%20Sharpen.jpg

I can even see some pixelization, which may be an artifact of using Vuescan and not the Minolta software (or not...).

But is it heads-and-shoulders above the V700?

I dont' really think so: remember that this a really small crop out of a huge file, it would be like enlarging a 6x6.6mm crop from the negative at 3200 dpi, almost half a Minox frame!! (a Minox frame has 8x11mm).

If I repeated the whole process and resized to 2400 dpi before anything else (and I would still get a 5187 x 7729 pixel image: that's a lot...), I would say there would be no significant difference whatsoever even at pixel level.

Ok, but this is a handheld, quickly focused image. This means the details from the film will be less than with a tripod, optimal aperture, precise focus photo, right? And that would make the Multi Pro look better, because sharpening would reveal detail on the photo and not only random grain...

Well, that may be true (or not!) and that will be the subject of another post.

Here is the link to the Dropbox folder, if you can't follow the individual links:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gzlbnu822mhgjo/gTtuwkec6m

Cheers!
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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