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Thread: 4x5 Scanning

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    4x5 Scanning

    Hi Folks,

    I am in the market to buy my first scanner, only for 4x5 colour neg and slide.

    The Epson 7***/V800/V850 will both fit in my budget, but I wanted to pick your brains prior to purchasing.

    The only photography I shoot is Landscapes where I require as much front to back sharpness as I can get from the scan. Obviously I understand that for my 'favourite' images I will be heading to my drum scanning lab, what I am talking about here is the rest of the stuff.

    Is the flatbed scanner my only option here for the price range?
    Do people prefer other brands rather than the Epson?

    Are there any sites or even this forum where I can download some hi-rez files from flatbed scans to look at myself in PS? or any kind 4x5 shooters that would let me have a look at some of there raw files?

    thanks in advance,

    Andy.

  2. #2

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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Quote Originally Posted by andred2809 View Post
    Is the flatbed scanner my only option here for the price range?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by andred2809 View Post
    Do people prefer other brands rather than the Epson?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by andred2809 View Post
    Are there any sites or even this forum where I can download some hi-rez files from flatbed scans to look at myself in PS? or any kind 4x5 shooters that would let me have a look at some of there raw files?
    In England you might want to get in touch with Tim Parkin: a skilled craftsman, talented artist, excellent writer. You'll also find him at On Landscape.

  3. #3
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    You're a long way from the NEC but there's usually excellent deals on Epson equipment at the Photography show at the NEC (used to be Focus on Imaging). I'm very impressed with the quality of the scans from my V750.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    You're a long way from the NEC but there's usually excellent deals on Epson equipment at the Photography show at the NEC (used to be Focus on Imaging). I'm very impressed with the quality of the scans from my V750.

    Ian
    Cheers Ian, amazon seems to have a very good deal on the V850 at the moment, I don't suppose you have an example hi-rez scan from a 4x5 colour neg or slide I could get hold of by any chance?, maybe VIA wetransfer.com? (andy@macred.co.uk). do you dry or wet mount?

    Ta,Andy,

  5. #5
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Hi Andy, not sure if I have Hi-rez colour scans from the V750, I think they were made with a Canon 2400U that I gave away recently. I haven't shot colour LF for maybe 20 years. I have used the V750 for some colour work but mostly off 120 negs or positives, I'm a B&W worker when it comes to film.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Quote Originally Posted by andred2809 View Post
    The only photography I shoot is Landscapes where I require as much front to back sharpness as I can get from the scan. Obviously I understand that for my 'favourite' images I will be heading to my drum scanning lab, what I am talking about here is the rest of the stuff.
    I see this differently.
    If you want sharpness, you won't get it from a consumer flatbed. Get yourself a drum scanner.... any one of them is better than an Epson.

    Quote Originally Posted by andred2809 View Post
    Is the flatbed scanner my only option here for the price range?
    Not exactly. There are many Howtek 4500's out there, for around $1500. That's just a bit more than an Epson 850. One you can be very happy about, the other you will spend your money and not get the results you want..

    Quote Originally Posted by andred2809 View Post
    Do people prefer other brands rather than the Epson?
    The Epson is a low-end consumer-level scanner. Some people get more out of it than others. There are a lot of other options...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    I see this differently.
    ...
    The Epson is a low-end consumer-level scanner. Some people get more out of it than others. There are a lot of other options...

    Lenny
    This is true. I purchased an Epson 4870 a decade ago which continues to serve me well. Particularly after upgrading to Silverfast AI I received very good results. Not as good as a professional drum scan, but good enough for some very fine 11x14 prints.
    Bill McMannis

  8. #8
    fishbulb's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Not all drum scanners are created equal of course. The scanning comparison page may be of interest to you, to see how much better the results actually are - i.e. is it worth buying an older drum scanner, or just using the Epson at home and sending off the best frames for drum scanning elsewhere?

    Also remember that many old drum scanners need old computers to run them, and are usually much larger in physical size than a flatbed. Some of them will work on new computers with VueScan or SilverFast or a PhotoShop plugin, but some will need a specific operating system like Windows XP or even a 16-bit OS like Windows 98. Some will need a SCSI input on your computer, which most modern computers do not have. Others will only work on a Mac, and sometimes an older Power-PC (non-Intel Mac), and only with a specific version of MacOS. Many of the old drum scanners available are no longer supported by the original manufacturer, or the company is out of business, or there are not even any third-parties who will service them anymore. So be careful and do a lot of research before buying an old drum scanner so you know what you're getting into.

    If you get the Epson, you may want to look at the adjustable-height film holders from Better Scanning. If you get an old drum scanner you might want to call Genesis and see if they have any refurbished drum scanners in your budget that will work with modern computers.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    Andy,

    I had the same dilemma as you 18 months back. I've had a decent MF scanner for years (Nikon 8000) so have some experience of scanning. A mate locally did a few scans for me on his Epson. Despite him having a well set up machine and knowing how to get the best out of it I was underwhelmed by the results. I didn't really fancy sinking 500 into one after that and kept an eye on ebay for drum scanners. After a few months I picked up a Scanmate 5000 from a graphics company and London for 240. Bit of a drive to pick it up but given the size, weight and fragility you're unlikely to get one shipped. I had to mess about a bit buying SCSI leads and terminators, and setting up a Win XP machine, but the first scan (even dry-mounted) blew the Epson away. You don't get much pre-scan control other than cropping but the results are impressive. It also goes up to 5000dpi so it can squeeze a few more pixels out of MF and 35mm than my Nikon.

  10. #10

    Re: 4x5 Scanning

    I use a V700 for my 617 and 4x5. I also have years of experience scanning with the LS-5000, LS-8000 and LS-9000.

    I have made good looking 24x30" print that people are hanging on their wall. I have once have someone made a comparison scan with an Imacon 363 and the scan did not look better.

    A real drum scan will probably look quite a bit better but you are talking a lot more effort needed to make a scan.

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