I think this can be described as delicateness of tone. That's what the fines prints show and it's a combination of perfect stepping movements and accuracy in recording delicate lighting, textures and shadows that bring imbed feelings into a print.
The whole purpose of the very best prints is to evoke passion and allow the close study, nose in the print, as one admires the seamless beauty.
For that, going from $750 to either $2,000 or $4500 for a used high end scanner seems reasonable, as long as one has work in that class to scan!
Wealth is a state of mind.
Money is just a tool.
Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.
More on Medium format-I have also seen a person do a head to head test with the Nikon 9000 and an Imacon and the Nikon 9000 flattened the Imacon. I know a person that just started shooting with a Rollei 6002? and says he has never seen the level of detail/resolution/etc. fromm the 6cm X 6cm piece of film. His reference and camera he has used for a long time with "very expensive" lenses=the Canon 5D. Yes, he says it outresolves he 5D "handily", and this is from both scans (off an Epson V700) and in print. Some around here and I'm sure many others have tossed the LF equipment in the garbage since they see no differences in the 5D up to 20X24. Is it that the flatbeds can resolve "less" information and therefore are "better" for scanning 35mm and medium format film? I have always heard it is the opposite, and that the larger the film, the better the results from an Epson flatbed.
On the off-off-topic of things. Why don't you have a look around the web for the Linkwitz Orion speakers and find a review on them. You will see "groups" that have been formed to discuss these speakers that reviewers and members of the group consider to be "as good as sound gets". Look at what it costs to build them and maybe you can see that the dollar goes a lot further than it did when you heard the 5-10K systems. I have heard many 5-10K systems you may be referring to and they sound like absolute garbage. I have heard 60-100K systems and they sounded like absolute garbage. It's not about the money, but how everything is put together. People will be in this hobby the rest of their lives trying to find this amp to go with their beloved speakers or just have the luxery to buy/sell every speaker they chose each year to buy. But how they all put their system together and "most importantly", the "limitations" of the speakers in the system.
I know there is some scientific study that proves the human forgets sound after a second?...your point about forgetting and remembering sound.
I can tell you this much, I remember "precisely" how my Subaru WRX Wagon with turbo mods felt, drove, handled, etc. I know exactly how my friend's crapola Toyota Celica from vintage 80? is like. I know exactly what it feels like being in an Acura MDX/TSX, Lexus SUV (ugly looking mid-sized thing), etc. etc...this is "precisely" what it is with music for me. I can go and listen to those Orions I mentioned above in "any" place and know "exactly" what to expect. I have heard them for 12 hours on 4 different occassions. Maybe it is true that I cannot say, ohhhh...the way the cymbol came out on the left side of such and such a musical passage sounded way better on your Orions than they did at Linkwitz's house, but I can say "precisely" what they can and cannot do, and "precisely" how I feel "after" I have listened to them. What "precisely" I feel "everytime" I listen to them goes unchanged regardless of where I listen to them. This is the same thing for the Maggie 3.6R's...I have heard them maybe 10 hours, but they are so entirely "easy" to know and remember...these 20K "modern day" horns I have heard for 10 or so hours..again, extremely easy to know and remember. I won't go on with my cars and speakers I have heard list. Lastly, I have heard a ton of diy type speakers/systems that demolish super $$$ systems.
Again, every speaker, every car, everything has a limitation. "However", you can know exactly what a speaker's limitations are, irrespective of the room and conditions, and can know "exactly" what can be expected even if that speaker is being run of 100K tube amps and all the best cabling/room dampening/blah blah blah...Sure, the speakers will sound "much better" than when we heard them in their far from optimal conditions...but they will still have the "exact same sound" that is possible from them. And I'm not saying to go listen to a system where the speakers each are facing the wall and not properly setup
It is good to know what print size you find acceptable, but do you still see the differences at this print size??? In other words, are the scans from your high dollar machine better even at only 3X enlargement, or even at 2X enlargement? This is where my point, and only point exists...if two scanners are world's apart, then why wouldn't one see this even at a 2X enlargement...10X14?
If I have an 8X10 sheet being scanned, can I use the 4X theory and get a 36X40 print that looks as good as one that was scanned on these high end scanners?
I'm trying to figure out "precisely" where the "threshold" is...and more importantly, whether or not the differences in the different scanners shows up at the smallest (1X/2X/3X) enlargening sizes.
For me, if there are no differences, I can put my 8X10 sheet film onto the scanner and have as large of a print at 4X than I would ever make and would never need a drum scanner.
Hopefully these are helpful questions for others so they can let them know what they have been achieving with their Epsons/Microteks/etc. are or are not as good as a drum/high end flatbed scan even at lower enlargements, or if vice versa, they want a print that looks no different to a high end scanner at whatever determined enlargement value, then that is what they can expect, know, etc.
A 5D will probably easily beat the pants off the sharpest 6x6 film if that film is scanned on a consumer flatbed. Scan that film on a professional film scanner, starting with a Nikon 9000 on up, and it's a different story.
Part of the reason I went from shooting mostly medium format to shooting mostly large format is that I can scan 4x5 with a lot less expensive and critcal equipment, i.e. an Epson 4990 works fine for normal print sizes w 4x5. It sucks for 6x6.
I actually thought my old 6mp D70 was a close match for Epson flatbed scanned 6x6. It was that bad...
Mr. Harris put his finger on the advantage exactly on point. From what I have seen trannies have a lot more information in the shadows than I can possibly get with my Epson V700 and conversely print film just can not be scanned to their full potential with anything but a professional scanner. Sometimes it is not necessary to get all that information but for the professionals it gives them the option to work with the scan on the spot and time is money for them. For us down at the lower level sending out a really good sheet to a shop to scan is time consuming but sometimes necessary. I have seen a 16x20 print from a sheet scanned both ways and it is sometimes not easily explained other than to say it can be the difference between magical and "pretty good". I have been to a couple of shows some of the respondents have done and they are magical experiences that no monitor surfing on the net can show you.
What format you use, how many magnifications you print, and the final output device would have to be considered to know if the very significant difference in the quality of the scans would make a real difference on the print. Final print quality is always determined by the weakest link in the chain. For MF the weakest link would nearly always be the scanner when comparing the Epson and EverSmart. About the largest print I would consider acceptable from the 4990 from MF (6X7cm) would be about 9X11", whereas a scan from an EverSmart can easily be enlarged to twice that size, or 18X22".
However, not even the EverSmart at 3175 ppi can pull all of the detail out of my Mamiya 7 MF negatives since the lenses of this system easily resolve 90 lppm at best aperture and on a tripod. For that one would need about 5000 ppi of "effective resolution." So maybe I need a drum scanner after all, or an EverSmart Supreme.
Now convert the effective resolution of your Epson to resolution in lppm. Assuming you are getting real resolution of 1800 ppi, that amounts to resolution of 35 lppm, or 1800 ppi/25.4/2. If you scan a 4X5, you would have 35 lppm of detail , 2X gives you 17lppm, 4X gives you 8.5 lppm. The 8.5 lppm of 4X is below my threshold so I would not consider a 16X20 from a 4X5 negative acceptable. Some might consider otherwise. And of course, some subjects may not need this much resolution, but landscapes usually do.
The thing about detail is that it is either there or not. You can increase apparent sharpness in processing, but you can not put real detail into a file if it is not there to begin with.