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Thread: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

  1. #1

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    Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Apologies if this is an old topic, but I am thinking about getting myself a scanner to cover 35mm, medium and large format negatives (up to 5x7 size). Here in the UK the 4990 seems to go (second hand) for around 200 or a bit more depending on condition, while the V700 and V750 are around 450 and 650 new, and of course probably a bit less than that second hand.

    Is is worth paying out the extra for the current models, or do people think that for normal amateur usage and black and white negs that the 4990 is sufficient? I don't think that I am being mean, but I would rather not pay out more if I am not going to be able to tell the difference.

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Some opine that the 4990 delivers around 1500-1600 spi, while the 700/750 delivers around 2300-2400 spi.

    If you specify a large resolution, you only get a larger file with redundant pixels. You get no more actual data from the negative.

    If all you plan to make are 5x7 images, then a 5x enlargement of 35mm film is required. That's around the limit for the 4990, and the V700 might allow some cropping.

    For the larger film sizes, a 5x7 print is well within their capacity.

    A rule of thumb is that a good print requires 300 dpi. If your scanner gives you 1500, you can enlarge 1500/300 or 5X. If your scanner gives you 4500, you can enlarge by a factor of 4500/300 or 9X... and so on.

    See filmscanner.info for their review of the V700.

    If you look at their review of the Epson V600 model, you'll see something like the 4990: 1560 samples per inch.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 16-Mar-2011 at 11:33.

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Ken,

    I don't think thats correct. Ted told me there was no measurable difference in the epson scanners we are talking about and that any difference would be laid at the feet of the film holders, adjustable feet, that is!!

    The sensor chip and likely the lens are the same for both the 4990 and 700/750 scanners.

    I had a PERFECTLY adjusted 4990 and it really acquited itself quite well in a scan around with myself, Scott Rosenberg, Ted and a few others done a few years back. It was the budget machine in a flock of Cezannes, Creo's, Leaf's, and Polaroid's.

    We were all amazed.

    I'd say save the money and get a 4990 with the aftermarket film holder.

    bob

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    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    I have a 4990, but I’ve rented a v750 for a very limited, side-by-side comparison.

    I used a sheet of 4x5 Velvia-50 film (nicely exposed w/ minute details in the subject) and snugly dry-mounted w/ a film holder, similar to Doug Fisher’s design.

    I used Epson Scan for the comparison, selecting the “film w/ film holder” option in each case (i.e., not the "film w/ area guide" option). So I was comparing the 4990’s single fixed lens w/ the v750's “SHR” fixed lens.

    My tests weren’t rigorously scientific, but I found my 4990’s best plane of focus, which is unique from model to model, to be about 2mm above the glass. However, there seemed to be enough DOF for me to say: 2mm ... plus/minus .25mm. (I'd like to hear more about this DOF “tolerance” from others.)

    At this optimal plane of focus, my 4990’s maximum resolution is about 2000 dpi, perhaps a touch less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Some opine that the 4990 delivers around 1500-1600 spi.
    Just as Ken indicates, I really have to squint to see improvement above 1500 dpi, but it’s there if I look carefully enough, even if it’s not a practical matter.

    When I rented the v750, I likewise determined its best plane of focus; it occurred at a slightly higher elevation than my 4990.

    I then compared the two scanners at 2000 dpi.

    My personal result: I couldn’t tell the difference between these scans w/ several carefully inspected crops. However, there was a different “look” to the images that would be difficult for me to describe.

    When I went to higher dpi, up to 2400, I still couldn’t tell the difference, but I was making comparisons w/ E-6 4x5 film, not a fancy line resolution chart. If I had used a chart, I suspect the v750 may have appeared a tiny bit better; and, it might have appeared better at 1800-2000, too. However, since I rarely print larger than 11x14, the slightly better performance, if I had seen that it existed, would probably be negligible to me.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 16-Mar-2011 at 11:33.

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Just to clarify that the 5x7 (inches) size that I quoted was the maximum negative size that I will be scanning, and not the max print size that I intend to make. Apologies for any confusion!

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Just to clarify, you did say you would be scanning small film - 35mm.

    5X is roughly 5x7 prints

    But I would also say the Epson (either one) is not very good at small negatives so while really very good with sheet film it is very limited with smaller film sizes.

    bob

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob McCarthy View Post
    Just to clarify, you did say you would be scanning small film - 35mm.

    5X is roughly 5x7 prints

    But I would also say the Epson (either one) is not very good at small negatives so while really very good with sheet film it is very limited with smaller film sizes.

    bob
    Yes, I still have a 35mm SLR which I like to use occasionally, but I am using 6x6cm and larger format films now, which is really what I want a scanner for.

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    On the v700, don't you have to select 3200 or higher, in order to activate the higher-resolution lens ?

    I wouldn't use an Epson flatbed for 35mm - and wonder about 6x6 and 6x7 for that matter. When you see what a dedicated film scanner can get from small and Medium format film (or a drum scanner or a high-end flatbed), the Epson scan looks useless in comparison - once you get past 3-5X magnification.

    That's why I haven't gone back to Medium Format. Lately I have found that the MF negatives I made with TMX (not TMY) do much better under the Epson scan - because they are smoother, and sharpening is not interfered with by grain.

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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    On the v700, don't you have to select 3200 or higher, in order to activate the higher-resolution lens ?

    I wouldn't use an Epson flatbed for 35mm - and wonder about 6x6 and 6x7 for that matter. When you see what a dedicated film scanner can get from small and Medium format film (or a drum scanner or a high-end flatbed), the Epson scan looks useless in comparison - once you get past 3-5X magnification.

    That's why I haven't gone back to Medium Format. Lately I have found that the MF negatives I made with TMX (not TMY) do much better under the Epson scan - because they are smoother, and sharpening is not interfered with by grain.
    Do you think that the Epsons are reasonably ok for the smaller films up to around x5 magnification? Say 5x7in for 35mm and 10x10in for 6x6cm. That would do for me most of the time.

    I suppose that it follows that a 4x5 at x5 would give similar quality prints of 20x25in?

    I guess that one inexpensive scanner handling all sizes of film really well is maybe too good to be true!

  10. #10
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Epson scanner 4990 vs the V700 and V750

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    On the v700, don't you have to select 3200 or higher, in order to activate the higher-resolution lens?
    Good question, I thought you only had to select “film w/film holder” to activate the 750’s SHR lens, but my test may have used the 750’s other lens. Either way, I suspect the 750 works like the 700.

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