Imacon's are nice and convenient and do a decent job. I made 40x50 inch prints from single sheets of 4x5 on a 949 and an X5 for several years. I was pleased with the results, though I never liked resing up the files....or all the dust.
Recently I acquired an Aztek DPL 8000, and I can say its a vast improvement. Beautiful and huge files, and the option to scan 8x10. Granted it was not cheap, but it really seemed like the way go and I have no regrets. And I was able to set it up on a modern PC, with modern SCSI card, and modern software (DPL), so I am very happy with the investment.
Oh, and while wet mounting is not as easy as the Imacon magnetic holders, it is really not as hard as many think, and I think its rather fun. And now my dust spotting time is like 1/5th of what it used to be.
Anyway, Just my opinions of course...
Untitled-1 by Sergei Rodionov, on Flickr
(1200 dpi scan from ilford, vuescan)
scan0002www by Sergei Rodionov, on Flickr
but it does have issues with DR - Epson is a bit better. I just went this route too.. after having two epsons dying, i got 4050, and then finally microcenter had decent deal on v700 ..
I have a beautiful ColorGetter 2 Pro drum scanner, used for customers film from 35 to 11 X 14 in chromes almost dailyD. Nothing else beside another drum scanner even comes close. I just finished a series of landscapes (Nepal) at 30 X 20 in on Canson Baryta from 35 mm (Delta 100) with wonderful tonality, detail, and almost invisible grain for example. On the other hand, it takes a real commitment in time to learn to make the "elephant sing", as well as $, technical skills and space.
SergeiR, I'd say that HP's G4050 isn't unusable for web use and is actually really good for proofing/viewing your negatives. But if you want to pixel peep you may want to move up to a much more expensive model. The HP scanner is however a great price for those that want something new that scans 4x5 (or 8x10 even), keeping in mind that any museum prints would be made from other scanners/services. Having a properly exposed and developed piece of film really does help though.
plus 1 to Frank
Epson 750 for up to 22inchx18 Black and whites - once you are on the top of the learning curve, colour I tend to send out for drum scanning - the Dmax is so much better, but monochrome does pretty well on a flatbed
none of the gallery owners or punters can tell the difference at this size - larger images I drum, but that only means 20 drum scans a year - more time for making pictures
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
Slightly OT (maybe): I keep seeing reference to D-Max and I know what that is. But I have a question about it. Why can't one extend scanner D-Max by making two scans... one for shadow detail and another for highlights... then do a simple two-image HDR composite?
silverfast and vuescan have optinos for doing this - multipass, however you don't always get lucky as the V750 isn't that accurate with its scanner carrier - so multiple passes can lead to blurred images
That's too bad about the V750 multipass inaccuracies? Are no fixes available for that?