View Full Version : Yet another Question Scanjet G4050 vs Epson V700

20-Dec-2012, 11:04
Hello all.. New Boy here.. first post so no shouting at me and no de bagging.

Heres my Q.. I shoot 4x5 film.. only 4x5 nothing smaller ever..

How much resolution do i really need in a scanner. My work is usually printed actual size. ie I would in the past do 4x5 contact prints and display them in larger frames with a ton o white around them. Or put them in "artist" books.

OK so do I need a really fine scanner a la v700.. I can't find a discussion about the need for DPI..

If there is one please link me or give me a thread name..

Thank you all. BTW I love this forum.

20-Dec-2012, 11:12
We are a pretty friendly group here ... color or only BW?

people mostly like big... bigger the better on average...i use 16x20 mats for my 11x14s.... scan at the highest that is confortable for your computer. If your computer takes more than 5 seconds to load an image into Photoshop or Lightroom scan at a lower resolution. You might want to consider a Epson V750... it scans faster, includes color management, and wet mount for your 4x5 scans......

oh and welcome

20-Dec-2012, 11:33
The quetion is about how great a resolution one needs. I have read elswhere that people don't use the full res of the V700 on LF Negs. The Scanjet G4050 scans at 4200 by 4200.. is that high enough.. How much better results can be got from a scanner that is twice the price.. More is not always better. Anyone have comparison of both scanners at 4200 ??

20-Dec-2012, 12:05
"More is not always better" Yea it is.... when i scan a negative, i only want to scan it once... i then use the scan to make prints and JPGs ...different resolutions are needed. Screen dpi is between 72 to 96 ...then what ever your printer is.... no matter the dpi the printer software squishes it down to the size your printing at. Now the limits to the resolution are based on your computer speed, size limitations and there is a practical limit that that it is bigger than you would ever need. For a 4x5 neg BW its around 600 1200 dpi for color it would be on the lower end because you are scanning more color info. I hardly use the max resolution on my v750, and when i do its BW 35mm negs. Your scanner is 4200? thats is way more than you need for a 4x5 neg. You do not need really hi resolution to make really good scans from a 4x5 neg.

20-Dec-2012, 12:18
So are we saying that there is nothing much to be gained from going with a v700 over the much less expensive HP G4050 for scanning 4x5 negatives. ??

Anyone else have thoughts..

20-Dec-2012, 12:25
I look it up.... hp4050 looks like a cool scanner

Lon Overacker
20-Dec-2012, 18:02
I've had the G4050 since it came out and have scanned 100's of color transparencies (mostly in the Velvia family.) I scan normally at 1200, 2400 if I need anything bigger than a 20" print. I don't even know the max optical resolution (very likely NOT 4200 - btw, it can go up to 9600 via software extrapolation - not sure why anyone would do that, but anyway...) I also don't know the DR, which I'm pretty sure is NOT very good.

Having said that, I have very nice prints done for a gallery show printed to ~20x24 that I was very, very happy with. Only a couple people have seen these prints in person, and so like anything, it's all relative to what one deems as acceptable quality. There are also many other factors. V50 with blocked up shadows will scan like crap, no matter what flatbed we're talking about. So, starting with quality transparencies with reasonable contrast/DR to start with and you can get excellent results. The other factor is the processing after the fact. If you're pretty proficient in processing scans in PS, you can get excellent results. I know teenie web versions can't give anyone a very good idea about print quality, but every image on my website since about 2007 was scanned withthe G4050. Check the "new work" link if you want to see the latest scans and processing.

I personally don't have any experience with the Epsons or Microteks, but clearly you can get quality scans from those scanners as well as many folks here can attest. I just wanted to post to say that for $200 you can potentially get excellent results. YMMV.

Feel free to drop me a PM if you have additional questions.


20-Dec-2012, 21:59
Lon, thanks so much. If this scanner makes my photos look as good as yours, I'm buying two of them!

I actually have been trying to decide on a decent scanner and had never even considered HP. They are actually selling for $165.00 with free shipping at: http://shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Printers/HP-Scanjet-and-HP-Fax/L1957A?HP-Scanjet-G4050-Photo-Scanner&srccode=cii_23393768&cpncode=35-12875393-2&aoid=41841

I checked the specs and it will even work with the older operating systems!

I may just have to buy myself one for Christmas!


Light Guru
20-Dec-2012, 22:15
I have a G4050 at home and use a V750 at work. The V750 scans a LOT faster and the Epsom scan software is also much better then the HP scan software. I ended up purchasing viewscan because the HP scan software is was lacking.

If you can afford the V750 I would definitely go with that.

20-Dec-2012, 22:52
Thanks for all the replies folks..

Here is a question for Light Guru.. I have ViewScan.. I think it is sort of a basic requirement these days .. so the proprietary Epson or HP software is not even an issue when choosing a scanner. The only difference you have stated is that the V700 is faster.. I expose a maximum of 12 sheets of film when I am out shooting, so scanner speed is another non issue. So why are you saying definitely go with the V750.. just cause its faster ??

21-Dec-2012, 06:24
V750...mmm lets see.....is it just faster?...It comes with; color management, Vuescan and Silverfast bundle, adjustable neg carriers, a wet carrier...oh and really good and fast scans.... did i mention firewire capable... And the Epson software is not that bad, especially when you need to scan 60 or 100 35mm negs.... Lots of computer memory would be a help along with a 64bit system MAC or PC....

21-Dec-2012, 06:55
Well my last question was directed to Light Guru .. And BTW who was it who said .. "I look it up.... hp4050 looks like a cool scanner"

The key question I guess is do we see an appreciable difference in the output of these two scanners for my purpose. ie short runs (6 to 12 at a time) of 4x5 BW neg scanning. What is the difference in quality of output not speed or do dads,, but baring in mind that both scanners have two lenses and can scan up to at least 4200 DPI, what the scans look like.

Tobias Key
21-Dec-2012, 08:01
I've had a G4050 for a number of years, before that I had a Epson 4990. The G4050 does not come close to resolving to it's headline resolution but is fine at 1200 dpi which is enough for 4x5. One thing I have noticed is that the scanner is set up to focus on the glass of the scanner so if you lay negatives flat on the scanning bed you get slightly sharper scans but with the risk of newton rings. I got it on the basis that for really good scans I would get drum or imacon scans from a lab so the G4050 was a proofing scanner. It is absolutely fine for this purpose. If you want to see some sample scans I can send you some jpegs.

21-Dec-2012, 08:27
So are you saying that for 4x5 it will output a scan in the same realm of resolution as the v700 ??

21-Dec-2012, 08:40
So are we saying that there is nothing much to be gained from going with a v700 over the much less expensive HP G4050 for scanning 4x5 negatives. ??

Anyone else have thoughts..

Don't forget to look in to what features of VueScan are available with the HP scanner. With the V700 in VueScan you can do a lot of advanced stuff for tricky negs.

So are you saying that for 4x5 it will output a scan in the same realm of resolution as the v700 ??

Possible... the bigger it is, the easier it is to scan. When scanning 8x10s I can just throw the film on the glass and I get heaps of resolution. With smaller sizes, I have to use very precise holders to get good resolution, etc.

21-Dec-2012, 10:06
I have Vuescan.. are there different options available with each scanner.. hmm I had not thought about that.. I wonder how I can check

Lon Overacker
21-Dec-2012, 12:31
Bryan - Thanks!

Brooklyn, Just for grins, I'm wanted to show an example of a recent scan. This can be printed ~28" on the long side at 300dpi. I personally would have no problems printing at this size. Any bigger, or if you're really a stickler for detail, of course a drum scan. Now, before I go in to any details, I just want to be clear that I have no doubt: a higher priced and higher quality scanner will likely produce a better scan, more detail, better dynamic range. The HP supplied software has adequate controls, but other more expensive software may have more features. The HP G4050 is probably slower (preview scans are fast though.) Also, to be clear I have never scanned a neg, only color transparencies. The supplied holder is adequate and holds the film off the glass avoiding the newton rings. I can't confirm where the focus point is as it's not in any of the documentation, but Tobias could very well be correct, that the focus point is on the glass. Film, by it's nature is not exactly flat and so there is that to consider as well; only a drum scanner can fix that, or wet mounting between two pieces of glass to flatten out the film.

Anyway.... I'm only chiming in about the G4050 because it CAN and DOES produce excellent scans, for most situations. The OP mentioned he would mostly be printing full size, 4x5 prints. What the intended use and output is really a big part in considering the scanner. Heck, a 4x5" print, I think the limiting factor in that case is probably your printer anyway and the HP scanner will be more than adequate! I think the G4050 is a bit more capable than a "proofing scanner," but clearly, it's not going to beat or compare point by point with more expensive and dedicated flatbed scanners. Just want to be clear that the scanner is what it is; for non-museum quality, personal scans and prints as big as 28", quality transparencies and good scanning practices make a difference, and you can't do any better for a scanner that's less than $200! When I started scanning my own slides, if money was no object, I would have bought a better solution, no doubt. But guess what, I'm not made of money. I can't hardly afford film any more... (different story, different thread.) So in the end, I'm happy and able to use this scanner very effectively.

To this image. Scanned at 2400ppi, but only at 75% of full size. My PC just can't handle any bigger files when you start tacking on layers. This produced a 320MB, 16bit tif file, 8335x6689px. The attached image is the straight scan. The only thing I've done is resize and sharpen for the web, no processing. The inset is 1000px, not sharpened or anything, just saved for the web at quality 10 jpg. Oh, film is Velvia, Nikkor 300mm if that matters.

Forgetting all the numbers for a second, I think we would all agree that viewing this stuff on the web, resizing, jpg compression all that stuff, is no comparison to actually having a full size print in front of you. Also, anyone who works with scans figures out quickly that what you see on your screen when working these scan files, is actually rather disappointing relative to what that slide looks like on a lightbox, under a loupe. ;-)

Having said all that, here ya go:



If anyone wants additional info, feel free to PM me.

21-Dec-2012, 13:31
Very helpful.. Thanks for that.. I think the answer is to snap up one o these HP scanners and put the rest of the dough towards the Horseman FA I have been dreamiing about.. My sad ole Meridian has seen better days..

21-Dec-2012, 13:55
I use the HP also. Software is absolute crap. Dust & scratch removal works well, but I can't scan 8x10s at 2400dpi using that because I'll run out of memory (32-bit program, I have lots of memory in my puter). Doesn't do all that well with very dense negs (forget Velvia 50, as someone said).

That being said, I've scanned several thousand transparencies with it, I've gotten excellent results when I take the time to do it right.

22-Dec-2012, 20:59
Brooklyn, do I understand you're talking about black and white only, and printing at the actual size of the negative?

You simply don't have to worry about resolution. Any scanner will go way beyone the resolution that will make a difference to human eyes. If you're doing color, especially transparencies, then dynamic range becomes an issue. It takes a very good scanner to handle the highest densities. But normal black and white negs are a piece of cake.

I have contact size prints made from desktop scans (epson 4870) that are visibly sharper and show every bit as much detail as darkroom contact prints from the same negatives. These were scanned at quite high resolutions on general principle, but could have been scanned lower. The v700 would be more than adequate to the task.

Because I was printing at larger sizes also, I scanned at the maximum sampling rate of the scanner (4800 lpi) and had my software (vuescan) automatically downsample to 2400, which is just a little bit past the scanner's optical resolution. This reduces noise and guarantees I'm getting everything that can be got. I wet-mounted to float glass and used shims to put the emulsion right at the focal plane. I seriously doubt these last steps would be important for contact-size prints.

22-Dec-2012, 23:15
YEAH Just 4x5 nothing smaller and the biggest enlargement would be to 8x10.. But 90 percent of the time I make prints that are actual size. Also the 4x5 size is great for the 8x10 format books that Blub outputs... I think I said before.. I use vuescan..