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Thread: Has anyone used the Epson 836XL?

  1. #1

    Has anyone used the Epson 836XL?

    I have the opportunity to pick one of these up with the optional transparency unit and film holders for a very nice price and I'm wondering if it would be worth the size and weight and hassle to pick up. It also uses parallel and SCSI but that's not an issue as I have several functional older computers with these connections.

    Does anyone here have any experience with scanning 4x5 and upward on this unit compared to a newer entry level Epson like the V600? There is very scant info about them and I'd love to see just one scan done on one in high quality.

    My main concern is quality compared to the V600. It's only 800 DPI so the true optical resolution is about half that of the V600's true resolution of 1560, but the unit has the ability to autofocus and adjust focus which I think may turn out sharper scans than the poor focus on the consumer Epson flatbeds. Sharpness is my biggest concern.

    The price is under $100, so I may pick it up anyway just to play around with, might even be useful for scanning large documents, but any info would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Gary

  2. #2
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone used the Epson 836XL?

    Get a V850. Outstanding scanner for 1000 bucks. And goes up to 6400dpi. Forget about the true this and that resolution or actual capability, etc. I have been using it for quite a while now and it produces excellent scans. If I want better, I will just use an enlarger.

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    Re: Has anyone used the Epson 836XL?

    I agree that the Epson 750/850 provide quite nice LF scans for the money - I've sold a lot of prints made from 750 scans.

    I get better results from the IQsmart, so I don't agree that you shouldn't consider "true this and that resolution or actual capability" because an understanding of the true capability of one's tools is IMHO pretty essential in developing a workflow that will consistently produce superior work with fewer surprises. YMMV and if it works for you that's great.

  4. #4
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone used the Epson 836XL?

    I do agree with understanding your tools capabilities. When I say forget about this and that, I am referring to all the websites, scanner wars all purporting to show a certain scanner is not as good as advertised and that the advertised capabilities is only for marketing purposes. This is why I did the below. To understand my scanner and find its optimum sweet spot. Now I am scanning straight my images from this year to find out the best settings for Vuescan and how to capture the best scan possible. What I can say is, is that it is not a set it and forget about. Each negative can require a change in brightness, red, green or blue gain setting, etc. And yes, to my surprise, the V850 allows for the changing of the red, green and blue sensitivities (gain)

    I have made scans (of target) at 300dpi interval starting at 2100 all the way up to 6300 and found a steady improvement all the way in sharpness, clarity etc. S

    I have very carefully set my focus, use wet scanning with Betterscanning holder, while using Vuescan, as I have found it is the best interface I have found over the years. I also do not believe in scanning at the size print you want to make. Again, I want to make one scan at highest resolution I can and work on it at that resolution, save that as my working file and make whatever size print I want from that archive file.

    I save the original scan as the master or archive file. This way I only touch negative once.

    That said, whatever works for someone, I would not try to change that. Nor anyone elses opinion of IQ, etc. If whatever one does works for them, I am all for it.

    PS,
    Let's not turn this into another scanner war thread.

  5. #5

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    Re: Has anyone used the Epson 836XL?

    No scanner wars here - everybody gravitates to what works for them.Thanks for clarifying - I agree with you.

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