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Thread: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Kit?

  1. #1

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    Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Kit?

    I have a large number of 4x5 Fuji Provia 100 transparencies and 4x5 Kodak Ektar 100 negatives, as well as a large number of 6x17/6x12 medium format Fuji Velvia 50 transparencies and 6x17/6x12 Kodak Ektar 100 negatives that Iíve been taking and had processed over the past year. Theyíve been sitting in my cabinet for a while now, so Iíd like to finally move on with them and get them scanned, edited, and printed.

    Since Iím a relatively impecunious MFA photography student, Iím trying to get the very best quality scan for the dollar, so that I have the option to print large Gursky/Struth/Jeff Wall-like prints, hopefully with as little loss of resolution as possible. Unfortunately, my school doesnít offer much in terms of scanning. :/

    I have the option to use the X1 Flextight Imacon scanner for $30 per hour, or borrow an Epson V850 flatbed scanner, but have to purchase the Epson wet plate mount and a Aztek wet mount kit. I can also sink basically all of what little money I have into drum scanning at about $60 per 4x5 negative/transparency and $50 per 6x12/6x17 medium format negative/transparency.

    The final goal in to have (hopefully) amazing large scale prints on the order 6í x 8í, very roughly speaking.

    Right now, Iím leaning towards the Epson V850 w/Epson wet plate mount and Aztek wet mount kit, especially since Iíve heard itís relatively close (but I suppose not quite that close) to drum scanning, but Iím not yet sure.

    What have you guys tried and/or recommend?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Right now, I’m leaning towards the Epson V850 w/Epson wet plate mount and Aztek wet mount kit, especially since I’ve heard it’s relatively close (but I suppose not quite that close) to drum scanning, but I’m not yet sure.
    I'll keep things simple: it isn't. Nowhere near in fact. You will get obfuscation and dishonesty from some desperate defenders of the Epson but the reality is that any 2000ppi scan from a high end CCD/ Imacon/ drum scanner blows the results from a consumer flatbed out of the water.

    If truly skilfully operated, some drum scans might be better than you can achieve with the Imacon, however, a bad operator can make things look far worse than a competently operated Hasselblad/ Imacon. The massive advantage of the Imacon/ Hasselblad is that you have control over it & thus can get the best possible scan it can deliver. I can send a summary of squeezing the best possible results out from one - & how to scan 120 at the 6300ppi resolution - it isn't difficult to do. Just bear in mind that Gursky etc often don't care as much about seemingly unpleasant digital artefacts in their images as you might assume.

  3. #3

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Make a side by side... and decide.

    Resolving Power:


    For 4x5" the Epson has a well higher resolving power, for MF The X1 is slightly better, for 35mm the X1 is much better.

    This happens because the EPSON has a much better sensor +40,000 Pix, while the X1 has a sensor with only 8,000Pix. But the epson takes 5.9" with the lens, while the X1 can optically Zoom In to take only 1" with the 8000 Pix. The larger the format the better situation for the Epson.

    When you scan a 4x5" with the X1 those 8000Pix spreaded in 4" deliver 2,000 pixels per inch, with effective optical resolving power of perhaps 1800dpi in the horizontal axis and 1600 in the vertical axis, while the Epson scans true 6400dpi delivering 2900dpi effective in the horizontal axis and 2300 in the vertical axis.

    As the format is smaller the X1 has the advantage from the zoom-in, in MF is slightly better: https://petapixel.com/2017/05/01/160...s-500-scanner/


    Sharpening:

    The X1 has a very good digital sharpenig, with the Epson you have to do it in Photoshop, I prefer a raw scan and sharpening manually in Ps, but YMMV.


    DMax


    If you have very, very dense areas in the slidesand want to recover detail there (not always the case) then the X1 is superior, but with the Epson you may use Multi-Exposure in the bundled SilverFast software (Epson Scan software lacks it) which make a very good job with dense areas that IMHO it's enough for most of the situations. https://www.silverfast.com/highlight...posure/en.html

    Negative color film (Ektar) and BW have no problems with high densities, only slides have densities that are challenging.


    Color

    Both machines are IT8 calibrated, so color has to be very close, all patches in the IT8 target deliver the same calibrated RGB values.

    If you want to control color use 3D LUT Creator software.


    Other

    A choice you have is borrowing the Epson and reserving some budget for 4000dpi drum scans for some 4x5" sheets deserving it.

    Not all shots will be equally sharp, use a x40 loupe to see what's in the negative, those shots that are "technically perfect" and have very high densities may deserve a 4000 dpi drum scan, if the print is large enough.



    _______________

    1) So make side by side comparisons,

    2) Scan some with the Epson, some with the X1 and some with a 4000dpi drum service.

  4. #4

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    I'll keep things simple: it isn't. Nowhere near in fact. You will get obfuscation and dishonesty from some desperate defenders of the Epson but the reality is that any 2000ppi scan from a high end CCD/ Imacon/ drum scanner blows the results from a consumer flatbed out of the water.
    We may ask that the OP posts his side by side when he can. It can be really interesting.

    BTW you may review that: https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-Drum-Scanners

    In particular this post: https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1479178


    A V700 side by side of a Epson V700 with:

    >> Scanmate 11000
    >> Creo/Scitex Eversmart Supreme
    >> Creo/Scitex Eversmart Pro


    Not necessary to say that Scanmate 11000 is a drum.


    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    desperate defenders of
    X1/X5 owners can feel desperate. Hasselblad has been purchased by chinese Drone manufacturer DJI, and those expensive scanners are now discontiued, will see what happens with service quality... beyond traditional service cost...


    ______________________


    OP, get something like this, an HEPA purifier to remove dust:


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	61eU2CJq37L._SL1000_.jpg 
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ID:	196957

  5. #5

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Hi Pere

    I get it - we all get it. You like the Epson. Good. If it works for you that's great. I don't think it's a bad scanner. I've sold a bunch of prints made from Epson scans and if I didn't think they were good prints I wouldn't have sold them.

    Nowadays I'm using a Creo IQsmart 2. I picked it over a drum scanner because the drum workflow isn't something that suits me.

    The Creo is a better scanner. A much better scanner. I find it easier to get satisfactory prints from Creo scans than I ever did from Epson scans. I made my first prints in 1944. I've studied with a lot of top notch photographers including St Ansel. I know what a good print (silver or ink jet) looks like. I've made good prints from just about anything with a lens. The question isn't whether or not one makes good prints with camera X or scanner Y or whatever. They're all just tools and if you understand your tools, their advantages, and their shortcomings, then you can make good prints from most of them. Better tools make your work easier. The Creo is a better tool than the Epson. I'm old and tired enough that doing things more easily outweighs doing things more cheaply and with more difficulty. YMMV

  6. #6

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    The Creo is a better tool than the Epson. YMMV
    Hello Jim, yes, I'm pretty sure that a Creo (because it zooms, it focus and it stitches) is a superior machine than a V850, no doubt, the question is when it makes a difference.

    This side by side was not made by me, it was made by Pali, a V700, 2 Creos, and an Scanmate drum, so for Portra MF (and larger format) we have no difference, for any print size:



    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1479178

    Well, there is a difference, the older Creo is a bit worse than the other three, that are equal.



    _____


    OP was asking V700 vs X1, The X1 sports insane 6300dpi effective for 35mm but only 1500dpi effective for 5x7", insted the V850 sports 2900-2300 (x-y) in all formats from 35mm to 5x7",

    ... so I guess I gave an accurate answer to OP, saying in what situations a machine is better than the other.


    _____


    What I learned, about the hybrid workflow, it's that edition technique it's way more important than the scanner itself. Sharpening alone is a full scientific body, and color management another one.


    _____


    Here is this forum it was common to hear that the V700 was total crap and that it even had "plastic lenses", but it sports a +40,000 pix sensor taking 5.9" x 2900 = 17,000 effective pixels in a single pass, look, a lens to taking 17,000 effective pix in a row it is a very, very good lens, and also it has to be very well optimized for the fixed working distance.


    So let's see what is Hype and what is real performance, to me the reference is the side by side made by Pali, he is an honest guy knowing what is a scanner and how it is used to its best, beyond his color management skills. If somebody wants to challenge that side by side then I'm fully open to debate it.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 30-Oct-2019 at 04:37.

  7. #7
    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Black and white is not equal to color negatives and color positives are a whole different beast when it comes to digitizing using a scanner. I am the one who posted the example Pere referenced BTW.

    You want the best, go with a reputable drum scanner and youíll not doubt your decision why you did that ever. I promise.

    Never used and X1 but only heard great things about it but can vouch for Creo/SCITEX high-end flatbeds that are close to drum quality.

    I probably wonít post anything else but feel free to PM me if you want any more thoughts on this directly.

    Pali

  8. #8

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by Pali K View Post
    Black and white is not equal to color negatives and color positives are a whole different beast when it comes to digitizing using a scanner. I am the one who posted the example Pere referenced BTW.
    First, OP is to scan color, so your side by side is pretty useful for him, in special for Ektar. The side by side says that the EPSON is totally suitable for his work, isn't it?



    Quote Originally Posted by Pali K View Post
    Black and white is not equal to color negatives and color positives are a whole different beast when it comes to digitizing using a scanner. I am the one who posted the example Pere referenced BTW.

    It would be very interesting if you would finish that side by side tests, as it was initially planned, we have seen yet that the EPSON equals those top notch scanners for MF and LF color negative film, it would be great to see what difference you find with BW film.

    It was a little surprise for some that the EPSON could perform that good in that color side by side, perhaps the V700 may deserve you give it the opportunity to show what it does in LF BW, in a well controlled side by side.

    I'm pretty sure that it would also be a surprise for some.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 30-Oct-2019 at 09:05.

  9. #9

    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Camera scan. My Panasonic S1R makes a 155mp image from 4x5 sheets in seconds. The quality is incredible, and you'll be done in a few hours as opposed to days. Camera scanning makes the X1 obsolete is my legitimate hot take here.

  10. #10

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    Re: Should I Drum Scan, X1 Flextight Scan, or use the Epson V850 w/Aztek Wet Mount Ki

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    Camera scan. My Panasonic S1R makes a 155mp image from 4x5 sheets in seconds. The quality is incredible, and you'll be done in a few hours as opposed to days. Camera scanning makes the X1 obsolete is my legitimate hot take here.
    Yes... camera scans will make both flatbeds and drums obsolete, debate finished

    Still we lack an industrial solution, many DIY setups are no optimal systems. For your 155Mp image it should be found how many of those pix are effective, only a fraction will be.

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