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Thread: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

  1. #1

    Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    Hi, I'm new to this forum but not to large format photography, which I've done since the 1970s. Recently, I started using 5x7, mostly Ilford Delta 100 BW film in that size, but now scanned rather than wet-printed as previously

    Initially, I had some difficulties getting a really in-focus scan of 5x7 film with an Epson V850 using both the included Epson Scan program and VueScan. Mostly, the difficulty arose from the lack of 5x7 film holders that would properly register with the scanner's film holder mode Aside from some wet/dry mounts that involve taping the negative to the ANR glass, I found no easy, commercially available 5x7 solutions for home processing and scanning.

    I did find a highly satisfactory work-around and want to pass along the information in the hope that it will save others from similar initial hassles. Basically, I constructed my own 5x7 film holder for the Epson scanner by deconstructing and then revising a dual 4x5 Epson 4990 film holder.

    Here's what I did: On Ebay, I bought a new Epson 4990 film holder that was set up to scan two 4x5 negatives at a time. I then carefully cut out the center cross-piece between the two 4x5 sections. I also cut the inner edges of the top-clamps for each 4x5 aperture. Use a very thin hacksaw blade carefully to ensure that only the minimum necessary material is removed in the saw kerf. You'll need that tight fit when you relocate the cut segment to the 7" point and epoxy it into place so that the aperture and edge supports exactly fit a 5x7 negative on the 7" side as well as the 5" sides.

    Using a Dremel tool, smooth down any raised areas that interfere with negative seating and with top-clamp locking. The remaining portions of both partially-cut top-clamp pieces should close and lock normally. Epoxy part of one of the removed top-clamp segments to bridge the cut, otherwise unsupported, ends of the two 4x5 clamps, basically so that they form a single longer top-clamp and move simultaneously, supporting each other.

    The cut-out section of the second top-clamp is used loose and separately as a friction fit top clamp on the second 5" edge that was part of the center section moved and epoxied at 7 inches. As a means to hold down the remaining 5" edge on the relocated center piece, that removable friction fit piece works well if your initial cuts are smooth and fit snugly.

    I now had a 5x7 film holder that registered properly as a film holder of the right height in the Epson V850's central 5" high resolution scanning area and that supported the Ilford Delta 100 5x7 negatives quite flatly without requiring ANR glass on top.

    Scanning with both VueScan and Epson scan produced very good to excellent edge to edge sharpness when using the makeshift 5x7 film holder at 2400, 3200, and 6400 resolutions and at most VueScan manual focus ranges from -.36 to +.74.

    Using this makeshift 5x7 film holder, I judged that VueScan's manual focus seemed best at +.56. Scans at 2400 dpi and at 3200 dpi resolutions seemed to work best. I judged that the 2400 dpi scan had marginally better tonal separation on Delta 100. 6400 dpi scans had excellent sharpness but low acutance, even after strong post-processing in Lightroom. The test images, made with a Fujinon 210/5.6 NWS lens were sharp at 1:1 even when scanned at 6400 dpi inherent resolution but I did not particularly like the tonal quality at 6400 dpi.

    Hence, my judgment was that the best 5x7 BW negative scans on the V850 scanner with VueScan seemed to be at manual focus +.56 and 2400 or 3200 dpi. With Epson Scan, setting the film holder setting, with or without setting 6400 dpi (which activates the high-resolution lens system), resulted in good focus.

    On a 5x7 negative, 2400 dpi works out to making 40"x 56" digital prints at full native 300 dpi print resolution without any interpolation needed. Luckily, Delta 100 and the Fujinon NWS 210mm lens had ample native resolution.

  2. #2

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    Is it possible to lay 5x7 negatives on the scanner like prints and simply scan them? I was told to use 24-bit-color and at 300 dpi. I just want to digitize all my 45, 57, WP and 810 and larger negatives and won't do large digital prints.

    I struggled for a few hours this afternoon and don't know what to do.

  3. #3

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    I would avoid setting the negs directly on the glass if possible. In addition to Mr. Kashi's excellent solution, I made a decent 5x7 neg holder out of two pieces of mat board.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    Is it possible to lay 5x7 negatives on the scanner like prints and simply scan them? I was told to use 24-bit-color and at 300 dpi. I just want to digitize all my 45, 57, WP and 810 and larger negatives and won't do large digital prints.

    I struggled for a few hours this afternoon and don't know what to do.

  4. #4

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    I have just read somewhere that a sheet of undeveloped but fixed 8x10 film could be used as a spacer placed directly on the scanner glass and then the 8x10 negative to be placed shining side down. Does this work? I would find some 5x7, WP and 8x10 blank negatives as spacers.

  5. #5
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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    Is it possible to lay 5x7 negatives on the scanner like prints and simply scan them?
    Yes. Emulsion side down. That's what I do.

    IMO 300 samples per inch is too low if one intends to print the scans, but with sheet film there are difficult tradeoffs to be made between scan resolution and file size / file manageability. You should make your own decision about what works best for you by making a set of scans at different settings up to the maximum and judging the results and the handling burdens for yourself.

  6. #6

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    I have just read somewhere that a sheet of undeveloped but fixed 8x10 film could be used as a spacer placed directly on the scanner glass and then the 8x10 negative to be placed shining side down.
    Perhaps this would be suitable for the 4990 scanner but not for the V700 - V850 series.

    The V850 has two lenses, when you use the area guide you may scan two sheets on glass (with emusion down, as mentioned, to avoid newton rings) as that frame may take a 8x10 negative and the Low Res lens is used. The High Res is used when a holder is detected and it covers only 5.9" maximum width.

    The High Res Lens has an effective optical yield of 2900pi in the horizontal axis and 2300dpi in the vertical one, while the Low Res lens has a proportionally lower yield, around 2200 to 1900dpi effective (X-Y) that anyway it's an insane amount of image quality from a 5x7 sheet.

    The HighRes lens is focused some mm over the glass, where the holders place the film. The LowRes lens is focused on the glass bed surface.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    I have just read somewhere that a sheet of undeveloped but fixed 8x10 film could be used as a spacer placed directly on the scanner glass and then the 8x10 negative to be placed shining side down.
    Perhaps this was good for the preceding 4990 model, it has a single lens that probably is focused in an intermediate position, to work acceptably both for mediums placed on bed and also for mediums raised by the holder, but IMHO placing that extra sheet makes no sense for scan on glass with the V850 area guide. What you may do is wet mounting your film directly on bed glass.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    I was told to use 24-bit-color and at 300 dpi.
    As Oren pointed, 300 is too low ! If on bed, scan it 2400 dpi at least, better if 3200. You want always a good quality for edition, after edition you donwnsample to the suitable size for the printer (use "bicubic ideal for reductions" setting).

    Don't scan 24-bit-color !!! this is 8 bits per channel only, with 256 levels as you modify the curves you soon will obtain a nasty banding.

    Scan single channel grayscale at 16 bits per channel, and save it in TIFF format (BMP nd jpg will only save 8bits/ch), you have 65k gray levels and you always have smooth tonal transitions.

  7. #7

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Kashi View Post
    Here's what I did: .....
    I guess that the scans (and prints) have to be impressive... the V850 shines is 5x7" format if a holder can be provided !!!

    That solution (hacking 4x5 holders for 5x7) is not new, but it's really great to know that the solution works nicely, and having the details.

    It would be great if you would post a LowRes sample image with a HighRes 100% crop. That scan has to be 230MPix "effective" worth... which is an insane amount in "effective" terms.

  8. #8

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    12-15 years ago a user here came up with the solution. Buy two sheets of anti-glare picture frame glass cut to the scanner glass size. Put down the Edson 8x10 mask and put one glass on top, etched side up. Add the negative, then weight it down with the second glass, etched side down. Easy. Very rarely any Newton’s rings. Works up to 8x10. And yes, it uses to lower lens, but I don’t think there’s a way around that.

  9. #9

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by j.e.simmons View Post
    And yes, it uses to lower lens, but I don’t think there’s a way around that.
    By simply Selecting “Film (w/ Film Holder)” in the software it activates the higher resolution (SHR) lens.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1486835

  10. #10

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    Re: Epson V850 work-around for scanning 5x7 negatives.

    I wet scanned a lot of 5 x 7 on my 750 and never needed a piece of tape. I used the mounting station and carrier and fluid mounted the neg face down under a piece of the mounting plastic I got from Aztek using their Kami fluid. Average time to mount a 5 X 7 was under 30 seconds. Fastest that I actually timed was 23 seconds.

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