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Thread: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

  1. #1

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    Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Over the years I have seen so many questions floating about regarding how high the negative has to be above the scanner glass for max sharpness.

    I have been thinking about this for some time.

    Scanner lens
    We know that the Epson Vx has two types of lens, one so called Low Resolution used for scanning directly off the scanner glass and one so called High Resolution lens which is used when scanning from a film holder. The High Resolution Lens only scans an area of 9.7 x 5.7 ins.

    No Auto Focus
    We know that the Epson has no auto focus and by moving the negative closer or further away from the lens is going to affect the focus.

    Adjusting The Film Holder
    Epson supplied film holders can be adjusted up or down slightly to move the negative closer or further away from the lens.
    Third Party holders such as Better Scanning Holders also have an option to adjust the holders height which in effect moves the negative closer or further away

    People have come up with all sorts of heights which claim to be the optimal height for max sharpness.

    Epson Fluid Mount Holder
    Epson also offer what they call a Fluid Mount Holder which allows you to wet scan the negative.
    The holder is of a fixed height which when I measured mine roughly places the negative 3mm above the scanner glass and has no adjusting options.

    This leads me to this question ...

    If the fluid holder has no adjusting options, doesn't this mean that the holder during design is optimised for the correct height so therefore why have the option to adjust the non fluid holders.

  2. #2
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Keep in mind the effect that any transparent material between the film and the scanner glass alters the focus.

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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Keep in mind the effect that any transparent material between the film and the scanner glass alters the focus.
    I can agree with that but having that transparent material between the film and glass should in theory keep the film flat which may be a better option than not been able to keep it flat

  4. #4
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    I don;t know the answer to your question. It could be that they picked what supposed to be the optimal height.

    But what I noticed a couple of days ago about my film holders for my V850, is that there is a little arrow at the second from the lowest setting for height. The other 5 little marks for other height settings are little rectangles. Only the 1 of the six has an arrow instead of a rectangle (You have to look closely.) Why? Is that supposed to be Epson's default focus point setting?

  5. #5

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    Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    I donít have an answer but what I can say is that I got tired of this ó adjusting levels periodically with the betterscanning solution, etc (because the adjustments arenít permanent, they change over time, with temperature, etc). Such a pain.

    So I only scan directly on the scanner glass, with an etched glass on top of the film to avoid rings, which also keeps it flat, and accept the ~15% loss or so in resolution that the smaller-area higher-res sensor offers (itís only a loss for 4x5, since thatís the only option for 8x10), and also gave up on whatever supposed benefits come with wet scanning (which are not dramatic in my own evaluation). I donít shoot smaller formats.

    I have never seen a degradation/issue this way over time, and simplifies my workflow significantly.

    If I need to extract the last drop out of a negative I send it out for drum scanning.

  6. #6

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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    But what I noticed a couple of days ago about my film holders for my V850, is that there is a little arrow at the second from the lowest setting for height. The other 5 little marks for other height settings are little rectangles. Only the 1 of the six has an arrow instead of a rectangle (You have to look closely.) Why? Is that supposed to be Epson's default focus point setting?
    Not sure, but after testing scans at all of the height settings, I settled on the 2nd notch-- the one with the arrows. So perhaps that's what Epson calibrates for.

  7. #7
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by grat View Post
    Not sure, but after testing scans at all of the height settings, I settled on the 2nd notch-- the one with the arrows. So perhaps that's what Epson calibrates for.
    On my 4x5 holders, I checked the focus and one settled on the arrow and the other in the middle. One 35mm settle in the middle and I forget where the MF best was.

  8. #8
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by grat View Post
    Not sure, but after testing scans at all of the height settings, I settled on the 2nd notch-- the one with the arrows. So perhaps that's what Epson calibrates for.
    I did a search and proved you're right. 3mm is the default adjustment point for their high resolution lens on the V850. Of course, it might pay to check each height the first time. I did and found the center was the best on one or two holders. But that could just be my eyes or maybe the film type. Who knows? But I did see a difference.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Clipboard01.jpg  

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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I did a search and proved you're right. 3mm is the default adjustment point for their high resolution lens on the V850. Of course, it might pay to check each height the first time. I did and found the center was the best on one or two holders. But that could just be my eyes or maybe the film type. Who knows? But I did see a difference.
    That probably count s for why the Wet Plane holder is set to 3mm

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Epson V800 Height Above Glass

    and some just don't care

    I just lay my 5X7, 8X10 and 11X14 on the glass, topping with AN if needed for flatness

    I do use the double 4X5 Epson & MF strip carriers

    I scan prints flat on glass and that works well
    Tin Can

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