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Thread: Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

  1. #1

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    I'm getting closer to buying my scanner now, and went to CompUSA to see if they stocked the so-called 'Pro' version of the 4990.

    It was previously my understanding that the 'pro' 4990 came with Silverfast software, and that the regular 4990 didn't.

    However, it seems that the regular version does come with Silverfast (SE).

    Is Silverfast SE sufficient for basic 4x5 scans? What are the limitations, vs the Full version?

    Another point: my only reason for buying locally (versus mail order) is the relative ease of returning a faulty machine if necessary. This idea, however, looks like turning a '~$400 scanner' into a $600 expenditure (if I go for the 'pro' version + sales tax), etc. etc. Where's the best/cheapest place (in US) to buy a 4990, with decent return options?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    Newegg.Com is about the best place I know to buy computer stuff. They have a great return policy, fast shipping and good prices.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  3. #3

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    I returned a printer bought at New Egg a few years ago. They were very good about it and returning it to them wasn't significantly more difficult than returning it to a local store would have been. Either way it had to be repackaged and placed in my car. The only difference was whether I drove to the post office or the local store. The only time I've had a major problem returning a defective product that was purchased by mail order was with a scanner bought from B&H, which is why I no longer deal with B&H.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #4

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    Yes, but you forgot one thing, Brian - if you take a faulty unit back to a brick & mortar store, you can go straight back home with a replacement, not have to wait another 1-2 weeks!

    Not that product return is something you want to have to figure into a purchase,but with the reputedly poor QC on these things it's something I might well consider.

    How realistic is it to hope your first 4990 will be OK? Normally I wouldn't have worried, but after reading about Kirk's Epson 4990 experiences here, I'm not so sure.

  5. #5

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    I have the regular version of the 4990. Althought it comes with Silverfast SE, I just use Epson Scan (in professional mode). I don't even know why everyone likes Silverfast so much. The only adjustments I really do is brightness - and I can do this with Epson Scan just as well. Any sharpening etc. is done in Photoshop.

    Both Silverfast and Epson Scan work very well for 4x5 chrome and B&W scans. Here's a scan I did yesterday:

    http://www.yildirimphotography.com/ladybug.html

    Did a little sharpening and levels adjustment in photoshop. I'd say it works well.

  6. #6

    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    David,

    I think Kirk's experience is not typical. If Epson was shipping products that were that bad they'd be out of business. The last three Epson scanners I've bought have been fine, first try.

    I also find the standard Epson scan driver to work very well - I see no advantage to Silverfast. I'm not saying its bad either -- its just that if cost is an issue then why pay more for something that you don't need?

    The software bundles that ship with various scanners, cameras and printers are largely marketing tools to provide price points and an attempt to differentiate one product from another. Not to say the add-ons never have value but rather that unless you can prove to yourself that there is a very real benefit to you, don't spend the extra money.

    Lets say that you do not own Photoshop and a particular device you are considering comes with full Photoshop in a bundle - you would consider this package. Although you won't see this often since Adobe does not have to give away full PS to get folks to try it and the manufacturer of your device would have to pay too much to "up-feature" the bundle package.

  7. #7

    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    I have been using the 4990 photo (i.e. not 'pro') for 120 & 4x5 scans, and have been pleased by the results (though many posts here & on photo.net conclude drum scans should yield better quality). Fine for what I want though (i.e. not masive prints!), and pretty good value for money. I just use Epson scan in professional mode, further fine tuning done in PS. One thing to watch out for: if you use the `hardware ICE' feature, it is very slow, and a memory hog on the host PC; my 2.4GHz p4 with 1 GB ram takes over an hour do to 5x4 @ 2400 dpi with ICE selected...

    Good luck...

    James

  8. #8

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    I think Kirk had an unusual problem as well. I purchased a 4990 for myself right after we received 50 of them where I work. none of the 51 have given a single problem.

    Yet.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  9. #9
    Allen Quinn's Avatar
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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    If you live in a big city and your retailer is across town, NewEgg is much more convenient. Their shipping is measured in days not weeks. Some of the large NYC photo warehouses should take customer service lessons from them.

  10. #10

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    Silverfast SE vs. Full ...and again the Epson 4990

    NewEgg keep much 8x10 film in stock? While I would like better customer service from BH and the like, when you think about the stuff they keep in inventory, I think they do a terrific job.

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