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Thread: Epson Scan assistance

  1. #1

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    Epson Scan assistance

    I recently purchased a slightly used Epson 4870. I am using the packaged Epson scan software. I was wondering what settings you use for the 4x5 negatives. Since I will be post processing, I suspect I want an unsharpened, flat image. But since I have only done DSLR scanning of medium format and 35mm negatives, I am not sure what settings give the best results with a flatbed scanner. Any assistance would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    Hey Rich, I'm a beginner myself with flatbed scanning (and the rest of this workflow) but thought I'd let you know that I turn everything off except the unsharp mask, which is set to medium.
    For 4x5 I generally scan at 3200dpi (for all negative sizes, actually).

    One point is that for Document type, I use "film with area guide" instead of "film with film holder" as the latter was cutting off usable negative on 4x5 especially.
    Another one is that if your film holders are adjustable for height, take the time to do that! It makes a difference.

    I don't do any post processing other than levels adjustments, and my results probably arent at the level that you're interested in, so please take all of that with a healthy teaspoon of salt
    Horseman L45

    Fujinon 90mm SW
    Schneider Krueznach Symmar-S 135mm
    Rodenstock ApoRonar 300mm

  3. #3

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    Our member Ken Lee has scanning information on his website.
    https://kenleegallery.com/html/tech/scanning.html

  4. #4

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    First, I would suggest determining what the real optical resolution of your scanner is; it's probably not what the manufacturer claims. For the actual scanning, I recommend scanning to a linear file, then converting with the ColorPerfect plugin (https://www.colorperfect.com/colorneg.html?lang=en). Since I use Silverfast Ai, I don't know if Epson Scan will allow you to scan to a linear file, but the aforementioned website will have info about that. If Epson scan won't work, there's always Vuescan for a very reasonable cost.

  5. #5
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by John Power View Post
    Hey Rich, I'm a beginner myself with flatbed scanning (and the rest of this workflow) but thought I'd let you know that I turn everything off except the unsharp mask, which is set to medium.
    For 4x5 I generally scan at 3200dpi (for all negative sizes, actually).

    One point is that for Document type, I use "film with area guide" instead of "film with film holder" as the latter was cutting off usable negative on 4x5 especially.
    Another one is that if your film holders are adjustable for height, take the time to do that! It makes a difference.

    I don't do any post processing other than levels adjustments, and my results probably arent at the level that you're interested in, so please take all of that with a healthy teaspoon of salt
    When using a V850, do you know if the scanner still uses the better film holder lens if you checked "film with area guide" rather than "film with film holder" ? Or does it revert to using the more inferior glass platen lens as when you scan 8x10 film.

  6. #6

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    I have the same model Epson 4870 scanner, and have been using it quite a bit over the last year or so. I've been pretty happy with the performance on both 4x5 and medium format. Yes, it's an older model, but I haven't had any major complaints.

    I dowmloaded the latest version of the Epson software from the Epson site. I'm also using an older Mac and Photoshop Elements.

    In terms of the Epson Scan software, I use the "Professional" setting, and choose Unsharp Mask. I'll also select Digital Ice if I'm scanning colour (for dust reduction) (Digital Ice doesn't work on conventional B&W negatives, and just slows the process down).

    You can experiment with the resolution settings to see what works best for your needs. The higher the resolution the longer the scan. I use low resolution to get a quick scan to see what i've got. If it looks like it's worth spending more time on I'll do a higher resolution scan. All the other manipulations are done in Photoshop Elements.

    There are some quirks in the process, but I think they're related to my older Mac and older operating system. When using the old Snow Leopard operating system on my Mac I can scan using Epson Scan within Photoshop Elements using Import. This doesn't work on the newer High Sierra operating system, since the operating system interface to the scanner doesn't use Twain. This means I can't scan directly through Photoshop Elements using the Epson Scan software. I have to use the Epson Scan Software first to get the scan file, and then open the scan file in Photoshop Elements. The big disadvantage of this method is that Epson Scan doesn't seem to provide a scan file in Adobe Photoshop format, so you need to create a jpg or tiff file. This creates a lot of unnecessary file formats.

  7. #7
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
    I have the same model Epson 4870 scanner, and have been using it quite a bit over the last year or so. I've been pretty happy with the performance on both 4x5 and medium format. Yes, it's an older model, but I haven't had any major complaints.

    I dowmloaded the latest version of the Epson software from the Epson site. I'm also using an older Mac and Photoshop Elements.

    In terms of the Epson Scan software, I use the "Professional" setting, and choose Unsharp Mask. I'll also select Digital Ice if I'm scanning colour (for dust reduction) (Digital Ice doesn't work on conventional B&W negatives, and just slows the process down).

    You can experiment with the resolution settings to see what works best for your needs. The higher the resolution the longer the scan. I use low resolution to get a quick scan to see what i've got. If it looks like it's worth spending more time on I'll do a higher resolution scan. All the other manipulations are done in Photoshop Elements.

    There are some quirks in the process, but I think they're related to my older Mac and older operating system. When using the old Snow Leopard operating system on my Mac I can scan using Epson Scan within Photoshop Elements using Import. This doesn't work on the newer High Sierra operating system, since the operating system interface to the scanner doesn't use Twain. This means I can't scan directly through Photoshop Elements using the Epson Scan software. I have to use the Epson Scan Software first to get the scan file, and then open the scan file in Photoshop Elements. The big disadvantage of this method is that Epson Scan doesn't seem to provide a scan file in Adobe Photoshop format, so you need to create a jpg or tiff file. This creates a lot of unnecessary file formats.


    Elements imports tiffs and jpegs. What do you mean?

  8. #8

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    I suspect everyone will have a system and swear by it. For more than a decade I have used VueScan software exclusively. . .

    https://www.hamrick.com

    . . . to scan 35mm, medium format, and large format. I use an Epson 700 for large format, mostly 4x5 now, using the included Epson holders. I also have the Better Scanning setup, which I used for 5x7 on this scanner. And I will occasionally scan medium format and 35mm on the Epson, but only when I want a quick, smaller scan--see below.

    I do most of my medium format scanning on an older Nikon 8000, which is much slower than the Epson but gives a much more detailed scan, IMO. Nikon made great scanners, but abandoned the product and software long ago, which is why I originally migrated to ViewScan. Hamrick keeps the software up to date for multiple scanners and operating systems, and it is just easier for me to use it for everything.

    For 4x5, I scan Preview mode at 600 dpi, then scan to a TIFF at 3200 DPI. Yes, I have been advised that the scanner really can't go above 2000 dpi, but it works for me. I scan mostly black and white and use the deceptively named Color panel to get a rough approximation of the tones I want. (In my experience, getting well adjusted color scans is harder whatever software you use. But as I said, I shoot almost all black and white these days.)

    I scan each medium format roll or large formate development session to a separate folder and then import the folder into Lightroom. Purists might be up and arms over this, but I love the Lightroom editing and exporting tools and being able to do my cataloging and keywording in the same program. I will only move a file into Photoshop if I need to do a lot of cleanup using Content Aware Fill or resizing for printing. Of course Photoshop then saves a new file back to the Lightroom catalog under a different name.

    The TIFF files are very large, but periodically, I will save all but the very best as JPGS. And, of course, b/c I have the negatives I can always rescan if I want a more capable file for some reason.

    Out of curiosity, I just checked my Lightroom catalog and see more than 10,000 TIFFs and JPGS from film exposed over 50 years--pretty much all of it scanned with VueScan. (This is in addition to the many digital images saved as dng.)

    Hope this help.
    Bill Poole

    "Speak softly, but carry a big camera."

  9. #9

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    When using a V850, do you know if the scanner still uses the better film holder lens if you checked "film with area guide" rather than "film with film holder" ? Or does it revert to using the more inferior glass platen lens as when you scan 8x10 film.
    Thats a good question, Alan and I have to say I don't know the answer. The preview scan is certainly faster and sounds different, but the scan itself sounds the same as when i use the film holder setting.
    Horseman L45

    Fujinon 90mm SW
    Schneider Krueznach Symmar-S 135mm
    Rodenstock ApoRonar 300mm

  10. #10

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    Re: Epson Scan assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Poole View Post
    I suspect everyone will have a system and swear by it. For more than a decade I have used VueScan software exclusively. . .

    https://www.hamrick.com

    . . . to scan 35mm, medium format, and large format. I use an Epson 700 for large format, mostly 4x5 now, using the included Epson holders. I also have the Better Scanning setup, which I used for 5x7 on this scanner. And I will occasionally scan medium format and 35mm on the Epson, but only when I want a quick, smaller scan--see below.

    I do most of my medium format scanning on an older Nikon 8000, which is much slower than the Epson but gives a much more detailed scan, IMO. Nikon made great scanners, but abandoned the product and software long ago, which is why I originally migrated to ViewScan. Hamrick keeps the software up to date for multiple scanners and operating systems, and it is just easier for me to use it for everything.

    For 4x5, I scan Preview mode at 600 dpi, then scan to a TIFF at 3200 DPI. Yes, I have been advised that the scanner really can't go above 2000 dpi, but it works for me. I scan mostly black and white and use the deceptively named Color panel to get a rough approximation of the tones I want. (In my experience, getting well adjusted color scans is harder whatever software you use. But as I said, I shoot almost all black and white these days.)

    I scan each medium format roll or large formate development session to a separate folder and then import the folder into Lightroom. Purists might be up and arms over this, but I love the Lightroom editing and exporting tools and being able to do my cataloging and keywording in the same program. I will only move a file into Photoshop if I need to do a lot of cleanup using Content Aware Fill or resizing for printing. Of course Photoshop then saves a new file back to the Lightroom catalog under a different name.

    The TIFF files are very large, but periodically, I will save all but the very best as JPGS. And, of course, b/c I have the negatives I can always rescan if I want a more capable file for some reason.

    Out of curiosity, I just checked my Lightroom catalog and see more than 10,000 TIFFs and JPGS from film exposed over 50 years--pretty much all of it scanned with VueScan. (This is in addition to the many digital images saved as dng.)

    Hope this help.
    It does Bill, a lot. I downloaded the trial of VueScan and wasn't happy with the trail version because of being crippled ware. I am not opposed to purchasing it but I have done a bit of YouTube browsing on tutorials but haven't made much heads or tails of it. I use Lightroom, Capture One, On1 and DxO photolab. I am glutton for punishment.

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