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Thread: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

  1. #1

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    Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    I've been working on even development of 8x10 negatives and noticed that every negative I scan has distinct vertical bands. After a few rounds of this I noticed it was the same bands on every negative. From a few google searches, I understand that this isn't uncommon and has to do with the way the light source for transparency scanning is made (an array of LEDs). Here's an example of a scan of an unexposed and fixed-out piece of x-ray film. It is perfectly clear, blue tinted:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The vertical banding is not on the negative.

    I have never noticed at 4x5 and below.

    My question is whether I have a bad scanner or this is just characteristic of V800s at 8x10.

    Thanks,
    Sam

  2. #2

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    It’s a bad scanner, if it’s within warranty, chase that up with Epson. Mine has developed this problem across half of the upper scanning light. The light is made of multiple banks of LEDs arranged in two staggered rows one each side of the diffuser. In correct operation all the banks are at the same intensity, and the diffuser evens it all out. In my case one of the banks is now running at about 1/2 stop dimmer (I can clearly see this when watching the light through a pair of glacier glasses). Mine is out of warranty, Epson quoted me £130 for service, but when I asked them to arrange one, they went quiet, will start chasing it after the holidays again.

  3. #3

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    Make sure the calibration patches and the top section of glass is clean. If you look at a film holder, that top cut out lets the scanner calibrate itself. That area should be spotlessly clean, even when not using a holder.

  4. #4

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    Unfortunately, the calibration area is clean top and bottom. I have had specs of dirt in the calibration area create white streaks down the scan before from calibration area issues but this is something else.

    _tf_, good to know that they are not all like this. Mine is just out of warranty but I'll follow up with Epson after the holiday. When I look at the banks of LEDs they look about the same to me but the spacing does seem to correspond to the vertical bands on the scan.

    Here's an interesting nuance: when I set Epson Scan 2 to "Transparency Unit" instead of "Transparency Unit (with Film Area Guide)," the scan area is cropped but the bands virtually disappear. Here's the same piece of fixed out film with "Dehaze" set to +70 in Lightroom to bring out the absolute worst in it:

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    It looks almost perfect. I imagine that's why I never noticed until I started working with 8x10 film. I wonder what the difference is.

  5. #5

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    Ah perhaps here is my answer:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i.../t-107027.html

    "These have 2 lenses - basically one for glass level scanning and the other (Hi Res) for the elevated film holders.

    Unfortunately, the latter has reduced scanning area. It does not cover 8x10. So, by resting the 11x14 glass above the Scanner's glass whilst using the lower Res lens, you will not have the film in focus. Conversely, if you select the High Res lens, you will not cover the film size."

    So something may still be wrong with my scanner but it is a different lens that scans the transparency unit, which explains why I don't see the issue with 4x5 and under.

    These Epson products are so much trouble. This is my second V800 scanner (first replaced under warranty for a similar reason that did affect 4x5) and I'm also on my second P900 printer (first was impossible to calibrate the print heads).

  6. #6
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    Are you using the film area guide that came with the scanner?
    See pgs 30-33 in the Manual. https://files.support.epson.com/docid/cpd4/cpd41530.pdf

    I don't understand why they say not to save as BMP, Tiff or JPEG. Maybe they meant that's what you should save them as. I don;t know the answer to that issue.

    Placing Film in the Film Area Guide
    You can scan oversized film up to 8 ◊ 10 inch (203 ◊ 254 mm) using the film area guide. Scan using
    Epson Scan Professional Mode and select Film (with Film Area Guide) as the Document Type.
    Caution: Hold only the edges of the film strips or use gloves, or you may damage the film.
    Note: You cannot use DIGITAL ICE Technology when using the film area guide. You cannot use Full
    Auto Mode or Home Mode when scanning film with the film area guide. If you scan 8 ◊ 10 inch (203 ◊
    254 mm) film at 4800 dpi resolution and 24 bit color as the Image Type, do not save it in BMP, Tiff, or
    JPEG format.

    1. Open the scanner cover.
    2. Remove the document mat from the scanner cover, if necessary.
    3. Place the film area guide on the scanner glass and align it as shown.
    4. Place the film in the film area guide with the shiny side facing down. Make sure the entire image
    frame is positioned within the film area guide.
    Note: The images and any wording on the film should appear backward. Do not cover the area
    shown or colors in your scan may be affected.
    5. Close the scanner cover gently to keep the film in place.

  7. #7

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    Yes, I am using the film area guide and the calibration area is clear.

    The copied instructions are old and/or for PC. On my mac with Epson Scan 2, there is no more professional mode, but some of the concepts still apply. For example, there is "Transparency Unit (with Film Area Guide)" instead of "Film (with Film Area Guide)." Here's what it looks like on a mac with the latest software:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For these development technique experiments, I'm scanning in 16-bit grayscale at 300 DPI and saving as a TIFF, though I think the settings are irrelevant -- I can see the banding in the preview before the actual scan happens.

  8. #8
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    Try 2400. 300 is too low. That could be causing the banding.

  9. #9

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    An update: I contacted epson support and they confirmed it's a hardware failure. The bands correspond to the LED array in the transparency unit. Since the scanner is just over a year old, it is out of warranty. While doing this, I was reminded that I had previously returned the scanner to Epson for the same problem but more severe and affecting the high-res camera that works for 4x5 and smaller negatives. The replacement did fix that but apparently I never tested 8x10. Epson quality control ls Bad.

    I also remember that if you contact them with a new scanner that has an issue, they will send you a refurbished scanner as a replacement.

    Out of options with the V800, so I ordered a new V850 Pro from Amazon (easy to return). It is a lot better but still not perfect. Here is a scan of the same 8x10 transparency using the film area guide. As always, the calibration area is clean. I have boosted "dehaze" +50 in Lightroom to see the unevenness:
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    Same transparency rotated 90 degrees in the scanner (notice my finger prints have moved to the top):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In both there are dark bands throughout and lighter areas on the sides. I asked amazon for a refund and ordered another V850 Pro.

    Same transparency, scanned with the second V850 Pro:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This one is actually a little worse than the first V850. It has more pronounced banding and a distinct stripe down the center. The dark stripe looks like dust in the calibration area but the area is spotless and it persists after wiping top and bottom. I don't see any dust under the glass there (however there is a speck on the lower glass near the middle).

    Four scanners (including the original), and none can scan 8x10 transparency evenly. I strongly suspect that none of the V800s or V850s can do this. Anyone willing to run the test on their scanner?

  10. #10

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    Re: Epson v800 8x10 transparency vertical banding

    How much variability is there really in the banding? Like if you go to PS and hover the mouse over, how much variability is there in the K values (or RGB values)? I understand youíre emphasizing ďartificiallyĒ the effect to show it here, but I was wondering how much is really the impact. If itís like 2 or 3 grey levels it probably wonít ever show up in practical terms. I canít imagine itís that high and be a systematic issue, a lot of people would have reported it.

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