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Author Topic: Your Epson Flat Bed Scanner Settings and Procedures  (Read 32998 times)
Alan Klein
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2010, 09:50:54 PM »
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Oh.  If you look, all the people shots are Fujicolor negatives except the single person Janet or Julie shots.  Those are Velvia 50.  The landscape shots are a mixed bag of negatives and postives.  I really should label them.  Alan-
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2010, 04:17:28 PM »
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It seems that I re-started on-going "discussion" between Mark and Dean when I started this topic.  I didn't realize there's such a basic disagreement of whether to process before or after the scans.   I'm glad I've given you all another chance to take some pot shots at each other.

My own very limited experience is that on a couple of scans where I tried setting before and comparing with scanning flat and adjusting PP in Eements was that I couldn't tell the difference with the final results.    I found that if I didn't get the prescan adjustments right, I would have to rescan the same shots a very long procedure.  Plus, with adjusting before the scan, that doubles the processing when you include PP and I have to spend even more time tweeking, nudging, etc.  Enough already!  So I decided to scan flat except for ICE and do processing with Elements.

However, I will agree that it is possible that my Epson V600 flat bed is possibly changing the light during the scan - don't know for sure.  It certainly is scanning twice for ICE so it's possible.  I just don't see it in the final results and while the scans can look pretty flat, just a small adjustment to levels in PP gets the contrast and colors back to what appears to be normal.  Since you Mark had no comments on my final images other than those problems caused on shots taken with Velvia or over exposing the original exposure, my procedure seems to be working - for me anyway.  I welcome other to look at my pictures and tell me where the color and exposures can be done better.  That's the whole point of this post.

However, Dean you said focus and exposure as well as ICE can be adjusted during the scan.  Can you explain how to do that?  Isn't that part of the softward processing the scanner is doing to the scanned image and not effecting the scan process directly?

As an aside, I'm using the Epson program and there were no settings I made for type of film especially negative type which seems actually to do the best. 

Alan, I think what you are saying here makes an important point: if you a have procedure nailed down which on the whole works well for you, just carry on using it; where you've had several issues, as we discussed above there are ways to deal with them, the highlight issue perhaps needing another application - for you to determine by trying it (demos are free - just time), but the other things (saturation and blues for example) seem manageable with the tools you have. I've said and demonstrated previously, that apart from some basic adjustments, and depending on certain characteristics of the image, one can be very pragmatic about which adjustments are made before or after the scan. As well, the choice of software and scanner one uses depends importantly on the kind of output one requires. Of course some output is more demanding than some, so one hauls out the tools needed to do the job, very much as in anything else.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2010, 05:38:32 PM »
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Dean: If you're trying to be funny, I think you're failing.  If you're trying to be inflammatory and a pain, you're succeeding.
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dmerger
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2011, 11:18:23 AM »
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Alan, Iím not sure I understand your question, but I believe youíre asking whether ICE is purely a software adjustment.  Itís not.  Itís a combination of software and hardware.  You can easily find more details on the internet if youíre interested, but the quick, simple explanation is that your scanner uses an infrared light source for ICE, and then uses that info to ďremoveĒ the dust and scratches.   In other words, you have to enable the infrared light function in your scanner hardware so that the software can process the resulting data.

Iíve never used an Epson scanner, so Iím not sure how your particular scanner operates.  Your scanner may indeed be changing the light during the scan, if you mean that as you change the exposure setting the light intensity appears to change.  Some scanners, however, change the scan time to effect exposure changes.  Itís similar to any other camera.  You can add more light (maybe via flash or otherwise) or increase the exposure time.

Alan, I think that you have the situation nailed.  You wrote:
ďMy own very limited experience is that on a couple of scans where I tried setting before and comparing with scanning flat and adjusting PP in Eements was that I couldn't tell the difference with the final results.    I found that if I didn't get the prescan adjustments right, I would have to rescan the same shots a very long procedure.Ē

Iíd guess that it would be extremely rare, if ever, that youíd see any difference in results if you made the same image adjustments in the scanning software versus Photoshop.  As you rightly note, however, in many cases if you donít get it exactly right in the scanning software the first time, youíve got to start all over again. Whereas, in Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom (and probably other imaging editing software), if you follow a nondestructive workflow, you can easily go back and tweak your adjustments as often as you like.  In so doing, itís not only vastly easier, but even repeated changes donít deteriorate your photo.  These advantages and many others are why Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom have a virtual corner on the market for imaging software for advanced photographers.
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2011, 11:19:58 AM »
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When trying to make a substantive point with humor, itís inevitable that some people wonít get the point, wonít appreciate the humor or both. 
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2011, 11:53:10 AM »
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Alan, Iím not sure I understand your question, but I believe youíre asking whether ICE is purely a software adjustment.  Itís not.  Itís a combination of software and hardware.  You can easily find more details on the internet if youíre interested, but the quick, simple explanation is that your scanner uses an infrared light source for ICE, and then uses that info to ďremoveĒ the dust and scratches.   In other words, you have to enable the infrared light function in your scanner hardware so that the software can process the resulting data.

Iíve never used an Epson scanner, so Iím not sure how your particular scanner operates.  Your scanner may indeed be changing the light during the scan, if you mean that as you change the exposure setting the light intensity appears to change.  Some scanners, however, change the scan time to effect exposure changes.  Itís similar to any other camera.  You can add more light (maybe via flash or otherwise) or increase the exposure time.

Alan, I think that you have the situation nailed.  You wrote:
ďMy own very limited experience is that on a couple of scans where I tried setting before and comparing with scanning flat and adjusting PP in Eements was that I couldn't tell the difference with the final results.    I found that if I didn't get the prescan adjustments right, I would have to rescan the same shots a very long procedure.Ē

Iíd guess that it would be extremely rare, if ever, that youíd see any difference in results if you made the same image adjustments in the scanning software versus Photoshop.  As you rightly note, however, in many cases if you donít get it exactly right in the scanning software the first time, youíve got to start all over again. Whereas, in Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom (and probably other imaging editing software), if you follow a nondestructive workflow, you can easily go back and tweak your adjustments as often as you like.  In so doing, itís not only vastly easier, but even repeated changes donít deteriorate your photo.  These advantages and many others are why Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom have a virtual corner on the market for imaging software for advanced photographers.


Specifically, the infra-red channel is used for identifying and isolating dust and scratches from other information, and once so identified, software algorithms cover them up. As your scanner specs indicate 48-bit capability, this means it can scan R, G, B and the infra-red channels at 16-bit depth each, and that allows ICE to work. ICE in Epson Scan has two modes: speed or quality. Just so you'll know, in SilverFast ai6, there is a technology called "iSRD" (infra-red scratch and dust removal), which allows quite refined selection of the scope of dust and scratches to be considered as such, as well as a layered approach to their removal, both of which features help to protect against removing useful data.

I agree with Dean that Photoshop and Lightroom are king of the crop for convenient non-destructive workflow. I would add, however, just two points here. From my experience of scanning over the years, there are imaging situations where it is best to make exposure adjustments in the scanning software - in particular for dealing with severe under-exposure. Sometimes this is the optimal way to recover smothered detail and sometimes it makes further adjustments in PS and LR more successful. It depends on the image. Exposure increases operate differently depending on the scanner - in some cases it increases lamp brightness, in others it prolongs exposure time - no matter - the hardware is being deployed to rescue under-exposure, often very effectively. The second point I would add relates to the non-destructive aspect. LaserSoft Imaging provides a piece of software called "SilverFast HDR", which I use. It works like this: First you make a 48-bit HDR scan in SilverFast Ai, then you open the result in SilverFast HDR, where you can make whatever other adjustments you want prior to exporting the image for more work or printing or web-posting, whatever. The advantage of this workflow is that SilverFast HDR preserves the original scan, so that if you don't like what you got in the first round, you can go back there and edit the adjustments, or simply export the scan unadjusted without re-scanning the originals. This is not as complete a solution to non-destructive workflow as we have in PS and LR, but it is a significant feature of this software in that direction, insofar as it preserves the original scan and obviates the need for rescanning.

I agree with Dean based on my own experimentation that often it is 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other where you do the editing, but I would just qualify with "not always". And then, let us keep in mind that not everyone out there who wants to scan their archives necessarily wants to spend 300 on LR or 700 on PS. They are happy to be able to use the scanning software which came bundled with their scanners, or if possible, up-grade relatively inexpensively to the next level of scanning software. Of course those who have all the tools also have an interest to use the best for the job or what they feel most comfortable with.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2011, 03:59:18 PM »
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From my experience of scanning over the years, there are imaging situations where it is best to make exposure adjustments in the scanning software - in particular for dealing with severe under-exposure.

I agree with Mark, but Iíd be more emphatic.  You should always optimize your scanner hardware adjustments. Bear in mind that your scanner is just a specialized camera. As with any camera, you will get the best results with proper exposure and focus. Sometimes auto exposure and auto focus are right on, sometimes an adjustment will yield some improvement.

I usually first do a test scan at low resolution and auto exposure but without ICE or any other scanning software adjustments, which makes for a relatively quick scan. I then open the scan in PS to see how it looks and examine the histogram.  If I think a different exposure would be better, I do another test scan with a hardware exposure adjustment. I repeat the process if necessary until I find what I think is the optimum exposure.

I then manually focus, which is usually slightly better than auto focus with my scanner. I also usually enable ICE, and then scan at my scanners highest optical resolution. I make no other adjustments with my scanning software since I prefer to make all software adjustments in a nondestructive manner in ACR and PS.  (I do, however, scan negatives using the basic negative setting in my scanning software.)

Finally, I open the final scan in PS and double check the histogram to be sure Iím getting the result I expected.  Usually, itís exactly as I expected, but on a few rare occasions Iíve had to do another scan with a slight hardware exposure adjustment.

With my scanning method, getting the best scan my scanner is capable of producing is straight forward and easy. The difficult part, at least for me, is to turn my scans into great looking photos using ACR and PS.

For some photos with a very wide dynamic range, or when I may not have optimized the exposure of the film, Iíve used some more advanced scanning methods using multiple scans of the same photo or, where Iíve bracketed my film exposures, scans of the different film exposures, and then blended the scans in PS. I think a discussion of such methods may be beyond the scope of this thread, however, so I wonít go into detail here.
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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2011, 07:55:26 PM »
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I appreciate all the ideas and comments.  I've checked some other sources as well.  I am now fairly convinced that except for ICE, the scanner makes no hardware change during the scan but only adjusts the files afterwards in much the same respect that Photoshop would do.  These are my reasons:

1.  None of the Epson literature says anything about changing the light intensity or how the scanner scans based upon settings that you do.  If the end results color and lighting was created by hardware adjustments and not just their Epson program that is just similar to other post processing programs, they would have yelled all about it.  It would be a great marketing argument to buy Epson.  Yet, they are silent on this in their literature indicating it does not happen by hardware.  Except for ICE, which uses multiple passes, the feature explanation says nothing about variable hardware operation effected by user setting adjustments.  http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@0958402323.1294275982@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccgiademhfegjdkcfngcfkmdhjidfmh.0&cookies=no&sku=B11B198011

2.  When you pre-scan, you can hit the auto color and backlight and other changes and actually see the changes to the pre-scan quick picture.  Obviously, there is no second pre-scan.  The image changes are programming only - not hardware.  Basically, they are showing you what they are going to do with the software once they get the longer scanned main file.  And those are program changes to the image file.

3.  My own experience in adjusting before and after the scan showed no difference.  I got the same results at the end.

4. From a logical standpoint, how would the scanner know which particular pixel is in shadow or is just a dark area in the photograph?  How could the scanner adjust the lighting pixel by pixel? The scanner scans a line at a time.  It's no different than a camera.  All the adjustments you make in a camera effect the overall image captured.  If you change the contrast level, itís applied for the entire image.  My guess is that the scanner just tries to capture as much info as it can from black to white regardless of your settings and then adjusts afterwards just like Photoshop.


I sent an email to Epson and asked them to explain the operation.  Don't know if they'll answer but hopefully they will.  Alan
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dmerger
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« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2011, 08:42:11 PM »
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Obviously, Alan, I agree with your conclusions, with a couple of exceptions.

I donít know how your Epson works, but Iíd be very surprised if it didnít provide for hardware exposure adjustment and possibly focus. Those adjustments are clearly hardware adjustments with my Minolta 5400.  When I adjust focus I can see and hear the film holder moving.  When I increase exposure my scanner scans more slowly, sometimes a lot slower. Iíve read that the Nikon scanners adjust the LED light intensity with increased exposure. I expect that Epson didnít make a big deal about its hardware adjustments because they are not unique.  I believe that most film scanners have such hardware adjustments and Iím not aware of any manufacturer making a big deal about it. 

By the way, Iím a little surprised to hear that your Epson uses multiple passes for ICE.  Multiple passes is more prone to misalignment that implementing ICE in a single scan along with the normal RGB.  Iím not saying that multiple passes is not as good, just that it introduces a potential misalignment. Just like multi-pass versus multi-sample for reducing scanner noise, where most commentators suggest that multi-sample is at least potentially superior.  Iím not trying to make a big deal out of how your Epson implements ICE; I just find it interesting.
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2011, 08:57:33 PM »
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Dean:  You may be correct.  It's unfortunate that Epson doesn't say how they do it.  It's very important because if there is no hardware change to the scan process, then making changes to the scanner settings is a waste of time.  You might as well wait to do them one time with your favorite and more powerful post processing program.  On the other hand, if there are some hardware change to the scan, what are they?  Increasing the light intensity would change the overall exposure much like changing the aperture in a camera but that would effect the entire image. That would help on darken shots.  It also would not effect the color so all those adjustments you make could be saved for PP.  So maybe some scanner adjustments make sense and other don't.  Let's hope they answer my email.  Alan.
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2011, 09:31:35 PM »
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Here's a link to the more expensive V700.  Compared to the V600 I'm using, it has two lenses for different resolutions, the mount is manually adjusted (no automatic focusing) and some other minor differences.  The main difference is it has a higher dMax to capture the shadows.  But there nothing  in the explanation saying it changes the amount of light  or the speed of the scan depending on the settings.  http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN/V700/V700.HTM

I checked the Minolta 5400II.  It says it automatically focuses and provide multiscan to eliminate noise.  Nothing about using hardware to chnage hardward scans though.  http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN/KM5400II/KM5400IIA.HTM


The Epson unit use dual scan for ICE. Here's the extract from the Epson site.  Notice how they mention hardware as well as software.  ICE is the only place in their web that mentions hardware changes.

∑   Digital Iceģ Technologies
An image restoration solution that uses a unique combination of hardware and software to correct image defects.
Digital ICE for Film uses an infrared sensor to detect dust and scratches on the surface of the film. In a multi-pass process, the dust/scratch is mapped out and carefully removed from the scanned image, leaving the composition and quality intact.
Digital ICE for Prints uses two lamps at different angles to map defects using differences in shadows to detect tears, folds and creases on prints and correct the scanned image accordingly
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dmerger
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2011, 11:21:35 AM »
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Iíve been surprised by a few things in this thread, but by far my biggest surprise would be if Epson answers you e-mail in a helpful manner.  Smiley  With some exceptions, most everybody, manufacturers, sellers of scanning software, authors, web sites offering scanning advice, etc., all seem to go out of their way to hide the distinction between hardware and purely software adjustments, or maybe some people just donít understand that there is a difference.  It makes one wonder.

It's very important because if there is no hardware change to the scan process, then making changes to the scanner settings is a waste of time.  You might as well wait to do them one time with your favorite and more powerful post processing program. 

Youíre preaching to the choir with me.

But there nothing  in the explanation saying it changes the amount of light  or the speed of the scan depending on the settings.  http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN/V700/V700.HTM

I checked the Minolta 5400II.  It says it automatically focuses and provide multiscan to eliminate noise.  Nothing about using hardware to chnage hardward scans though.  http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN/KM5400II/KM5400IIA.HTM

See my first paragraph above.

Alan, you may want to do some tests with your scanner.  Does the scanning software provide a focusing adjustment?  If so, try playing with it to see if you can see or hear anything that indicates a mechanical adjustment.  I assume your scanning software includes a master exposure adjustment.  If so, play with it to see if the scan times vary or the light intensity varies.  Iím not sure youíll learn anything, but it may be worth a try.
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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2011, 11:47:24 AM »
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I may already have mentioned this, but for adjusting focusing on my Epson Perfection 3170 scanner I have purchased BetterScanning's custom film holder, but which just arrived and I haven't tested it yet.   http://www.betterscanning.com/
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2011, 02:12:37 PM »
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Very interesting, Jim.  I hope it works out well for you. How do you determine when you have achieved optimum focus?  Trial and error?  My Minolta has a very effective, easy to use focusing meter. I imagine it would be a lot more difficult to manually focus a scanner without such a meter or something similar.
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2011, 03:04:27 PM »
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Very interesting, Jim.  I hope it works out well for you. How do you determine when you have achieved optimum focus?  Trial and error?  My Minolta has a very effective, easy to use focusing meter. I imagine it would be a lot more difficult to manually focus a scanner without such a meter or something similar.

Perhaps.  We'll (meaning I'll) wait and see.  There are elaborate instructions with it.

 http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/ep_adjust.html 
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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2011, 04:47:51 PM »
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I have the Epson V750, which comes with Silverfast AI in addition to the EpsonScan software, and the glass tray for wet scanning.  I also purchased the VueScan software.  And the wet scanning kit from Aztek.  I have been wrestling with this stuff for a few months now, trying this that and the other, experimenting with assorted film holders, etc.

*NOTE: If you are one of those people that manages to get 36 keepers on a roll of film, stop reading now.  You probably shouldn't be using a flatbed scanner anyways.  But if you're like me and most other people and you have a couple of shots on each roll that you love and the rest is just dreck, keep reading.  Here are my conclusions. YRMV, depending on how much patience you have.

Here's what the Epson is really good at:  batch scanning at 1200 dpi quickly so that you can evaluate your images and pick out the couple of gems.  This is best accomplished by using Epson's software in full auto mode, and with Digital ICE turned OFF so keep things moving along quickly.  If you establish good dust control habits, a couple of clicks with the clone stamp in your favorite photo editor for stray dust is all you'll need to produce scans that are perfectly acceptable for e-mailing and posting on the web.

Silverfast.  What can I say about Silverfast.  If you're the type of person who enjoys activities such as pushing water uphill with a fork, Silverfast was absolutely made for you.  However, if you have a life outside of film scanning, Silverfast just seems like a really bad joke.  It's klunky, slow, and the UI is terrible.  And unfortunately, it does not have any magical powers that will turn your Epson flatbed into a Nikon Coolscan.  If you want to try it, go ahead.  But just remember these four little words:  I TOLD YOU SO.

VueScan is a little less user-unfriendly than Silverfast, and I admit I have managed some pretty nice B&W scans after considerable effort.  But then again, I have managed some pretty decent scans using the Epson software with very little effort.  VueScan is DEFINITELY faster than Silverfast when scanning at the same resolution.

So, after batch scanning and picking out my couple of gems, what do I do?

I take my picks and put them in a negative carrier from an old Beseler enlarger, and set it on top of a lightbox.  Then I photograph my negative with my Canon 5DMkII and 100mm macro lens, and import the file into Lightroom.  For slide films, I make any adjustments needed in Lightroom.  For B&W negatives, I desaturate and take care of any stray dust spots in Lightroom, then send it to Photoshop for inversion, levels and curves adjustments.  The quality level of the final result is just so far ahead of what the Epson can do, it's not even funny.  I haven't really been doing this with color negatives, mainly because for whatever reason, I never seem to take any really worthwhile pictures with C41 film.  But I have a Photoshop plug-in called ColorPerfect that will take care of the inversion & correction for the orange mask, and has a bunch of assorted film profiles.  It seems to work just fine, but I haven't really put much time into evaluating it.

The Epson flatbeds are good scanners if you have reasonable expectations.  They are versatile and a good value for the money.  But they do have their limits.
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2011, 04:59:46 PM »
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So, after batch scanning and picking out my couple of gems, what do I do?

I take my picks and put them in a negative carrier from an old Beseler enlarger, and set it on top of a lightbox.  Then I photograph my negative with my Canon 5DMkII and 100mm macro lens, and import the file into Lightroom.  For slide films, I make any adjustments needed in Lightroom.  For B&W negatives, I desaturate and take care of any stray dust spots in Lightroom, then send it to Photoshop for inversion, levels and curves adjustments.  The quality level of the final result is just so far ahead of what the Epson can do, it's not even funny.  I haven't really been doing this with color negatives, mainly because for whatever reason, I never seem to take any really worthwhile pictures with C41 film.  But I have a Photoshop plug-in called ColorPerfect that will take care of the inversion & correction for the orange mask, and has a bunch of assorted film profiles.  It seems to work just fine, but I haven't really put much time into evaluating it.

The Epson flatbeds are good scanners if you have reasonable expectations.  They are versatile and a good value for the money.  But they do have their limits.

You are something else again!  Unfortunately I gave away my negative carriers when I gave away my Beseler enlarger.  So, I guess I'm stuck with my Epson flatbed scanner.  Live and learn.
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2011, 05:38:49 PM »
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Hey, Toke!

You should write more reviews. This one is the perfect combination of informative and hilarious (on a par with the best banter between Michael and Schewe).

I'm happy to say I haven't sold my Beseler yet, so I have good film holders. I do have a copy stand, a Canon 5D (Mark I, but still pretty good), and a 100mm macro. I recently acquired the Kakuba light box that I think you recommended elsewhere, so I'm ready to give it a try.

Thanks for the great info.

Eric
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2011, 08:27:33 PM »
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Well, Epson answered me.  Don't laugh too hard.   Excuse me while I get back to Ronald E. and explain a couple of things to him..  Alan.

Quote
Response (Ronald E) - 01/06/2011 11:33 AM
Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding the Epson Perfection V600 Photo. I apologize for any inconveniences you may been experiencing. The Epson Scan software will scan in your image but will not make any adjustments to the image unless told to.

Should you require further assistance with this issue, please reply without history (when possible), as our email system  contains all previous correspondence.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.

Ronald E
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2011, 04:36:25 PM »
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OK Epson answered.  What do you think?  I'm asking him to provide more details on the speed and numbers of passes if that has to do with ICE or no ICE scanning.  Anything you'd like me to ask him?  Alan

---------------------------------------------------------------
Response (Michael N) - 01/07/2011 07:59 AM
Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson Perfection V600 Photo. It is my pleasure to respond to your inquiry.

Alan,
The operation of the scanner hardware itself is pretty basic. The Scanner's capture array lights up and
stays lit at the same intensity through the out the scan and as the array traverses across the glass. The settings can affect speed, number of passes that it's sampling. The light can not vary in intensity as that has to be consistent or you would certianly see it.

Should you require further assistance with this issue, please reply without history (when possible), as our email system contains all previous correspondence. If you have a different technical support issue, please submit another email request via our website (http://www.epson.com/support), and we will respond in a timely manner.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.

Michael N

Customer (Alan Klein) - 01/06/2011 06:55 PM
Ronald: Thanks for answering but your answer does not address my question. I don't think I explained my questioned carefully. What I want to know if if the scanner scans differently depending on the scanners settings? Or does all the changes take place in software after the scanner captures the image. In other words the scan process is the same regardless of the setting. The scanner light intensity stays the same for example or does it change in intensity or in speed?
Thanks
Alan
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 04:44:12 PM by Alan Klein » Logged
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