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Author Topic: Your Epson Flat Bed Scanner Settings and Procedures  (Read 34244 times)
AFairley
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« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2011, 01:29:22 PM »
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It seems to me that at some point with all of this you hit the point of diminishing returns (particularly because consumer scanners have registration problems with multi-pass scans) and you would be better off shooting bracketed expsoures with a DSLR, HDR-style (a Canon D5MkII will give you the equivalent of 3500 ppi scans; a 12MP sensor will give you almost 3000 ppi).
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2011, 04:33:55 PM »
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HDR is an interesting concept but most of what I've seen doesn't look real.  You just can't get the same effect as Grad ND filters.  I have to try using PS Elements.  There's a processs, I forget the name, where you can combine two pictures and take the lower exposed and layer over the higher exposed or vice versa.  THat might work better but I only tried it once with digital.  Of course, I usually brackets my landscape film shots so it should work with film as well.  Anyone compare this PS process vs. using scan Mult-exposure?  What's the difference?

My continuing communications saga with Epson has its next installment below.  Their response is positive about Silverfast although they didn't provide details regarding its use with the V600.  I'll ask them what they think about it with the V700 to flesh out its operation value with Epson scanners.  They've been relatively open and helpful in their answers all along.  I only wish I can talk to them on the phone.
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Response (Jack D) 01/14/2011 07:14 AM
 
Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson Perfection V600 Photo.

Silverfast is a very sophisticated application and driver and is bundled with the V700. It includes many features that the Epson Scan driver does not. For what you want to achieve on the V600 it may be worth your while to get a trial version and test it. We have no test data on this driver and the V600 so we cannot comments on its performance.


Thank you again for contacting Epson.


Jack D]
 Customer (Alan Klein) 01/13/2011 08:40 PM
I'm thinking of getting Silverfast scan software for my V600. I believe Silverfast comes standard with your V700. Silverfast claims that they increase the details and raising the Dmax in the shadow and very light areas in their MultiExposure scan where the second scan is done slower and they somehow combines the first regular scan. Is this true? It seems in conflict with what you said below. Here's their link. http://www.silverfast.com/highlights/multi-exposure/en.html

thanks
Alan
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dmerger
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« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2011, 04:38:21 PM »
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AFairley, I agree. CCD technology has much improved since I purchased my Minolta 5400.  It would be interesting to compare a slide scan from my Minolta to a photo of the slide taken with a full frame DSLR and macro lens.  Unfortunately, I donít have such a camera.

As has been noted, multi-sampling is designed to reduce scanner noise.  Iíve tested it on my scanner and I see no difference.  Maybe my scanner has so little noise that there isnít any benefit.  Iím not sure, but others have reported the same results.  I guess if a scanner has the capability to multi-sample, then give it a try see if it helps.

Also, as has been noted, multi-scan can serve two purposes.  It can be used to reduce noise much like multi-sampling, it can be used to scan at more than one exposure which are then blended much like an HDR image, or both.

However, every scanner with a hardware exposure adjustment can multi-scan for ďHDRĒ purposes regardless whether itís supported by the scanner software.  Moreover, if youíve bracketed your film exposures, you can also get additional benefits.  The key to making it work easily, however, is Photoshopís auto align function.

Hereís how it works:  Do two or more (more than two can be better) scans of your film with different exposures.  Better yet, if you have bracketed film exposures, use them.  Then load the scans into PS in layers, with the darkest exposure at the bottom, then the next darkest, etc.  Auto align the layers.  Use the ďBlend IfĒ sliders to blend the different layers. Make sure the blends are very gradual so that you get a seamless blend.  With this method, you can easily target which portions of each layer you want to use. Once you get the hang of it, itís pretty easy.  Donít expect miracles, however, there is only so much information you can squeeze into one photo.

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Dean Erger
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« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2011, 04:45:09 PM »
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Dean  Does the process you describe work in Elements 8?  It sounds similar to what I tried but I don't recall "Blend If" slide and auto'align. Alan
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2011, 05:07:25 PM »
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HDR is an interesting concept but most of what I've seen doesn't look real.  You just can't get the same effect as Grad ND filters.  I have to try using PS Elements.  There's a processs, I forget the name, where you can combine two pictures and take the lower exposed and layer over the higher exposed or vice versa.  THat might work better but I only tried it once with digital.  Of course, I usually brackets my landscape film shots so it should work with film as well.  Anyone compare this PS process vs. using scan Mult-exposure?  What's the difference?

My continuing communications saga with Epson has its next installment below.  Their response is positive about Silverfast although they didn't provide details regarding its use with the V600.  I'll ask them what they think about it with the V700 to flesh out its operation value with Epson scanners.  They've been relatively open and helpful in their answers all along.  I only wish I can talk to them on the phone.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Response (Jack D) 01/14/2011 07:14 AM
 
Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson Perfection V600 Photo.

Silverfast is a very sophisticated application and driver and is bundled with the V700. It includes many features that the Epson Scan driver does not. For what you want to achieve on the V600 it may be worth your while to get a trial version and test it. We have no test data on this driver and the V600 so we cannot comments on its performance.


Thank you again for contacting Epson.


Jack D]
 Customer (Alan Klein) 01/13/2011 08:40 PM
I'm thinking of getting Silverfast scan software for my V600. I believe Silverfast comes standard with your V700. Silverfast claims that they increase the details and raising the Dmax in the shadow and very light areas in their MultiExposure scan where the second scan is done slower and they somehow combines the first regular scan. Is this true? It seems in conflict with what you said below. Here's their link. http://www.silverfast.com/highlights/multi-exposure/en.html

thanks
Alan

Alan, honestly - best things you could do for yourself - go the SilverFast website, find the reference articles from IT Enquirer - there are several on how multi-exposure works. Read them. Download the SilverFast manual where multi-exposure is explained. Read it. Download SilverFast ai 6 Studio for your scanner in demo mode and try it. You'll make much more headway than asking rounds upon rounds of questions from web forums and tech support, because in the final analysis that is an efficient investment of time you are going to have to make anyhow before it makes sense spending money.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
dmerger
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« Reply #65 on: January 14, 2011, 05:28:40 PM »
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Dean  Does the process you describe work in Elements 8?  It sounds similar to what I tried but I don't recall "Blend If" slide and auto'align. Alan

I don't know.  I don't have Elements 8 and have never used it.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #66 on: January 15, 2011, 08:00:14 AM »
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Certainly I can experiment with Silverfast, Vuescan etc to see what I get.  Frankly, I don't want to waste my time and energy trying to prove to myself that these programs are worth it. Especially since the results I'm getting with Epson's own software seems to be pretty good.   So far I haven't seen any pictures posted by anyone on any site that really show any meaningful differences in results using other software.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, but a lot of what I've read is verbal and does not present pictorial proof.  I lot of it is just some allegiance to products that someone bought. I'm usually guilty of that too.  Show us the proof.

Additionally, I think it's important to hear how the Epson scanners work from the manufacturer. I have read so many differing opinions in this thread and on other web sites about what's going on in the scan process and software settings.  I thought it's important to go to the source for clarifications.  I thought others would like to know also.  I realize it's like pulling teeth to get complete answers from Epson, which is why I call it a "saga", but we seem to be getting some clarifications, although many are not thorough. 

Epson seeems to be confirming that at least on their V600 that making setting changes using Epson's software except for ICE dust reduction does not change either the scan speed, the LED light output or the quantity of scans. Because these hardware changes do not occur during the scans, you cannot improve the scan itself.  The Epson settings manipulate the results after the scan as an image editing program in much the same way as Photoshop will in post processing the scan file with the scan settings at neutral.  Except for ICE, the image captured by the scan will not be different regardless of the Epson settings.

However, in recent emails, Epson also says that using Silverfast can provide better scanning results at least with the V700 because they have done tests with it.  I've asked Epson for additional details on their test results. I'll post these when they respond.  Epson has not done similar Silverfast testing with their V600 which is the unit I use. So they could not comment but suggested trying Silverfast on my own.  I've read Silverfast's web and they claim to increase the Dmax over the scanner's basic Dmax capability by double scans called Multi-exposure.   

I hope Epson will give us hints on how to best use Silverfast to improve scans as well as additional details on their Silverfast test results.  And yes I understand that Epson and Silverfast and purveyors and advertisers have their products to protect.  But I think we're all pretty smart enough to separate the hype from the reality in their answers.   
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2011, 10:06:25 AM »
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Certainly I can experiment with Silverfast, Vuescan etc to see what I get.  Frankly, I don't want to waste my time and energy trying to prove to myself that these programs are worth it. Especially since the results I'm getting with Epson's own software seems to be pretty good.   So far I haven't seen any pictures posted by anyone on any site that really show any meaningful differences in results using other software.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, but a lot of what I've read is verbal and does not present pictorial proof.  I lot of it is just some allegiance to products that someone bought. I'm usually guilty of that too.  Show us the proof.

Additionally, I think it's important to hear how the Epson scanners work from the manufacturer. I have read so many differing opinions in this thread and on other web sites about what's going on in the scan process and software settings.  I thought it's important to go to the source for clarifications.  I thought others would like to know also.  I realize it's like pulling teeth to get complete answers from Epson, which is why I call it a "saga", but we seem to be getting some clarifications, although many are not thorough. 

Epson seeems to be confirming that at least on their V600 that making setting changes using Epson's software except for ICE dust reduction does not change either the scan speed, the LED light output or the quantity of scans. Because these hardware changes do not occur during the scans, you cannot improve the scan itself.  The Epson settings manipulate the results after the scan as an image editing program in much the same way as Photoshop will in post processing the scan file with the scan settings at neutral.  Except for ICE, the image captured by the scan will not be different regardless of the Epson settings.

However, in recent emails, Epson also says that using Silverfast can provide better scanning results at least with the V700 because they have done tests with it.  I've asked Epson for additional details on their test results. I'll post these when they respond.  Epson has not done similar Silverfast testing with their V600 which is the unit I use. So they could not comment but suggested trying Silverfast on my own.  I've read Silverfast's web and they claim to increase the Dmax over the scanner's basic Dmax capability by double scans called Multi-exposure.   

I hope Epson will give us hints on how to best use Silverfast to improve scans as well as additional details on their Silverfast test results.  And yes I understand that Epson and Silverfast and purveyors and advertisers have their products to protect.  But I think we're all pretty smart enough to separate the hype from the reality in their answers.   

If you want pictorial proof with your scanner and your set-up and your other post-processing applications, you WILL have to "waste your time" running your own tests. I can't think of how much time I've "wasted" doing such things, but the end result is that I know what I'm doing without wasting my time and other peoples' time asking for all kinds of stuff I'll have to see for myself after all.

Epson's recommendations to you are fine. Epson is one of the most responsive firms in the industry. Epson already told you that exposure controls scan time, so don't keep repeating that nothing happens at the scan stage that you can't do in the same way with Photoshop Elements.

I've explained to you how to interpret what LaserSoft Imaging means by the increase of DMax with Multi-exposure, and their own explanation of it on their website is quite clear. I've also told you that the net result of it tends to be subtle and depends very much on the image. No software can change the hard-wired DMax of a scanner but it can increase the apparent (or what they call "effective") dynamic range of the scanned image.

Yes, it is important to separate hype from reality, but before you can do that correctly you need to gain adequate experience from research, reading, trial and error; fortunately there is enough free material on the internet including on this website, and enough free demo time from the software vendors to make it free and easy for you to do that. And speaking of free time, I'm pretty well up to my limit on this thread, if not beyond it. Alan - last word - roll up your sleeves and do some real work. You might be pissed-off with me for saying this, but later on once you find it rewarding you'll be grateful for the advice. Take care.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Klein
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« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2011, 11:33:19 AM »
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Mark:  I'm sorry that you are so upset because I do things differently then you.  And I have put in the time to 4 and 5am on many many mornings over the last few months trying to learn and experiment and squeeze the best out of my V600 scanner.    And I've posted all those pictures that I scanned identifying negatives from slides and 35mm from 120's, even identifying each and every shot by film brand so people can see what the scanner does and could make recommendations to me and to others and learn.  I have yet to find anyone else who has spent the time posting as complete a record of their scans.  And I do appreciate you taking the time to personally look at them and provide your advice on how I could do better.

Now I'm exhausted. Now I want the manufacturer to be responsive and answer my questions to help get me to the next level.  I deserve that information.  I paid for their scanner.  I've already written Epson and complained that I'm not getting complete information from their personnel.   If you don't want to hear what they have to say, you can just not open this thread any more.  If you do, I'm sure you'll have more to contribute and your experience would be welcomed by me and others.  Your choice.  Thanks. Alan.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2011, 12:33:42 PM »
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Mark:  I'm sorry that you are so upset because I do things differently then you.  And I have put in the time to 4 and 5am on many many mornings over the last few months trying to learn and experiment and squeeze the best out of my V600 scanner.    And I've posted all those pictures that I scanned identifying negatives from slides and 35mm from 120's, even identifying each and every shot by film brand so people can see what the scanner does and could make recommendations to me and to others and learn.  I have yet to find anyone else who has spent the time posting as complete a record of their scans.  And I do appreciate you taking the time to personally look at them and provide your advice on how I could do better.

Now I'm exhausted. Now I want the manufacturer to be responsive and answer my questions to help get me to the next level.  I deserve that information.  I paid for their scanner.  I've already written Epson and complained that I'm not getting complete information from their personnel.   If you don't want to hear what they have to say, you can just not open this thread any more.  If you do, I'm sure you'll have more to contribute and your experience would be welcomed by me and others.  Your choice.  Thanks. Alan.

Alan, what makes you think I'm upset because you do things differently? This forum is for people to help each other. So all I'm trying to do is to nudge you to do some experimenting you seem reluctant to do. I have no reason to be upset no matter what you do - doesn't affect me in the least. As for the manufacturer - yes, you paid for their scanner, but there is a reasonable limit of what you can expect from them. You bought a V600. You didn't buy a V700. Your scanner didn't come packed with SilverFast, so you can't expect Epson to spend their tech support resources advising you on stuff related to a product you didn't buy. Nor can you really expect other people on web forums to be posting suites of images in support of this or that point they are trying to make. It takes time to prepare the images in a way that they will show as intended over the internet and post them, and like you and me, they all have other lives too. This is a free resource and as it is we all get a helluva lot more than we pay for, so we should be grateful. Cheers, Mark

My approach to a discussion thread is really very simple - when I begin to see we are spinning wheels, I begin to think that time is being wasted. I think this thread has been an interesting one
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
dmerger
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« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2011, 01:19:47 PM »
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  But I think we're all pretty smart enough to separate the hype from the reality ... .   

Maybe so with respect to Epson's answers, but I'm not so sure about information on the internet generally.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-shill-marketing.htm
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2011, 01:25:07 PM »
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Well Mark I'm glad you're still here.  My questions to Epson had to do wih their V700 and Silverfast.  I ddin't ask them to provide Silverfast info for V600 because they didn't test it with the V600.  Hopefully Epson will provide some info that is valuable.  When I get it,  I'll share it here.  Maybe someone else could use that info too.  From what I've seen, the V700 seems to do much better work than my V600.  The Dmax difference is 4.0 vs 3.4. The pictures seems a lot sharper but that could be PP.  If I move up, it would be interesting to get a handle on Silverfast now.     If the possibilities seems strong that it's is worth trying (something that I don't feel yet),  then I'll spend the time playing with it.  Right now I have to catch up on all the sleep I missed with the first round experimenting with the V600 and Epson scan.  Cheers.  Alan
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #72 on: January 17, 2011, 11:23:56 AM »
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Well, Epson answered and didn't give much to bite into.  They pretty much leave it up to the buyers of their equipment to figure out if Silverfast is worth it.  No more email questions from me.  I'm going out to shoot some pictures.

Response (Jack D) 01/17/2011 08:17 AM
Thank You for Contacting Epson


Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson Perfection V600 Photo.

According to users in the field, Silverfast gives you more control in how you set up and configure settings to achieve your desired scan. For users who want to have more options then SIlverfast is a good choice. For users who like a more simple user interface then Epson Scan is a fine choice. There's a wealth of information on this product starting with the vendor -- http://www.silverfast.com. Please visit the website for information. Free demo versions are available for download. We encourage you to try the product and see for yourself if you think it would meet your scanning requirements.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.


Jack D
 Customer (Alan Klein) 01/14/2011 02:40 PM
Could you describe what advantages Silverfast gives you with the V700 over the Epson scan software. If the film shot that I'm scanning is exposed properly in the camera, will Silverfast provide any additional value and how over the Epson software?
Tks
Alan
 
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #73 on: January 17, 2011, 12:53:15 PM »
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Well, Epson answered and didn't give much to bite into.  They pretty much leave it up to the buyers of their equipment to figure out if Silverfast is worth it.  No more email questions from me.  I'm going out to shoot some pictures.

Response (Jack D) 01/17/2011 08:17 AM
Thank You for Contacting Epson


Dear Alan,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson Perfection V600 Photo.

According to users in the field, Silverfast gives you more control in how you set up and configure settings to achieve your desired scan. For users who want to have more options then SIlverfast is a good choice. For users who like a more simple user interface then Epson Scan is a fine choice. There's a wealth of information on this product starting with the vendor -- http://www.silverfast.com. Please visit the website for information. Free demo versions are available for download. We encourage you to try the product and see for yourself if you think it would meet your scanning requirements.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.


Jack D
 Customer (Alan Klein) 01/14/2011 02:40 PM
Could you describe what advantages Silverfast gives you with the V700 over the Epson scan software. If the film shot that I'm scanning is exposed properly in the camera, will Silverfast provide any additional value and how over the Epson software?
Tks
Alan
 


His advice is right-on-the-money.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #74 on: January 19, 2011, 03:56:16 PM »
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AFairley, I agree. CCD technology has much improved since I purchased my Minolta 5400.  It would be interesting to compare a slide scan from my Minolta to a photo of the slide taken with a full frame DSLR and macro lens.  Unfortunately, I donít have such a camera.


Can't help with the Minolta part, but here is a B&W negative (Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal) that I shot on a Hasselblad XPan (24x65mm) and then photographed the negative with a Canon 5DMkII/100mm macro:

Entire image:


A small crop from the negative:


As you can see, with the dSLR, you can focus down to the grain of the film.  I don't know about the Minolta scanner, but you sure can't so that on an Epson flatbed.  The Epson will give oyu something that kind of looks like grain, but it isn't - it's just noise.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #75 on: January 19, 2011, 04:17:37 PM »
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Nice photograph. The Minolta Scan Elite 5400 was/is a very high quality scanner, and won an award in Europe (forget whose) when it was released some years ago. I was always pleased with the sharpness of the scans (mostly from colour negative films); it's only real drawback is that it's very slow. I've never tried digitizing film with my DSLR so I can't offer comparisons either, but the film grain emerged pretty darn sharp from that Minolta scanner! I've since replaced it with a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED. As both of them are off the market and will become increasingly difficult to service, I'm keeping the two of them "just in case". I can also confirm that they do produce sharper results "out of the box" than I can achieve with my Epson flatbed, which itself is not all that bad, but much better on medium format.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2011, 05:42:08 PM »
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Wow, tokengirl, very impressive.  Without scanning the same film with my scanner, I couldn't say which produces better results.  Based on what I see, however, I'd say that your set up is more than up to the task.

Yes, my Minolta scanner also resolves film grain in a manner that looks similar to your example.  In fact, I usually manually focus my scanner on the film grain.
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« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2011, 12:34:34 AM »
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My 35mm Ektachromes scanned with an Epson V600 I believe shows the grain such as here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/5265304000/in/set-72157625526207614/

My other shots in the Scuba set of 35 mm or least most of them had noise reduction applied in Elements.  The MF scan didn't have noise reduction and they didn't show grain.  But the grain is hard to see even in the original negatives. 
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AFairley
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« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2011, 08:03:56 PM »
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Nice post, Tokengirl.  My Coolscan IV will capture grain like that -- but the problem is that on a lot of slides the curvature of the slide exceeds the scanner's DOF, even setting the focus point to try to split the difference, and you can't stop down with a scanner.  My Epson V700 will resolve grain too, but there is more smeariness to the image, in my opinion from the extra glass surfaces between the scanner lens and the slide.
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« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2011, 08:18:42 PM »
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Nice post, Tokengirl.  My Coolscan IV will capture grain like that -- but the problem is that on a lot of slides the curvature of the slide exceeds the scanner's DOF, even setting the focus point to try to split the difference, and you can't stop down with a scanner.  My Epson V700 will resolve grain too, but there is more smeariness to the image, in my opinion from the extra glass surfaces between the scanner lens and the slide.

I'm not 100% certain about this, but I do remember reading somewhere that these Epson scanners (V700/V750) have a device built-in akin to an AA filter, and that may be a key factor causing the "smeariness" you are seeing. A dedicated Nikon film scanner of the Coolscan IV/V class definitely produces crisper results. But the Epson is no slouch on medium format transparencies, I've had the occasion to observe - probably because they need less magnification - after all it's the same hardware.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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