Epson V600 revisited

Back to work on ol’ school scanner.  I had lots of problems last time, which I seem to have gotten around now, it just took a little brainpower.  It seems I’m only allowed to save a maximum of 1.5GB on a school computer, and after that things just don’t save.  It’s good I know that now, instead of taking things out on the equipment, I’m the one who’s to blame.  Well, actually the school is; their greedy ways kept me from scanning medium format images to TIFF.

Then again, I’d only use TIFF if I were planning to work on a picture in Photoshop, and it would be pretty annoying having to get one finished and either uploaded to Cloud or saved on a flash drive, then deleted from the hard drive before I could scan the next.  Anyway, I prefer to get all I need from the scan rather than endlessly alter things in Photoshop.

01AA006
Standard scan – it looked more interesting on the road, I guess…Irvin001
Epson scan

One gripe about the Epson software: zooming in on any previewed image resets the scan settings!  If you have some settings that work well, but you want to fine-tune things, even where the edges of the image are, and all the settings reset.  I wrote down some standard settings on a piece of paper.

01AA014   Irvin007
Standard scan                                 Epson scan – my friend’s son

Having the power to do adjustments is somewhat annoying I’ve found, and depending on how particular one is about their images, can take a long time.  At least with slides, if I do my job right with the camera, everything looks the way it should automatically.  I used expired film this time, a roll of Fujicolor 200 that I picked up at a thrift store for 50c, overexposed 1 stop.  Perhaps it wasn’t enough, I’m not sure.  The scans from the camera store came out somewhat bland, I thought, and makes me wonder just how expired this film is.  I bumped up the saturation a bit when scanning in some cases, played around with the color shifts, but I’m no wizard with the scanner (yet).  It’s good to have the camera store scans as a baseline, to tell me when I’m losing too much information due to incompetence.

01AA007
Standard scan – Katy playing at the Pike’s Peak or Bust RodeoIrvin002
Epson scan

One day I will master tone curves.

Probably not today.

I think I’ll have to search around for a good book on digital scanning.  I’m always ready to learn new things, now that I have some (free!) equipment with which to play around.

01AA022
Standard scan – the dog hiding from the evil thunder.
Irvin009

Epson Scan

This is the only picture that came out looking like it should.  This is the Superia Look that was missing for most of the album.  Maybe it just got more light than the others, I’m not sure, but I tried to get it as close as possible to the first image.

You know, honestly, I’m not altogether happy with the results of the scans.  I had lots of trouble scanning some of the images without little annoying dots all over the picture, something to do with changing the colors too drastically, I believe.  It’s great for correcting colors when things don’t turn out the way you want them to, but if you’re using fresh film properly exposed, I think you’d be better off with just the standard scans.  Also, I thought that scanning at 4800 dpi would give me more detailed images.  Then I decided to see just how sharp those 4800 dpi images actually were:

Fullsize-standard
Standard scan (at ~400%)Fullsize-Epson
Epson scan (at 100%)

What’s with that???  I certainly wasn’t expecting the camera store’s scanner to be so much sharper than the Epson!  This really negates the reason for scanning at such a high resolution in the first place.  I’m no expert on doing these kind of tests, maybe I got something wrong, but I mean, how do you argue with that?  I’d be more disappointed if it had cost me money, but believe me, I don’t think I’ll ever buy one.

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8 thoughts on “Epson V600 revisited

  1. You should turn down the auto exposure in preference so the scan is flatter. and re adjust it in programs later. I’ll avoid try to “make a perfect scan” from the scanners software, instead you should work towards a “workable scan”.

    About sharpness, it has lots to do with sharpening parameters too, personally I will try and avoid using too much sharpen in epson scan, I apply specific sharpening sequences later, if I have to. Also, negative flatness, pops, and some other variables also need to be factored in.

    Bigger scans doesn’t always means it’s better. Like I said before, I only scan 2400 dpi that’s sufficient for most things. Some friends I know will scan at 4800 and then resize it to smaller for sharper effect. You’re scanning in TIFF which is what “you’re suppsoed to do “, however makes editing painful especially in the size you are scanning, unless you have a very very fast computer, Which I am sure you noticed.

    Camera Labs scanners are pretty good actually, however I hate their auto correction programs, and, you have no control over it makes it worst. The samples of the dogs shows different contrast, contrast plays an important role in apparent sharpness, and it also looks like that the lab scan applied more sharpening than the epson one. Too many variables to compare!

    • Thanks for the input! Evidently I still have much to learn. I always thought it would be better to use the scanner to get the correct look, because it would be using the negative. Vuescan challenged that way of thinking, because it seems that it always scans one way and then you’re changing a standard scan with software. The next time I’m down at school, I’m going to try adjusting the camera lab scans with Photoshop as well, assuming I’m not too tired.

      Actually I couldn’t scan in TIFF unless I wanted to save picture by picture, so it was straight JPG. The school computers are definitely up to the task of large images, it’s just the annoying thing where I can only have 1.5GB saved on the HD at one time…

      I will definitely try what you suggest with scanning. Maybe you can help me out on a few things:

      -I thought sharpening was something that primarily affected the edges of objects. A little bit with all the images but especially with the blown-up image of the dog, what I see is that the camera lab scanner has resolved the grain MUCH better compared to the Epson, which is infinitely more important to me than whether the edges are sharp.

      -my thoughts on a larger resolution is that it SHOULD yield more detail. That’s definitely not happening here, but is that due to equipment specs being much too optimistic, or is it user error?

      -here are my settings as I remember, and I am more than willing to change : unsharp mask on low, ICE off for most of the pictures. Besides that, it was all about playing with the 6 sliders: brightness, contrast, saturation, cyan/red, magenta/green, yellow/blue.

      -the Epson has a plastic film tray that does slightly suspend the film above the bed, but I assume the film is as flat as it’s going to get. (the film scanner is a dedicated device in the top part of the scanner also)

      • -I thought sharpening was something that primarily affected the edges of objects.

        Well, you’re sharpening the edges of the film grains, depending on the sharpening method I supposed. And sharpeness has something to do with micro contrast.

        – Larger resolution should yield more details, but there are a lot more variables, how do we get the details from film? If you can’t scan your grain *sharp enough*, due to negative is not flat so it’s out of focus, limitation of the hardware, or the software interpertation, then things get mushy. On most film, the silver halide is arranged in 3D, meaning they can over lap each other. How exactly we scan overlapping objects perfectly?

        If you have a look with a slide projector, photographic film looks a lot better when it’s projected, better than scans or prints. I can never get my slides scans as nice as they look being projected.

        So in all reality, I believe equipment specs being much too optimistic, and needs our creativity to make it better.

        – When I scan, I have auto exposure on about -2(less contrast)((it’s in preference? one tab/page before where you would adjust frames size for 120 – 6×6 6×7 etc), Sharpen usually low to medium, and pretty much everything else off. I don’t even bother with other controls because it’s easier to do in other programs and they do a better job. Like sharpening, I usually used High pass Sharpen with specific values in realtion to size

        – They actually make glass film holders for the scanner with anti newton ring glass, that’s supposed to make scanning better, but they are pricy.

        – Like I said before, I say scan something smaller than 4800 dpi, I am sure you don’t need every photo that big. When you do get a great shot then you scan it bigger. I know the pain scanning with flatbeds, way too long. I usally have the scan software scanning while I am editing the ones just came out in another editing program.

        P.S. I always scan with emulsion side down.

        *Above are mostly assumptions from personal experiences, don’t quote me against a teacher!

  2. No matter, what scanner I have used, whether it’s the Canon 8800F or Epson V700, I have learned scanning software also plays an important role. Something people tend to overlook and just use the bundled software.

  3. Silverfast, albeit more expensive, tends to get the best out of a scanner. As with Vuescan you can download a demo version. When doing so you must specify you scanner’s make and model. Silverfast is a general software like Vuescan.

  4. Pingback: The Pakon F335 scanner | The Resurrected Camera

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