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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The Epson V600: A monumental pain in the ass

When I started this post, I had been scanning my Tri-X 120 negatives for about 4 hours, though most of the time has been spent on attempting to scan my Tri-X 120 negatives.  For every time that it does actually work, there are too many where it tells me “Unable to write to disk.”  I’ve read suggestions from Epson’s site, and am trying to correct all the problems.  I’m actually on two computers, just to save all the computing power for the scanning machine. Of course, it might help if the school’s software was up to date, which I’m not sure it is.

Honestly, I’m done for the night.  Nothing I’ve done so far has had any effect, and some time after the 5th picture it just stopped working.  I’d been trying now for 10 times in a row with no success, so I called it a night and hopefully will be able to work more later.  I was able to scan 1 image as a TIFF file and 4 as JPGs, which seemed to be the way to go, so all contrast and level adjustments were done while scanning.  Here’s what I was able to get done:

Not as bad as they could have been, and the file sizes are tremendous, to the size where it’s taking my home desktop a while to load one up (I suppose a 3.2GHz processor might have something to do with that).  While I have been very happy with Mike’s Camera’s Noritsu scanner that digitized my slides, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the scans from that 120 Tri-X negative, so I’m glad I had the chance to go back and tweak slightly.  No doubt I could do a lot more if I knew the Epson software better, and hadn’t been so burned out.  I’ll try a different computer next time, and see if that makes a difference to me.

Fun with scanners

Last summer I picked up a bottom-of-the-line Minolta dedicated film scanner off Craigslist.  Not too special, has a maximum 2400dpi, which gives me scans around 3300×2200.  To put that in perspective, if one were to get their film processed and scanned at say Walgreens, one would get a scan that is 1800×1215.  So my 15-year-old semi-pro film scanner gives me an image that is four times larger (or is that four times more detailed?) than what Walgreens can do, and I don’t have to pay them 5.00 a roll?  Hmmm, if only I had the extra time to take advantage of that…

Walgreens:
Image

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My Minolta F2400:
Image

There’s a bit of a learning curve, and sometimes things come out better, sometimes not.  This was my first try; I pulled out some negatives my mom had lying around that came from a Fuji waterproof disposable camera.  Honestly, the biggest hurdle is processing power.  Older scanners are SCSI devices, and I had to use an old Win98 machine that just wasn’t up to the task.  I’m in the process of fixing that now, because scanning one 24-exposure roll of film absolutely should not take 8 hours.  With Microsoft dropping Windows XP this year, I’m going to see how expensive it is to upgrade my RAM, drop in a SCSI card, and turn this computer into a dedicated photo machine.  Hopefully it’ll be able to handle larger files when I find a better scanner, say 4000-5400dpi.