Saturday, November 20, 2010

And speaking of scanning

Yesterday I hauled a bunch of prints to class with me. It was kinda raining and a bit of a pain in the ass. When I got there, hauling this load of prints I planned on scanning some of today (I did mention that the scanner is slow...), my professor comes up to me and says, "Hey, we just got three enlargers and a giant box which should have scanners. Wanna help me bring them back?" It turns out that, yes, the box contained two Epson V700 flatbeds.

While the V700 is not the absolute pinnacle of negative scanning, it is better than anything I can afford and completely blows the Epson 1670 completely out of the water. The quality is way better, but strangely enough the scan speed is about the same. The difference is that since the quality is better, I can scan 20 negatives in the holder in the time it used to take me to do a single 8x10 print.

At first, I had some trouble getting the settings right - at really high DPI settings, the film grain shows through a LOT (Oh man, why did I shoot Tri-X?). Epson's software has apparently not had a UI change since 2003, so their Epson Scan utility looks ridiculous. Of course, the V700 does come with some pretty nifty software, but the license belongs to the school, not me. Again, aside from the noise, everything looks awesome.

For $500, I'd be totally happy with owning this scanner. I'd rather have a Nikon Coolscan, but I'd rather spend that $2000 on lenses. Or a 5DmkII.

Canon EOS-1/ Kodak Plus-X 125
Noise reduction applied in Photoshop Lightroom. Not finished work.
This is the first photo I looked at, and let me just say that the scanned plus-x looks way better (yes, in general too) than the Tri-X. Unfortunately the image is only 1040x1672 @ 1200 dpi. Then again, I'm not going to use these for digital printing - quite the opposite.

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