Need a new flatbed scanner ... recommendations?

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Dec 27, 2008
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A couple of weeks ago, the Canon 9950F scanner I've had for seven years or more decided it would retire itself without notice. So I need a new flatbed scanner.

First, I am a graphic artist/photographer using a Mac Pro with 48GB of RAM and currently running Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8). I have an Epson 9800 Stylus Pro, so sometimes I need to make very large prints, so optical scan resolution (and megapixels, when we're talking digital cameras) are important. I don't do a ton of scanning anymore, but I want to get the very best quality I can for whatever dollar-amount I can get approved. I do not need to be concerned particularly with scanning anything other than reflective originals, because I have a Nikon film scanner already. I'd prefer something geared to produce the best results from photographic prints, and it would be good to get something with a version of Digital ICE (or similar) that actually works. And I'd like to get something that I can reasonably expect to work for several years, as the 9950F did. Also, I use VueScan Professional, so I'm not too concerned with the scanner's software (unless it is better than VueScan and also doesn't add a lot of expense).

I found the 9950F was a good scanner, except that mine had an issue with faint color streaks (in cyan, magenta and yellow, to my eye) -- one streak in each color, faint and spaced a couple of inches or so apart. Each streak looked a bit like a fading single-color rainbow, or how such a thing would look if rainbows weren't curved. As well, I was never impressed with the "FARE" technology -- at least as it existed back in 2005 when this scanner was new -- as Canon's version of Digital ICE. I'd really like to find something with scratch and dust removal that really works well, especially for those times that I just don't have time to zoom in and deal with each visible flaw by hand.

From a quick look around, it appears the flatbed scanner market has stagnated a bit over the last few years, with fewer models on the market and good ones staying available new for quite awhile longer than they did 10-15 years ago. I see recommendations for the Epson v700 and v750; are they the best at that price point? And if so, what's a decent alternative if I can't get TPTB to go for something that expensive? In other words, I want something that will keep me happy with results and performance for as many years as possible. I'm open to recommendations.

Scott
 
Joined
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No experience of the Canon range of scanners but the Epson range is very good. The 700 although not quite the same spec as the 750 should be good enough as far as print scanning goes and at a pinch the v600 not that far behind.

Epson software is first class and as you already have Vuescan you should be able to compare to see which you prefer.

Scanning prints at high optical resolution (forget interpolation modes) should work fine but you are limited by the true scanner resolution therefore scanning over a certain limit will not necessarily give you a greater resolving power but just more pixels and a bigger file which may be of benefit due to the pixel count. But may not be any difference to upscaling in PS.

May also be worth trying your DSLR as a copy machine although you can expect to need to correct for lens distortion unless you have a really good lens that offers a flat field
 
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I do not need to be concerned particularly with scanning anything other than reflective originals, because I have a Nikon film scanner already. I'd prefer something geared to produce the best results from photographic prints, and it would be good to get something with a version of Digital ICE (or similar) that actually works.


FWIW, Digital ICE is for transparent color film, using a fourth infrared channel process to remove dust (dye-based color film is transparent to IR, but dust and B&W film, and sometimes Kodachrome film, is not, so anything the IR channel sees is a dust speck to be spotted out).

There is a Digital ICE version for prints, but it is very different. It uses a glancing light on the front print surface, looking for creases and scratches, roughness so to speak. Just saying, it is really not the same thing. I wondered if this was your meaning of "that actually works".
 
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I agree with Wayne and just to confirm relating to Epson

You cannot use Digital ICE Technology or dust removal when scanning printed photos on the document table.

Color neg/positive film or slides (not Kodachrome) Dust Removal & Digital Ice ok
Monochrome neg and slides dust removal chromogenic film only

Never got a decent result using dust removal via software so always turned this option off and used PS

Review of v700 http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson%20V700/page_1.htm
750 http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson V750/page_1.htm
 
Joined
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Messages
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FWIW, Digital ICE is for transparent color film, using a fourth infrared channel process to remove dust (dye-based color film is transparent to IR, but dust and B&W film, and sometimes Kodachrome film, is not, so anything the IR channel sees is a dust speck to be spotted out).

There is a Digital ICE version for prints, but it is very different. It uses a glancing light on the front print surface, looking for creases and scratches, roughness so to speak. Just saying, it is really not the same thing. I wondered if this was your meaning of "that actually works".
I know how it works for transparencies, but didn't realize it was so different for prints. Maybe that's why I was never particularly impressed with the "FARE" feature on the Canon scanner. It did "work" in the sense I could definitely see where it removed defects (along with other things) on scans of prints, but it tended to replace them with areas of flat color.

Okay then -- is the Epson v600 the best at a step below the v700? There's a serious drop in price between the two ... so that makes me wonder.

Scott
 
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An apology, I mentioned that Digital ICE was not an option for prints with the Epson v600 or v700 it appears that this is incorrect as the option is there (made assumptions based on the v500) - Featuring DIGITAL ICE® for both film and prints, one-touch color restoration and Adobe® Photoshop® Elements, this scanner provides a complete photo restoration solution.
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&sku=B11B198011

The price differential between the 600 and 700 I think can be justified IF you are needing or ever need to scan film sizes larger than 120 where the resolving power of the 700 is improved. It also has a dual lens system and I believe is supplied with SIlverfast SE software which is arguably one of the best solutions out there - although this is the lite version! Other differences include a D Max of 4.0 for the 700 vs 3.4 for the 600 which is largely irrelevant for reflective media.

I am dubious that any benefits will be had when scanning reflective media, however I have never made a comparison.
 
Joined
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I am dubious that any benefits will be had when scanning reflective media, however I have never made a comparison.

Even if its benefits were miraculous, it would only be a factor on tears, creases, and scratches. Which I doubt computers are very good at spotting out well, humans really ought to see it. But for decent prints, it has nothing to do.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
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New York
I just purchased a CanoScan 9000F Mark II scanner for around $160.00 from B&H Photo. I have read good reviews on it. I am due to receive it today and look forward to it replacing my HP Photosmart C5180 All in One piece of garbage.
 

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