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Epson V700 and refurbished scanner opinions

Avery Nelson , Jul 03, 2007; 10:42 p.m.

Hello,

I have a small personal collection of about 1200 35mm color slides that I am looking to digitize. I am considering an Epson V700.

I'm no photo pro, and probably won't use the scanner a whole lot afterwards. I might even eBay it. The original photos are not of great quality, but are meaningful (climbing trips) and will eventually be used on my site and potentially to print a handful of the better ones to a medium size (~ 8x10, 11x14, maybe some stitched summit panaramics) to hang on the wall.

It seems the best current price ($415 vs. $480) is an Epson.com mfg refurbished unit, and it would be great to hear people's feedback on these sensitive devices purchased as refurbished. On one hand, it may seem less than ideal purchasing something refurbished; on the other hand, the factory should be able to ensure everything is in spec before releasing it for sale.

Thoughts and personal experiences?

Is there a good standard test to conduct on a new scanner to see if it's performing as it should?

Does anyone think this is not a good hardware choice or that it's overkill?

Cheers! Avery

Responses


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Godfrey DiGiorgi , Jul 04, 2007; 12:20 a.m.

You'd be better off buying a used Nikon Coolscan IV ED film scanner. I bought one with all the standard carriers and software last summer for $230. It will do a better job than the flatbed scanner, and faster.

Although the nominal resolution is lower than the V700, the results are sharper and higher quality.

Godfrey

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Jul 04, 2007; 12:21 a.m.

BTW, I forgot to mention that I have both: I use the V700 for scanning medium format negatives.

G

Brian Ellis , Jul 04, 2007; 01:40 a.m.

I have the V700 predecessor, the 4990. From the reviews I've read there's little if any difference in the quality of scans between the two. Obviously different people have different standards but FWIW I don't think you're going to be very happy with 11x14 prints from 35mm film with the V700. 11x14 prints are close to my own personal limit even with the 4x5 film I scan. Maybe you'll be happy with 8x10 prints but even that is a stretch for 35mm. If I were you and wanted good quality prints from 35mm, I'd try to get a film scanner. I don't think any affordable flat bed is going to give you real good quality prints from 8x10 up from 35mm film, at least not what I'd consider real good quality.

Avery Nelson , Jul 05, 2007; 12:13 a.m.

Godfrey and Brian,

Thanks for your prompt responses.

Truth be told, if I was getting something printed to 11x14, I guess I'd probably get a drum scan and have a shop print it. But 8x10s would be nice to do from home.

I batted this around about 6 months ago, and ended up settling on the V700, as it had pretty respectable reviews, and I did want to get all these slides digital for review purposes -- so that pushed me towards something that could handle more than 1 slide at a time. The plan would be to come back later and spend add'l time on anything I would print or put on a site. An additional primary purpose would be for the purpose of digital slide shows.

Another thing that pushed me this direction, is the lack of inexpensive (e.g. < $600) film scanners that do a reasonable job. From what I could tell, the production of these things has been dropping off severely over the past couple years. I had finally thought I settled on the MicroTek ArtixScan 4000tf, then found they were unavailable (even though shown on the MicroTek site).

I had also read good things about some of the Minolta scanners, but those guys are now gone.

And, I'm a bit hesitant to buy a used scanner, given their sensitivity - I hear it's hard to get a new one that works well!

So, any recommendations, given what I've mentioned? Prefer the < $600 range...

Cheers, Avery

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Jul 05, 2007; 01:06 a.m.

Avery,

Even a brand new Nikon Coolscan V ED scanner is $550 at B&H Photo. They work extremely well and will do a much better job than a flatbed scanner.

I bought the Nikon Coolscan IV ED from KEH.com for $235. It is in excellent condition. It works perfectly. The V700 is an excellent flatbed scanner, but it does not do quite as good a job with 35mm film as the Nikon does, despite having a higher nominal scanning resolution.

Godfrey

Jim Simmons , Jul 05, 2007; 02:54 a.m.

Get a film scanner. The major cost of scanning is time and energy. It is easily worth it to get the right tool for the money, and a flatbed, while OK for medium format and good for large format, is not good enough for 35mm. I use a Minolta Dual Scan IV for 35mm (never printed larger than 7x10) and Epson V700 for larger formats.

Avery Nelson , Jul 05, 2007; 12:24 p.m.

Alright -- I get it, and will stick to an film scanner.

My budget is $300-$600 (the lower, the better), and would consider used if people generally have good luck buying used film scanners.

The one preference I have is that, if possible, that it can batch 2-6+ slides at a time so I can get an 'initial proof'. I realize anything I print or want to look good I'll have to take the time to scan and adjust the slide individually.

I still have to do research, but might as well ask:

Top two recommendations for a single-slide film scanner in my price range (new or used)?

Top two recommendations for a multi-slide (2-6+) film scanner in my price range (new or used)?

Cheers, Avery

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Jul 05, 2007; 02:15 p.m.

There really isn't much to recommend these days. Most of the film scanners, other than the Nikon models, are either junk and not worth the money, or industrial units much more expensive than what you're looking for.

The Nikon Coolscan IV or V ED can only handle one mounted slide at a time and cost in the ballpark of your price range. They can also be used with an automated strip loader (cut strips of 35mm film from 3 to 6 frames in length).

The Nikon Super Coolscan IV or V ED can be fitted with an added cost mounted-slide stack loader which can a batch job of slides, but there you're talking double the price for the scanner itself, another few hundred for the stack loader, etc.

I see one Nikon Coolscan IV ED listed on ebay with a BIN price of $340 at present, and a number of Coolscan V ED unit listed there and at KEH for around $450-500 used. A new Coolscan V ED goes for $550 ... that's what I'd recommend, if you can go for the bux.

Godfrey

Gareth Watkins , Jul 06, 2007; 05:22 a.m.

If you go for a used Nikon think about getting it cleaned internally. I did mine myself after about 2 years use and it made a huge difference to the sharpness. It is not a hard DIY job but you need a bit of mechanical experience.


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