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Recently I started doing analog photography again (as hobby), owning a Canon EOS 1N, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, developing all films by myself in C41 with focus on cross processing. Since I'm owning an Epson V350, I'm thinking about getting a new scanner, perhaps a Reflecta ProScan 10T, Plustek OpticFilm 7600i or similar, in that price range.

My question is, "How much difference in performance can I expect to see?" Does somebody has experience with an Epson V350 and a more "modern" scanner for comparison? For me this is quite an investment, so things should be well-thought-out. In addition I'm rather new to film scanning (but not to analog photography).

I'm wondering if these newer scanners will provide better detail, greater dynamic range, more sharpness, and truer colors than my old V350 does - and if so, by how significant a margin.

I'm using vuescan and ColorPerfect, if that matters.

  • We can't tell you if anything is "worth the money" as that's an entirely personal decision. Please try and refine your question to focus on how to make a decision, not what decision you should make. – Philip Kendall Sep 7 '15 at 13:11
  • Thats true, thanks for the advice Philip. Unfortunately my knowledge about scanners is very little. I'm aiming for an overall quality win, without knowing exactly the quality criteria of scanners in a technical way. I was wondering if scanners around 400€ provide a better detail, a greater dynamic range, more sharpness and truer colors than my old V350 does - and if the quality win is significant - and if so, if somebody can give me an advice. The best case would be comparison scans, didn't find any on google. – j__ Sep 7 '15 at 13:26
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The V350 was replaced by the V300 photo scanner. I use a V700 which can scan optically to 6400 dpi and has a dynamic range (Dmax) of 4.0. Your scanner has a dynamic range of 3.2 and an optical resolution of 4800 dpi. Some photos may need a Dmax of 3.4 and occasionally some transparencies will approach a Dmax of 4.0. It is likely that C41 negative film will probably never require a Dmax of more than 3.4.

The Reflecta has less optical resolution than your Epson... 3600 dpi vs 4800 dpi and it has ICE and a Dmax of 3.8 so it may well provide improved scans. The Plustek is a negative film scanner with an optical resolution of 7200 dpi and a Dmax of 3.5. It can deal with 4 slides or film strips for for 35mm in units of 6. You would lose the advantages of a flatbed scanner if you bought just a film scanner. Modern flatbed scanners would leave you with many other scanning choices.

You have to decide upon whether you want a dedicated film scanner or a scanner which can scan transparencies, negatives and photographs in mono or colour. Vuescan can be set up to be very capable software and it will probably include the scanners on your shortlist. The Epson I use is seriously capable but may be far too much money for your needs. Currently produced scanners will all serve you well and will almost certainly be an improvement on your V350. Your choice is how do you want your chosen piece of kit to serve you now and at a later date.

Hope this helps

  • Thank you very much for your detailed Informations! I already bought the "Reflecta RPS 10M" a couple of months ago. I'll upload a comparison and post it here so others can see the difference in a few days. – j__ Apr 13 '16 at 10:09
  • Have you had any thoughts about the differences between the output from the Reflecta and the Epson? – Jeff Cable Apr 13 '16 at 23:52
  • Sure! But please keep in mind that they are my personal view of things, totally subjective. Others might think different! The first thing I noticed was the sharpness I gained from Reflecta. That was a giant leap! Also the level of detail is amazing (look at the blanket / gras in the color positive picture). The colors of the Reflecta are more vivid, the epson seemed to have some kind of soft grayish blurred overcast. I noticed a much better whitebalance(?) for the reflecta too, the epson often had little colorcasts (mostly yellow - reddish - violet ones). – j__ Apr 14 '16 at 9:08
  • The images of the epson are always darker (up to 1 stop!) and have more visual noise. When it comes to post processing in LR, i often had to pull the silders to maximum for epson scans to correct it's failures, now with the Reflecta i don't need to post-process that way by far. Small changes for most images are enough. And if needed, I can get out more of the Reflecta TIFF than I can get of the Epson. You also get out more of dark areas with the reflecta. Oh, and sure Reflecta can scan with much higher dpi than epson can - if needed. – j__ Apr 14 '16 at 9:08
  • The downsides: It's still a scanner and not a magician. If your images arent well exposed reflecta can't repair it. And it is expensive. I paid around 600€. I also have no comparisons to cheaper models, so maybe price-performance ratio is not that good - but i can't tell as long as I havent seen some of the lower price range (350€ - 600€). For many people (not for me) sure a downside is that its for 35mm only. – j__ Apr 14 '16 at 9:08
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So I got myself a Reflecta RPS 10M and made a comparison with my now old Epson V350. I scanned a color negativ, a cross processed and a black & white image, uploaded them as jpg. For converting the color negativ to a positive I used the PS plug-in "ColorPerfect" with the settings it suggested but without film-presets. Converting the cross processd and b&w image I simply inverted the colors in PS. The b&w image is also scanned in color.

For scanning i used "vuescan" (v. 9.5.42) without anything that could change the image (e.g. whitebalance, film presets or similar) - just scanning the raw image as it is. I scanned with 2400dpi in a 48bit TIFF.

Feel free to make your own interpretation!

Film Types:

color: Fuji Superia 200

xpro: Agfa Photo precisa CT 100

b&w: Ilford Pan F 50

Self developed

Negatives:

color Epson V350: EpsonV350_color

color Reflecta: Reflecta_color

xpro Epson V350: EpsonV350_xpro

xpro Reflecta: Reflecta_xpro

b&w Epson V350: EpsonV350_bw

b&w Reflecta: Reflecta_bw

Positives:

color Epson V350: EpsonV350_color

color Reflecta: Reflecta_color

xpro Epson V350: EpsonV350_xpro

xpro Reflecta: Reflecta_xpro

b&w Epson V350: EpsonV350_bw

b&w Reflecta: Reflecta_bw

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