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epson 4990 or microtek i900 ?

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Anonymous
June 25, 2005 1:50:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
curve so I have a few questions.
1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
by 4 = 2250 ) ?

2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
much discussion about microtek.
.
Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
Ed M
www.tranquilimages.com
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 6:51:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

edmarg1 wrote:

> With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
> ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
> like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
> 4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
> curve so I have a few questions.
> 1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
> need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
> resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
> by 4 = 2250 ) ?
>
> 2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
> Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
> article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
> much discussion about microtek.
> .
> Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
> Ed M
> www.tranquilimages.com
>
>
I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
of the 4990 with a drum scan:
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...

Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...

http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...

The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5 velvia.

Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.

Roger
June 26, 2005 6:59:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

> One sales person at Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in
> an article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
> much discussion about microtek.

In theory, this should be true. From the examples on the net that I have
seen (Google for reviews and examples), I have not seen the i900 deliver the
promised superior results in this class of scanners for whatever reason.
Also, look at the accessories offered. For one thing, it does not have
digital ICE for films. Finally, don't forget the Canon 9950 in your search
and comparisons in this price class. Many people seem to like it more now
that you can buy a version of Silverfast software for it (additional cost).

Doug
--
Doug's "MF Film Holder" for batch scanning "strips" of 120/220 medium format
film:
http://home.earthlink.net/~dougfisher/holder/mainintro....
Related resources
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 12:55:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

Roger,

Your comparisons and your web site are helpful. What approximate
magnifications were your detail scans?
I have the 2450. For medium format, do you think the 4990 is much better
than the 4870?

The pro version does have an impressive software bundle also.

Dan


"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote in
message news:42BF1559.2030808@qwest.net...
> edmarg1 wrote:
>
> > With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
> > ilfhrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
> > like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4
and
> > 4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the
learning
> > curve so I have a few questions.
> > 1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I
would
> > need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an
optical
> > resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
> > by 4 = 2250 ) ?
> >
> > 2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
> > Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
> > and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed
in an
> > article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
> > much discussion about microtek.
> > .
> > Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
> > Ed M
> > www.tranquilimages.com
> >
> >
> I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
> of the 4990 with a drum scan:
> http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
>
> Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
>
>
http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
>
http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
>
http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
> The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
> on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
> I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5
velvia.
>
> Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
> scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
>
> Roger
June 28, 2005 5:18:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

> I have the 2450. For medium format, do you think the 4990 is much better
> than the 4870?

The people I know who have owned both say the difference is significant and
they have been happy with the upgrade. It is not as good as going from a
2450 to a Nikon 9000 but then again it doesn't cost $2300 like the Nikon
(once you add in the extra Nikon glass holder that most people feel is
necessary).

Doug
--
Doug's "MF Film Holder" for batch scanning "strips" of 120/220 medium format
film:
http://home.earthlink.net/~dougfisher/holder/mainintro....
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 11:40:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

Dan Beaty wrote:

> Roger,
>
> Your comparisons and your web site are helpful. What approximate
> magnifications were your detail scans?

If you click on the link below each image on the drum scan
comparison page, the images are at 2400 dpi.

> I have the 2450. For medium format, do you think the 4990 is much better
> than the 4870?

If you are upgrading, I would skip the 4870. I had that one
and it didn't work well for me due to a buffer limit that
prevented a full 4x5 scan at 3200 dpi at 16-bits/channel.
I think the limit was around 3 inches.

The 4990 is faster, a little lower noise, but similar spatial
resolution. I rate most consumer scanner optical resolution
about 2/3 what I could get from a drum scan at that (2/3 resolution).
So at 4800 dpi, I would rate it comparable to a 3200 dpi drum
scan. BUT, the Epson 4870/4990 needs more sharpening work than
a drum scan so it is really a little less than this. Still,
given the $65,000 drum scanner / $450 Epson scanner price
ratio, the Epson 4990 does very well. ;-)

Roger

>
> The pro version does have an impressive software bundle also.

Like I replied to Tom, I don't feel I need any more "impressive"
scanner software, as I scan flat with no curves or color work,
just the 16-bits/channel gives me all the precision I need so I can
make all necessary corrections in photoshop CS.

Roger
>
> Dan
>
>
> "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote in
> message news:42BF1559.2030808@qwest.net...
>
>>edmarg1 wrote:
>>
>>
>>>With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
>>>ilfhrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
>>>like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4
>
> and
>
>>>4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the
>
> learning
>
>>>curve so I have a few questions.
>>>1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I
>
> would
>
>>> need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an
>
> optical
>
>>> resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
>>> by 4 = 2250 ) ?
>>>
>>>2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
>>>Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
>>> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed
>
> in an
>
>>>article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
>>> much discussion about microtek.
>>> .
>>>Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
>>>Ed M
>>>www.tranquilimages.com
>>>
>>>
>>
>>I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
>>of the 4990 with a drum scan:
>>http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
>>
>>Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
>>
>>
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
>>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
>>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
>>The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
>>on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
>>I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5
>
> velvia.
>
>>Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
>>scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
>>
>>Roger
>
>
>
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 11:06:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> edmarg1 wrote:
>
> > With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
> > ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
> > like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
> > 4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
> > curve so I have a few questions.
> > 1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
> > need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
> > resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
> > by 4 = 2250 ) ?
> >
> > 2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
> > Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
> > and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
> > article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
> > much discussion about microtek.
> > .
> > Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
> > Ed M
> > www.tranquilimages.com
> >
> >
> I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
> of the 4990 with a drum scan:
> http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
>
> Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>
> The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
> on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
> I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5 velvia.
>
> Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
> scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
>
> Roger

I'm tempted to buy the Epson 4990 and I was very impressed with your
scan results from it but I checked around for other comparison scans
and this comparison with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 puts me off the 4990.

http://www.medienarchiv.com/Fotografie/Scanner/epsonper...
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 12:09:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

C Wright wrote:
> On 7/1/05 9:06 AM, in article
> 1120226788.067053.161710@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com,
> "rolandberry@hotmail.com" <rolandberry@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> >> edmarg1 wrote:
> >>
> >>> With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
> >>> ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
> >>> like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
> >>> 4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
> >>> curve so I have a few questions.
> >>> 1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
> >>> need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
> >>> resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
> >>> by 4 = 2250 ) ?
> >>>
> >>> 2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
> >>> Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
> >>> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
> >>> article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
> >>> much discussion about microtek.
> >>> .
> >>> Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
> >>> Ed M
> >>> www.tranquilimages.com
> >>>
> >>>
> >> I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
> >> of the 4990 with a drum scan:
> >> http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
> >>
> >> Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
> >>
> >> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
> >> unrise-c12.xx.2002.L4.02c-600.html
> >>
> >> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
> >> .2002.L4.02c-600.html
> >>
> >> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
> >> nessc07.04.2002.L4.07c-600.html
> >>
> >> The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
> >> on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
> >> I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5
> >> velvia.
> >>
> >> Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
> >> scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
> >>
> >> Roger
> >
> > I'm tempted to buy the Epson 4990 and I was very impressed with your
> > scan results from it but I checked around for other comparison scans
> > and this comparison with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 puts me off the 4990.
> >
> > http://www.medienarchiv.com/Fotografie/Scanner/epsonper...
> >
> Can anyone translate basic information this site? The Coolscan image is
> clearly the superior image but I am not sure that the comparison is an
> entirely apples to apples comparison. Also, why were the scans done at 2400
> dpi rather than each scanner's highest optical resolution?

I can translate it. Here goes.

"For this comparison a slide (35mm - Fuji Sensia 200) was scanned with
a Nikon Coolscan 5000 and an Epson Perfection 4990. In both cases no
"Unsharp Mask" was used or added later. For the Epson, the 2400 dpi
setting was selected. The Nikon scanned at 2000 dpi. This file was then
enlarged in Photoshop to 2400 dpi. The latter theoretically results in
a small loss of quality. You see the same section in each case from
both files."
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 12:37:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

rolandberry@hotmail.com wrote:
> C Wright wrote:
> > On 7/1/05 9:06 AM, in article
> > 1120226788.067053.161710@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com,
> > "rolandberry@hotmail.com" <rolandberry@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> > >> edmarg1 wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
> > >>> ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
> > >>> like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
> > >>> 4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
> > >>> curve so I have a few questions.
> > >>> 1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
> > >>> need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
> > >>> resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
> > >>> by 4 = 2250 ) ?
> > >>>
> > >>> 2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
> > >>> Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
> > >>> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
> > >>> article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
> > >>> much discussion about microtek.
> > >>> .
> > >>> Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
> > >>> Ed M
> > >>> www.tranquilimages.com
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >> I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
> > >> of the 4990 with a drum scan:
> > >> http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
> > >>
> > >> Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
> > >>
> > >> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
> > >> unrise-c12.xx.2002.L4.02c-600.html
> > >>
> > >> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
> > >> .2002.L4.02c-600.html
> > >>
> > >> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
> > >> nessc07.04.2002.L4.07c-600.html
> > >>
> > >> The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
> > >> on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
> > >> I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5
> > >> velvia.
> > >>
> > >> Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
> > >> scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
> > >>
> > >> Roger
> > >
> > > I'm tempted to buy the Epson 4990 and I was very impressed with your
> > > scan results from it but I checked around for other comparison scans
> > > and this comparison with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 puts me off the 4990.
> > >
> > > http://www.medienarchiv.com/Fotografie/Scanner/epsonper...
> > >
> > Can anyone translate basic information this site? The Coolscan image is
> > clearly the superior image but I am not sure that the comparison is an
> > entirely apples to apples comparison. Also, why were the scans done at 2400
> > dpi rather than each scanner's highest optical resolution?
>
> I can translate it. Here goes.
>
> "For this comparison a slide (35mm - Fuji Sensia 200) was scanned with
> a Nikon Coolscan 5000 and an Epson Perfection 4990. In both cases no
> "Unsharp Mask" was used or added later. For the Epson, the 2400 dpi
> setting was selected. The Nikon scanned at 2000 dpi. This file was then
> enlarged in Photoshop to 2400 dpi. The latter theoretically results in
> a small loss of quality. You see the same section in each case from
> both files."

I'll give the gist of the rest. I can't translate it all as it is
covered by Copyright.

The guy says that the pictures speak for themselves, even if the
Internet-sized pictures do not do them justice. That the Epson pictures
are poorly resolved compared to the Nikon and the claimed 4800 dpi is
grossly exaggerated as scanning at that setting does not result in an
improvement. He says that if Unsharp Masking is used then the Epson
scans can be better and that makes it good for medium format and large
format scans. He says the contrast range was very good for the Epson
but the earlier Epson 3200 was sharper and had a similar contrast
range. He says the scanner is good for medium format and large format
but not so good for 35mm stuff.

As for the resolution, he quotes a USAF resolution test on the Epson
4870 that resulted in 1650 dpi and that is not enough for good results
with 35mm scanning and nowhere near the claimed resolution. He lists
some older scanners that are better and so still fetch good prices on
ebay.
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 6:46:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

On 7/1/05 9:06 AM, in article
1120226788.067053.161710@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com,
"rolandberry@hotmail.com" <rolandberry@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
>> edmarg1 wrote:
>>
>>> With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
>>> ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
>>> like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
>>> 4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
>>> curve so I have a few questions.
>>> 1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
>>> need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
>>> resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
>>> by 4 = 2250 ) ?
>>>
>>> 2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
>>> Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
>>> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
>>> article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
>>> much discussion about microtek.
>>> .
>>> Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
>>> Ed M
>>> www.tranquilimages.com
>>>
>>>
>> I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
>> of the 4990 with a drum scan:
>> http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
>>
>> Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
>>
>> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>> unrise-c12.xx.2002.L4.02c-600.html
>>
>> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>> .2002.L4.02c-600.html
>>
>> http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>> nessc07.04.2002.L4.07c-600.html
>>
>> The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
>> on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
>> I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5
>> velvia.
>>
>> Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
>> scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
>>
>> Roger
>
> I'm tempted to buy the Epson 4990 and I was very impressed with your
> scan results from it but I checked around for other comparison scans
> and this comparison with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 puts me off the 4990.
>
> http://www.medienarchiv.com/Fotografie/Scanner/epsonper...
>
Can anyone translate basic information this site? The Coolscan image is
clearly the superior image but I am not sure that the comparison is an
entirely apples to apples comparison. Also, why were the scans done at 2400
dpi rather than each scanner's highest optical resolution?
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 11:38:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.equipment.large-format,rec.photo.equipment.medium-format (More info?)

rolandberry@hotmail.com wrote:

>
> rolandberry@hotmail.com wrote:
>
>>C Wright wrote:
>>
>>>On 7/1/05 9:06 AM, in article
>>>1120226788.067053.161710@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com,
>>>"rolandberry@hotmail.com" <rolandberry@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>>Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>edmarg1 wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>With Ilford's difficulties and the interruption in availability of
>>>>>>ilfochrome supplies I am starting to see the writing on the wall. I would
>>>>>>like to ease into the digital realm by purchasing a scanner for my 2-1/4 and
>>>>>>4x5 transparencies. Admittedly, I am at the very beginning of the learning
>>>>>>curve so I have a few questions.
>>>>>>1. Since most printers print at 300dpi and to make a 30 inch print I would
>>>>>> need 9000dpi but for 4x5 film I would require a scanner with an optical
>>>>>> resolution capability of 2250 ( 300 x 30 = 9000dpi, 9000dpi divided
>>>>>> by 4 = 2250 ) ?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>2. Any opinions on epsons 4990 vs microtek i900? One sales person at
>>>>>>Calumet suggested microtek because it is glassless
>>>>>> and therefore obtains a sharper scan. This thought is also echoed in an
>>>>>>article in July's Photo Technique but I haven't heard
>>>>>> much discussion about microtek.
>>>>>> .
>>>>>>Any info and advice is greatly appreciated.
>>>>>>Ed M
>>>>>>www.tranquilimages.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>I do not have any info on the microtek, but here is my comparison
>>>>>of the 4990 with a drum scan:
>>>>>http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/drum.vs.flatbed-...
>>>>>
>>>>>Here are 3 recent scans with the 4990:
>>>>>
>>>>>http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>>>>>unrise-c12.xx.2002.L4.02c-600.html
>>>>>
>>>>>http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>>>>>.2002.L4.02c-600.html
>>>>>
>>>>>http://clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/w...
>>>>>nessc07.04.2002.L4.07c-600.html
>>>>>
>>>>>The above have been printed at 24x30 on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
>>>>>on a lightjet and will be shown in two galleries starting next month.
>>>>>I can get beautiful 40x50 inch prints from the epson 4990 scans of 4x5
>>>>>velvia.
>>>>>
>>>>>Note the epson 4870 has some buffer limitations important for 4x5
>>>>>scanning. The limit is no longer a problem with the 4990.
>>>>>
>>>>>Roger
>>>>
>>>>I'm tempted to buy the Epson 4990 and I was very impressed with your
>>>>scan results from it but I checked around for other comparison scans
>>>>and this comparison with the Nikon Coolscan 5000 puts me off the 4990.
>>>>
>>>>http://www.medienarchiv.com/Fotografie/Scanner/epsonper...
>>>>
>>>
>>>Can anyone translate basic information this site? The Coolscan image is
>>>clearly the superior image but I am not sure that the comparison is an
>>>entirely apples to apples comparison. Also, why were the scans done at 2400
>>>dpi rather than each scanner's highest optical resolution?
>>
>>I can translate it. Here goes.
>>
>>"For this comparison a slide (35mm - Fuji Sensia 200) was scanned with
>>a Nikon Coolscan 5000 and an Epson Perfection 4990. In both cases no
>>"Unsharp Mask" was used or added later. For the Epson, the 2400 dpi
>>setting was selected. The Nikon scanned at 2000 dpi. This file was then
>>enlarged in Photoshop to 2400 dpi. The latter theoretically results in
>>a small loss of quality. You see the same section in each case from
>>both files."
>
>
> I'll give the gist of the rest. I can't translate it all as it is
> covered by Copyright.
>
> The guy says that the pictures speak for themselves, even if the
> Internet-sized pictures do not do them justice. That the Epson pictures
> are poorly resolved compared to the Nikon and the claimed 4800 dpi is
> grossly exaggerated as scanning at that setting does not result in an
> improvement. He says that if Unsharp Masking is used then the Epson
> scans can be better and that makes it good for medium format and large
> format scans. He says the contrast range was very good for the Epson
> but the earlier Epson 3200 was sharper and had a similar contrast
> range. He says the scanner is good for medium format and large format
> but not so good for 35mm stuff.
>
> As for the resolution, he quotes a USAF resolution test on the Epson
> 4870 that resulted in 1650 dpi and that is not enough for good results
> with 35mm scanning and nowhere near the claimed resolution. He lists
> some older scanners that are better and so still fetch good prices on
> ebay.
>
On my epson 4990, there is a definite difference in scanned image
sharpness between 2400 ppi and 3200 ppi. There was a negligible
deference between 3200 and 4800 dpi. So the above scan test
was probably not optimum. Some scanners have their best focus
slightly different than the film plane. Each scanner should
be tested to find the optimum focus and the film holder
shimmed to get it to best focus (assuming it is not below the
glass level).

If you buy the scanner locally, confirm that you could return
it if not satisfied.

For even better quality, a dedicated 4x5 film scanner would likely
be a little better. If you shoot at f/22, the diffraction spot diameter
is about 28 microns. Sampling at 2400 ppi is 10.6 microns/pixel,
so one does not need a lot more resolution than about 2400 ppi
with large format at f/22 and slower. So 3200 ppi is sampling
most of what you can get from the image, assuming the scanner
has about 2400 ppi optical resolution, and my epson is close to that.

I've been making beautiful 30x40 and 24x30 inch lightjet prints
from epson 4990 scans (and previously 4870 scans up to 60 inches).
Some of these images are now hanging in offices and art galleries.

Roger
!