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Mon May 11, 2015, 01:28 PM

Trying to decide between two Epson Photo scanners

After a discussion a while back about various photos scanners I evaluated what I might need if I could upgrade. Well, my sister wants several thousand slides scanned so I told her if she bought me a better scanner I'd do the job for her.

Currently I have an Epson Perfection V500. It works fine but I have a number of old negatives that are too large for the Epson film holders and software. I bought VueScan to overcome the software limitations and devised a method of holding the negatives in the scanner (acetate transparency sheets work very nicely to hold slightly curled negatives flat) but for the larger negatives I still have to stitch multiple scans together and that takes a lot of time that could be spent scanning.

One member here recommended wet mounting which would require purchasing a pro level scanner. I've looked at the technique and with the limited number of negatives that might benefit and with my setup (which lacks good ventilation) I don't want to hassle with it.

This leaves me with the choice between an Epson Perfection V700 Photo - Refurbished - for $415 from the Epson store with free shipping or the new model Epson Perfection V800 Photo currently on Amazon for $666.99 from Epson with free shipping. For $150 difference I can get the newest version - it's very tempting! Both come with LaserSoft Silverfast. The V700 comes with Adobe PhotoShop Elements, but I own a copy of that and I have the full PhotoShop CS6 so I don't need it.

The V750 is still available - for more money. And the V850 is out, again for much more money and the only advantage it seems to have is two of each of the film holders - not worth the big increase in price in my opinion.

Any comments or suggestions from anyone?

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 01:41 PM

1. Here's a review on the V800 and V700

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2475291,00.asp

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1931744,00.asp

Be sure and check the operating system required. The V800 apparently won't work with Mac.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #1)

Mon May 11, 2015, 01:55 PM

2. According to Epson the V800 does work with Mac OS® X 10.6.x – 10.10.x

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?UseCookie=yes&sku=B11B223201

It's not a problem for me - I'm Windows only. My sister just bought a new Mac but she has a V550 to hook up - if she can find the software and get it done. She and her husband are NOT computer savvy. They want me to help them with their new computer and I don't do Mac or Apple products.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #1)

Mon May 11, 2015, 03:05 PM

4. Ah - here the major improvement in the V800

From the PC Mag review of the V800: "The improvements are incremental—like the change to an LED light source to essentially eliminate warm-up time—but they translate to faster, still-higher-quality scans. The difference in scan quality isn't a lot, mostly because the Epson V700 is already so good, but it's enough to be noticeable."

That is worth the $150 additional money!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 02:13 PM

3. Unless you need extremely high resolution you can shoot the negatives with your camera..

I've done this and it works quite well, it's also a lot faster than slide or negative scanning.

http://petapixel.com/2012/05/18/how-to-scan-film-negatives-with-a-dslr/

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Mon May 11, 2015, 03:25 PM

5. Taking shots one at a time for thousands of slides and negatives

Would take longer than I have to live! And I would have to invest far more money in a new camera than either of these scanners cost to do as good a job as the Epson Photo scanners would do.My old Nikon D70 just is not up to the job!

I would still need a really good quality flatbed scanner to scan old photos - I tried doing copies with a copy stand (inherited from my father) and two different digital cameras and never got as good a copy as I can with a flatbed. The copy stand was OK for my Dad to use to make copies before scanners were available, but scanning has come a very long way since the 1970s, 8os and 90s!

I brought home two boxes of negatives and slides in March and scanned almost 2000 slides and an unknown number of negatives. I spent maybe 40 hours total - and part of that was working through software problems trying to get my old V500 to stop dropping off the hardware list or not waking up. Another part was working with very curled negatives or with odd sized ones - I don't currently have a holder for 120/620 film and have to scan 4"x5" negatives in two passes then stitch them together.

I've probably scanned close to 10,000 slides, negatives, photos, and old documents. I need the flexibility to do them all and I've found the Epson scanners to work best for me.

The final part is that it is easier for me to put a group of slides into a holder for the flatbed than to handle them one at a time with a holder and a camera. I'm at the age where I am losing dexterity and need less hassle to get the job done.

The advantage of a scanner like the Epson V700 or V800 is that I can put 12 slides or 18 negatives into the scanner, start it and walk away to do something else while it's scanning - that is major for me rather than having to sit and wait for small batches.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Mon May 11, 2015, 03:31 PM

6. Oh - the other part - I am archiving antique pictures

Some of the negatives I have are from 1900, taken by my husband's great grandfather. A good number are from the 1930's, taken by my grandfather and my father of phosphate mining towns that no longer exist - while the Florida State Archives is scanning many of those, they don't have the time and budget to scan the images that are purely personal.

And as I said in my other post - I am also scanning the old family photos many of which are 150 years old. Both my family and my husband's collected LOTS of family photos and I am trying to digitize all of them so I can get them online for all family members to access.

So I need high resolution, high quality scans for digital archiving. That's why the opportunity for my sister to buy me a better scanner to replace my old V500 (that might be failing) is worth taking even if it adds thousands of slides to my to-do list.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat May 16, 2015, 12:18 PM

7. The hardware is more or less identical, you get "pro" tools with the 800

Same difference as with the old 750 and the 700 - the scanner itself is identical AFAIK, but the higher-end model comes with the upgraded SilverFast scanning software and more importantly color calibration targets (4x5 film and 5x7 photo) which are invaluable for scanning anything other than brand-new slide film. You can't get good correction if you don't have a color-accurate scan in the first place. It's why I went for the 750 instead, the film target alone was $100+...quite a bargain to get both plus the software!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 11:34 PM

8. For "several thousand" slides, only a batch scanner will do

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Wed May 20, 2015, 11:43 PM

9. I had to choose between budget and time

Since I'm retired, budget won. The Epson Perfection V800 arrived today. I'll be hooking it up tomorrow and testing it. I suspect that I will be rescanning some of the slides I did years ago with my old Acer slide scanner but not until I do the slides for my sister who bought this scanner for me.

The V800 will scan 12 slides at once so it is batch scanning. Each batch will take long enough that I can be working on other stuff while they process.

Now I have to figure out how to get the scans to my sister's Apple computer. I'm thinking of setting up cloud storage that she can access - simpler than making sure an external hard drive is compatible with my Windows 7 computer and with her Apple and more secure than a flash drive. For my own use, I'd burn each series of slides to DVD but apparently Apple is no longer using optical storage.

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