Movie continues to be a well-liked medium amongst photographers at this time, and whether or not you are an energetic or former analog consumer, the simplest strategy to share your treasured moments is by digitizing your movie by way of scanning.

Many photograph labs supply scanning as a part of their providers, usually utilizing massive scanners in a position to course of a full roll of 35mm movie in a couple of minutes. However, similar to creating at a lab, having a lab scan your movie prices cash, which is why many individuals like the concept of scanning negatives themselves. There are a whole lot of choices in terms of digitizing movie your self (together with merely utilizing a digital digital camera), however a few of these strategies require advanced setups, some have large tools prices, and a few simply aren’t excellent. Others, in the meantime, are literally fairly good and inexpensive. Meet the Epson Perfection V600.

Epson Perfection V600 key specs:

  • Appropriate with 35mm and medium format
  • Max movie scan decision: 6400 x 9600 dpi
  • Mud/scratch eradicating expertise
  • 48-bit colour
  • USB 2.0
  • MSRP: $229.99

The Epson V600 retails for $229.99, though there have been a number of offers across the internet for below $200 on the time of writing this text. Within the field you get the scanner, two plastic movie holder inserts, an influence cable, a knowledge cable and an Epson software program CD.

Exterior of the movie holders, this can be a actually simple out-of-the-box expertise.

Earlier than I get too deep into breaking down what utilizing this scanner is like I wish to give some context. First, whereas the Epson V600 can be utilized for quite a lot of scanning purposes, I will solely be speaking about utilizing it to scan movie. Second, I have been scanning my very own movie for a number of years utilizing all types of assorted movie scanners, and let me inform you there’s a steep studying curve. Every little thing may be performed proper, however it simply takes time to piece collectively every component and ensure you’re processing issues in a means that works for you.

There are, in fact, many alternative approaches to getting a fascinating picture from scanning movie; the opinions on this article are simply primarily based off of my experiences. Movie negatives are lots like Uncooked recordsdata; the way you course of them could make a giant distinction to how they find yourself trying (significantly within the case of colour damaging and black and white movies).

Getting the V600 arrange

The V600 can scan regular paperwork in addition to negatives. To scan movie, take away the white cushioning bit from the highest of the scanner mattress and set it apart. Now you are able to load up the provided movie holders. You possibly can scan both 12 35mm or four medium format photos without delay.

As soon as unboxed and arrange, utilizing this scanner is fairly simple: you lay your movie in one of many provided plastic holders, snap it shut and place it within the scanner in order that your negatives are centered on the scanner mattress. You can scan as much as twelve 35mm pictures or 4 medium format pictures without delay. The scanner additionally comes with an extra movie holder for mounted slide movie.

I want the plastic holders had been fabricated from one thing increased high quality. I’ve used different scanners which have magnetic strips for his or her holders and I desire these by a protracted shot.

As soon as your negatives are in place, it is time to get scanning through the included software program, ‘Epson Scan’. Relying on which scan mode you select (extra on that under), you merely set your required scan high quality, make a preview scan and choose your scan space with a marquee device (besides in Full Auto mode). Then you definately decide to the ultimate scan, which may take a protracted whereas or a short time relying in your high quality settings. Sound easy? Not essentially…

On my Home windows 10 desktop the scanning software program was fully unstable

Once I initially arrange the V600, I had it linked to my Home windows 10 desktop and shortly discovered the software program to be unstable, crashing steadily through the preview scan. Finally I could not even get my laptop to acknowledge that the scanner was on and linked. That is apparently not an unusual downside both (I attempted all of the fixes within the hyperlink to no avail). I ended up following a bunch of tutorials on-line to repair the issue and nonetheless wasn’t in a position to get it to work reliably.

So, I converted to my Apple Macbook which, although typically slower than my PC, had no points in any respect operating the software program. As soon as I lastly bought it up and operating, I really discovered it pretty user-friendly. The design appears to be like dated, however the operation is easy.

Scanning modes

The software program has 4 modes, the precise choices of which you’ll be able to see within the photos under (I’ve omitted the “Workplace Mode” as a result of I am not overlaying doc scanning on this evaluation).

Full Auto Mode

Full auto mode is the simplest of the modes to make use of, however might be too dumbed-down for many customers.

Dwelling Mode

Dwelling mode is the mode I might advocate because it affords simply sufficient choices with out being overwhelming.

Skilled Mode

Professional mode affords essentially the most choices however it may be overwhelming, with so many scanning high quality home windows that except you actually know what you are doing, you will possible really feel claustrophobic.

In the event you’re utilizing the Skilled Mode, the desktop can get crowded actual quick with the completely different modules. There’s really an extra Coloration Palette module in Skilled Mode that you should utilize to change the hues of colours in your pictures that is not pictured above as a result of I could not match it alongside all the opposite home windows. In the event you’re up for it, the Skilled Mode affords a ton of management, however I feel Dwelling mode will possible swimsuit most customers simply high quality.

‘Dwelling’ vs. ‘Professional’ mode

Dwelling Mode affords simply sufficient management to get an excellent scan with the intention to then make the remainder of the changes to picture high quality in no matter photograph modifying software program you favor. You’ve got bought DPI, Brightness scale, and a handful of clever choices like Coloration Restoration. The V600 additionally contains Epson’s ‘Digital ICE expertise’ – out there in all scanning modes – which robotically removes mud and small scratches (although I nonetheless advise dusting with canned air or a rocket blower earlier than every scan).

Dwelling Mode affords simply sufficient management to get an excellent scan

Skilled Mode, however, affords a full slew of changes and filters together with Grain Discount and extra mud removing alongside publicity and colour adjusting instruments like histograms, curves, white stability sliders, and so forth. One different very nice function is which you could change the bit-depth of your scans, with the choice of 8- or 16-bit Grayscale and 24- or 48-bit Coloration. The DPI setting goes all the best way as much as 12800, so in case you’re planning on making large prints it will set you up proper for that.

Dwelling Mode Skilled Mode

Above you’ll be able to see a comparability of the identical shot scanned in Dwelling Mode (left) and Skilled Mode (proper). The Dwelling Mode scan has noticeably much less mud and hairs whereas the Skilled Mode (with mud removing turned off) has extra mud however is a bit nearer to how I feel the photograph ought to take care of some slight white stability, tint, and distinction corrections. Picture was shot on Portra 400VC with a Hasselblad 80mm F2.Eight and a Proxar macro filter.

High quality in comparison with photograph lab scans

Extra necessary than how this scanner stacks up towards itself is the way it stacks up towards scans performed by professionals in a photograph lab. Under is a gallery evaluating pictures scanned on the Epson V600 to ones scanned by the professionals at Panda Lab right here in Seattle, WA.

The Epson scans had been all performed in ‘Dwelling’ mode at 4800 DPI (for 6400 DPI scanning you will want to modify to ‘Professional’ mode) and saved as Tiffs. This resulted in recordsdata ~6600 x 4400 pixels. For the sake of comparability we have downsized them to match the Panda Lab scans and saved them as JPEGs. Apart from that, no extra changes had been made to both scan.

When considered at 100% or on a big monitor, the lab scans present extra element and considerably finer grain than the Epson scans. In addition they do a significantly better job reflecting the tonality of the Fujifilm Professional 400H movie they had been shot on. With the Epson scans, the colour is OK, however there is a want for color-correction.

The corrected Epson scans are actually good-enough for social media sharing or small printing

The picture under and to the fitting is an Epson scan edited in Lightroom to match the tonality of the Skilled scan. With slightly fussing, you may get the colours shut, however the skilled scan nonetheless appears to be like sharper, extra detailed and fewer noisy than the Epson. However relying in your meant viewing measurement, that will not matter; the corrected Epson scans actually look ok to me for social media sharing or small printing.

Skilled lab scan. Lightroom-corrected Epson V600 scan.

After all, the lab scans price cash (~$10) and the Epson scans price you time, after preliminary funding. It took about three minutes to scan every 35mm body, which implies in case you’re capturing rolls of 36 exposures, that is 108 minutes of scanning. So if you buy the Epson for the retail value of $229.99, you’d theoretically should scan 23 rolls earlier than saving cash versus the price of lab scans, which might take greater than 41 hours.

Medium format hiccups

Be aware the marginally darker band within the highlights within the higher left quadrant of this photograph (120 HP5+ Pushed two Stops and scanned with the Epson V600). This seems in a number of of my photos.

Positive, the V600 can scan at excessive resolutions and excessive colour depth, however sadly some slight banding may be a difficulty when working with medium format movie – I did not discover this subject with 35mm. Banding is just not an unusual subject for flatbeds, however it’s one thing to pay attention to.

For individuals who do not know, banding appears to be like like what it appears like: a portion of your photograph could have a straight band of a barely completely different publicity alongside the road of the scan. That is one thing that may kind of be corrected utilizing Photoshop however relying on the complexity of your picture it could possibly turn into a large ache to cope with.

Under you’ll be able to see a full gallery of that very same roll of HP5+ all scanned utilizing the Epson V600 and edited to style in Lightroom.

The wrap

The Epson V600 has some flaws, like flimsy movie trays and dated-looking software program. However assuming you may get all the things arrange efficiently (sorry Home windows 10 customers), it is comparatively straightforward and easy to get decent-looking scans utilizing Dwelling mode, particularly in case you’re solely seeking to scan 35mm. Nevertheless, for the very best high quality scans, you are going to spend so much of time ready round for the V600 to do its factor.

Finally I feel this product is an effective possibility for amateurs and fans searching for a good strategy to scan their present work, or for these seeking to convey new life to outdated negatives. However for these needing each top quality recordsdata and painless turnaround, your native lab remains to be your greatest guess – in case you have one close by.

What we like:

  • Good value
  • Simple-to-use
  • First rate scan high quality

What we do not:

  • Flimsy movie trays
  • Excessive-quality scans take a very long time
  • Banding may be a difficulty when scanning medium format
  • Dated-looking scanning software program
  • Hiccups with software program on some Home windows 10 machines


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