Epson 4490 Scanner - Tests and Settings.

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Harry Stottle, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. The default gamma setting on the 4490 seems to be 1.8, and I had
    presumed this had been set for Macs. If the default has been set to 1.8,
    when it should be 2.2, this could partly explain why some people are
    struggling to get good results.
    Sorry, I did a search for free web hosting and those sites came up. I
    tried the first one 3 times before posting the link, and didn't get any
    pop ups, but as soon as I posted the link here I got them. I wanted to
    place the info on a free site so it could be left there indefinitely,
    and anyone searching the newsgroups in future could locate the
    information, even months ahead. Hopefully, the advantages will outweigh
    the disadvantages if someone needs help setting up the scanner, and if
    someone wants to put the information, including the images, on a site
    without pop ups, they have my permission to do this.
    Harry Stottle, Oct 30, 2006
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  2. Harry Stottle

    Peter Chant Guest

    I'm not sure it is that good on 35mm, I'm very tempted to get my Acer
    Scanwitt up and running again. IT is clear that the Epson has the better
    dmax but the Acer is definitely sharper.
    Peter Chant, Oct 30, 2006
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  3. Harry Stottle

    if Guest

    I am currently looking at getting an epson scanner, according to the specs
    the 4490 is Dmax 3.4, whilst the 4990 is Dmax 4.0. Can anyone say if this
    makes much difference in practice? I have heard that Dmax figures are
    rather theoretical as usability of the denser details also depends on
    things like CCD noise. Also, I hear that only Velvia has a Dmax of more
    than 3.5 (I have some Velvia stuff but not that much).

    I currently have an old Minolta Dimage Scan Dual but rarely use it because
    removing dust spots is a big pain (no ICE) and it can only scan one slide
    at a time. Also some play in the holder tends to mean images having to be
    rotated a bit to straighten them, losing quality.

    The Epsons appeal to me because of the ICE and possibility of scanning 8
    mounted slides / 24 unmounted at a time (4 / 12 in the case of 4490). Is
    this a realistic prospect? Can I set it up to save them all to disk
    unattended (I don't have enough RAM to hold several scans in memory at

    With the 4990 being twice the price of the 4490, I wouldn't want to shell
    out for the 4990 if I couldn't be sure of making use of the extra scanning
    capacity or getting better results. OTOH I don't want to be in the position
    of feeling a need to rescan my images on something better at a later date!
    if, Oct 31, 2006
  4. I wasn't aware of the difference in Dmax
    rating between the two. Sorry.

    If you scan mostly negatives or documents,
    a Dmax of 3.4 should be enough.

    For chromes, the extra Dmax could help.

    Dmax for most C41 films is in the mid-2 range
    (log scale) and for chromes can approach or
    exceed 4.

    Whether Epson's numbers reflect reality is
    another matter.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Oct 31, 2006
  5. Harry Stottle

    Noons Guest

    they don't...
    Noons, Oct 31, 2006

  6. Actually, the DR of the Epson isn't that bad.

    It does a vaguely respectable job on the scan-comparison
    test involving Neil Snape's very dense Fuji chrome.

    (See the snippets page, about halfway down..)

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Oct 31, 2006
  7. I have just been playing around with 35mm B&W negatives, and these are
    the settings I have been using.

    Mode - Professional

    Document Type - Film

    Film Type B&W Negative Film

    Image Type - 16 bit Greyscale (or 8 bit)

    Scanning Quality - Best

    Resolution 4800 (or 3200)

    Do a 'Preview' and select image with the marquee tool.

    In 'Configuration' select 'Color' tab and tick 'No Color Correction'

    These settings have given very good results, and required minimal
    further adjustments.

    If anyone knows of any free webspace, without complications, let me know
    and I will post an example B&W image..
    Harry Stottle, Oct 31, 2006
  8. Harry Stottle

    Guest Guest

    Thanks Harry for taking the time to share your procedures.
    Guest, Oct 31, 2006
  9. Harry Stottle

    Noons Guest

    Yeah, I know what you mean. But try as I might,
    I can't get it to show the eyes here:

    That's 3200dpi rez vuescan, treated for grain in 48-bit raw
    with NI, vuescan again into a 24-bit tiff with gamma
    adjust, sharpened and jpg'ed with gimp as a final output. I
    sharpen it more for a print, this is enough for a monitor.

    As you can see, it's reasonably tack for the class of scanner
    we're talking about and there is no sign of the obnoxious grain
    "effects" I referred to when talking about scanners previously.
    In particular, the oof background is "clean" as opposed to horrible
    grain aliasing that happens otherwise.

    Yet, the eyes are mostly gone. In the film: certainly visible with
    a strong loupe. I know this is Velvia, high contrast, yaddayadda.
    But if I can distinguish the eyes fine in the original, so should the

    Not enough DR or some scan error on my part, take your pick.
    But I reckon I won't get better results than this with the 4990.
    Roll-on the ls9K whenever Nikon Australia gets its act together...
    Noons, Nov 1, 2006

  10. Be interested to see the comparison when you get your
    Nikon and learn to use it. Be interested to get your
    reaction to the grain also, when that happens.

    The reason this image is smooth (well, one of the
    reasons) is that it's not coming close to resolving
    the grain. I have a hunch that when you get your
    9000, you're going to want a copy of NeatImage
    with that.

    Some folks hate the sight of grain. Me, I've always
    taken it for granted. It's an old acqaintance, at least.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 1, 2006
  11. Harry Stottle

    Noons Guest

    Sorry, not quite. This is what I've tried to explain before
    and haven't been able to. The scanner resolved a LOT
    of the grain in this film image. Look closer. So much in fact
    that it went into grain aliasing, a typical event with the
    current crop of scanners. That, was the problem.
    Which I've found a solution to.

    is EXACTLY and precisely the same scanned raw file out
    of vuescan. I processed it into a 24-bit tiff with vuescan,
    then sharpened with gimp with EXACTLY the same settings
    as the first image. Indeed, the grain is there. So is the ugly
    grain aliasing. Which is NOT in the original film frame, no
    matter how strong a loupe I use.

    is EXACTLY the same raw scanned file, but with the
    grain aliasing removed. I did this by processing the raw
    48-bit scanned file through NI and THEN vuescan it into
    24-bit tiff and sharpened with the same settings as the other.
    Ie, same workflow, same adjustments, only diff is I did filter
    out the grain alias BEFORE I converted from 48-bit raw scan.

    If you look closely, the grain is there allright in
    But it's now the true grain of the velvia emulsion, the so-called
    "high-frequency" component of the NI folks. Which I don't
    filter: I like it as it is!

    That ugly "clumped" stuff in the oof areas of the first image
    which is NOT in the film is nearly completely gone. This
    is the "grain" that I object to in most scanned example images
    I see in your pages and others: I know there is no way that
    clumpy grain is in the original film, it's an introduced scanning
    artifact. Assuming of course a modern 100ISO E6 film or K25!
    Same here. Grain aliasing is however something
    that I've had to live with since scanning. It was
    never there and I never saw it with enlargers.
    This is the demonstration I intended to show you
    folks before. This time done within the exclusive
    realm of scanned images so it's easier to compare.
    Both images are near equally sharp in the focused areas,
    as should be expected: they come from the same
    raw scan file! One shows the very fine grain in oof
    areas expected out of a film like Velvia. The other is
    the basic ugly grain aliasing that is the result of
    scanning at a rez near the grain size.

    It still doesn't resolve my major leftover problem
    with flatbeds: not enough DR to "punch" through
    a deep contrast image like Velvia produces.

    I'm intensely curious as if these results will sustain
    and keep with the 9k or if I'll be able to dig into the
    dense spots more than with a 4990. I know the
    raw scan will be a LOT sharper to start with - the
    4990 has heaps of sharpness robbing glare.

    This extra sharpness will make grain alias worse,
    as 4000dpi is not enough to avoid it in the first
    place. But I know how to get rid of that.
    It's the DR that I'm deeply interested in comparing.
    Noons, Nov 1, 2006
  12. Harry Stottle

    Eddie Guest

    Wow!Someone ELSE with an Olympus E500! With some of the criticism around I
    thought I was the only one.

    How do you find it (and please don't say by looking under the bed!) ;-)

    Eddie, Nov 1, 2006
  13. Harry Stottle

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    Not at all, I have a dedicated cupboard ;-)

    I did a lot of research first, and shortlisted the D50/D70, EOS350 and
    of course the E500. I couldn't find a D50 to handle anywhere, and the
    350 was just too small for my hands (although that had been my
    favourite), the D50 I did see, didn't appear much bigger. I do like a
    good sized camera - I used to fit the Winder 2 on my OM40 just for the
    hand grip.

    In the end though, the test shots I found revealed no great difference
    in image performance for any of them, perhaps a slight edge for the
    Canon - *if* you print images at full size, or crop a *lot*, or want
    high ISO use. Of those I only use cropping, but not severely, and 8MP is
    enough to deal with what I need.

    In use, it's fantastic, at least compared to the compact. Still not as
    much dynamic range as a film SLR, but they're stll good. I love the
    lenses, and not having to worry about dust on the sensor is a great
    bonus too.

    I still have some of my old OM lenses, and I got an adapter off eBay for
    a few pounds, which makes them still useful. Great thing is, I now have
    a 75-250mm zoom lens, which has become a really useful telephoto on the
    E500. I also kept the 50mm Zuiko F1.4. I did a test page of images from
    each lens at different focal lengths, nobody could guess what was taken
    with an old OM lens or the new 4/3 lenses.

    I haven't really come across any down side as yet, although I do find
    centre weighted metering is better than pattern metering, and Program is
    better than Auto. Perhaps the only real issue I've found is a bit of
    lens flare when shooting towards the sun, but what would do better?
    Andy Hewitt, Nov 1, 2006

  14. Sorry, if it's realy "grain aliasing," it can't be removed in post
    processing, without also removing most of the underlying
    detail. I thought you understood that. Anti-aliasing must
    occur at the point of image capture.

    I use and own NeatImage, but let's not kid ourselves.
    This A:B comparison isn't proving what you think it does.

    You're about to be disappointed, I fear. Even with
    today's high resolutions (4000-5000 dpi) still interfere
    with film grain to some extent. And most film scanners
    (as far as I know) don't have AA filters.

    Again, I'll be curious to see how the LS-9000 renders
    this same hunk of film. I predict it will be deadly
    sharp, and deadly noisy.

    No, not "aliasing" but the grain itself was sure
    there, and the sharper the enlargement, the more
    it showed. This was true even on 8x10" prints
    made from Ektachrome and Kodachrome.

    I don't believe your "demonstration" proves what
    you think it does, but no matter.

    In order to show us scan that's truly *free* of
    grain aliasing -- and yet still able to resolve the grain --
    you'd need a scanner that has enough "excess"
    resolution so that it can still resolve the grain even
    through a proper AA filter. Or that its resolution
    is so high that aliasing only begins at frequencies
    well beyond those present in Velvia grain.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 1, 2006
  15. Harry Stottle

    Eddie Guest

    Thanks, Andy. Got mine in Dubai a month or so back on way back to Oz.
    Couldn't resit the two-lens package, though Canon are now doing something
    similar here. Only thing I would like is the 14mm lens that they supply
    here. Far more useful than the supplied 17.5 but then, canl't have
    everything. I have a Canon G5 that is very good, indeed, excellent. But for
    many pics shutter-lag kills it, not so with the Olympus, still a bit of lag
    but small and doesn't stop me taking footy shots.

    Eddie, Nov 1, 2006
  16. Harry Stottle

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    I got the 14-45mm with mine here, a very good lens indeed. Some
    retailers were offering the 17.5-45, but not making it very clear. It
    makes a very good wide angle, although you do get a bit of vignetting
    with filters attached.

    It was shutter lag that I also found a problem with compacts, but the
    E500 is almost as fast as my old OM40 - it actually manages the same
    frames per second as the Winder 2.

    I've always like Olympus stuff though, I started with an OM10, then got
    an OM40, which I've only just sold on eBay, and my first digital was an
    Olympus C960.
    Andy Hewitt, Nov 1, 2006
  17. Harry Stottle

    Noons Guest

    Partly disagree. AA has been used in digital image
    processing for many years now, at any stage of image
    production without loss of anything. It used to be the norm in
    the days when colour monitors were only 300X200X256: made
    for some nice images instead of blotchy gunk. It still makes a
    difference even in these days of much better monitors.

    However, I agree entirely that when scanning, the sooner it is
    introduced the better. Unfortunately as you well say: no modern
    scanner hardware has that inbuilt. A pity, really. (or a market
    opportunity for someone with the required technical ability).

    NI makes a good job of filling in, provided it's introduced before
    other processing takes place. I've tried using it at a later stage
    and the results were never as satisfactory. But on the raw
    vuescan output, it works rather well. I think they mention this
    in their manuals/faq, can't recall where.
    Entirely agreed. No disappointment, I know
    what I'm going to get in that area.
    Yup, it matches what I've seen so far. And I do
    believe I now have a workflow solution for it. Dmax is still
    something that worries me, though: I really hope the 9K
    does a better job of it than flatbeds.
    Sure. Like I said: grain is not a problem.
    Grain aliasing is.

    A case in favour of the very high optical resolutions
    of some drum scanners, IMO. I still think appropriate
    AA filters at an early stage of the scanning process
    would be a better - as in cheaper and more feasible - solution.

    Wonder if the 7000dpi plustek gear would be enough to
    get rid of aliasing? Must ask someone to run a few tests...
    Their dmax is nothing to write home about but the rez
    seems to be right up there.
    Noons, Nov 2, 2006

  18. I'm willing to wager that the Plustek claim is effectively
    a doubled resolution (from using a staggered sensor) in
    the same way the Epson flatbeds are doubled.

    But that would mean (at least) that it's an oversampled
    3600 dpi scanner which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    I really haven't seen a critical review of this beast but
    I'm a bit suspicious because of its amazingly low price.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 2, 2006

  19. Completely disagree. It's a matter of ensuring the
    Nyquist criteria. Without meeting that criteria, the
    damage is done, and can't really be undone. Not
    by Neat Image. Not by nuttin. No way, and no how.

    You can do it anywhere *before* the sampling.

    In this case, that it has to be implemented in the
    optical path, in front of the CCD.

    Anything else is post-processing.

    rafe b
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 2, 2006
  20. Harry Stottle

    Eddie Guest

    £150! Gosh, here in Oz it's $599 £250+. But I still aim to get one!

    Eddie, Nov 2, 2006
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