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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

New Scanner

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Old 02-17-2007, 09:43 AM
Inspeqtor Inspeqtor is offline
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New Scanner

I am considering purchasing the Epson 4990 as recommended to me here earlier on another thread. I have a question about this scanner, does it scan normal documents? The Epson website mentions "the flexibility of a flatbed scanner" but that does not tell me very much. I am sure some of you people here must own an Epson 4990.

How do you rate the Epson 4990 as compared to other scanners?

I have looked locally, but so far have not found anyplace that sells the 4990. On that basis I may be forced to buy the scanner over the internet. What website you you great folk recommend?

Thank you

Edit: One reason I am considering this is to scan old glass b&w negatives.

Last edited by Inspeqtor; 02-17-2007 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:15 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: New Scanner


I don't use the 4990 myself, but have always been pleased with Epson scanners. Like any other peripheral, I'm sure you want to get the most bang for your buck. My criteria is mainly scan resolution capability. I want a scanner that will scan true 2400 DPI, not interpolated 2400 DPI. Not that you will always need that horsepower, but when you do it will be there.

It should scan "normal documents" fine. Depending on the bed size you may not be able to scan larger than legal (8.5 x 14). My Perfection 3200 only goes that big and it has not been a hinderence.

Scanning glass can be very tricky. I've only had to do it once and the light reflections were a pain.
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Old 02-17-2007, 06:50 PM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Re: New Scanner

I've had my 4990 for about 2 years and am very satisfied with its performance. I bought it to scan 35mm slides and MF film. Optical resolution of 4800 x 9600 and a dynamic range of 4.0 . The Digital ICE is great for surface defects on film. I don't use the scanner for image correction or sharpening except for de-screening (choice of 4 levels) when necessary.

to your question - It makes a great document scanner. True color, crisp and fast.
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:23 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: New Scanner

Hi, Inspeqtor,

I've been using an Epson 4990 for about a year now - it replaced an old, failing Microtek that neither WinXP nor Mac OS X had drivers for anyway. Chose the 4990 because there were 5,932 (est) old 35mm slides waiting in a closet to be digitized and its specs, including price and ability to scan reflective copy, seemed adequate to the job.

My experience has been good. Optical resolution is more than sufficient - haven't needed to use the maximum yet. I can scan a slide at 1800 ppi, which is enough to make a 5x7 print at 300 dpi, and see what I think is the film grain in plain-colored areas like sky. What I see could be scanner noise, but I'd expect that to be all colors and the 'grain' I see is the same hue as the background. dMax is not quite as good as you'd get with a dedicated slide scanner, but I haven't run into any slides where it mattered - and I've scanned a wide variety. Performance on old large-format black and white negatives has also been excellent. I've been able to pull detail out of scans that were so overexposed as to be virtually white.

The Epson software is quite good - lots of manipulation capability, and it comes with Digital Ice to clean up transparencies. The few times I've used it (normally I just do un-futzed-with scans) it has worked pretty well. No comparison with correcting in Photoshop, but much much faster if you have a lot of scans to get through. There is also a (slow) copier function which is just fine for a few single sheets.

The bottom line is that I recommend the 4990 as a very capable general purpose scanner for both reflective and transparent materials from 35mm to 8 1/2x11 in size. You can find detailed specs on the Epson site, I got mine online, can't remember exactly where. Amazon is a possibility. I've also had good experiences with getting electronics stuff from J&R.

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Old 02-18-2007, 05:10 AM
Inspeqtor Inspeqtor is offline
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Re: New Scanner

Lurch, duwayne, and Swampy,

Thank you all for replying to my questions. I really do appreciate that! It looks like an Epson is in my future! I am going to do a lil bit more searching locally, but in the end I suspect I will have to order online.
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Old 02-18-2007, 03:02 PM
Inspeqtor Inspeqtor is offline
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Re: New Scanner

I don't know if anyone will read this, as the thread has been 'moved' (whatever that means) and does not show last posts, replies and views. but today I ordered an Epson 4990 from Amazon, and should be getting it on Wednesday. Thank you everyone for your help in my choosing which scanner to get!
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