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Hi All - I received my Epson 1600 scanner this morning (pro model with trans adapter, but not FireWire). Connection to a PC was quick and easy via USB cable and quick software installation. The Epson scanning software is not overly featured, but is adequate. The scanner itself is heavy and appears well made, unlike the 1200U which is very light weight and mostly plastic. The film holders lay on the glass bed and hold the film up off the glass by a couple of mm., so newton rings will not be a problem. The software knows to shift focus a bit when transp. adapter is in use. Now, how are the scans? First a bit of background to establish credibility. In the photo lab where I work, we have 2 Agfa Duoscans, and an Imacon Flextite Precision II scanner. The Imacon is a $15,000 unit with quality approaching drum scanners. I first scanned two 4x5" Ektachrome transparencies using one of the Agfa scanners at 800 ppi (which is our usual resolution for 300 dpi Sienna prints). Curves were used in the Agfa software to adjust density and overall color before the actual scans. After saving these images, I rebooted with the Epson 1600 connected and scanned the same two transp. again at 800 ppi. with curve adjustments in the Epson software. There was no unsharp masking used with either scanner. The results - scans from the Epson were noticeably sharper, with better information in the shadows than the Agfa scans. I've had many, many hours of experience with the Agfa Duoscans, and about 5 minutes with the Epson, so I was immediatly impressed, as was another technician who works with me. At my place of work, we scan lots of wood furniture transp., often walnut or dark mahogony finish in moody lighting - these are very challenging for any scanner. I picked another transparency with lots of dark wood in semi-shadow, scanned again at 800 ppi resulting in a very nice scan with good detail in the shadow area. One more quick test - my 35mm scanner test slide containing very tiny print from the stock report section of the Wall St. Journal. I scanned first at 800 ppi, and then again at 1600 ppi to see if more detail would be captured. The 1600 ppi scan did contain more detail in the form of more readable text and more generally better definition of the font characters. I cannot say if the scanner is really operating at a true 1600 ppi, but I can say that there was an improvement. So my quick conclusion as of today - The Epson 1600 is a real winner in its price range. The Agfa Duoscans were about $2400 when they were purchased, and I think they still sell for about that. The Epson at $1100 makes better scans even though the software is not as full-featured as Agfa's. I did not compare the Epson to the Imacon scanner because it wouldn't be fair - they're not in the same league. I've ordered the Silverfast software at the bargain price of $99 and will try that on Thursday when it's supposed to arrive. Someone asked about the 1200U scanner compared to the 1600, and I can only say that you get what you pay for. The 1200 is a very nice scanner in its price range, but not near as good as the 1600. Regards --- John. - Please turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for instructions.
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