Thursday, May 1, 2008


Today I'm revisiting a photo I recently published. Click here to see the original post. In that post I showed a photo of my Aunt Lisa and Grandmother Helen taken at the Farmers Market back in the 1950's. I scanned the original faded photo and did a little color correction in photoshop.

Well I ended up buying a new (refurbished) Epson Perfection 4490 Photo scanner that could scan medium format negs. My old scanner could only do 35mm. I have the original negative for that photo (I believe it's 6x9 format), so with my new scanner I could go to a better source - the neg - to get the image. This scanner comes equipped with Digital Ice - software that helps reduce dust and scratches.

The first photo is the one I scanned from the original faded photo, the second has been scanned from the original negative. Click on the photos to see them open larger in a new window and you can see the huge differences.All I can say is WOW what a difference between these two scans! The color is amazing - my Aunt's blonde hair jumps out at you, so do her pink shorts, there's strong whites where it was muddy before, and the yellow and blue on the cars really is dynamic. And all the details have more clarity.

I pretty much update my scanners every couple years from Epson because the technology improves so rapidly. Every time I either buy a refurbished model or one on sale. The refurbs carry the exact same warranty as new and Epson has amazing customer service. If you have any problems, they mail you out a new one immediately and even pay the shipping to return yours. The model I bought, the 4490, is basically the same as the newer one that replaces it, the V500. The refurbed 4490 was priced under a hundred bucks on sale (100 bucks shipped) when I bought it, but now the price is back up to $109 plus tax. The V500 model that is the newer upgrade of the 4490 is 200 bucks new. The difference between the models is that the V500 has the newer LED light technology and a higher max dpi, that no mere mortal with a normal computer will ever use. If you try scanning at the V500's highest res of 6400x9600 dpi your computer will probably freak out. 300 or 600 dpi is enough for pretty much anything so why bother. If I want a super professional scan to make a lifesize poster, I'll take my neg to a professional to do it.

Epson almost always has free shipping (the only extra cost is tax) and there's often extra discounts running as specials. I always check out their clearance center for deals. Anyway, my 4490 is a steal and a great scanner and I highly recommend it.

No comments: