Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

I have been using an Epson V850 Pro scanner to scan 6x6, 6x8 medium format films. Honestly, I am not satisfied with the level of focus on the scanned output when using the V850 MF film holder. I did try DigitaLIZA from Lomography, but it showed worse outputs. I did try scanning with digital camera. Yes, I could get sharper outputs, but the whole process was quite tedious to me.

Yesterday, I happened to read a Mark Segal's article. He made a comprehensive review report on Epson V850 in comparison to the higher end scanners such as Imacon 848, Nikon CoolScan 9000ED, Plustek OF120. Let me quote a part of his summary below.

[QUOTE]

Flatness of field is important for all these scanners, hence I recommend that those scanning medium format media in the Epson V850 buy the Fluid Mount Accessory and a piece of Museum Glass for making thses scans, as I did here. I did not rely on the supplied holders for these tests, because my primary purpose is to show how the scanner perfoms when used at its best. The media must be very flat for film holders to work as the approach I used

[UNQUOTE]

Let me make it clear that he did not do the fluid mount scanning, rather he did dry scanning using an accessory designed by Epson for fluid mount scanning with V800 & V850. He used this tray as a film holder where the film was put on and he used a Museum Glass as a substitute for anti newton ring glass to make film flat under the glass. The V850 film holder has height adjusters while the Fluid Mount Accessory is set for 3mm fixed height.

I am now considering to test this solution. If this doesn't prove any better improvement, then my last resort would be a real wet mount scanning.

I would appreciate it if anyone who attempted this solution or anyone who has an insights on scanning with Epson flatbed scanners. Those advices or inputs will be greatly helpful for me to decide which way to go. FYI,  I am not interested either in the dedicated film scanners such as Nikon CS, Plustek, etc or in digitalizing with camera. I just stick to V850.

Thanks!

Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,880
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory
2

I don’t have a V850 so have no particular insight on that, but Nick Carver has done a video https://youtu.be/mfGKd_AEZtY where he compares five scanning techniques on the V750 -

1. Using the Epson film tray from a v850

2. Dry mount to a piece of ground glass

3. Fluid Mount with the Epson fluid mount station

4. Fluid Mount directly to the scanner glass

5. Inverted Fluid Mount using the Betterscanning.com Variable Height Mounting Station

Might be worth watching if you’ve not seen it already - as a spoiler he found the Betterscanning mount gave the sharpest image, followed by the v850 tray

SilverFast-LSI
SilverFast-LSI New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

It's been a while since I compared the different available filmholder options. I compared the filmholder from Epson, which for the V850 received an upgrade for the height adjustment in comparison to the V750 holders, the Epson fluid mount accessory (without the extra ANR/museum glass but with dry and wet mounting) and the third-party holders from better scanning.com. I used one of our USAF-1951 resolution charts as an aid to find the best resolution. If I remember correctly the Betterscanning holders came out first, although literally en par with the Epson fluid mount holder and wet mounting. The extra tray coming with the Epson fluid mount accessory is really useful when mounting your originals dry or wet. I would like to add I put the chart in the center of the holder only.

I came to the conclusion to go with the Epson fluid mount holder when scanning my 120 or 4x5 film, but only if I used my best lenses and the heavy duty tripod with low ISO during capture and developed in my trusted lab. I guess it's just personal preference because of how the holder handles thanks to the tray. I used to do a lot of wet mounting for Heidelberg drum scanners in my pre SilverFast career, so I'm used to the process. For my regular 35mm and medium format film, I'm completely happy with the film holders that came with the scanner with the height adjusted prior to scanning, although the handling is quite fiddly. Rarely ever have much trouble with the level of focus. - Jan

OP Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Overrank wrote:

I don’t have a V850 so have no particular insight on that, but Nick Carver has done a video https://youtu.be/mfGKd_AEZtY where he compares five scanning techniques on the V750 -

1. Using the Epson film tray from a v850

2. Dry mount to a piece of ground glass

3. Fluid Mount with the Epson fluid mount station

4. Fluid Mount directly to the scanner glass

5. Inverted Fluid Mount using the Betterscanning.com Variable Height Mounting Station

Might be worth watching if you’ve not seen it already - as a spoiler he found the Betterscanning mount gave the sharpest image, followed by the v850 tray

I saw that video. It's very informative; however, I have no way to get a betterscanning.com variable film holder as they are out of business.

Thanks for your comment!

OP Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

SilverFast-LSI wrote:

It's been a while since I compared the different available filmholder options. I compared the filmholder from Epson, which for the V850 received an upgrade for the height adjustment in comparison to the V750 holders, the Epson fluid mount accessory (without the extra ANR/museum glass but with dry and wet mounting) and the third-party holders from better scanning.com. I used one of our USAF-1951 resolution charts as an aid to find the best resolution. If I remember correctly the Betterscanning holders came out first, although literally en par with the Epson fluid mount holder and wet mounting. The extra tray coming with the Epson fluid mount accessory is really useful when mounting your originals dry or wet. I would like to add I put the chart in the center of the holder only.

I came to the conclusion to go with the Epson fluid mount holder when scanning my 120 or 4x5 film, but only if I used my best lenses and the heavy duty tripod with low ISO during capture and developed in my trusted lab. I guess it's just personal preference because of how the holder handles thanks to the tray. I used to do a lot of wet mounting for Heidelberg drum scanners in my pre SilverFast career, so I'm used to the process. For my regular 35mm and medium format film, I'm completely happy with the film holders that came with the scanner with the height adjusted prior to scanning, although the handling is quite fiddly. Rarely ever have much trouble with the level of focus. - Jan

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your sharing of your real experiences. Now I am scanning 120 slide films and 120 color negative films using SilverFast 8 Ai Studio. After reading Mark Segal's paper, I ordered a Epson Fluid Mount Accessory, and am having difficulties sourcing an ANR glass (5x7 inches size). I am still waiting for response from a couple of ANR glass suppliers.

Regarding focus calibration, I have no idea how to use USAF-1951 resolution target.

Firstly, is that a transparency slide film or reflective medium? I hope it is a film medium.

Secondly, how to interprete or analyze the scanned output? Are there some kind of software program (together with the user manual) provided with the target in order for the buyer to analyze which setting is the best for the sharpest focus?

Thanking in advance for your detailed introduction to the USAF-1951 resolution target,

SilverFast-LSI
SilverFast-LSI New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Hi Don,

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your sharing of your real experiences. Now I am scanning 120 slide films and 120 color negative films using SilverFast 8 Ai Studio. After reading Mark Segal's paper, I ordered a Epson Fluid Mount Accessory, and am having difficulties sourcing an ANR glass (5x7 inches size). I am still waiting for response from a couple of ANR glass suppliers.

Have you tried your local print or art framing store?

Regarding focus calibration, I have no idea how to use USAF-1951 resolution target.

Firstly, is that a transparency slide film or reflective medium? I hope it is a film medium.

It's available as a reflective medium and slide film.

Secondly, how to interprete or analyze the scanned output? Are there some kind of software program (together with the user manual) provided with the target in order for the buyer to analyze which setting is the best for the sharpest focus?

It's a fairly simple process and doesn't require a dedicated analysis software and will work with any scanning software.

We provide detailed instructions with all the necessary settings on how to scan the chart in a free PDF on our website, although SilverFast is being demoed in it.

Thanking in advance for your detailed introduction to the USAF-1951 resolution target,

Glad to be of help, Don.

- Jan

OP Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

SilverFast-LSI wrote:

Hi Don,

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your sharing of your real experiences. Now I am scanning 120 slide films and 120 color negative films using SilverFast 8 Ai Studio. After reading Mark Segal's paper, I ordered a Epson Fluid Mount Accessory, and am having difficulties sourcing an ANR glass (5x7 inches size). I am still waiting for response from a couple of ANR glass suppliers.

Have you tried your local print or art framing store?

No, not yet. I will start googling for the non-reflective glass being used for framing.

Regarding focus calibration, I have no idea how to use USAF-1951 resolution target.

Firstly, is that a transparency slide film or reflective medium? I hope it is a film medium.

It's available as a reflective medium and slide film.

I wonder how the 35mm slide film(in a frame) resolution target will be useful for determining the optimum height of the medium format film holder including Epson optional fluid mount accessory. The target must be put inside the dedicated 35mm slide film holder, not inside MF holder unless I tear the frame off and put the slide film directly on the MF holder.

Secondly, how to interprete or analyze the scanned output? Are there some kind of software program (together with the user manual) provided with the target in order for the buyer to analyze which setting is the best for the sharpest focus?

It's a fairly simple process and doesn't require a dedicated analysis software and will work with any scanning software.

We provide detailed instructions with all the necessary settings on how to scan the chart in a free PDF on our website, although SilverFast is being demoed in it.

I have read through a PDF document. But honestly I can barely understand how to do to calibrate the height of the film holder. Actually, I am not interested in finding the optimum resolution ppi to scan at. I am now concentrating on how to make my scanned slide film output look almost the same level of focus as seen on the light table with loupe.

Thanking in advance for your detailed introduction to the USAF-1951 resolution target,

Glad to be of help, Don.

- Jan

Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,880
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Don Park wrote:

SilverFast-LSI wrote:

Hi Don,

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your sharing of your real experiences. Now I am scanning 120 slide films and 120 color negative films using SilverFast 8 Ai Studio. After reading Mark Segal's paper, I ordered a Epson Fluid Mount Accessory, and am having difficulties sourcing an ANR glass (5x7 inches size). I am still waiting for response from a couple of ANR glass suppliers.

Have you tried your local print or art framing store?

No, not yet. I will start googling for the non-reflective glass being used for framing.

Regarding focus calibration, I have no idea how to use USAF-1951 resolution target.

Firstly, is that a transparency slide film or reflective medium? I hope it is a film medium.

It's available as a reflective medium and slide film.

I wonder how the 35mm slide film(in a frame) resolution target will be useful for determining the optimum height of the medium format film holder including Epson optional fluid mount accessory. The target must be put inside the dedicated 35mm slide film holder, not inside MF holder unless I tear the frame off and put the slide film directly on the MF holder.

You can get USAF targets on 120 film - https://film4ever-digital.blogspot.com/?m=1

(Not Silverfast)

Secondly, how to interprete or analyze the scanned output? Are there some kind of software program (together with the user manual) provided with the target in order for the buyer to analyze which setting is the best for the sharpest focus?

It's a fairly simple process and doesn't require a dedicated analysis software and will work with any scanning software.

We provide detailed instructions with all the necessary settings on how to scan the chart in a free PDF on our website, although SilverFast is being demoed in it.

I have read through a PDF document. But honestly I can barely understand how to do to calibrate the height of the film holder. Actually, I am not interested in finding the optimum resolution ppi to scan at. I am now concentrating on how to make my scanned slide film output look almost the same level of focus as seen on the light table with loupe.

Thanking in advance for your detailed introduction to the USAF-1951 resolution target,

Glad to be of help, Don.

- Jan

Alfred Contributing Member • Posts: 900
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

I experimented also with the Epson V850, but the results remained "acceptable". Then I stumbled across an informative thread on our same forum here:

The author, a professional drum scan operator, argues that even drum scanners are no match to newer DSLRs any more - let alone any other scanner.

I am using partly his approach now and found it quicker to operate than flatbed or film scanners - particularly with the simple and precise "Essential Film Holder ". So far I had no need to wet mount as yet. An Epson wet mounter came with the scanner and could be used in the same copy-setup for special precision work.

- Alfred
http://www.alfredg.ch

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 20,988
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Don Park wrote:

... I would appreciate it if anyone who attempted this solution or anyone who has an insights on scanning with Epson flatbed scanners.

My personal insight with a V500 is that I can get great results with large negatives laid directly on the glass, dry, and with no backing glass other than the scanner lid. This works so well that it has allowed me to to scan a 4x5 negative with the scan head that's only 70mm wide by shifting the negative and stitching the results.

Of course the value of this insight is probably dependent on the particular scanner, the particular negative, and the particular judgment of the user. It's possible that the V500 lens could have greater depth of field than some other Epsons, so that might be a factor.

D-ster New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Don Park wrote:

Betterscanning mount gave the sharpest image, followed by the v850 tray

I saw that video. It's very informative; however, I have no way to get a betterscanning.com variable film holder as they are out of business.

Thanks for your comment!

Mounting stations are shipping again.  Other items are shipping as material become available.

OP Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Overrank wrote:

You can get USAF targets on 120 film - https://film4ever-digital.blogspot.com/?m=1

(Not Silverfast)

Thanks for info. I will look into that.

OP Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Alfred wrote:

I experimented also with the Epson V850, but the results remained "acceptable". Then I stumbled across an informative thread on our same forum here:

The author, a professional drum scan operator, argues that even drum scanners are no match to newer DSLRs any more - let alone any other scanner.

I am using partly his approach now and found it quicker to operate than flatbed or film scanners - particularly with the simple and precise "Essential Film Holder ". So far I had no need to wet mount as yet. An Epson wet mounter came with the scanner and could be used in the same copy-setup for special precision work.

- Alfred
http://www.alfredg.ch

I do agree that scanning with camera delivers much sharper image tiff files. However, I have lots of things to do involved in digitalizing with camera. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences.

OP Don Park Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

sybersitizen wrote:

Don Park wrote:

... I would appreciate it if anyone who attempted this solution or anyone who has an insights on scanning with Epson flatbed scanners.

My personal insight with a V500 is that I can get great results with large negatives laid directly on the glass, dry, and with no backing glass other than the scanner lid. This works so well that it has allowed me to to scan a 4x5 negative with the scan head that's only 70mm wide by shifting the negative and stitching the results.

Of course the value of this insight is probably dependent on the particular scanner, the particular negative, and the particular judgment of the user. It's possible that the V500 lens could have greater depth of field than some other Epsons, so that might be a factor.

Quite interesting! V850 has dual lens system, standard resolution lens for scanning with film guide (including film on the scanner bed glass) and high resolution lens for scanning with film holder regardless of the scan resolution setting. I will continue to find out a solution to work with the high resolution lens where possible. Thanks.

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 60,000
Re: Dry Scan with Epson Fluid Mount Accessory

Don Park wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

Don Park wrote:

... I would appreciate it if anyone who attempted this solution or anyone who has an insights on scanning with Epson flatbed scanners.

My personal insight with a V500 is that I can get great results with large negatives laid directly on the glass, dry, and with no backing glass other than the scanner lid. This works so well that it has allowed me to to scan a 4x5 negative with the scan head that's only 70mm wide by shifting the negative and stitching the results.

Of course the value of this insight is probably dependent on the particular scanner, the particular negative, and the particular judgment of the user. It's possible that the V500 lens could have greater depth of field than some other Epsons, so that might be a factor.

Quite interesting! V850 has dual lens system, standard resolution lens for scanning with film guide (including film on the scanner bed glass) and high resolution lens for scanning with film holder regardless of the scan resolution setting. I will continue to find out a solution to work with the high resolution lens where possible. Thanks.

That is exactly correct. Mid to High end Epson scanners come with both Film Holders and Film Area Guide and the Epson software settings for both. When set for Film Holder one set of lens focus at the level of the Film Holder and when set for Film Area Guide the lens that focuses on the glass is used. The low end Epson scanners don't have the Film Area Guide or the software setting for it. Here are two cases. The first is a scanner with the Film Area Guide. The second does not.

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