Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising

V500 and what I hate about it.


95 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

"V500 and what I hate about it."

InsuredDisaster Registered since 27th Aug 2008
Thu 15-Mar-12 06:57 AM

The negative holder. Plain and simple. I scan more than 20 rolls of 35mm film (typically 36 exposures) each month so I use this scanner a lot, though perhaps others use it more. I looked at the 750 but the price was 3 times more I think so I got the V500.

My Question: Is there an aftermarket option for a 35mm negative holder for the V500? I've seen the Newtonian glass inserts, but I'm not sure how exactly these are used. I think you put the negatives in, then the glass inserts on top to hold it down, but I think this will end up being rather slow to change film strips as you'll have two seperate glass peices to remove and replace each time. Are there any other options?

My Review:

Now, the good: I don't have a lot of experience with other scanners, but overall I'm satisfied with the software it comes with. I'd give it a 7/10 rating. (Note, I use the "Professional" settings.) The curves and levels controls are ok but a bit different than say, Photoshop, so it takes a bit of time to get used to. The annoying thing is that say you click dust removal,and then click preview, the dust removal option is becomes unchecked. So you must check such options every time you scan a new batch of film. Gets old. . . really fast.

Now, I must say something about my scanning technique. I do it as fast as I can. Thus I use the auto exposure settings most of the time. This auto setting can probably be improved every time, but I usually just go with the auto and then get things into the lightroom. From there I will select shots that I like and if needed I'll recan just that shot. There might be faster ways, but that's mine.

I also do almost entirely black and white 35mm film.

So far, as I've said, the software is not too bad and I don't see anything that really annoys me.

Now onto the hardware, specifically the negative holders. The V500 comes with the 35mm and the medium format holder. I'll go over the medium format holder now since I don't use it much. The good news is that it has a more positive locking system to keep the film in place. But we are still talking about a cheap plastic negative holder. The bigger problem is that the holder covers up a good bit of the scanning window. So if you are in a hurry, you might as well toss the negative holder if possible and just put your negatives directly on the scanner. I think with the film I was scanning (I have no idea what exactly the format was) but I could put two negatives in the holder, or put 3 or 4 directly on the scanner.

Now, the holder I do use a lot is the even flimsier 35mm holder. OMG it is a piece of ####. I could think of a way to improve it without it costing hardly any more and making it even better.

Picture a groove running the entire lenght of the holder in which you slide the film through. This would probably solve 90% of the problems related to the chinsy negative holder. There are small grooves to help hold the film in only in one end. This small area works very well so it would be great if Epson extended these grooves all the way. Now granted, this still might not result in the best scan possible, but for speed and ease of use, it would be unbeatable.

For an even better way to do things, Epson could make it so there are 2 tracks you slide your film along, 6 frames at a time. The film could run out the back and front of the scanner. The scanner would see each track as two different rolls of film. Think about it. For those of us who develop ourselves, we woudln't have to cut the negatives until later inthe process, resulting in greater speed. Oh well.

Back to the present. If the curl of your film is bad enough, the negative holder is almost useless, and often the scanner won't "see" the second strip meaning you'll have to manually go in and select the images. Time consuming. To get around this problem, put something the appropiate thickenesss on the end of the negative holder to press it down.

I just remembered the slide holder. It is also not so good as it is difficult to remove the slides after each scan. It holds 4 slides in the holder so even a single roll of 36 slides would take an eternity. In this case, it is better to select only the good slides and not scan any garbage. If you are the sort of person who has decided to tackle the daunting task of scanning your family's 1 million slides, I'd strongly suggest NOT using the slide holder. Option one is to try placing them directly on the scanner, which would make removing them much easier.

Option 2 is to not use the scanner at all but rather, set up a digital camera over a light table, then snap a picture one at a time of the slides. If you are willing to spend a few extra bucks, make sure you get one of the flat light tables so you can push the slides around, and get an extension tube or other macro setup that eliminates the need to crop later. A cable release helps control any movement/blur. It will take just seconds a slide vs minutes.

My conclussion:

In short, I think the V500 is a decent, even great scanner considering I paid less than $150 for mine vs hundreds more for the 750. HOWEVER, the negative holders are rubbish and a slight design change costing nothing would make the 35mm so much faster and reliable to use. I'd recommend this one (remember I have almost no other experience) if you'd rather spend your money on film, but I think if I had loads of money, I'd go for the 750 as it can scan more shots at once.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

A general, generic topic V500 and what I hate about it. [View all] , InsuredDisaster , Thu 15-Mar-12 05:57 AM
Reply message RE: V500 and what I hate about it.
Reply message RE: V500 and what I hate about it.