Scanning with the Epson 2450

Medium Format

Here are some  examples of what can be done with the Epson 2450 scanner.  

The first image was created on Portra NC160 film using a Horseman Technical Camera in 6 x 7 format.  The Horseman allows for limited camera movements.   In this case I used a 65 mm lens and shifted vertically to include the tree tops.   The exposure was at f/8,  1/125.   There was some wind, and that could have affected the sharpness of the foliage.   The picture was taken during the late afternoon with sun from the right filtering through the trees.   I scanned the negative at 2400 ppi using my Epson 2450 and Vuescan with sharpening set at 1.

The original image has pixel dimensions  5235 x 6648, but I've rescaled it for inclusion here. I also sharpened it somewhat after rescaling.   The detail below it is at the resolution of the original.   It shows a small section at the middle right of the full frame.  It was not sharpened beyond what Vuescan did.


Here is the detail.


Note the resolution of detail in the chimney and roofs, some of it at relatively low contrast.  In the chimney you can see two bricks vertically in a distance of ten pixels.  Note also that you can just barely make out the bricks in the house, which is in shadow. In the original scan, there is some detail visible in the foliage in the deep shadow on the right.

The second example shows a detail from a negative made with a Rolleiflex 2.8E3 twin lens reflex of National Bureau of Standards test charts.  The film was Ilford FX developed in Microdol.  It was scanned with Vuescan at 2400 ppi and no sharpening.  The image is 281 x 282 pixels.  The line pairs marked 24 are visible and those marked 28 are barely visible. Counting pixels suggests a slightly lower estimate, so I estimate that the scanner is capable of resolving between 20 and 25 lp/mm.  With sharpening,  it may be possible to improve this a bit.

Resolution chart detail

The next example was also made with the Horseman in 6 x 7 format, probably with a 90 mm lens, on Verichrome Pan film which was developed in a fine grain developer.  If I remember correctly,  the image was overexposed and underdeveloped to preserve shadow detail and highlights.  The image was scanned at 2400 ppi and modestly sharpened in the Gimp to enhance edge detail. Below you will find a jpeg, rescaled for web viewing, of the full frame and also one corner which is 8/20 ths of the full frame.  That shows you approximately what you would see  in that corner if you made a 20 x 24 inch print of the full frame, which could be done printing at about 260 ppi.  Below that is an extreme detail of lettering on the door as a jpeg with no reduction in scale.

Here is the full frame.

Galena full frame

Here is the 8/20 size section.

Galena 20 x 24

Note the detail in the foliage and also in the shadows.

Here is the detail of the sign.

Galena detail

The letters in "CENTS" are about ten pixels high.   The sharpening enhanced them, but they were also legible in the orignal unsharpened scan.

I spent some time at an Evanston Art Fair looking at conventional large prints made by professionals to display their works. While I don't pretend to be able to compete with these guys artistically, technically what I saw there was not signficantly different from what you see in the above example.   I conclude from all this that one can use the Epson 2450 with 6 x 7 format film to produce high quality 20 x 24 inch prints.   They would stand up reasonably well even if viewers got close up to look at the detail, although possibly not as well as prints made conventionally to the most exacting standards or from much higher resolution scans.

Large Format

Since doing the above examples, I acquired a Toho FC-45X view camera.   Here is an example of what the Epson 2450 can do with 4 x 5 format.  The picture was taken with a 90 mm lens at f/22, 1/30.  It was scanned with Vuescan, and edited with the Gimp.  The scan was done at 2400 ppi but was then rescaled in the Gimp to 1800 ppi to allow for faster editing.   I don't believe this reduces  resolution of detail signficantly.  A modest amount of edge sharpening was applied to the resulting image.   Here is the full image rescaled further and sharpened for web display.  Note the boxed region.


Here is the detail in the boxed region from the 1800 ppi image.  The edge sharpening has enhanced it somewhat, but the letters that are legible were legible before sharpening.  What was legible at 2400 ppi remained legible at 1800 ppi.

park Detail

Some people have noted the presence of what looks like chromatic aberration in some of these images.  I am reasonably certain this is an artifact of the scanner rather than the camera optics.  The letters in "ORIENTAL RUGS", which are clearly legible, are less than 0.1 mm in the 4 x 5 negative.  Experience with this scanner suggests that letters smaller than 0.05 mm in the negative would not generally be legible, although they would be distinguishable as separate letters.