We've been using Microtek flatbed scanners in our student digital labs for many years, and will be replacing them shortly with Epson V750's. The improvement in flatbed scanners has been remarkable (including Epson's incorporation of a wet mount option). With any flatbed scanner there are a few things that will help you generate the best quality scan:
1. Control flare by masking off the bare glass platen. Black velvet, velveteen, or black matt board works well. With some scanners, especially older models, reducing internal flare can dramatically improve image files.
2. Use the "SSPP" workflow: "Scan with the Scanner, Process in Photoshop". This is true for all scanners excluding professional models (drum and Imacon, for example). In other words, do not make image edits using the scanner software. The exception, of course, is to always use a film profile when scanning color negative film.
3. Configure the scanning software for: 16 bit, maximum optical density range (do not edit white or black points, or edit gamma with the scanner software), maximum optical resolution (unless you are scanning prints, in which case you need to determine how large a master file you need).
We're really hoping the new Epson flatbeds will hold up under student use as well as the Microtek's have. Time will tell!
Incidentally, if you want to produce the best quality master files possible: wet mounting is worth the trouble.
From: Robert Hall <email@example.com
Sent: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 2:11 pm
Subject: Re: REPLACEMENT FOR 4990?
I have used a V700 for a couple of years now.
I have really great results from the scanner. I have made an 8x10 frame out of 4 ply matte board and use that to set the very edges of the 8x10 on to scan. This solves the problems of newton rings. I have had many scanners but this one is by far the best I have used.
I have done a fair amount of medium format scans with the included 6x7 film holders and it does a great job as well.
Best of luck,
Robert Hall www.RobertHall.com