"Big bed for prints, poor film scans"2.0 starson by Photomark
Pros: Size, speed
Cons: Film scan quality, Software
Summary: I ordered this scanner because of the size of the bed and my experience with the speed and quality of previous Epson scanners. It did not disappoint in that regard.
However, the performance of the transparency scanner and optical system leave a lot to be desired. Billed as a graphics arts scanner and boasting impressive resolution (2400x4800 optical) Dmax (3.8) and bit depth (16 bits) I expected better results. Scanning 4x5 transparencies revealed an inability to match sharpness and dynamic range with a Scitex Eversmart even though the Scitex specs were not as good as the Epson. The lesson is that unsharp images at high res are worthless.
Interesting also was the inability to scan for shadow detail despite the higher reported Dmax of the Epson (3.8 vs 3.7). I assume this was just hype on the part of Epson as the Scitex was head and shoulders above the Epson in this regard.
Another weak link in the productivity chain was the Silverfast software. Despite glowing reports, the software was not particularly intuitive and did not follow traditional OS (Mac OS9.xx) conventions. Several controls seemed to have no undo or reset short of quitting and rebooting.
Possibly the Epson SW would have done a better job. But considering my previous experiences with Epson SW I did not try it.
Reflective scans were quick and of high quality as they should be considering quality reflective scanners are a dime a dozen.
Bottom line.... If you need the large bed for scanning prints save some money and skip the transparency adapter. If you need film scans look elsewhere.