Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner by Harold Brown

Bhaga Video | Harold Brown

I spent about 2 years debating what type of scanner I wanted to buy before purchasing the Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner. I even sent 50 slides to ScanCafe to see what the quality was from them. If you are interested, you can read my post about them. A service can be a great time saver if you have a large film and/or slide collection. I had a Microtek scanner that I bought in 2002 that desperately needed to be replace. Some recent scanning of color pictures finally drove me to decided to get the V700. I had the negatives, why was I scanning the picture! I did a lot of reading of scanner reviews before my purchase. Important to me was the Digital ICE technology and I like the SilverFast software that comes bundled with the scanner. I didn't want to spend half my life in Photoshop healing hair and dust off of my film, so a scanner and software that supported infrared was high on my list of must haves. I don't use it for every picture, but it is amazing how much dirt there actually is on the film. Be careful how aggressive you get with the infrared or you can impact the final picture quality. For handling film I have cotton work gloves that I use to keep the oil from my skin off of the film. In addition or as an alternative, using a compressed gas duster on the film and scanner bed helps control the dust problem. A very good investment when scanning. I use it to dust the outside of the scanner as well.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

There were many other things I would love to have on the scanner, like auto focus or better film holders, but I also wanted to keep my price in the $500 range if possible. I ended up spending $636 on the V700 at Micro Center. Overall I would rate the quality of the scanner a close 5 out of 5. There is very little to complain about and even the film holders provide the ability to adjust the height to improve focus. I scanned 12 slides using the different height adjustments and found that the factory setup was the sharpest scan (arrow pointing to +). The light source isn't LED so there is a short warm-up time, but I am looking for output quality as a priority.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

Here is what's in the box.

  • Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner - with DIGITAL ICE technology
  • 8" x 10" transparency unit (built into lid)
  • Four film holders: 35mm negatives, 35mm slides, medium format and 4" x 5"
  • Film Holder Height Adjusters
  • 8" x 10" Film Area Guide
  • CD-ROM with Epson Scan software and productivity applications
  • DVD-ROM with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 9
  • CD-ROM with LaserSoft Imaging™ SilverFast® SE6
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • Epson Setup Sheet
  • AC adapter and power cable

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

The scanner isn't worth much without the software and there is little purpose to have the scanner and not run the best software you can afford. The software it ships with is good and it may be all that you need. The first thing I did was to download the latest demo version of SilverFast 8 and made sure that it worked on my system and that I was comfortable with it. I spent about three days using the software and took advantage of their upgrade offer from version 6 to version 8 Ai Studio.

Using SilverFast 8 I currently scan to jpeg at 3,200 dpi. I have done some scans to tiff, but I will reserve that for photographs that I feel are of a special nature. Otherwise jpegs are fine for the scans. The software function in SilverFast I make the most use of is the Histogram. The scans on a flatbed scanner will never be perfect, but for my work as a serious photographer the investment was worth it.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

Above is a scanned 35mm close-up picture I took of an electric meter in 1977 using a GAF 35mm camera.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

The above picture was taken in Mohican State Park forest in August 1977. The flash fired, resulting in highlighting the foreground rocks and tripod. I scanned 39 slides from the camping trip to the park. I had forgotten about visiting the park until I scanned the slides.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

The above picture had histogram adjustments only. No sharpening was applied to the image when it was scanned.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

The same picture compared side-by-side to the raw scan and the adjusted finished product.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner

See the follow-up to this post about scanning negatives, click here.

Unlock your memories and find those old photos!

ScanCafe: Give it a try! by Harold Brown

I have done a lot of picture scanning over the years and for the most part I am happy with what I have done. I do make a few adjustments while scanning, trying to get a better scan, but that doesn't make me an expert. Most of the pictures I have scanned were from the 1930's through the 1960's. They were are all in family albums, and most were black and white. Scanning them required taking the albums apart. However, when it comes to my 35mm pictures I have the negatives and slides available, which make for better results. Fantastic, except for the fact that this can take a lot of time and money to get a decent result. After scanning you will probably still want to process them through your favorite editing application, but that is optional of course. I prefer Lightroom and Photoshop. Then key wording, captions and posting to my website are the final steps. So the time invested adds up very quickly. Working with the RAW,  jpg or tiff pictures for publication to my site is where I want to invest my time. If I could find someone that did a decent job scanning my pictures and then I worked with them after that point, that would be perfect for me.

Based on the above a friend and I decided to send some slides to ScanCafe and see what they could do.  I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about shipping costs or wait time. That is posted on their site and has been commented on by a few people. I read all of the ScanCafe site very carefully and read a couple of reviews. I was not surprised or shocked by anything that occurred, and I didn't go bouncing off the walls with wild speculation waiting on the delivery of my photos and DVD. The slides and a few prints were processed and returned in less than 2 months. In total we sent just under 600 slides and prints. It was their $130 plus S&H box that they provided to ship everything in. We bundled the slides into groups of 50 and numbered them. When they were returned they were still  in the bundles of 50 that we had sent, and all fit onto a single DVD. Each numbered bundle was on the DVD under a directory with the same bundle number. That made it very easy to identify each bundle and what it contained. I did not see anything that was damaged and the scans were well done. The 4x6 paper prints looked about what I typically can achieve and unless I had a lot of prints with no negatives, I wouldn't have any prints scanned. A few slides had some scratches and dust that had not been removed, but most were in good enough shape that not much repair work was required in my editing apps.

Some people will probably be concerned about their photos, negatives and/or slides being sent to India, but regardless of where your photos are sent, there is always a chance of them being lost or destroyed. Even if they never leave your house there is a chance of them being lost forever. A real world example dates back to the 70's when my friend worked for a well known department store. A courier would drive to each store and pickup the film that had been dropped off for processing. One day the courier accidentally left a bag of film in a restaurant and it was mistaken for a bag of trash and was thrown into a dumpster. It was never recovered. My friend was instructed to tell the customers that their film and the courier had been killed in a fiery car crash to keep their customers from pursuing the matter further. It actually worked. So there are no guarantees with anything you do.

Seeing is believing and so here are some examples of slide conversions done for me by ScanCafe. The photographs of the bridge were taken on the July 4th weekend in 1977. The trio is a lounge band called "Something Different" and was photographed around the same time period. They were filmed in the basement of my friends house and the yellow cast is how the slides looked back then. All were stored in plastic cases that were provided by the processing lab.

Original scanned

ScanCafe Bridge after processing

ScanCafe Inside Bridge Original

ScanCafe Inside The Bridge

ScanCafe SD Original

ScanCafe Something Different Band


Most of the digital versions of my slides were color balanced properly, had low noise and minor spots and marks on them. Next time I will try out there pro services to see how they compare to the standard service. ScanCafe offers a great value when it comes to digital transfer of slide film. Next up will be some negatives as well. Give them a try and be patient. It takes a few weeks to get your photos back.

Put Down the Cellophane Tape by Harold Brown

Capturing a family photo album to digital and I am beginning to hate the inventor of cellophane tape, but not just him, the masking tape guy too. It has dried up on the paper back page of the album, but it is still a gooey mess on the picture. That figures. I used a small amount of Goo Gone on a B&W picture, and it did remove the glue on the picture I tested it on. It did not seem to damage the picture, but I am not sure of any long term effects. Some of the pictures are glued to the album page and they are not coming off. I had to take the photo album apart to scan 40 pictures or so. I have a large scanning bed, but not quite wide enough so the work flow suffers. There are a lot of Polaroid pictures in the album that have stood up pretty well. My guess is late 50s or early 60's. The ones that you had to spread the chemical over them after you took a picture.  A lot of the pictures have the streaks from the chemical being applied unevenly. A lot of the non Polaroid pictures from the mid to late 30s are somewhat faded.  Tons of pictures that are wallet size and smaller. I think scanning them may be the first time anyone will actually be able to see them! Well, I have to go. I need to clean the glue off of my scanning bed (Goo Gone again). Aaarrrggghhhh!

Put Down the Cellophane Tape