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EPSON 2450 Scanner Test Review
2004 KenRockwell.com
about these reviews

Mandatory: learn all about scanners and how to select the right scanner here

See comparative review of $320 Epson 1640SU Photo here.

See comparative review of $1,500 Microtek Artix 1100 here.

(click for more details)

Introduction

This scanner was the hot ticket for large and medium format scanning in 2002. It was one-upped by the 3200 in 2003, which in turn was replaced by the 4870 in 2004.

Many people are asking me if this scanner is OK for scanning 35mm film, since it is rated at 2400 DPI.

NO, as in NO, you are not likely to get away with using this $400 flatbed to scan your 35mm film for making big prints on paper instead of a legitimate film scanner like the Minolta Multi PRO or Nikon 8000 or Polaroid Sprintscan 120.

On the other hand, many people really love this scanner and for medium and larger format films it may be just the ticket if all you want to do is email and post your images. Also the bundled Silverfast software may allow it to get far better scans far more easily from color negatives than even my $3,000 Minolta Multi PRO, since the Minolta lacks the silverfast software which is pretty much mandatory for getting decent consistent color from negatives.

I want to try one, so by all means, buy one here if you're thinking of it, try it yourself, and if you don't like it, just send it back within 30 days. That's exactly what I do. There's no way to tell how it really works until you try it yourself and look at the results. As you read here on my scanner technical pages, specs mean nothing, any more than the dimensions and media of a painting give any clue whatsoever of what's depicted in a painting.

If you are shooting negatives, are not that picky about color or are willing to have to screw with the colors in Photoshop just to get them to match your original then it's probably great. I have gotten great looking images on these sorts of scanners, but it took me quite a lot of tweaking. My real film scanner gives me great results immediately. I am rich and lazy, so I'm willing to pay for the right results fast. If I had the time to twiddle then I'd probably have one of these instead.

If you only shoot 35mm FORGET this scanner and spend the same money on a real 35mm film scanner. Consider this scanner if you shoot larger formats.

You can see a real review by someone who actually has one here.

No EPSON has ICE, FARE or other automated dirt removal, so you'll be spending a lot of time spotting your scans.

Most importantly, the real question is "how do the scans look?" All the flatbeds (UMAX 2100, Canon 2400U, Epson 1640SU) I've used for film scans have given poor color by my standards, and all the film scanners I've used (Nikon LS-30, LS-2000, LS-4000, Minolta Multi PRO) have given spectacular color. The Microtek flatbeds with separate film drawers have given great color, too.

By poor color I mean the arbitrary, wishy-washy, always different colors one gets when shooting print film and sending it out to get developed. If you are an amateur and are happy with the colors you get in your prints then you'll be happy with these flatbed scanners. If you want bold accurate color like most of what you see on my website or what you see printed in magazines and you shoot slides, then you'll hate the flatbeds and love a film scanner. Everyone has a different tolerance for color.

Remember I use slide film when I'm talking scan quality and color. If you are still using print (negative) film then all the scanners I've used give poor color, so in that case a flatbed is just as bad as a good scanner. Except for the softer results, you may as well get a flatbed for $400 since you may not see the difference anyway for printing, and for Internet, website and email use the results ought to be just as good.

Also the resolution is sloppy on the flatbeds, typically testing to only 60% of the rated resolution, unlike the film scanners which actually do resolve at their rated resolutions. This is important for printing on paper, but irrelevant for lower Internet and email resolutions.

Even worse, even if the flatbeds give OK results today, what happens when dirt and crud accumulate on the inside of the scanner glass?

Soooo, for amateur work the Epson 2450 may be all you'll ever need, but if scanning film is what you want to do, save your $400 and apply it towards a real film scanner.

For scanning prints any deep-discounted $30 flatbed is all you need, again, save the $370 and apply it towards a real film scanner like the $360 Canon 2710 or any inexpensive dedicated 35mm film scanner.

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