From Open Requirement to Trusted Workplace ColleagueReview by Keith Krebs, Editor
Persistence of Vision Image Service
Every so often, we all have to upgrade those workhorse standby products we depend upon everyday to accomplish basic office home or home/office tasks. Several weeks back I was faced with one of those unexpected and unwelcome replacement/upgrade tasks when my trustworthy UMax flatbed started having obvious problems producing decent scans. It looked like a problem with the stepping motor and given the relatively low cost of the original unit (approx $100) and its age (3 years+) it was obviously time for a new unit.
My old UMax flatbed had not been able to produce scans of transparencies, but I already had a Polaroid SprintScan 4000 on hand. Therefore, the ability to produce high quality scans from 35mm slides or negatives was not a consideration, but I still was hoping for an option around a few hundred dollars that might enable me to do the scans of larger transparencies and objects a unit like the Agfa DuoScans had enabled me to do in the past. No small task, but, I figured that given the steady march of technology, such a solution should be out there somewhere.
That brings me to the EPSON Perfection 2450 Photo Scanner ($399 list, approx $370 street). In looking for units, another key factor for me was compatibility with Ed Hamrickís marvelous and always up-to-date VueScan scanning software; the last thing I want to do is learn new software for every scanner I use. At the time, Edís software was not compatible with the comparable Canon offerings and a comparable compatible HP scanner was nearly double the list cost of the EPSON unit. Had using a smaller transparency footprint been an option for me, I might have more seriously considered the EPSON Perfection 1650 Photo Scanner (the Photo designation here indicating it comes with a transparency adapter).
I had read some reports from early purchasers of 2450ís complaining that the unit had numerous dust specks on the underside of the flatbed glass and hesitated a bit before going ahead with the purchase (not all reviewers get free toys to play with, nor are all the reviews based upon testing demo units) and ordering a unit from Mwave.com. The unit arrived on time and in great condition. After all the reports I had read of ubiquitous dust on the underside of the flatbed glass, I was pleased to find only one very small dust mote on mine. Assuming my unit is representative of currently shipping units, either EPSON has taken extra steps to control/avoid the kind of dust that was appearing, or simply that early production runs may have suffered from some issues that EPSON has since resolved.
For full specifications, you can see the end of this piece: the short
version is the 2450 is a 48 bit, 2400x4800 dpi reflective flatbed scanner
with an ability to scan transparencies up to 4"x9". The unit is USB and
FireWire enabled. It comes with a USB cable (nice touch but why a USB
1.1 cable when the scanner is USB 2.0 ready?), but not a FireWire cable, as
well as PhotoShop Elements (a nice bonus for those not already using
The 2450's TPU (transparency illuminator) is built into the lid.
Shown here with the 35mm slide template on the scanner bed.
Initial setup was a breeze following EPSONís included Quick Start
Guide/Poster. Just make sure you install the software and hardware in the
order specified by the guide. The scanner basics guide was a bit more
informative, but some basic questions were left unaddressed by either
guide. As an example, until I actually used the unit, it was unclear to me
how it recognized transparencies once the template was in place. (It turns
out it does so automatically by recognizing the template)
Epson's TWAIN software in automatic mode
Epson's TWAIN software in manual mode
Lasersoft's SilverFast AI v5.5 software for Epson 2450
Reflective images and transparencies are very well color balanced as they
come from the scanner. Itís a pleasure not finding oneself doing extensive
color correction on each and every scan. Flatbed scans of color, as well as
B&W, prints were consistently outstanding from the very first scan I made
with the 2450. I was easily able to scan in 8x10 prints to rework as a
component of a modelís composite card.
Here's the 35mm film strip template with color negatives
The EPSON Perfection 2450 Photo is probably an ideal solution for a photographer or graphics person needing a flatbed unit to complement a 35mm film scanner. It gives the ability to scan larger transparencies as needed and performs as an exemplary flatbed unit. For professional photographers or serious amateurs in need of a flatbed scanner, the EPSON 2450 gets my vote. It also would be my first choice for individuals needing a flatbed scanner, who can derive benefits from the ancillary transparency scanning -- such as a hobbyist / amateur photographer with medium format transparencies.
Overall, I would rate the unit at 4.5 out of a possible 5.
My congratulations to EPSON on
producing a unit that does an outstanding job in its designed role. For all
but dedicated film scanning, I unreservedly recommend the 2450. I would
anticipate it will be a long term work partner in my office and in the
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