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Comparing the Epson Perfection 2450 and the 3200 PHOTO scanners: scanning negatives!

| Slide Scan Page I | Slide Scan Page II | Neg scans page II & Scanner info | Using the Scanner |

Avalon - Catalina

Catalina Island, off of the Southern California coast—photo © JR Dunster 2003

On this page I compare 35 mm negative transparency scans between the Epson Perfection 2400 PHOTO and the Epson Perfection 3200 PHOTO scanners. I did not find these tests quite so easy to judge as in the case with the slide scans, but here are some preliminary results.

I scanned the neg in on both scanners using Epson's default scanning software. A little tweaking was done in Epson's software, the rest done in Photoshop. (Please be a little forgiving of the quality of the photos—I just scanned whatever negative was handy. I didn't necessarily pick my best photos!)

A detail of the Catalina negative, as scanned by the Epson Perfection 2450 PHOTO. Scanned at 2400 dpi, minimal amount of sharpening and color correction done in Photoshop.

The same negative scanned on the Epson Perfection 3200 PHOTO. Originally scanned at 3200 dpi, reduced to 2400 dpi (so it'll match the 2450's scan size) and sharpened to compensate for image reduction. Minor color correction done in Photoshop.

I'd thought I'd throw this in just to illustrate how much bigger (and better) an image that can be gotten with the Epson Perfection 3200 PHOTO—this is a detail of the Catalina scan, actual size, scanned at 3200 dpi. (The Epson Perfection 2450 PHOTO can only scan up to 2400 dpi, optically). The 3200 can make a significantly larger image.

It's a little tougher to see it, but it appears to me that the Epson 3200 barely edges out the 2450 in sharpness and detail when scanning negatives. I had to look for a while at first to decide for myself—was the 3200 giving more detail, or did it scan less grain? I found it difficult to tell in some parts of the scan.

However, after peering at these two images for a while, I appears to me that yes, the 3200 does pick up a little more detail, and is a little sharper. I especially see the difference (subtle though it is) in the boat to the far left—you can see the word "Wild" on the side of the boat a little more clearly on the 3200's scan. Also, if you look closely, it appears that the stars on the flag are a little bit clearer. Just barely, but there is a difference.

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Catalina Island

Another photo of Catalina Island, © JR Dunster.

Detail of above Catalina photo, as scanned by the Epson Perfection 2450 PHOTO, at 2400 dpi. Color correction done in Photoshop, but no sharpening done in Photoshop.

detail of Catalina picture

Same photo, scanned by the Epson Perfection 3200 PHOTO, also at 2400 dpi. Some color correction done in Photoshop, but no sharpening in Photoshop.

When the 2450 and the 3200 scan a negative at the same dpi setting (in this case, 2400 dpi) the difference in sharpness doesn't seem to be as noticeable. It seems to me that I see a little extra sharpness in the 3200 scan, mostly in the top steeple part of the building and in the window panes. Certainly it is a tough call, and perhaps other negatives and other scans would show different results.

Also, I could not get the contrast on both scans to match up—the 3200's scan is a little more "constrasty", which may make it appear a little sharper. However, I don't think this is the case—I see the 2400's scan as being a little softer, less contrast notwithstanding.

Even though the 3200 didn't show as obvious a superiority to the 2450 when scanning at 2400 dpi, it certainly was no worse. And then there's the fact that the 3200's slide scans are markedly better, and that it also can go up to 3200 dpi (optical); I think it's fair to consider the 3200 to be a definite improvement over the 2450.

See some more negative scan tests >>

| Slide Scan Page I | Slide Scan Page II | Neg scans page II & Scanner info | Using the Scanner |

These pages were created primarily to compare the performance of these two scanners—the 2450 and the 3200. To read a very comprehensive and informative review on the Epson Perfection 3200, check out this page from photo-i.co.uk.

It appears that a more recent model of this type of scanner is available, the Epson 4870. Read the customer reviews and decide for yourself if you would prefer this newer model.

Search for the latest and most popular models of Epson Scanners (opens in new window).

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Software and hardware used for these scans:

My system is a G4 Tower, running Mac OS 10.2.8. All image editing was done in Photoshop 7. I used Epson's scanning software and imported the files in through Photoshop. I did not do much tweaking with the Epson software, but instead did most modifications in Photoshop. Both files were scanned in at 24 bit mode, though they can be scanned in at 48 bit mode (which will make larger file sizes).

The Epson Perfection 3200 comes with Photoshop Elements 2 (Elements 1 in the UK), and SilverFast 6 LE. I used Epson's "Scan" software for most of the images on this page, but have since discovered that I prefer Silverfast. I don't use Photoshop Elements 2 that much, since I have the full version of Photoshop.

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Last updated: August 22, 2006

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