(Pocket-lint) - The Epson Perfection V750 Pro is a very similar beast indeed to its Perfection V700 Photo counterpart and as such, it shares much of that model’s kit. The same physical design, the same dual lenses one for high-resolution scanning (up to 4800ppi optical resolution) and one set for Super Resolution scanning (up to 6400ppi optical resolution).
The major differences are in the shape of the type of optics used and the bundled software. For the former you get a High Pass optics system for improved scanning speeds at those whopping resolutions and improved image quality. The latter improves on an already impressive software set of the V700 but here you get Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 4, which is odd given this professional scanner’s market and this software being a low-end image editing package (albeit a good one), the excellent Monaco EZ Color, great for getting started in colour profiling, you get the full version of SilverFast Ai for stunning control over you scans and extra little gems such as ABBYY FineReader OCR software that can turn scanned text into editable documents.
There are another couple of bonuses with the V750, one is a special Anti-Reflection Optical Coating that reduces reflections and ghosting during the scanning process while the faster scan times are attained using a high-reflection mirror, which helps improve the reflection of the scanned light.
The other is its compatibility with the optional Fluid Mount Accessory or FMA that allows the wet mounting of large and medium format film (notoriously difficult to keep perfectly flat on a flatbed scanner) for perfectly flat – larger – film scans. The Epson Fluid Mount Accessory is a two-piece unit: a base and a glass holder.
You mount film by placing a few drops of (Kami) mounting fluid on the glass holder then placing the film on this and squeezing the air bubbles out then sealing the film in with a special acetate sheet. It’s worth pointing out that the Kami fluid is flammable and needs to be used in a ventilated room, should not be got on the skin and remember not to smoke either or … Boom!
Now, this actually takes some practice to get right but is worth it as scans are superb, once the FMA mounted film has been loaded on to the scanner platen, scans are made in the usual manner. The FMA is well made, like the rest of the scanner but unlike the other, less well-made plastic film holders, and it has no height adjusters.
These height adjusters were a new feature on the V700 and allow you to use the small feet on the reverse side of each holder to adjust the film height for improved can sharpness. Three settings of 2.5mm, 3mm, and 3.5mm above the lens can be selected and there is a distinct difference in scan sharpness at each height. The best setting for 35mm slide scans I found to be the 3.5mms although the default for 35mm slides is actually 3mms.
The other kit is the same as for the V700 (reviewed here: www.pocket-lint.co.uk/reviews/review.phtml/1663/2687/epson-perfection-v700-photo-scanner.phtml). So, is the £549.99 V750 worth the extra £150? Well, the improved software is worth that much alone and while the improved optics do add more detail and allow slightly faster scanner, there’s not much in it really.
If the software bundle is important then the opt for the V750 and you’ll not be disappointed, if it is not then the V700 might look better value but in either case, you’ll be buying one of the best pair of flatbed scanners on the market. In fact in the V700 review I wrote: “Epson has been pushing dedicated film scanner, scan quality for some years and now, with the V700 the results are certainly better than most dedicated film scanners. When you realise this scanner is under £400 (around £399 actually), and it is better than most dedicated film scanners that would cost double its price, it’s remarkable value for money” and with the V750 that still holds true, only more so.
Better software, better scans (just) with the same great build quality (barring the plastic film holders), to paraphrase Carlsberg’s beer adverts “almost certainly the best flat scanner in the world”.