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© Vincent Oliver 2004
EPSON F-3200 film scanner
Page 2

The parts

The EPSON F-3200 is unique as a dedicated film scanner, besides using the scanner as a normal Twain acquire unit it can save scanned images directly to a memory card, CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, Multimedia, XD, SmartMedia. You do not need to connect the scanner to a computer to scan to a memory card. The scanner can also send a scan directly to a printer, although only the Epson 2100 and R800 printers are supported. The F-3200 film scanner will also scan 6x4 prints - hmmm more about this later.

Front view with 35mm strip holder in place
Power on button is located on the left side
Several choices for scan destination
Scan directly to a computer or memory card
The film holder eject button is on the right
Lovely blue flashing light, no siren sound though
Rear of the Unit, power input and ports
Firewire, USB out ( for printer) and USB (to computer)

You can connect the scanner either by the Firewire or USB port. The centre USB is used to connect the scanner to a printer, only the Epson R800 or SP2100 are supported. This limits the scanners functionality for those who may have a Canon or HP printer, it's also odd that the EPSON 4000 printer isn't included, I thought this was a professional scanner. I should also like to point out that the supplied memory card is for updating the firmware for the R800 printer, given this I would imagine that there may be some future scope for other printers to be supported.

Operating the scanner is fairly straightforward, press the bottom front button to turn on the power. Place the film in a holder and feed this into the front slot, the scanner will pull it in, you must make sure that you push it in far enough for the scanner to grip the holder otherwise you will get an error message. When a loading error message appears you must turn the power off and start again. Although the scanner is 10 inches deep you must allow some extra desk space for the film holder to make its brief exit at the rear - an extra 6 inches should be sufficient. Most of the buttons on the front are for direct printing or scanning to a memory card. I love the flashing blue light when the scanner is in action, all it needs is a police siren and you have your own personal Kojak (pun intended).

The LCD screen displays a series of clear menus to guide you through each step. If you haven't got an Epson printer then the only screen that will be of interest will be the Source Type (B&W Negative, B&W positive, Colour negative, Colour positive, B&W print, Colour print) and the image selection screen. The other screens all relate to printer and media settings. The Photo Print setting is for basic A4 printing. The Professional Lab setting is intended for printing with the 2100.

Select film type
Select image from previews
Scanning in progress
Lots of printing options

I will look at film scanning in great detail over the next few pages but would like to say at this stage that you do not have any image control when scanning directly to a memory card and the scan resolution is only 2400 dpi, not the full 3200 dpi. To scan a 35mm slide directly to a CompactFlash card took 1 minute 57 seconds. Scanning the same image at the same resolution via Photoshop took 32 seconds.

I am still unsure about this scanner.

15 December, 2004

© Vincent Oliver 2008 www.photo-i.co.uk
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