I question whether or not to post this information here, but I will anyway .....
Last weekend, in particular, I put a fair bit of time and effort into sorting out preferred options with my scanning. This was largely due to an ongoing number of 6x6 negs in addition to the 4x5s.
I use the Epson 4990 with Epson holders for cheap and cheerful scans to stuff around with. A buddy has a number of Creos which he is forever extolling the virtues of and others have suggested the betterScan neg holders. So, I was given a BetterScan 120 holder and my buddy did a scan off a neg I had been looking at so as to provide a comparison file.
What I found out first was that the BetterScan holder for the V700 holds the film far to high off the glass surface to ever work on the Epson 4990 — even with all the grub screws wound down to Zero. I did not even have to load a neg and scan, I just measured the depth with a vernier caliper and it was 2mm. The Epson 4990 wants just 1mm.
I decided to run a series of scans at native res of 4800 dpi and to shim the holder in 0.2mm increments as the BetterScan does with a quarter turn of the grub screws. I have some heavy printing paper which is 0.2mm thick and so that was easy. Trouble was that the best resolution of the grain in the image was with no shims at all. Even 0.2mm was appreciably worse. No shim was not perfect to my eye but it was the best possible. And for 4x5 it is fine enough.
Next I took the neg to the Creo and the settings of it are precisely set. We did not oil mount the neg because I wanted to conduct the tests on a level playing field.
There was a slight difference in dpi setting but only down to a couple of hundred — the Espon does 2400 and the Creo does 2540. The Creo, incidentally, is a $60,000 scanner ..... a far cry from my $700 Epson.
I got home to examine the files and compare. There may be differences but they are more in terms of tonality and density range. No way could I see $59,000 worth of difference.
The thing that did stand out, however, was that the Hasselblad's lenses are not worth a pinch of parrot's poop stopped down past 5.6 or 8. I had shot with flash in the studio at f/16 and the diffraction was a shocker.
The tag to the story is that the Hasselblad has another couple of days on Ebay. I listed it at a starting bid $100 more than what I paid for it and it has already had bids.
Sometimes it is really gratifying that the place you already are is as good as you can reasonably hope for.
"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi