I finally got my new scanner on Friday. FedEx tried to deliver it unsuccessfully on Wednesday and Thursday, so I’d called and asked them to leave it with my downstairs neighbor who is retired and often home. He’s taken stuff for me before, and he did indeed accept it for me this time while I was at work - but they paid no attention to my delivery request. (It figures.) I was just lucky that my neighbor happened to see the FedEx guy on the way out and asked him who the package was for.

As to the scanner, it’s an Epson V500 flatbed scanner that scans prints and film (35mm and medium format). I tested it out a bit over the weekend and so far I’m pleased with it.

First, I scanned a couple of 8x10 inch prints. My old Epson scanner made scans of such things very quickly, but I was surprised that this scanner took a lot more time to scan them. Nonetheless, the added waiting time may be worthwhile. As I recall, scans of reflective material (prints and documents) did not employ the dust removal feature on the old scanner. The new one does, and I think the extra time is the software going to work doing it. The result: for the two prints scanned, viewing them at actual size, I could not find any dust that I had to spot or clone out. I can’t recall that ever happening with the old scanner. So far, then, so good.

I actually don’t scan many prints. The bulk of my scans are of film, so I scanned three 6x7 cm medium format negatives and three 35 mm negatives with infrared film. Epson advertises that scans are quicker as this new scanner uses an LED (or LCD) light source that does not need the warm up time that the lamps on old scanners needed. This seems correct. What’s unusual about the new scans is that the scan itself seems to halt with the blue progress bar on screen a little less than half across. It stays at that point for a bit, then progresses across to the end fairly quickly.

Again, I’m just guessing that this second half of the scan process is the dust removal software going to work. The result: scans requiring much less touching up than those on my old scanner – a definite plus.

I’m posting the three medium format scans here, all part of White Shirt series of studio nudes, in which I ask the model to put on a white dress shirt and ask her to work with it. The models are Ida Mae (top), followed by Kerie Hart and Liz Ashley.

So, the new scanner looks like it’s an Up. Time now for the Down - I took my camera bag to a place that had repaired a friend’s bag. The verdict: my bag is beyond repair. It’s just ripped and torn so much that any repair done now, the guy said, would only hold temporarily. So, I guess that’s the end of that. Time to finally admit defeat, cave in and buy a new bag. Damn.

Finally, a mix of Ups and Downs, but ultimately an Up: I started exercising again. I had tried going to a health club in the neighborhood in the past, but getting there finally proved too difficult to do. Yesterday, I began walking up and down the steps in my building. I did this in August to get in shape for my trip to Tibet and I hope to continue again. There are five flights of stairs in my building and I began by walking a total of 35 flights (five flights up and down, seven times). I’ll try to do it again tomorrow – and hopefully this time I can keep it up.

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