Important Notes for Epson® 3170 and 4180 Users


On the original Epson® medium format film holder supplied with the 3170 and 4180, Epson® includes two pieces of semi-transparent/frosted plastic.  One piece fits over the film itself and the other smaller piece then fits over the calibration notch along the top edge of the holder.  The purpose of this light diffusing material is to spread the light from the built in transparency unit more evenly before it shines through the film.  I have surveyed multiple users of the 3170 and some say they use the diffuser while others say they don’t due to the fact they can’t see an appreciable performance difference and don’t want the hassle.  Because of this, as well as my desire to keep the price reasonable, I do not supply a precut sheet of diffuser material with the MF Film Holderä.


If you wish to use a diffuser on your 3170 or 4180 in combination with the MF Film Holderä , you can either use the original Epson® diffuser pieces or you can make one of your own.  (If you plan to use the diffuser supplied by Epson®, keep in mind it will only cover a portion of the MF Film Holder‘sä  longer scanning window.)  My suggestion would be to buy a single sheet of the appropriate diffusing material cut to 193mm by 274mm from a local art supply store and just place that over the entire MF Film Holderä.  (You will have to cut out small notches around the MF Film Holder’sä  rubber bumper “towers.”)  Some people have found the replacement light diffusing panels for fluorescent ceiling light fixtures found at hardware/home centers are another potential source for diffusing material.  (Make sure it is a consistent frosted white and not the ribbed/pattern type.)


If you do use a diffuser with the MF Film Holderä , it is important that you use the same diffusing to cover both the film AND over the calibration notch at the top of the MF Film Holderä.  Failure to do so could cause the scanner to mis-calibrate during its startup procedures.


The holder for the 3170 and 4180 is slightly different from the holders for the 2450, 3200, 4490, 4870, 4990, etc.  It has four stick-on bumper “towers” that are three times as high.  These towers work in conjunction with the weight of the scanner’s light-lid to ensure the holder stays pressed flat against the glass during scanning (another advantage over the Epson OEM holders).  When you shut the scanner’s lid, the lid will need to extend up/swivel up a bit at the back hinges.  The scanner’s light-lid was designed to extend/expand this way if needed (e.g. scanning a thick book).  This holder modification is a change from the previous two “tower” design.  If you prefer the older two “tower” arrangement, you can peel the towers up and reposition them.


The Epson® 3170 and 4180 are now supported by Silverfast SE, Silverfast Ai and VueScan software.  If you are not getting satisfactory results with the EpsonScan software and your scanner, you may want to experiment with the free trial versions of these programs.


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