Scanning color prints is fairly straightforward. You put the images on the scanning table and press the preview button. In home mode the scanner will crop the images automatically but in professional mode you have to for some reason to do this by hand. Whether this is more "professional" I'll leave up to you. In both you can manually set resolution, apply USM and descreen filter and use automatic color correction. Professional mode also lets you set color depth and adjust histogram for each color separately.
Color print (1975) with a typical red hue. 300 dpi, 8-bit color, professional mode.
100% crop at 300
100% crop at 300
dpi, descreen filter on 100% crop at 600 dpi,
descreen filter off
100% crop at 300 dpi
100% crop at 300 dpi, descreen filter on
100% crop at 600 dpi, descreen filter off
Scanning speed at 300 dpi is blazingly fast, at 600 dpi still very fast, although I find it hard to justify the use of 600 dpi as there seems to be very little to gain in terms of resolution, especially in older color prints. Printing technology has come a long way from the 70's, but still, most minilabs print their stuff at 300 dpi.
It's worthwhile to notice that while Epson color correction works fine, it tends to overcorrect a little towards blue, while Photoshop is more like what it should be. Descreen filter is useful in removing the small regular grain, which actually are small bumps in the paper.
|Epson automatic color correction||Auto color correction in Photoshop|
After several dozen scans I understood that the you won't get into trouble with the 3170 when scanning prints. These days it takes some effort to find a flatbed scanner that doesn't do this well. For those an a tight budget the 3170 may be an overkill if you're scanning only 10x15. But for $200 you will get more...