These two files were both scanned and processed exactly the same way–but there is one important difference:
The second was scanned using the Betterscanning holder, with ANR glass.
If you zoom in, you will note a definite increase in sharpness–but the interesting thing is the ever-so-slight difference in the actual character of the file–presumably due to the slight curvature of the film, and differing height above the scanner glass.
Holders matter, people.
Unfortunately, I may have to invest in another film scanner (? Braun–WHERE ARE YOU Opticfilm Pro??) as I think there is more in the negative here, and the Epson seems to be maxing-out. The Epson is definitely good…but good enough, I’m no longer certain.