Is my Photo Scanner Breaking?

leicam4

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I am not sure that this is the right category to post this, but I am having more and more problems with my photo scanner (Epson Perfection 4870 Photo). I've had it for about five years, and scanned thousands of negatives without any problems. In the past few months, though, strange imaging artifacts have been appearing on my scans. I lean towards very little image modification on the computer, so I really don't have it doing anything other than scanning the negative straight into photoshop, no crazy color correction or filters etc. Further, this problem seems to only occur when scanning negative film, not slide film. The photos were taken on Kodak Ektar 100 film under natural light. The problems are obvious, a kind of "dropping" of image info around bright areas of the neg, almost like the scanner is getting confused. Sometimes re-scanning corrects the mistakes, but these days it happens too frequently for this to be an option. Is my scanner just breaking, or what? This is my fist post on here, so sorry if I'm in the wrong place. I also cannot figure out how to post examples right now. I will work on that. In the meantime, any suggestions?
 

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