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Photography Question 
Dan C
 

Another "Which One" Scanner Question


Hello all!

I am in the market for a good film scanner. I have considered both the Canon FS4000 and the Nikon Coolscan IV ED.

Half of my 35mm slides are Kodachrome and I have noticed (from reviews) that they both do not work well with Kodachrome as far as the dust removal software goes. Is this an internal drawback (hardware) or a software drawback? Can I solve this in photoshop and how?

Also, allot of my pictures are night shots. Anyone have any experience with these scanners or other scanners for these types of pics? Is black true black? I know that on my flatbed (outdated HP scanjet 5200c) the dark spots tend to "bubble" with print scans.

Last question: Why, if the output resolution does not have to be more than 300dpi, is there the option for such high resolutions?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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7/25/2003 7:40:55 PM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com
  You're right in that Digital Ice and other proprietary clean-up programs don't work on Kodachrome. When that is the case, simply go in and clone out the dust spots. It's slow and tedious, but it's one option.
Another is Ed Hamrick's Vue Scan (edhamrick.com). It's only $40.
Also, there's an explanation at luminous-landscape.com of how to cut Digital Ice out of the process altogether and do the cleanup another way. It's rather involved.
For your last question, it's because a 35-mm slide is so small that it needs 2400 ppi or more for a decent scan. When you scale the image in Photoshop (Image/Image Size, Resample Unchecked) to a usable size (5 x 7, 8 x 10), the pixels spread out to 240 pixels-per-inch or more, which is ideal for printing.


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7/28/2003 5:39:27 AM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com
  Last sentence sould read, "...the pixels spread out to 240 pixels-per-inch or more . . . ".


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7/28/2003 9:59:50 AM

 
Wayne Attridge   This is really a question more than an answer. As an experiment I scanned a photo on my flatbed Canon at 600 dpi and had my friend scan the negative on his HP negative scanner. At all resolutions up to 2400 dpi, my flatbed was far superior to the negative scan. I would like to scan several thousand negatives that I have but am concerned about the quality. Is the new Canon 4000 going to give me a scan from a negative that would be good enough to blow up to poster size if it was taken on asa 100 film. I don't want to buy one if it is not going to do a good, well better than good, job. Does anyone have some real world experience with this.


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7/28/2003 4:04:22 PM

 
Heather K. Jacobsen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/10/2003
  Hi,

I just recently bought the Canon FS4000 after I thought I had done my homework well enough. I have mixed feelings now about my purchase.

I was very happy and excited when I scanned my first few batches of negatives. There seems to be no problems with this scanner and negatives. But when I scanned a few of my favorite slides, I was very disappointed. It seems to have problems calibrating blues and greens, so that my pix came out looking muddy, flat, and not vibrant in color at all. Imagine my disappoint, especially when scanning Velvia slides! There is no way to manually adjust calibration yourself. So I searched the interent for an ICC profile (I can explain if you need me to) for this scanner, and didn't have much luck. There seems to be profiles out there for all but this scanner! I returned the scanner to Canon (I live in the Philippines so customer service is a bit different here!) and they could not fix the problem, so they replaced the unit and the same thing happens.

I have since been able to find a way to get around this. I use another ICC profile that makes the image almost close to its original, then make adjustments in Adobe Photoshop. But I shouldn't have to do all this for the amount of money I spent. If I could do it over again, I might have gotten a different scanner.

What really made me want to purchase this one, was the high resolution capability. Since you asked, its good to have high resolution if you have a lot of images that you would like to crop and enlarge to 8x10. I think that you can get a poster size print from this scanner with an uncropped (or not cropped by much) image. But you have to be willing to go through a bit of work to get your slides to look good!

I hope this helps.


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7/28/2003 8:12:01 PM

 
Vincent Lowe   The reason that the dust removal doesn't work with Kodachrome is because the Kodachrome emulsion retains some silver particles. In normal colour films the silver is completely removed in processing and replaced with coloured dyes. When scanning, the slide is scanned with an infra-red beam as well as RGB. The infra-red beam goes through the dyes but is stopped by dust particles; the position of the dust is marked and the software interpolates from surrounding pixels. In Kodachrome the metallic silver particles also stop the infra-red. Kodachrome is unique in this respect for a colour film but note that all 'normal' monochrome films retain the silver so the dust removal doesn't work with these either. This doesn't apply to the chromogenic (I think that's the word?) type monochrome films that are processed in colour chemicals (Ilford XP2 etc.).


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7/29/2003 12:58:05 AM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com
  The Nikon film scanners have been a pro standard for years, first the 2700 ppi LS-2000 (what I have) and then the current LS-4000.
If it's slides you want to do, I'm afraid you really should go with a scanner that allows multiple overscanning, up to 16 times with the Nikons. Slides are SO dense in the shadows, unlike negs which are thin in the shadows.
I wonder if something isn't brewing at Nikon. The 4000 is getting cheaper. Maybe a newer model is on the way. If I had it to do over, I'd get a 4000 ppi scanner with overscanning capability and use Silverfast scanning software.
If you want sizes a lot bigger than 11 x 14, then you should be looking at Photoshop techniques for raising the resolution without wrecking the image integrity, or something like Genuine Fractals.


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7/29/2003 5:39:19 AM

 
Dan C   Thank you all for your answers! Heather, From what you have said I think I will go another route other than the canon and take advice from Doug and save up money for a 4000 dpi Nikon because I have way too many slides to spend so much time with them . By the way what is the ICC thing?

Thanks!

Dan


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7/29/2003 6:03:58 AM

 
Michael Daily   Here is another solution, and that is canon 9900 f, which is flat bed scanner. SO it can scan documents and negatives and photo. The highest dpi is 3200, but more interesting it this scanner will 35mm, medium & large format negs. I purchased one 2 weeks ago and it fast, although I need upgrade my USB connection 2.0. Best of all it is only $400. If you go to Canon's web site and scanners, you can compare the models and this will answer may of you questions.

Bt the way Canon's customer service has been great.

michael


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7/29/2003 9:26:37 AM

 
Dan C   Thank you, Michael. I am wondering though, do you get allot of dust on that scanner of yours? I have a flat bed scanner as well (it doesnt do slides) but dust is a very big problem. I have read that the most recent flatbed scanners are good but they have a tendancy to attract dust no matter how hard you try to physically remove it. It would be neat if they invented an anti static device... So I am under the impression that film scanners are a little bit better since it is internal and dust is kept out... I am truely not sure. I do know that a drum scanner would be a dream to have... but $10,000 is a little much. So anyhow... Thank you for the suggestion. I will look into it as well :}

Dan


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7/29/2003 4:39:28 PM

 
Michael Daily   Dan I have only had this scanner for 2 weeks and do not see a big dust problem so far and have scanned several rolls of film (35mm & medium format) this scanner has an option to remove dust and I have not tried that yet. I purchased this at Fry's and I am not sure where you live, but many large retailers offer 30 day trial period.

The next question involved is price, how much to you want to spend??????
You may want to try it and see for your self.

What I can say is that I am happy (need to upgrade my USB to 2.0) I'm exploring the world of medium format and this scanner comes with trays to accommidate such. I can scan up to 3200 dpi and it is suppose to interpolate to 9600 (I have not figured that one out yet) but $400 I am happy and will kept it.

That is my 2 cents worth. If you have a large retailer near you and they have this unit, to them you reservations about dust etc and see if they will let you try for 30 days or if not call Canon and see if they offer such a solution.

michael


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7/29/2003 5:25:14 PM

 
Dan C  
 
 
Here is a pic that I have scanned with my current flatbed (HP scanjet 5200C). Although this particular pic is a print, I was wondering if you get any effects like this with yours? Im sure there may be a difference between a negative scan and a print scan since the print actualy touches the glass. If I where to invest in another flatbed it would have to be able to scan good prints as well.

The first picture is blown up to show the "bubble" effect that I am talking about. The second pic was worked on in Photoshop (i used a little bit of median noise to mask the unwanted effects somewhat).

If you have an example of waht your scanner can do that would be wonderful!

Thanks!


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7/29/2003 6:18:02 PM

 
Dan C  
 
  Devil's Lak Fog crop
Devil's Lak Fog crop
© Dan C
Canon EOS Rebel S2...
 
  Devil's Lake Fog
Devil's Lake Fog
Devil's Lake, WI
© Dan C
Canon EOS Rebel S2...
 
 
Here is a pic that I have scanned with my current flatbed (HP scanjet 5200C). Although this particular pic is a print, I was wondering if you get any effects like this with yours? Im sure there may be a difference between a negative scan and a print scan since the print actualy touches the glass. If I where to invest in another flatbed it would have to be able to scan good prints as well.

The first picture is blown up to show the "bubble" effect that I am talking about. The second pic was worked on in Photoshop (i used a little bit of median noise to mask the unwanted effects somewhat).

If you have an example of waht your scanner can do that would be wonderful!

Thanks!


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7/29/2003 6:28:03 PM

 
Heather K. Jacobsen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/10/2003
  Dan,

The ICC profile is a digital description unique to each scanner, monitor, printer, etc. on the way it reads colors, since every peice of equipment has a slightly different way of reading colors. This is why it is a good idea to calibrate your scanner, monitor and printer with one another to ensure that what you see on your monitor is what you actually scanned in and is what you will actually print out.

You can get ICC profiles for a lot of digital equipment, or you can create your own by purchasing an "IT8.7 target" which is essentially a card of colors that you scan in to determine how your scanner reads it. I think one of these cards costs about $50, and then you can download free software to make the profile. I tried to do this, but didn't have a lot of luck - I may just not have fully understood the instructions!

At any rate, if you can find an ICC profile or want to take the time to create one, it is probably a good idea. Once the profile is made then you can just apply it to your raw photo after scanning with just one click (at least in Adobe photoshop).

If you are interested in finding out more, you can try this link:

http://www.freecolormanagement.com/color/links.html

I hope this helps.

Heather


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7/29/2003 6:33:56 PM

 
Michael Daily  
 
 
Dan you have brought up a good point on dust issue, this is something I overlooked. But I need to ability to scan medium format & at $400 this new Canon 9900f fits the bill (currently I am going thru a learnin curve with it)

at any rate here are a few scans, 2 are medium format (only cropped-not touched up and scanned Sunday) and then 2 photo from Yosemite trip, half dome was scanned using on old HP PSC 500 (printer copier scan)and the tunnel pic is from Canon I only cropped & resized these these, are as they were scanned.

Hope this helps. Ask your self what do you want to accomplish with the scanner & at what price.

michael
may the lite be with you & your lense focused


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7/30/2003 8:22:34 AM

 
Michael Daily  
 
 
Dan here's some scans & I hope this helps. 2 are medium format (reason I purchased canon 9900f) and other 2 are photos scanned, half dome was using on old HP printer-scanner and Yosemite tunnel vu was scanned using Canon 9900f, I only cropped these images.

Ask yourself what is the purpose & function of the proposed scanner and at what price?


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7/30/2003 8:35:52 AM

 
Dan C   Cool. Very nice pictures, Michael. The bronica medium format does you justice. As far as the scanner goes, wow... Those are realy nice scans for not being worked on!

Well, I guess it would not hurt to have a flatbed scanner tht is good AS WELL as a film scanner. I will just have to wait and save up.

Thank you and may the light and focused lens be with you as well :}


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7/30/2003 4:44:48 PM

 
Larry J. Rhodes   I used to have a studio, and when we closed it, my business partner and I divided the equipment and went our separate ways. Among the equipment that my business partner took was the Nikon Super CoolScan 8000 ED, and, boy, do I regret letting it go! However, I recently purchased a Nikon CoolScan IV ED, which only has a DMax of 3.6, and 2900 dpi optical resolution, mostly because I'm a bit too strapped these days to be buying a bunch of new photo equipment. That being the case, the only decent digital SLR I want is completely out of my price range (the EOS 1Ds by Canon). So, I've decided to continue to shoot film and scan it.

Though a higher DMax of 4.2 and optical resolution of 4000 dpi are nice (as is the case with the Super CoolScan 8000 ED), I've only been the slightest bit disappointed with the CoolScan IV ED, even though it's an entry-level model. And, though it's a four-year-old model, it's still quite a bit above many other new scanners out there.

About the densest color negatives only reach a DMax of around 2.8, if even that, and most regular color transparencies only reach around 3.4. So, having a DMax of 3.6 is more than sufficient for these. However, Velvia can get as high as 4.0, and Kodachrome and B&W negatives can get even higher, depending on exposure and development. But, with a scanner with a DMax of 4.2 or higher, even these extremely dense films shouldn't pose a problem.

If you do inkjet printing, a final image of 300 dpi should be more than sufficient to pull off beautiful enlargements, so even 2900 dpi is great. If you take stuff to labs to have printed on real photographic equipment, those print at 400 dpi, so, after cropping and such, you may find that you have to actually enlarge your final image for print on these machines to get the best detail and sharpness. That might require a scanner with higher resolution, but you can get a used Nikon Super CoolScan 4000 ED for around $600.00 that will have more than enough dpi and DMax to suit just about any kind of printing you might want to do.


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8/13/2004 7:45:18 PM

 
Heather K. Jacobsen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/10/2003
  Since this discussion has been reopened after over a year, I would like to change my answers from above!! I complained about the inability of the CanoScan 4000 to read my slides. But I since purchased the VueScan software, which I highly recommended to any scanner owner, and that software has no problem reading the colors correctly on my scanner. So I now have no problems with the CanoScan4000. I am sorry that I didn't figure this out last year when Dan was making his decision, but hopefully other viewers of this discussion thread will be able to this into account.

Heather
www.hkimagery.com


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8/14/2004 9:54:52 AM

 
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