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chmod007 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chmod007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2007 at 23:31
I bought the then-top-of-the-line Canon 9950F flatbed with the intention of scanning a large amount of negatives and prints from my family's collection. I felt responsible for migrating all that data to the digital realm.

I tried the various software, but the Canon drivers were very slow to scan a full (30 frames) bed of negatives, since it needed to pass over each negative individually. Therefore I opted for VueScan, which could scan the whole bed to a multi-gigabyte file, and then crop from that and do postprocessing. It would be many times faster. Unfortunately, VueScan seems to have issues with files that big. It would crash randomly, often losing most of the data.

So I lost inspiration and motivation and haven't scanned that many negatives yet.

I should probably scan 8 bit instead of 16 bit, and then rescan the really good ones in 16 bit. But I'm a completionist, and the idea of discarding data, even bad data, just irks me.
 



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Shaocaholica View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Shaocaholica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2007 at 07:41
Originally posted by polossatik polossatik wrote:


Seen a lot of scanners does not have ICE, any tips on how to "prepare" your negatives/positives before scanning to minimise dust or have a optimal result?

Even though my scanner has ICE/IR, I use a can of compressed air to blow off any dust right before scanning. Seems to work pretty well.
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Eclipse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2007 at 10:48
chmod007-
I find all scanning software tends to cause system/application problems, especially if it is just running and not doing anything. It's always worth closing the software as soon as you've finished with it, especially if you are busy post processing big files in Photoshop or similar.

I have done some biggish files with Vuescan on the 5400 without any trouble- just out of interest, how big are the files that are causing problems for you?
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chmod007 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chmod007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2007 at 20:40
Eclipse: 1.8 GB (4800dpi 48bit+16 IR)

But I also believe I had problems with 2400 dpi (circa 780 MB).

I made another attempt today, and got another issue that I forgot to mention before. There are blank horizontal lines in the output, at regular intervals. I don't know if it's a VueScan problem, a driver problem or a hardware issue...I've emailed Hamrick for support, and I'll post here when it's resolved.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2007 at 22:22
1.8GB is way bigger than the scans I do, so my experience isn't any use, I'm afraid. I have done batch scans of several at at time on full res. and they've saved fine, but each frame would get scanned in succession as individual files (me not having a flatbed).
I haven't had the lines thing, but I have found that Hamrick was incredibly fast and helpful when I had a query once, so good luck with your query!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2007 at 18:24
For what it's worth, I ended up buying an Epson V700. I was holding out for a Minolta 5400 Elite or Elite II but the ones that show up on Ebay seem to be selling for upwards of US$650. Refurb'd V700s from Epson are going for US$415 with free shipping and Newegg has them on sale for US$450, which is where I got mine from.

I've been pouring over various reviews of the Epson 4990, V700 and V750 and it seems like the V700 is the perfect sweet spot, producing noticeably better scans than the 4990 (which is no slouch either) but not really giving up much to the V750. The V750 looks intriguing as its wet mount system looks like it might be very useful for high-quality scans of MF or larger but I'm just doing 35mm for now. The V750 also comes with a more advanced version of SilverFast as well for those interested, but I already own a copy of VueScan so I don't really care too much about that.
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colmo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote colmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2007 at 20:13
Did you consider the current Nikon Coolscan? It looks like the only dedicated 35mm scanner around atm. I'd be wary of the Minoltas, as drivers may become an issue in the next few years. Once you have some scans made with the Epson V700, we'd love to see the results!
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MostlyHarmless View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2007 at 21:26
Drivers shouldn't be an issue if you're using Silverfast or Vuescan, as these programs provide their own drivers.

The Nikon Coolscans don't really interest me. The Coolscan V ED is still US$100 more than the V700 and not that much less than what the Dimage Scan Elite 5400 IIs are fetching on the used market.

The V700 lets me scan four strips of 35mm negs at once and supports larger neg sizes if I ever decide to do MF or sheet film. Silverfast's tests show that with multi-exposure, the dynamic range of the V700 can hang with the nearly US$2000 Coolscan 9000 and exceeds that of the nearly US$1000 Coolscan 5000 (linky).

Obviously, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. If the scans from the V700 match the samples I've seen online, I imagine I'll be one incredibly satisfied customer.

About the only downside is finding some space to put it!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mikethelaserman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2007 at 00:44
If you are thinking of paying money for a scanner (film or otherwise), BE AWARE that hardly any scanners seem to work under Windows Vista.
Any USB scanner originally designed for Windows 98 will almost certainly fail with Vista and will probably need new drivers for XP.
My nice, year-old, hi-res flatbed can now only be used on my XP laptop.
Microsoft changed their implementation of SCSI with the introduction of XP and seem to have done so again with Vista, so SCSI scanners are not immune to these problems either.

-----------

I was very happy with my Dynax 7 / Canon FS2700 film scanner combination (scanner unused since I got my 5D).
2700 dpi approximates to a 10 Megapixel sensor (but **real** RGB pixels, not bayer patterned) : this is more than good enough for an A3+ print.
The effects of the film grain structure are becoming visible with ISO 800 and 1600 film, but not noticable with 400 and invisible with 200 and below. After Photoshopping and printing, the graininess was never a real problem, even with fast film.
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MostlyHarmless View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2007 at 05:08
Well, I got my V700 today. I ordered off of Newegg and I live close enough to their warehouse that I usually get delivers the next day, even with ground shipping.

My first reaction: this thing is HUGE!

I hooked everything up and I'm using Vuescan's drivers for now. One disappointment is that Vuescan's batch scanning function doesn't quite work with the included film holder. I think this is because of the "dual lens" system - one lens supports scanning at up to 4800dpi for items placed flat on the glass while the other supports scanning up to 6400dpi for film placed in the included holders. The second, higher resolution lens actually only scans the portion of the total scanning area that is used by the film holders. Vuescan's batch function appears to think that the entire scan area is being used and that throws off the alignment. I'll have to see if this can be worked around.

I did a few test scans. The film I happened to use was not the finest grain film (Fuji S400) but at 3200dpi, this scanner is good enough to resolve the grain, with little benefit from going up to 6400dpi. However, I do scan at 6400dpi and reduce it to 3200dpi to get the noise reduction benefits. My own experiments verified what I read on the Photo-I review - that reversing the height adjusters on the film holder gives sharper results than at the default setting.

The finest grain film I have is Kodak 400UC and BW400CN. I don't know if the grain in these films are fine enough for me to get some samples up that can be more convincing than what's already available. When I get around to scanning them, I'll let you all know.

As for scan speed, I did a trial with a single 35mm frame at 6400 dpi, 64-bit RGBI, multiexposure enabled, ICE set to medium, and 16x multisampling enabled. Total time to scan all three passes (2 for multiexposure, IR appears to be a separate pass) plus color processing was 5 minutes, 45 seconds. From this, it seems like a full batch scan of 24 35mm negative frames would take 2-3 hours - again, bear in mind that this is with scan settings set for maximum possible quality. It's been a while since I've done film scanning but this seems pretty acceptable to me.

An Amazon reviewer stated that the Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II took about 7 minutes for a frame at full resolution and that appeared to be without multiexposure. Of course, this is on a different system and who knows what the scan settings really were - all he states is that he was scanning in 5400dpi at 16 bits per channel. My system, since it's a factor as well, is a P-M 2.13Ghz with 2GB of DDR-333 RAM so pretty decent.

A few notes. There is a lock on both the base of the scanner (duh) and the lid - to do transparency and film scanning, the lamp moves along with the scan head. I nearly gave myself a heart attack when I turned on the scanner without unlocking the lamp.

This scanner also doesn't come with an IT8 target. The V750 does, if I recall. I already have an IT8 target although I'll have to go find it.

Edited by MostlyHarmless - 26 April 2007 at 05:12
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Kumakichi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kumakichi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2007 at 14:35
Mostlyharmless can you please go out and buy the V750 now and give us a review? :P

Btw, thanks for the links and your posts about the V700. I didn't know flatbed scanners could be this good for film. If you get a chance post up a scan or two, we'd love to see it.

When you bought your V700 did you also notice that they had the 750 in stock? Its like another $150. I'm guessing most of that extra money is for the full blow version of Silverfast with some of the cost going towards the reflective coating for the CCD. Think thats worth the extra money?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2007 at 16:21
Great contributions from everyone -- thanks! Eager to see some sample scans, MostlyHarmless. Kumakichi, David Brooks reviews the V750 here, if you haven't already read it.

For those who are still shooting film, I inquired with Kodak as to which films scanned best of all Kodak films. Got the following reply

"Actually, all of our current Kodak Film should allow you excellent scans. Once we are able to enhance the characteristics of one of our films, that technology is generally applied to the rest of our portfolio. Please be advised, however, that you should NOT use Digital ICE when scanning Kodak Kodachrome Film, since you will produce artifacts when the software tries to address the relief image on that film. That being said, to retain the greatest amount of image detail in a scene, a lower contrast color negative film like Kodak Professional Portra 160NC and 400NC Films, or Kodak Professional Ultra Color 400UC Film, would be the way to go".

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Eclipse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2007 at 17:22
That's very useful information. I use a Fuji 800 neg film, as I need the speed and can live with the quality problems. As it was originally designed for chuck-away compacts, or so I'm told, and was only on release found to be great for sports, it has a pretty wide tolerance, and for a film that fast, the colour and grain size is pretty good.
I must get around to trying the Portra some time when I can manage with a slower film- will have to stick a roll or two on the next order to my Kodak supplier. (I don't care for the Fuji 400, for me its results are poorer than the 800, so there is no advantage to using it.)

For slides of artwork I use a slow Tungsten (Ektachrome 64T) from Kodak- not quite as sharp as the Fuji equivalent, but more accurate in colour for my purposes. I pray they won't stop making it- Sadly, Kodachrome seems to be on its way out, as there is no Lab here that processes it any more. Kodak's colour I like best of all the makers.
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MostlyHarmless View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 April 2007 at 18:57
Originally posted by Kumakichi Kumakichi wrote:

Mostlyharmless can you please go out and buy the V750 now and give us a review? :P

Absolutely, but only after you pay me a "reviewer's fee" which, coincidentally, is the same as the price of a new V750. :)

When you bought your V700 did you also notice that they had the 750 in stock? Its like another $150. I'm guessing most of that extra money is for the full blow version of Silverfast with some of the cost going towards the reflective coating for the CCD. Think thats worth the extra money?

I did and I made a conscious decision to not buy it. The extra money gives you:
1) SilverFast Ai vs. SilverFast SE for the V700 (not an issue for me because I use Vuescan)
2) MonacoEZcolor (not an issue for me because I already have an IT8 target for scanner calibration)
3) Fluid mount accessories (of limited usefulness to me since I'm only planning to scan 35mm. I believe the fluid mount can be purchased separately as well)
4) Better optics although the Photo-i review of the V750 failed to impress me

I would say that #1 and #2 are the real meat and potatoes of the V750 vs. the V700. The incrementally better optics are just gravy. If you want SilverFast Ai and don't already have an IT8 target, then the V750 looks like a pretty decent value. If you just want the IT8 target, it might be cheaper to go with the V700 and buy the target separately.
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