> Narrow it down, set up criteria based on what you think is
> important, like
I want a dpi high enough that I don't run into grain aliasing; from what I
read here, sounds like > 3,000 dpi.
> density range,
Highest possible. From what I understand so far, this may be the most
important factor. Let's say > 3.6 DMax.
I shoot mostly Fuji velvia, provia and astia slides, but I also have a lot
of b&w negatives (agfa, delta, tri-X and XP2 super). My slides are a year
old or less, but the keepers have been living in carousels (boxed) and often
projected, so there is likely to be some dust. ICE could therefore be a big
timesaver for me with the slides; I understand it doesn't work so well with
Kchrome (only have a handful of these) and b&w like Tri-X (have a lot more
of this). My main priority, though, are the fuji slides.
These could be real timesavers for me. But I hate to use them at the
expense of sharpness. I shoot with Leica lenses because my eyes can see the
better edge sharpness, contrast, color rendition, and lack of veiling flare.
I'm beginning to see that what I'm most concerned about with color image
quality is _contrast_. For b&w, it's tonality. I guess I want a scanner
that will do my Leica glass justice. Is that asking too much in the $3k
(US) price range?
> etc, what you will be doing with the output,
Color work will go to an Epson 1280 for 11x14 prints. B&W will go to an
Epson 1160 with piezo drivers/inks for 11x14 prints.
> and of course the price you want to pay.
Up to $3k, but I'd be willing to save up and spend more--even as much as
three times that amount--if it meant final prints that look as good as my
projected slides. That's why I spent the extra money on Leica lenses--I can
see a difference, and to me it is very much like the difference between the
Leafscan 45 scan and the Nikon ED 4000 scan of the girl's face midpage at:
Whatever this difference is (contrast?), it seems very similar to the
different look of slides shot through Leica vs. Nikon glass.
> In fact what you want to get as a final output (to me at
> least) is probably the most important.
My dream is to get final color prints that look as good as my projected
slides; cibachromes have really been disappointing to me. I also very much
like the look of the prints in Jim Brandenburg's _Chased by the Light_
(which I believe were shot with Nikkors! which is why I'm hoping digital
imagery can give me the look I want). For b&w, I'm looking for deep, dark
blacks, true whites, and a rich tonal range inbetween. Guess I'm asking a
bit much, eh?!
> Once the field is narrowed, then ask again and the
> answers will really help you make the decision.
I wish I could afford to send all my slides out to be processed by a place
like West Coast Imaging (http://www.westcoastimaging.com/index.htm) using
Tango drum scanners and Lightjet printers--but I can't. It could be that a
good compromise would be to do the scanning and Photo Shop tweaking myself
and send the best out for lightjet prints. If so, I'm wondering if I can
find a scanner that will give me digital files worthy of a lightjet--or even
if I could hope for prints from an Epson that would come close to that
I'm not a pro and have not yet even considered selling my work. But as an
amateur, image quality is very important to me. I have many friends who
would like to have prints of my slides, but the cibachromes I've had done
have really been disappointing to me--they just don't capture the look of
the projected images at all. Obviously, this is highly subjective, and I'm
such a novice that I have difficulty expressing what qualities I'm after.
> This process, including what you are doing now, is the same process
> I went through about 2 years ago. This list
> really did the most help after I narrowed the field.
Hope so. But I also believe that at some point I'll just to have to make a
choice (flipping a coin if necessary) and dive in to discover on my own what
works and what doesn't for my eyes.
I have to say that the Leafscan 45 sample at the pytolwany site is the first
one that really caught my attention as to the look I'm after--and maybe
that's all the pointers I need. I never hear anything about this scanner,
though, and worry that I won't be up to mastering it. And I only have 35 mm
slides (should have mentioned that earlier)--no other formats.