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Re: filmscanners: Re: computers, scanners

On Sun, 28 Jan 2001 01:30:43 -0600 (CST)  patton paul 
(ppatton@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu) wrote:

>  I'm currently considering two machines, a Macintosh G3
> powerbook (400Mhz, 10Gb), which is currently on sale for $1,800 (a good
> price for a Mac laptop), or a G4 PowerPC (desktop) (466Mhz, 30Gb), for
> $1,529.  What I was wondering was whether there are any significant
> differences in the suitability of these two machines for use in
> filmscanning and image processing that I should know about.   I'm already
> aware, from previous discussions on this list and elsewhere, that a CRT
> screen is better for image editing than an LCD screen, so I will plan to
> use an external monitor to do this if I get the G3 powerbook.  Is the
> G3 objectionably slow, by comparison with the G4, for doing image
> processing with programs like adobe photoshop, or when working with a
> scanner? Is the difference between the two processors very noticable for
> such applications?

CPU power is not the most significant aspect here. Most of the time RAM and 
hard disk space and speed will be more frustrating bottlenecks. A 10Gb disk 
will fill up amazingly quickly, and you will need 256Mb RAM. Enhancing any 
laptop is generally expensive and they are usually poor value compared to 
desktop machines - but if you need the portability that overrides everything 

> I would also like to know more about filmscanners.  Of the ones I've
> considered, the new Nikon Coolscan IV ED USB filmscanner is my favorite.
> However, at $895.00, the price is a bit high for a photo hobbyist.  Are
> there any other Macintosh compatible film scanners of similar quality
> worth considering, that might have a bit lower price?

If USB is vital, the only other comparable devices are the Minolta Dimage 
Dualscan 2 and the Kodak RFS3600. Both have enthusiastic users, neither have 

> The digital ICE
> feature on the Nikon scanner especially appeals to me.   I've had some of
> my slides scanned previously, and have always noticed that bits of dust
> and dirt on the slides show up on the scans.  How good is digital ICE at
> preventing this?  Is it worth paying extra for?

Very effective generally, and will save a lot of time working with the clone 
tool to repair the mess. Even apparently pristine film will inevitably have a 
few specks IMO.
> I've also been thinking about Kodak Photo CDs as an alternate to buying my
> own scanner.  There are two kinds, a consumer grade and professional grade
> photo CD, with the professional grade including a higher resolution scan.
> Since the professional grade photo CD is considerably more expensive, I
> was wondering just how noticable the difference in quality would be for my
> intended uses.  Suppose I wanted to print an image from a photo CD with a
> wide format photo quality printer like the Epson 1270.  Would the
> highest resolution scan on the consumer grade photo CD be good enough to
> produce a high quality print as large as 11x13", or would I need
> a professional photo CD for this?

Pro Photo CD's 6144x4096pel would be fine in dpi terms, ~360dpi at A3. Standard 
PCD's max 16 base res (3072x2048pel) will give ~180dpi at A3. Most people 
regard 200-240dpi as the sensible minimum for Epsons.

> How would the quality of Kodak's scans
> compare with those I could do myself if I bought the Nikon Coolscan IV ED?

Photo CD quality is highly variable, depending on the operator skill and to an 
extent the age of the scanning station, both of which are a lottery. Provided 
you are prepared to take the time and trouble (neither of which should be 
underestimated:) and expense to scan well, virtually any current consumer 
filmscanner will substantially exceed typical PCD quality in most respects.


Tony Sleep
http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film scanner info & 


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