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filmscanners: The Acer ScanWit Story



Alright, gents and gals,

I promised to inform you of the progress in my warranty claim against Acer. 
So here goes...

On previous episodes of The Acer ScanWit Story:
- 1) I found that my Acer ScanWit 2720S gave a blue cast on slides (Sensia 
100) and magenta cast on negative film (Kodak 100-2).
- 2) I called up Acer to get a 48hour hotswap. This happened last Wednesday 
(a little over a week ago).
- 3) Acer screwed up and gave me an incorrect return authorization number 
which caused them to not ship the replacement scanner. They promised to 
ship out the scanner on Monday. Furthermore, they would arrange a pick-up 
of the defective scanner. This happened on Monday.


On Tuesday I called up Acer again to get the tracking information. After 
spending the usual 15-20 minutes on hold, a person answered my call. It 
turned out that the scanner had not yet shipped. But the customer service 
rep. would make sure that it happened on the same day.

Wednesday morning my favorite Acer customer service rep. calls me (and 
actually wakes me up... :-)) to inform me that the replacement scanner has 
shipped out. They sent it FedEx overnight so I got it Wednesday at 2pm.

With unlimited excitement I hooked up the scanner and ran a few slides 
through it. Only to find that the colors were only slightly better than 
with my "old" scanner. Furthermore, one pixel in the CCD was bad. This 
caused a magenta line on a white slide. It was obvious that this particular 
CCD pixel couldn't sense the color green. I spent a significant amount of 
time that day comparing the two scanners. There was a difference in color 
rendering but it was not very significant (maybe a few LSBs). But it left 
me with two options: 1) As I didn't want a scanner with a defective CCD I 
could send the "new" one back and keep my "old" scanner. Or 2) I could go 
through the trouble of getting another scanner shipped from Acer to replace 
the "new", defective, scanner.

But today, before I had decided to call Acer, the FedEx dude shows up 
again. With a third scanner!!! I live in a shared house, and have an 
approx. 150 sq ft room. The entire floor of my room was covered in 
packaging materials, scanners, manuals, and God knows what. I have some 
cool pictures of all three scanners sitting atop each other on my computer. 
But the good news is that the scanner that arrived today actually works!! 
Colors are a bit better than the first scanner and the CCD chip works. I 
called Acer, spent 20 minutes on hold, and agreed with the customer service 
rep., who for some reason recognized my name :-)), to ship the two scanners 
back to Acer. They will arrange a pick-up on Tuesday. Fortunately the last 
scanner arrived in a box big enough to hold two scanners.


Conclusion: The CCD in the first scanner might have had a slight color 
bias. But I think it was working alright. (All this for nothin'...) I think 
I'm starting to realize how much photo labs can change color levels when 
they print a photo. On well-exposed pictures the scanner delivers scans 
that are pretty close to the print. But with certain exposures (like sunset 
pictures) the prints are much better. I don't know exactly what causes 
this. Either it's the scanners auto exposure algorithm or it's the lab guys 
playing around with the settings on the printer. I cannot explain what 
could cause a color and intensity shift on my Sensia slides. Acer's tech 
support mentioned that some chemicals used in developing of the film could 
cause effects like the ones I was experiencing. Maybe that's it... Because 
the Provia 100F slides, I just got back from the lab (a different lab than 
the one I used for Sensia), scans *very* close to the way I remember the 
picture in real-life.

 From my experience this far, I conclude that Acer ScanWit is a really good 
scanner for well exposed pictures. But be prepared to fiddle a bit in 
photoshop before you get your "alternatively" exposed pictures just right. 
Acer Tech. Support is really good. They answer their phone *very* fast and 
seem pretty competent. Acer customer service, on the other hand, sucks!!! 
They put you on hold for 15-20 minutes, screw up, and don't really seem 
like they know what they are doing. But when they finally pull their shit 
together you end up with a reasonable solution. A happy ending after all.


Now I just hope that Acer has told UPS to pick up the package on Tuesday.......


That's the Acer ScanWit story. Due to the large email flow, I think I will 
sign off the list. Thanks for your help with diagnosing the problems and 
for explanations of gamma and other things.


Take care,

        Tom




 




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