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Re: filmscanners: Best value sure thing scanner...

The answers you provided make the job of someone recommending a scanner
to you much easier.

Further, your $2000 (I assume US) maximum price point opens the market
up to the higher end in the consumer scanners.

One thing I read loud and clean is you want clean scans that don't
require a lot of dust and scratch and dirt clean up.  Also, it seems
some of the images you print come from older images which might not have
been stored under the best of conditions.

These issues automatically lean to using a scanner which has and makes
us of an IR channel for cleaning.  Also, since you print in B&W now,
dynamic range is more important than color accuracy.

Choices in scanners with either digital ICE (dust and scratch removing
software/hardware) or equivalent are:  Nikon scanners, LS30, LS 2000,
ED 4000, ED 8000, Minolta Elite, Acer 2740, Canon's soon to be released
4000 dpi scanner.

Be aware that because of Nikon's light source (LEDs) dust and scratches
are much more of an issue, so digital ICE is a must for your application.

Digital ICE is NOT available on the Polaroid SS4000, any of the other
Minoltas, the HP, or the other Canon, or the other Acer model.

Good deep shadow detail requires good dynamic range and density
sensitivity.  In general newer CCD chips are going to be better at this.
The Elite's chip, which appears to be the same one used in the new Dual
II, has been given good reports for shadow.  I'd suspect the new Nikons
and Canon will have good dynamic range.

Your other issue seems to be cropping 35mm frames and still having
enough resolution for covers.  The Minolta Elite uses their newer 2820
dpi sensor, which is about 20% better than in the HP.  I'm guessing it
is better than that, simply because independent testing of the HP show
it's real output resolution is under 1000 dpi. I'd be surprised the
Minolta Elite is anywhere near that low.

My concern about the Nikons I've expressed before.  They have problems
with their software and/or stepper motors.  Ed Hamrick claims the
problem is SCSI timing, and fixed in Vuescan.  Now, a "new" problem is 
making the rounds.  Apparently the depth of field at the film plane is 
so limited (probably due to the low illumination level of the LEDS 
forcing Nikon to use a larger open lens) that normal film 
curvature/slide mount distortion is enough to knock the image out of 
focus around the edges.  This is a major problem, IMHO.  Glass carriers 
create a whole other mess of problems, and this problem doesn't exist 
with any other scanner I know of, I suppose because cold cathode light 
is much brighter.

The Acer 2740 with digital ICE is the cheapest option.  It is an
improvement over the HP both in shadow detail and resolution (CCD chip
is 2700 dpi).  But it has fixed exposure settings, which seem to not
allow for the optimum scan result for images that aren't perfectly exposed.

Faded images and those on older grainier filmstock will benefit from ROC
and GEM, which is being offered in some newer scanners as a package with
digital ICE (made by the same company as digital ICE (Applied Science
Fiction).  An ROC-like module is built into Vuescan now, meaning any of
these scanners can have this option (I'm not sure the Acer 2740 is
supported, and of course, the new Canon isn't yet.)

If you can, waiting to see the new Canon with 4000 dpi might be
worthwhile, since it will have both a type of dust removal with IR
channel, and the highest res CCD chip offered in a current 35mm scanner.
   Ditto on the new Nikons.  If not, the Minolta Elite is a good deal for
you (prices are down on it now), the current Nikons, if you can remedy
the software or stepper motor issue, and finally, if the money issue is
a big one, the Acer 2740.

Hope this gives you something to go on, and other on the list please
chime in with your own recommendations and experiences.


Kurt Simpson (Dual Sport News) wrote:

 > There are a number of important factors you need to provide for anyone
 > to give you a reasonable analysis of what will be good value for you.
 > 1)  What platform are you using
 > PC...
 > 2) Does your system support SCSI or USB or Firewire? (Firewire isn't an
 > issue yet with film scanners, but will be soon)
 > I have both SCSI and USB...haven't used Firewire yet but I imagine it 
involves a
 > card
 > 3) What type of films are you using?  Color or B&W, transparency or neg,
 > mixture of above?  What speed films (grain aliasing might be an issue).
 > I can choose as all of the images are used in printing a magazine for 
 > enthusiasts. Currently we use Fuji Provia or Sensei at ASA 100 even 
though we print
 > the magazine in BW. We use 35mm but suffer on cover shots as we don't 
have enough
 > room for cropping...I have 21/4 x 21/4 but haven't used it yet...
 > 4)  Do you care more about speed of scan or quality, or must you have 
 > Quality only...
 > 5)  COST!  How much do you want to spend... a major factor when speaking
 > about value.
 > Less than $2,000
 > 6)  Do you shoot panoramic images (non-standard 35mm frame sizes)
 > no
 > 7) What do you like or hate about your current scanner?
 > Dust...lack of definition in the shadows
 > 8) Do you tend to spend a lot of time fixing dust spots, dirt and 
 > Time is something I don't have a lot of but the spots, dirt and 
scratches must be
 > fixed
 > 9) Do you scan many faded/older color images?
 > Seldom but occasionally the only photos available are of poor/older 
 > All these facts will enter into which unit would best fit your needs.
 > Otherwise, its a bit of mindreading.
 > Art
 > Thank you Art
 > Kurt Simpson wrote:
 >> You know I've spent a lot of time lurking on this list and I wonder 
if the
 >> experts could give a bit of a gift to those of us who are beginners 
but want
 >> to put our feet down on solid ground with a good purchase choice. I 
have an
 >> HP S20xi Photosmart that is on the blink and ready for replacement. 
Is there
 >> any consensus on the list concerning a very solid well-priced unit 
or units?
 >> Perhaps one that benefits very well from Vuescan ?
 >> Thanks,
 >> Kurt Simpson
 >> Editor
 >> Dual Sport News
 >> I've been holding out for the new Nikons but am wondering after 
hearing of
 >> the focus problems on the most recent models...


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