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Re: filmscanners: Low-end Scanner Roundup



On Wed, 6 Jun 2001 12:36:44   
 Collin Ong wrote:
>In response to a question posted on another forum from somebody wanting to
>scan a lot of old slides, I wrote the following advice and roundup of
>low-cost scanners.  <clip>
>Scanning 500-1000 negatives or slides will turn into a very time consuming
>project. However, the time you spend doing this with a cheap 1800 dpi
>scanner will be about the same you spend doing this with a quality 2700+
>dpi scanner. 

Amen! And I've done it!

>The things that eat up the most time when batch scanning slides/negs: 
>
>1) physically finding, sorting, selecting, cleaning, and loading all the
>film. You'll have to do this whether you get a crappy scan or great scan
>out of it. Makes sense to get a great scan, right? 

Ditto.

>2) Cleaning dust spots and scratches off the scanned image. This will take
>you about 5-15 minutes per image depending on how careful you are and the
>nature of the defects. For example, dust is fairly easy to spot out using
>the clone tool. A long scratch that goes through an important area will
>take much more manual effort and in some cases cannot be fixed at all
>manually if it goes through a detail area. A scanner with infra-red defect
>removal will do this automatically, saving you tons of time. 

Collin, you underestimate the dedication of a Cheapskate! But you are largely 
right--it ain't worth the trouble, if you can afford to avoid it. :-)

>3) Color-correcting the scanned images. A scanner (and associated
>software) that can get the color as close to target as possible
>automatically will save you tons of time screwing with levels and curves
>in photoshop. For old slides, scanners with Applied Science Fiction's
>ICE3's Restoration of Color (ROC) will help get the color back to normal.
>Or, use VueScan's restore color option. Even with brand new negatives, its
>hard to consistently get the exact color balance you want because the
>orange mask on the negatives must be removed.  Scanning new slides tends
>to be easier in terms of color balance.

Unfortunately, ASF has chosen to market its ROC only through selected hardware 
manufacturers. Not having the "chosen hardware," I've had to learn how to use 
several selected  S/W Imaging Programs. It hurt a *lot* at the time, but I'm a 
better person for it! :-)

>4) Changing film. If the scanner does not do batch scanning, you'll have to 
>baby sit it every minute to change film. <clip>

Babysitters make a lot more than I do! But batching was out of the question, 
anyway. Processors hereabouts cut the film to fit in those little 
envelopes--which are shorter than my filmholders, by far!

>But film scanner quality is not measured by DPI alone...there are many
>issues like noise, grain aliasing, dust-scratch elimination which are
>harder to quantify, but really affect the end result. You can make up for
>some of these with effort in PhotoShop, but it'll take time, and with alot
>of frames, you'll get sick of it soon. 

Verily, Collin, and so sayeth I to alla you: Listen To The Man!

>So, what should you consider? 
<clip>

Since I have what I have, now what I have is to *learn* what I have! ;-)

Collin, this was an excellent piece, and I think it should be posted every 
month. Where were you when I needed you most? :-)

Best regards--LRA


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