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Re: filmscanners: Was New Nikon performance, now dust

From: Isaac Crawford <isaac@visi.net>

> For the record, I don't own a Nikon scanner, heck I don't own any
> scanner right now... I'm using this forum as a means to figure out
> it is I want to get. I have done darkroom work for years, and I use
> film scanners at work. I have to say that I haven't noticed any
> significant dust problem with the scanner at work that doesn't have
> but then again, it's not that high a resolution either. What I want
> know is weather this dust "problem" is any worse than using a
> enlarger. Has anyone used their scanner in a clean lab environment
> opposed to their study)? I'd imagine if I set up my condenser
> in my living room, I'd never get rid of the dust, but in a darkroom,
> is realitivly easy to minimize the dust (no carpets, no furniture,
> pets, etc). In my experiance, it is pretty easy to keep your film
> clean with a little effort, but because of static charge, it will
> the dust out of the air when you take it out.
> So, if I use the same care as I do in work, and use the scanner in a
> less dusty environment, will the dust be any worse than a condenser
> enlarger?
> Isaac

My darkroom has a Leitz Valoy II (modified to take cut filters over
the condenser), and an Omega D2-V with two heads: a condenser head for
cut filters, and an Aristo variable contrast cold light head.  I
prefer to print color on a condenser head using cut filters, and both
of these enlargers were used regularly for both B&W and color before I
went digital.  I've also used diffusion color heads, and true point
source condenser heads (most condenser heads use diffusion bulbs, and
aren't true point sources.)

Since learning how to deal with dust effectively I don't have dust
problems.  There are easy and fast ways to work even in fairly dustly
environments if you know how.

My digital room is just next to the darkroom, where I have Nikon LS-30
and AgfaT-2500 scanners.  The Agfa might be thought of by most as a
flat bed, but it's really a film scanner too.  I rarely use the "flat
bed" part of my T-2500.  It's performance with 35mm film compared to
the Nikon LS-30 is a case of swings and roundabouts, with the Nikon
delivering good fast results, and the Agfa better results, but with
more work.  I've never done critical comparisons of resolution between
them, as they both resolve grain pretty well, and seem about the same
in terms of resolution.

In my experience, there is much more difference between a Nikon LED
and a cold cathode scanner in terms of the exaggeration of dust and
surface artifacts than there is between a diffusion and condenser
enlarger.  The difference between the scanners is dramatic, the
difference between the enlargers subtle.  I find little difference
between dust "performance" comparing the Agfa scanner to enlargers.

I personally wouldn't consider using a Nikon scanner with the LED
lightsource without ICE.  However, with ICE, the LED light source has
qualities I may well prefer to cold cathode.  But I would first want
to see if the performance problems on certain Kodachrome and B&W films
have been effectively overcome or not.



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