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Re: filmscanners: RE: filmscanners: New Nikon performance

On Thu, 07 Jun 2001 23:48:17 -0400  Isaac Crawford (isaac@visi.net) wrote:

>       Hmmm... was the scanner *adding* the dust and scratches? I would 
> have a scanner that gets as much info off of the film as possible, and
> if there are dust and scratches on the film, they should be resolved...
> I'm funny that way...;-)

If you compare collimated vs. diffuse heads on an enlarger (ie all else 
remains the same), the result on my Durst is about +1 grade harder from 
the condenser head. There is no perceptible difference in image sharpness 
at all, even using a loupe, but apparent image sharpness is enhanced by 
greater contrast. You don't get any more information off the film. However 
 you *do* get genuinely sharper, better defined and uglier images of dust 
and scratches from collimated light. 

I can only resolve this paradox by thinking that the 3d nature of such 
cack is the origin of the difference. Relative to film grains, detritus 
and dust and scratches have significant depth and size. Illuminated from 
all angles, the diffuser case, tends to mask them (soft light), whereas 
collimated light shows them up magnificently. Film grains and clumps are 
relatively minute, so exhibit little real loss of definition, but manifest 
it as lowered contrast across the image.

IME this is also true of the Nikon LED lightsource, but to a lesser 
degree. All filmscanners I've ever used have an alarming propensity to 
hallucinate rubbish which vanishes in a diffuser enlarger head, but the 
Nikons do elevate gunge discovery to an artform.

TBH I think this means there's *lots* of scope for scanner lightbox design 
improvement, to give a proper diffused source. IME they just shine a tube 
through the film and aren't all that diffuse at all. But such old 
tech tricks have been outmoded by software ;)


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


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