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Re: filmscanners: brandnew user queries


Sounds like you're on the right track.  Here are some further thoughts:

(1) Store your slides in an airtight container with a dehydrating 
agent to keep fungus off the slides. Packets of silica gel is 
traditional, zeolite is the new rage  (you can buy this in bulk at 
aquarium supply shops. It's beginning to replace activated charcoal 
in water filters).

(2) Anti-static brush:  I use the SW-030 StaticWisk from Kinetronics. 
It's a flat, natural bristle brush with a molded-lastic handle (the 
handle is conductive plastic, so it bleeds off static electricity 
through your body).  There's a fancier style that uses a tiny bit of 
barely radioactive material (polonium?) that I recall is supposed to 
actually attract the dust to the brush.  Don't remember the brand 

(3) I use Falcon brand Dust Off.  They're much cheaper at Costco then 
office supply warehouses.  Be careful not to shake or tip the can 
before using it (otherwise you'll end up spraying something whitish 
that coats the film).  Also spray a light jet to clear the nozzle 
before blowing off your film.  I've heard rumor that these canned air 
products might not be good for film, but so far I've had no visible 

(4) I strongly suggest your next purchase be a monitor calibrator and 
profiler, such as the Color Spyder (hardware) with PhotoCal 
(software) from ColorVision.  (Yes, I'm one of those who buys into 
the ColorSync/ICC profiling theory of color management).  This is so 
that you can review your scans on the monitor, make any adjustments 
and rescans, then be reasonably confident that you've gotten 
satisfactory data and that in the future when you have a bigger 
monitor and a color printer that what you see or print will be 
reasonably close to what you saw months or years earlier when you 
scanned the film.

(5) Similarly, I recommend that (if the SS4000 doesn't come with 
them) that you generate and use ColorSync/ICC profiles for each of 
the film types you scan.  You do this using two Q-60 targets from 
Kodak, one for all the various types of Ektachrome, and the other for 
all the various speeds of Kodachrome.  If these don't come with your 
scanner they're a real pain to find, so here's how to buy them: (a) 
go to ftp://ftplkodak.com/GASTDS/ and download the file 
"techinfo.pdf"  This should tell you how to call Kodak to order them. 
Note that even though this tech note only mentions the Ektachrome 
versions, I understand there's a Kodachrome version as well.

(6) No matter how good your scans are, DON'T throw away your original 
slides!  I've been scanning a lot of Kodachrome 64 slides on a Nikon 
LS4000 ED and when I compare the (good) scans to what I see under 
magnification on a light table there's clearly a lot of information 
on the film that's not getting into the scan.

Good luck and have fun!


At 1:57 PM -1000 16-9-01, David Lewiston wrote:
>After reading filmscanners digest for several months, I've finally broken
>down & ordered a Polaroid 4000 -- found the ecost price irresistible ($550
>after rebate, including a hefty shipping fee, an extra slide holder & a neg
>holder)! Fedex tracking indicates it should arrive tomorrow.
>I'll be scanning mostly slides K25, K64, E200, as well as some Ektachrome
>160 from the '70s; more recently I've started shooting neg so eventually
>I'll need to get up to speed on that as well.
>I've downloaded Vuescan.
>Kihei, down by the beach on Maui where I live, is both humid & dusty. Plan
>to get a sewing machine cover, and lay in a supply of PEC 12, as recommended
>by list members. Other advice that I remember: antistatic brush -- but I
>don't recall the particular model; and a large lenscleaning cloth. Which
>brand of compressed air/gas is recommended? And I'll need to get the
>Polaroid brush.
>Plan to archive to Mitsui Gold CDRs. I use them for audio engineering, and
>they seem to be satisfactory. Until I get up to speed, I'm thinking of
>archiving the raw scans
>Monitor is inadequate (15" Sony Trinitron) but tight cash prevents me from
>ordering a 19" or 21" at the present time. Same applies to Photoshop, but I
>have 5.5LE on hand.
>I'm leaving the whole issue of printing until a later date. Getting the raw
>data into the computer, & archiving it, seem to be the essentials.
>One impediment: My most important transparencies, more than 50 of them, have
>been removed from their holders by the pro lab that printed them, in order
>to make neg masks. I expect I'll have to separate them from the neg masks in
>order to scan them -- which will make the Ilfochrome printer (Rob at the
>Lightroom in Berkeley) none too happy when I take them to him for more
>What have I overlooked?
>Thanks & salutations, David Lewiston


Bill Fernandez  *  User Interface Architect  *  Bill Fernandez Design

(505) 346-3080  *  bill@billfernandez.com  *  http://billfernandez.com


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