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Re: filmscanners: best film scanner for b&w negs

Bill Fernandez wrote:

> Well I could easily be wrong.  Or I & they might be looking at
> different things.
> I'll tell you what I was thinking specifically of when I wrote my
> comment:  I've been scanning various reflective and transmissive
> greyscale targets on a new flatbed scanner and comparing the results.
> One of the things I've been doing is looking at the standard
> deviation of the pixel values within each grey step.  I figure that,
> particularly at the dense end, increasing standard deviation
> indicates an increasing level of scanner noise.  Well I was comparing
> tranmissive scans from two IT8 targets,  one 35mm and the other 4x5,
> and the standard deviations on the 35mm target were huge in the dense
> end but similar in the low-density end.  I couldn't understand why
> two targets of equal density on the same scanner could be so
> different; until I inspected both scans closely and realized that the
> 25mm target was hugely grainy, especially in the dense end of the
> greyscale.  So what at first I thought was scanner noise turned out
> to be film grain.
> Now does this sound at all like what they've been discussing on the
> Colorsync list?  Am I looking at this the wrong way?

The threads on the colorsync list I think, for the most part were speaking 
about drum scanners.  These on the
colorsync list discussions started around why it was that magazines, et al, 
could no longer make good
separations from 35mm slides because of 'grain'.  The 'standards' within the 
magazine industry had gone from
needing large format (4x5) in the 60's and early 70's, to a standard of 35mm, 
and then finally to medium
format with the advent of contemporary digital imaging drum scans.

I think that these scanners were single pass drums and not multipass or ccd, 
for what ever that is worth.

The consensus of most was that the grain that was showing up in the dense 
shadows from the greater
enlargements (samples) was due to the problem of electronic noise, and not, in 
fact grain.  I think that these
talks, for the most part, were centered around color transparencies as compared 
to color negatives or b&w
negatives.  They were not addressing scanning 'targets', but rather actual 
'real world' scanning (this is not
to belittle your target argument....just the facts).

Does this help?

Harvey Ferdschneider
partner, SKID Photography, NYC

> >  > I've became aware of this when I was doing similar analysis recently;
> >>  that much of the apparent "scanner noise" was in fact film grain.  So
> >  > now that I'm aware of this I factor it into my testing.
> >>
> >  > --Bill
> >What you write, runs contrary to all of the recent (6 months)
> >threads on the colorsync list regarding grain
> >and noise.  Not that you are wrong, it's just what I've read and
> >experienced with magazines scanning our work
> >for reproduction.
> >
> >Harvey Ferdschneider


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