The film version of Digital ICE never "replaces" pixels damaged by surface
defects. That is how some of the other versions of infra red surface defect
software work. There are several programs out there that use infra red to
identify surface defects. Digital ICE is unique (and patent protected) in
that it "looks through" the surface defects and identifies the underlying
information in the film. That is why Digital ICE doesn't work when there is
a hole in the negative. If you take a pin and punch a hole in a negative or
scratch deeply into the emulation of the film, the defect will be identified
but not repaired properly.
It will never remove detail such as a single hair across a model's face
thinking it is a scratch like many other software based defect removal
It never copies adjacent pixels like some other programs.
Digital ICE should not blur your image. There are two reasons why some
believe that Digital ICE softens images. First, in the original Nikon
scanners where Digital ICE was first introduced, Nikon used two levels of
electronic sharpening. When Digital ICE was run in the "normal" mode, there
wasn't as much electronic sharpening applied. You could apply additional
sharpening using an image editor (and it came with the typical artifacts
associated with digital sharpening). Therefore, when you compared the two
images, the "non-ICEed" version APPEARED sharper than the Digital ICE
version. Apply some digital sharpening and the images would have the same
The second reason Digital ICE images APPEAR less sharp is because with many
images the highest level of detail in an image is the surface defects!
Remove the surface defects using Digital ICE and the image may appear less
sharp. Compare the actual pixels in the scan and you should find a similar
level of sharpness.
As for draw backs, I am afraid you are asking the wrong guy. I do a lot of
scanning of my own. I have some old Marilyn Monroe images I'm scanning. I'm
afraid to do any cleaning to them since they are not mine. Therefore, I just
use compressed air to dust them off and then I scan them, along with finger
prints, scratches and dust that the air doesn't blow off. The images would
be very time consuming to touchup using a photo editor if it weren't for
The only other drawback is that it may take an additional 20 to 100 percent
more time (depending on the scanner, your computer and other factors) to
apply Digital ICE. This time is usually minuscule compared to the decreased
time in touchup.
As for Digital ICE for other scanners, all I can say is that we are working
most of the scanner manufacturers to provide Digital ICE for different
scanners. Lately we have added Digital ICE for many of the scanners in the
digital minilab market and we are working on adding it to some flatbed
I hope that answers your questions! Feel free to email me directly if you
have questions the group as a whole may not be interested in hearing about.
Good luck with your scanning!
Director of Technology
Applied Science Fiction
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2002 17:54:56 -0800
> From: Arthur Entlich <email@example.com>
> Digital ICE is an infrared scan that "sees" materials opaque to Infrared
> light. This includes dust, dirt and some types of surface damages,
> which lower the frequency of the light during transmission.
Two questions: what does it replace the pixels that the dust is covering
up? does it attempt to fill in those "holes" that would otherwise be
created by the particles with a color of some sort? if so, which colors?
does it copy adjacent pixels? can anyone be more specific about how this
Also, what are the drawbacks to ICE (in a nutshell). I remember when
photoshop came out with it's dust and scratches filter, everyone oo'ed
and ah'ed about how great it was, but it turns out that it blurs your
image pretty badly to the point where it's not really useful in a
practical sense. (You still have to use the clone tool to maintain a
consistency in the pixels.)
Lastly, does the polaroid 120 have ICE and if not, does the new SS4000+
have it? If not, when will their line of products have it?
Photo Gallery: http://www.danheller.com/
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