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[filmscanners] Re: Some findings/thoughts on the Sprintscan 120 (comments verywelcome please)

I agree with your current observations except I find Insight to reproduce
any color transparency I have tried pretty well.  Also, the 35mm strip
holder has sprocket hole tabs movable by the "film position slider",
enabling the film to be positioned side to side with little effort.  After
closing the top piece you have to gently bracket the film position slider
until the tabs "fall into" the sprocket holes.  Perhaps you've already done
this and still find it fiddly, but I was satisfied with this mechanism.

The price reduction of the Flextight Photo certainly makes it viable, and
you may want to consider the Nikon LS-8000 as well.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Simon Lamb" <simon@sclamb.com>

I have had some private communication with Art Entlich regarding the SS 120
and he has been, and is continuing to be, very helpful and supportive.  I
though I would share some of the comments that I made with the group to see
if anyone has any comments to make.  All would be welcome.

I have scanned quite a few slides so far and have had varying results.  The
film term in Insight for Kodak Porta 160 is way, way off.  The resulting
scan bears absolutely no resemblance to the original neg. or even the
prints, and required so much work in Photoshop to recover it that I gave up,
it just seemed unrecoverable.  I think the film terms in general within
Insight need to be reviewed.  Scanning using the generic slide terms when
using Provia also produced bad results.  The only good scan I got was using
the generic slide term when scanning Kodak E100VS.  As for black and white,
after over ten attempts with Scala, Delta 100 and Delta 400 I gave up.  The
scans where very dark, the black point stopped dead on all scans at about
30, as if all the pixels at that end had been pushed up against a wall.

So, I moved on to using Vuescan.  The Provia scanned well although the
colour accuracy was not too good.  My Nikon Coolscan LS30 produced a better
scan from a colour perspective, although obviously not as detailed.  The
Delta 100 scan was one of the best black and white scans I had ever seen.
Absolutely perfect tonal balance and immense detail.  The Scala was good but
lost some detail in the highlights.  The Porta 160VC was detailed but there
was a significant amount of white speckling all over the scan.  I assume
from this, and the fact that the Insight term produced the worst scan
imaginable, that the SS 120 just has difficulty with the Portra emulsion.  A
shame, since my LS30 scans it very well.

So where am I now.  Well, the SS 120  can obviously produce detailed scans,
but I will have to rely on Ed Hamrick's Vuescan to get them, especially for
black and white which is a big proportion of my work.  I am not really happy
about relying on third party software because should Ed decide to pack it in
then I will have a scanner from which it will be difficult to get the
results I need.  The carriers are fiddly.  In many cases the 6X6 film does
not lie perfectly flat in the carrier, and it is impossible to line up a
strip of 35mm unless you leave the carrier slightly undone.  Most of the
scans I did using Insight required a lot of work in Photoshop to get them
close to what I wanted,  and some were just too far out to be workable.

I think I will return the SS 120 and try the Flextight Photo.  I did find
when comparing it side by side with the SS 120 in the store that the Photo
just about always reproduced the image as near as possible to the original
colour, contrast etc.  The built in film profiles seemed to be accurate.  It
may take twice as long to scan, but I may save that additional time not
having to do so much in Photoshop.

Your comments on my findings would be welcomed.  I know a lot of people use
the SS 120, so either I am doing something wrong or they just put the effort
in to correct images post scanning.

I was using Insight 5.5.1.



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