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[filmscanners] RE: Good scanner for B&W




> > That being the case, amongst good CCD scanners, are there
> particular ones
> > that convert to B&W significantly better?
>
> There's no unique requirements for scanning B&W neg, any CCD
> scanner can do
> it, either scanning as greyscale or RGB.

That's not quite true.  ALL current CCD scanners scan B&W in RGB, as that is
all they can scan in.  They convert internal to the scanner, typically using
a canned ratio of R to G to B to get greyscale, so they technically aren't
really greyscale scanners...

You can always do a scan in RGB and do the conversion in PS using your own
ratio of R to G to B...

There is one scanner that does not do this, and that is the Leafscan 35 and
45.  It uses a neutral density filter to scan grayscale.  I have done B&W
scans of the same negative on high end CCD scanners (Imacon, SS120 and Nikon
8000) and in my opinion, the tonality of the Leaf is better.  Not that the
others is at all bad, mind you.

The purported advantage of scanning in ND, not RGB, is you don't have the
color issues with the different channels.  In a CCD scanner, red is
typically "soft", blue is too, but not as much...

There are downsides to the Leaf, in that it hasn't been produced in 8 or so
years...but it does scan 35mm at 5080, which none of the new CCD scanners
can touch, and it does scan up to 4x5...  It has a true density range of
3.7...most of the modern scanners do NOT measure this capability, they just
state a number based on the number of bits the A/D converter in the scanner
is, and to me that's misleading.  The Leaf is slower than a modern scanner
for color, since it's a three pass color scanner, and a single pass B&W.
The application software is quite good, and has sufficient controls to get a
perfect scan with ease...no bells and whistles.  That's was PS is for ;-)

Austin

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