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[filmscanners] Microtek vs Polaroid (was SS4000 Plus not to Europe!)

Philip Elkin wrote (of the Polaroid Sprintscan SS4000 Plus)

> I tried to get one here in England but with no joy.

so Robert Michael suggested

> Or go for the Microtek articscan 4000tf which will come to Europe and is
> essentially the same thing

>From the web page (and checking some UK dealers) the price for the Microtek 
>looks quite good.
But I know in the past Polaroid have always stressed that the SS4000 was 
"tweaked" in some way
(firmware? stricter QC?) to make it perform better than the Microtek 4000t.  I 
assume they would
claim the same for the SS4000Plus against the 4000tf.  (Although the latter 
does come with its
very own dust cover!)

Has anyone had any direct experience of both the SS4000 and 4000t? Obviously, 
there will be
some differences between Polacolor Insight and the Microtek software but is 
there a real
difference between them when using, say, Vuescan or Silverfast?

I notice that the Microtek 4000tf has multisampling.  I wonder if this is 
simply to match the facilities
offered with other scanners like the Nikon LS-4000 or whether it actually needs 

My interest in all of this is that my recently purchased SS4000 will have to go 
back: when I move it
and reconnect it (it's too big to live permanently on my desk), it gives a CCD 
error message and
stops at the calibration stage.  At the next attempt, it previews but the 
preview image is solarised
and streaked.  Next go, just the streaks remain.  Finally, at the fourth 
attempt, the preview looks
fine.  (The same preview corruption happens if I use Silverfast instead.) It 
then remains fine until
the scanner is moved again and the same thing happens.

In addition, I've had the scanner get stuck in the calibration cycle and make a 
noise like it's going
to self-destruct so I've had to switch off.  Also I've had it completely crash 
the PC a couple of times
as well as treating the slide holder as a negative holder or just not 
recognising it properly!

All in all, this particular unit doesn't inspire confidence - especially it's 
apparent need to bed in after
being moved.  As this was the last one available, I'll be getting a refund.  So 
the hunt for a scanner

I did like the SS4000, in particular the resolution and lack of noise, but it 
didn't really do very well
with the shadow detail in some of my dense slides.  The extra dynamic range of 
the of the 4000tf
could certainly make it a candidate unless anyone has any horror stories about 
its predecessor.

Al Bond

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