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[filmscanners] Re: Microtek vs Polaroid (was SS4000 Plus not toEurope!)

al@greenspace.freeserve.co.uk wrote:

>>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!)

The SS4000+ also now comes with a nice dustcover, I have been told. ;-)

How do the prices between the two products compare in Europe?

> 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 it?

Multisampling is also available with the SS4000+ via Silverfast, but not
in Insight (at least not yet)...

> 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.

Just out of interest, when you move it, do you remove the cables, the AC
current/ and SCSI connections, or is it just with the switch off, and
you physically move it over somewhere?

> 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!

This is beginning to sound a lot like a SCSI card/data problem.  Also,
make sure the location sensor is clean of dust, using the little brush.

> 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
> continues.....

I wonder if it wasn't a refurbished unit that had some problems.  If you
are sure the problems aren't with interfacing, I'd agree you need a new
one rather than a repair.  In general, these units are quite reliable.

> 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.

Normally, I'd say that the major advantage you're getting is Polaroid's
service, but with the company in transition, it is hard to make any
comparison until things settle down with their new owners.  Also, being
that you are dealing with a distribution system beyond North America, I
imagine things might change even more on that end.


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