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Filmscanners mailing list archive (filmscanners@halftone.co.uk)

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[filmscanners] Re: What can you advise?



Let's be fair, it makes complete sense for commercial scanners to have
dICE.  The condition of the film and storage will vary widely.  No
commercial lab is going to do ANY spotting on inexpensive scans.  Also,
how much does dICE add to the cost of a commercial scanner by percentage
versus how much does it add to a desktop scanner?  I'm guessing the cost
increase to the desktop scanner is considerably more by percentage.

We've sparred (with gloves on, of course) over this before.  I don't
think many would argue that if the Polaroid scanner had dICE it would
make it not only a better scanner, but the most versatile and best in
its class, bar none.  However, dICE doesn't come for free, by any means.
  It is one of the cost factors in Nikon's premium pricing.

I know of dozens of SS4000 and SS4000+ (and the Microtek equivalent)
scanner owners and I have only once had someone somewhat bemoan dust
problems, and this individual wants to have scans which show no defects,
even if these defects don't show on the print outs (last I heard, he
still very much likes his SS4000+).

If you speak to people who use the Nikons or Minoltas about "life
without dICE" (with true B&W), they usually have a lot to say about
spotting.

In a perfect world, dICE wouldn't add any cost for to the end user.  In
that case, I'd agree that every scanner should have dICE or an
equivalent IR cleaning solution, but that isn't the situation (which is
in part what keeps food on your table, as it should, the company you
represent deserves to be paid for a great series of inventions).  But
not all scanners "need" IR cleaning incorporated in them.

And, in terms of time (relative to using Polaroid's external software
solution), dICE has a fairly substantial time overhead, so it doesn't
come "free" that way either.

For someone who is scanning a majority of color film types, that may
have had variable handling, I suggest dICE based scanners, although I
cannot suggest a specific scanner without knowing more, because they
each present other difficulties as well, unrelated to dICE. For people
who scan a reasonable amount of black and white processed
(non-chromogenic, non-C-41 B&W) films, they must consider how the
scanner functions in a dICE-free environment into the equation.

And just to state this publicly, I think ASF is one of the most
innovative companies in image processing, and I wish them the best of
fortunes for their breakthrough concepts.  Overall, I believe they saved
some desktop scanners which would have been nearly unusable (at least to
the point of frustration), had it not been for dICE.  ASF has products
that have revolutionized certain methodologies and made the impossible
possible and I have the utmost respect as they override seemingly
impossible challenges.

However, not everyone gains the same potential benefit from dICE.

Art


Jack Phipps wrote:

> Hi Bernie!
> You are correct, I am biased. However, if you've ever used Digital ICE,
> you'll never want to do without it. Look at the many commercial scanners
> (Kodak, Durst, Noritsu, Gretag, Agfa) that ALSO do not tend to emphasize
> dust and scratches that DO use Digital ICE. If you want the best results
> from any scanner you will want to use Digital ICE. Digital ICE DOES work
> with chromogenic black and white. It also works quite well with Kodachrome
> in most cases. In the few cases where there is a problem, there is a very
> effective work around.
>
> There is no comparison between a software solution for surface defect
> removal and Digital ICE. The software is very labor intensive compared to
> the automatic method of Digital ICE, and it leave many more artifacts. MANY
> of the images I've scanned would be IMPOSSIBLE to clean up with a software
> solution.
>
> I'm not saying that Polaroid doesn't make a good scanner, they do. I am
> saying it will be a much better scanner with Digital ICE.
>
> Thanks for the recommendation for our plug ins. They will improve digital
> images from any source. Digital ROC is especially helpful for scans or
> digital camera images that were taken under unusual lighting conditions. We
> helped out a photographer that had taken some important pictures under
> sodium vapor lighting using a digital camera (a long time exposure on a
> tripod). The results were amazing, it looked as if the images were captured
> in daylight!
>
> Good luck scanning!
>
> Jack Phipps
> Applied Science Fiction
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bernie Kubiak [mailto:bkubiak@attbi.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 7:13 PM
> To: Jack Phipps
> Subject: [filmscanners] RE: What can you advise?
>
> Mr. Phipps fails to mention the Polaroid line of scanners, which <ahem>
> don't happen to use his fine software because their design tends to
> minimize the production of dust, scratches, etc.  If you have a lot of
> B&W negs or Kodachromes, you may wish to consider Polaroid for just that
> reason (dICE doesn't work on them).
>
> Polaroid also has dust and defect removal software, which is available
> free to folks who purchase their scanners (and used after scanning
> rather than during).  I think the Polaroid machines compare favorably
> with the others mentioned below, based on reading the posts on this NG
> over the last several months.  (Which is why I bought a Polaroid.)
>
> Besides, you can use Digital ROC and SHO on you Polaroid scans if you
> find the need, again as post scan applications.
>
> -----------------------------
> I'm too old to die young....
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk
> [mailto:filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk] On Behalf Of Jack Phipps
> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 11:53 AM
> To: bkubiak@attbi.com
> Subject: [filmscanners] RE: What can you advise?
>
> Congratulations Geoff! It must be exciting to be able to pursue your art
> full time. I would recommend a scanner with Digital ICE. It does an
> excellent job of removing defects, not just dust and scratches, but film
> manufacturing defects that appear in many images. Digital ICE is
> available
> in Minolta, Nikon, and Benq (Acer) consumer scanners and many other
> commercial scanners (Kodak, Durst, Noritsu, Gretag, Agfa, etc). Microtek
> recently announced Digital ICE for their flatbed scanners as well.
>
> Nikon and Minolta also offer scanners with Digital ROC that restores
> color
> to faded images and Digital GEM that removes noise (grain) from images.
> Digital ROC is available as a Photoshop compatible plug in as is Digital
> SHO. Digital SHO is a valuable tool that helps reveal shadow detail
> without
> affecting the highlights. Both plug ins are available as a free trial
> from
> www.asf.com.
>
> If you are used to drum scans, you may want to consider one. They are
> available on the used market and even though the technology is quite
> old, it
> is still the measuring stick used for scanning comparisons.
>
> Good luck with your scanning.
>
> Jack Phipps
> Applied Science Fiction
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Geoff Clack [mailto:geoffc@adept-design.co.uk]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 8:52 AM
> To: Jack Phipps
> Subject: [filmscanners] What can you advise?
>
> Hello filmscanners
>
> I am a new list member. Apart from a real interest in scanning (I've
> notched up 50 years experience as a photographer and 40 as a graphic
> designer) I've joined you in the hope of obtaining guidance in making
> a film scanner purchase decision.
>
> At work I generally use hi-res scans from drum scanners so am
> undoubtedly fussy. As I near retirement (well, give up the day job)
> my hope is to develop my interest in photography and, using Photoshop
> etc., combine this with my ability as a painter to produce prints (I
> started at Art School as a painter but couldn't see my parents being
> able to support me so moved over to a graphic design course. I'll
> never know if that was a wise decision - but most friends who
> persevered as painters are now international names and wealthy!).
>
> Anyway, as I look through the pages of Macworld, and read the
> filmscanners list, I see reviews and mention of a variety of film
> scanners (and related problems). So far, to me, no model stands head
> and shoulders above the rest.
>
> My spec includes: 35mm, 4000-ppi, Firewire and value for money. You
> may know better.
>
> What can you advise?
>
> Geoff.
>
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