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[filmscanners] Re: Hello/ routine question

The HP 5100A scanner is also known as the original HP Photosmart
scanner, which is indeed one of the earlier ones.  The person who
commented that it is best at scanning negatives is correct.  It has very
  poor density range and has a very major problem with either banding or
other artifacts in dense areas of slides.

Further, it does not use ANY film carriers.  It is a contraption that
changes its front configuration to accept film, (which the original
software, at least, assumed were negative strips), mounted slides (which
the scanner assumed were positives, or a 5" wide lip for reflective
images up to 5 x 7" (at 300 dpi).

I do believe the software may have been updated to allow a person to
select slide film strip, so they could scan slides that were unmounted.

At the time, the model was considered the best "value" film scanner for
its cost. It is a SCSI device, and was "cheap" at under $500 US.  Today,
its relatively low resolution (2400 dpi at CCD and much less in actual
output), poor density range, causing banding and artifacts with slides,
tendency to wear, misalign and fail due to the many mechanical parts,
mediocre software, and other factors (it can often scratch a film strip
that is more than 4 frames long if used to capture the fifth and sixth
frame) make it worth pretty much what this person paid for it (nothing).

If it is the only film scanner the person owns and they are not doing
critical scanning (keeping the printed size to 8x10" or less) and
willing to put up with the other inadequacies, it is a usable product.
As has been mentioned, best to NOT use the reflective configuration,
since it is only a 5 x7" 300 dpi reflective scanner and pretty much any
flatbed made in the last few years will eclipse that and do a better job
of it also for about $50.

I owned several of these while I tried to get a good one.  It was
eventually updated to a USB version which had numerous improvements and
many of the same failings (and new ones).

There are several free alternative software packages which were written
for it, if a person takes the time to hunt around on the web, and HP did
update the software as well.


Austin Franklin wrote:

> Robert,
>>2.  This scanner is certainly best at scanning negatives,
> I don't believe the scanner is better or worse at negatives or positives,
> unless it's an older scanner that doesn't support the density range of
> positives.
>>but you can scan
>>unmounted slides (or positive film). If the software doesn't specifically
>>address scanning unmounted slide film...
> Why would it have to "specifically address scanning unmounted slide film"?
> Just select positive, and use a film holder.  As far as the software is
> concerned, it should be no different than scanning a slide.
> Austin

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