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[filmscanners] Re: Minolta 5400 scan Elite Tests

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Ellis Vener" <ellis@ellisvener.com>
>Thanks for the reply and tips Ellis.
>>  three items here:
>>1.) at full resolution the Minolta (@5400ppi and true 16 bit per
>>channel color depth)  is going to be creating larger data files than
>>the Canon FS4000.
>>2.) Firewire and USB 2.0 are much, much faster than regular USB, which
>>I assume you were using. USB 2.0 maybe faster than firewire depending
>>on the implementation.
>>3.) ICE will slow you down.
>After battling with extremely long scan times I managed to find a usb 2.0
>driver on the Intel site that actually got the USB2 going on my motherboard.
>Just did a test and scan times are down from 30 minutes per slide to less
>than 10! (5400 dpi, 48 bit, 3x sampling on Vuescan).

I had this scanner for a week; my main reason for getting it was to
do B&W scans which the Nikon 8000ED that I've had for a while is not
as good at. Scan times with the Minolta software for full res, 16bit
and no processing connected via firewire to a Mac were about 1min. 10
sec.; nearly twice as fast as the Nikon 8000. The couple of colour
scans I did were excellent and also very fast, but I did not time
them. They did not seem to take longer than the B&W scans, though.

>I managed to fiddle
>with the colour settings and the scans are now fantastic! The Canon scans
>still seems slightly sharper, but with a few levels of sharpening on PS,
>there is no real difference. I am quite fussy about the sharpness of my
>slides and the test slide I chose is very sharp under a 10x loupe. Maybe I
>should try the manual focus thing on the Minolta?

The scans I did with the 5400 showed grain without aliasing artifacts
on Delta 100 dev. in Xtol 1:3, let alone Tri-X or HP5+. That is fine
performance. It showed this level of sharpness evenly across the
frame, from center to the corners, and that without glass carriers.
It definitely showed more detail than the 8000 could, even with HP+
shot at 800 (my usual).

Dynamic range is very slightly better than that of the 8000ED.
Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to get true raw scans, so
some exposure manipulation by the scanner software always happened.
Vuescan does nominally support the scanner, but it always wants to
'warm up the lamp' for 3 or 4 minutes before every step, so it takes
40 minutes to do one scan. Useless.

The scanning software could only see the scanner just after I
rebooted, and generally could not do so again after closing the
software. It would only respond to the scanner if it was plugged in
directly to the computer, not through a hub. A USB2.0 card I bought
was not recognized by the scanner. The Photoshop plugin crashed
Photoshop continually.

So, the scanner hardware seems very good; the film holders are
excellent, the software sucks and therefore the scanner went back. I
have thousands of B&W negs I want to scan, but not with this
software. Maybe I'll try to talk to Ed Hamrick to see if he can fix
his implementation, and maybe after Minolta fixes their firewire
implementation. I think there might have been a firmware problem with
the continual inability of the software to find the scanner (even
Vuescan had problems).

My machine is a Dual 1Ghz G4 with 1.5Gb of RAM. I have three other
scanners attached to the machine, as well as 7 hard drives, a couple
of DVD and CD drives, and all is plug and play, instantly recognized
and solidly stable except for this Minolta machine.

>Another note: Ice works much better than Fare, but it does soften the image
>substantially. That is why I'm not using Ice at full blast, but rather at
>medium setting, which in comparison has about the same effect (noise
>reduction) as Fare at its highest setting. Also at extremely high
>magnification, my FS4000 scans had some strange black pixels (random) in
>thedarker areas, which I thought were Fare artifacts, since I once checked
>and they weren't there without Fare. The Minolta with Ice has none of that.
>Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a substitute for properly cleaning
>slides. (I normally take the slides out of the frame, give them a good wipe
>with a very soft, lint free cloth, put them back in the frame, then brush
>them off with a soft brush, and just before they go into the scanner, I blow
>them with compressed air. If any dirt is still left behind after that, it
>really wants to be there :-)!)
>>  Thanks for this first look. I think in general you are going to b
>>helped by more RAM and switching from USB to USB 2.0 or Firewire. what
>>would really like to see is a Firewire 800 implementation as it is a 2x
>>faster standard than Firewire or USB 2.0
>Thanks, I've ordered 512Mb more RAM. Unfortunately, living at the end of the
>world, everything takes at least a week, so I'll see next week when it
>Thanks for the Firewire 800 tip; I never knew about it. Maybe I'll upgrade
>to that, but I'm quite happy for the time being with USB2 since I got it
>Now, If only I could figure out how to archive these massive files? At 3 or
>less scans per cd, it could become an expensive exercise by the time I have
>re-scanned most of my 5000+ slide library :-(. I know I could store them in
>8 bit format (file size now 'only' 100Mb) but I feel as if too much data has
>been lost?
>          Thys van der Merwe
>Portfolio of African Images:
>Cell: (+27) 83-441-3108
>Tel: (+27) 35-753-3766
>Fax: (+27) 35-753-4489
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>title or body

    *            Henning J. Wulff
   /|\      Wulff Photography & Design
  /###\   mailto:henningw@archiphoto.com
  |[ ]|     http://www.archiphoto.com

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