Recommendations

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bob01721

Anyone have a recommendation for a film scanner? I'll be scanning 35mm negatives, B&W and color, to print enlargements up to... oh, say 8" X 10" on my inkjet.

I'd LIKE to keep it under $400. I've been looking at the DiMAGE Dual IV, but I'd like to hear from anyone with experience before jumping in.
 

arizona

Member
I had similar requirements and my Dimage Scan Dual IV works just fine for me. Don't forget to buy antistatis cloth and brush - it is easier and faster to clean negative than picture...
 
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bob01721

Thanks for the advice. I've also recently heard that added software (VueScan or others) can turn this little beast into a real monster.

My decision is made. Another Minolta product!!!
 

arizona

Member
I didn't use VueScan - the included Minolta software gives a lot of options (check that first) and generaly I fix the scanned photos in PhotoShop.
 
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bob01721

Follow Up:

Well... I didn't get the Dual IV. I got the Scan Elite 5400 instead. After talking with people who moved "up" to a scanner with Digital ICE (and swore never to go back), I decided to spend the extra money.

My new toy arrived yesterday. I'll start playing with it tomorrow.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hello Bob,
I just wondered how you are getting on with your new scanner.
I have the Scan Elite 5400 as well and find it very good. I like it. But I find it slow at high resolutions. I think that probably all scanners are slow unless you pay the price of "a good BMW" for one as one professional photographic shop said to me but I just wondered about your impressions.
John
 
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bob01721

John,

I'm simply AMAZED at what this bad boy can do! Understand that this is my first experience with a film scanner and I may be awed by things that more experienced users would take for granted. But comparing film scans of a negative with flatbed scans of an 8x10 enlargement of the same image, I find that... there IS no comparison! There's so much more information in the film scan!

I'm still learning/playing with the settings. Still learning whether I get better results changing a negative into a positive with the scanner or with Photoshop. Same with histograms, etc. So far I've been doing bare-bones scanning and using PS for everything else.

I also remember having some XP-2 negs that were difficult to print with B/W chemistry. I wanna see how they scan and print. Any lessons you can pass on?

You're right -- high-res scans take a while, but the time isn't important to me. If I were doing this for a living, that would be a different story. Bottom line -- I'm not "just" satisfied... I'm THRILLED!
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Thanks Bob. I'm delighted that you are so pleased with the scanner. I agree. I love mine too. I haven't tried XP2 negs yet. It was just the speed or lack of it rather) at maximum resolution but I have been given some hints for changing my computers pageing file settings which I haven't tried yet. I'm going to have a go soon and I will let you know how I get on.
Best wishes,
John
 
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bob01721

John,
Yes, please let me know how you make out. Since I have only 256MB, I'd imagine that the paging scheme could make a substantial difference with high-res scans.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hi Bob,
I tried the paging file recommendations I had been given and they didn't make any difference. In fact it slowed things down. I had been told to make the main C drive non paging and to have scratch (for Photoshop) and swop files on the separate internal D drive with files written to a separate drive. I cannot see how to do the latter.
I have three external drives and two internal so I removed paging from the C drive and moved My Documents to the D drive as also instructed. I had paging on the other drives.
This had the effect of causing the scanner to be unable to save to a file format - TIFF or JPEG -and to be very slow indeed.
So, I re-enabled paging on the C drive and made all the other drives System Managed. This gives total paging file size for all drives of 3070 MB. Since the computer tells me that it is using approx 500 MB paging when scanning at the maximum settings, that must be more than enough. Scanning times are much the same as before.
I have 1GB of RAM and I understand that this is important. I have been told that Photoshop uses about 80% of available RAM when it is running.
I have to say that I don't really know what I am doing when doing all this.
A former photo lab manager told me that he had crashed a photo lab computer by performing very high resolutions scans. My processor runs at 100% when scanning at maximum resolution with ICE so I reckon it is just that there is so much information to process that takes the time and creating such large files.I have asked Minolta what typical times are but they haven't replied yet.
I think for general scanning I shall settle for lower settings and avoid ICE except when it is really necessary. This should make things a lot quicker.
John
 
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bob01721

John,

Thanks for getting back. It sounds like that should speed things up if the disk hardware I/O is the actual bottleneck.

1GB of RAM should be way more than enough! But if your processor is maxed out while scanning hi-res negs, it sounds like THAT'S the bottleneck -- not the disk paging scheme.

Oh well. Patience is a virtue.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Bob,
Sorry about the delay in replying but my computer has been in for repair of the horrific noises it was making. It seems OK now. I did enquire about a processor upgrade but by the time all the other changes which would be needed were added in, it was not worth it.
I reckon I shall just have to cultivate that virtue until I can afford a new computer!
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Bob,
I have found that scanning a transparency at maximum resolution with 4x multi-s&ling and no digital ICE takes under five minutes to produce a file in excess of 200MB. With digital ICE applied, it takes 34 minutes so I reckon that ICE is the problem. Also with no ICE, the processor is only working at around 85% of capacity. ICE is obviously very useful but what a difference in scan times.
I am experimenting with a demo version of silverfast SE at the moment. This seems pretty fast but there is a lot to learn about it.
John
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Bob,
I forgot to mention that I find using manual focus rather than auto focus also speeds things up. My under five minutes scan time was with manual focus. I think it is more accurate too.
John
 
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bob01721

John,

I've been using ICE, but no multi-s&ling, and the scan times are WAY below 30 minutes.

I'm getting file sizes in the 20MB range, too. Nowhere near 200! Hmmm.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hi Bob,
Thanks for your reply. Sorry about the delay but my computer has definitely been having problems recently. It packed up, aparently due to faulty RAM. I am just about getting it back together.
I think that using the multi-s&ling must make a difference in speed. Are you scanning at 5400 to get 20MB files? It is at maximum resolution that I am getting these huge files.
Incidentally, the computer repair man told me that having a gig of memory was not good in Windows and put a strain on the motherboard resources. He said that Windows doesn't use much above 500MB and it is just a waste. He has left me with 512 installed and at the moment all is well...
Cheers,
John
 
W

wolfie

Hi John,

it depends on the version you are using. The gig on the 500 MB is true if you are using Win 98, XP is doing well with 1 GB of memory - PS CS needs XP, after all.

Ciao, Wolfie
 

vayvay

Member
Your repair guy has no idea what he is talking about. A properly designed motherboard will have no problem with as much RAM as you can stuff onto it. In fact, not having enough RAM will put MORE strain on your system as Windows and Photoshop thrash on your much more failure prone hard disk(s) transferring data into and out of virtual memory. Photoshop loves RAM and if you have more you can safely bump up its memory usage without affecting Windows and your other applications. And even if you aren't using it directly in Photoshop, you can do more multitasking.

I only had 512MB when I first built my system, and upgrading to 1.5GB has definitely improved performance when working with large files. It may not improve your actual scanning time because you could be running into other bottlenecks, but it is definitely worth having.

Also you are correct, multi-s&ling will definitely increase your scanning times drastically (the scanner in effect has to perform several complete scans and then integrate the data into a single image).

-Jason
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Thanks Wolfie and Jason. I have XP Home and Photoshop CS.
I did think it was strange what the repair chap said but he said that this something which not many people know. Your helpful comments make sense to me.
Cheers,
John
 
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bob01721

John,

To the best of my knowledge -- and I began working as a computer engineer on the big mainframes back in the early 70's -- there's no such thing as too much memory. Not sure which motherboard resources your repair guy was referring to. If your motherboard architecture can't address all the installed memory, some may go unused (wasted), but that won't impose any "strain."

Yes, 5,400 gives me approx. 20M files (w/ ICE, w/o multiscan).
 
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