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Film Scanners - About reached their peak ?

 
 
Folklore
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      09-30-2003
Have consumer level film scanners pretty much come near their peak and
improvements moving forward will be fairly minor from a quality
standpoint with speed and ease of use being the primary improvements?

EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin digitizing
years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
waiting?

Thanks,

Folk...
 
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Eric Gisin
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      09-30-2003
Impressive specs: http://www.dimage.minolta.com/elite5400/

I though it is targeted to professional photographers, not consumers.

"Folklore" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
| Have consumer level film scanners pretty much come near their peak and
| improvements moving forward will be fairly minor from a quality
| standpoint with speed and ease of use being the primary improvements?
|
| EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin digitizing
| years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
| prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
| years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
| waiting?
|
| Thanks,
|
| Folk...


 
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JIM
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      09-30-2003
"Folklore" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
.....<cut>....> EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin
digitizing
> years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
> prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
> years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
> waiting?


Like you, not sure what, it any, improvements are slated in the future for
film scanners. Probably not much; after all, how many folk (manufacturers
consideration of their bottom line) are gunna-wanna-do-the-film-to-digital
bit? As I see it, the major drawback to "consumer grade" film scanners is
speed and/or the requirement to further manipulate the image in some image
editing software.

Digitizing "years of film...." with about any current scanner is akin to
"Nightmare on Elm Street." I own that 5400 and contemplating digitizing the
thousands of frames I have with this scanner, or any like model, isn't
something I'd like to dedicate a major portion of what remains of my life
to!

Minolta advertises one (1) minute scans - but fails to elaborate on what is
required to meet that time frame. I'm not sure it can be done at any
resolution even with all additional image improvement helps (ICE, etc.)
turned off! Also, not factored into the equation is the pre-scan preparation
before you ever hit the final scan button. And, without ICE enabled you are
practically guaranteed major work in correcting flaws (at a minimum, dust)
in photoshop or other programs.

Consider, if you could accomplish a finished frame(quality, remember) in 10
minutes (I can't), one 36 count roll amounts to 360 minutes or six (6)
hours(nearly a day's work)! You can finish the math for *your* thousands of
images One other drawback is your film strip - if processed in most
places, your strip contains only four frames - so, the Minolta film holder's
capability to hold a six frame strip is not that great and even bulk
processing(that strip only), without post scan maniupulation, requires you
to load and unload film strips constantly, only four frames at a time.

Said all that, but will also say that the 5400 does an excellent job for
what *I* consider its primary function: "selective film scanning" of images
you just can't live without I do not see film scanner manufacturers
getting all teary eyed in their concern for us film types out here with
30-40 years of negatives to digitize!

Soo, my long tome might have answered your initial question "....is now a
good time....to begin digitizing...." - if not, one answer might be 'if you
are young enough'!!

Shoot'em up, take pics let someone else scan, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all the
rest will love you for it!!

Jim


 
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Alan Browne
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      09-30-2003


Eric Gisin wrote:

> Impressive specs: http://www.dimage.minolta.com/elite5400/
>
> I though it is targeted to professional photographers, not consumers.


I would debate that as the price is, if not cheap, well in range of many
consumers.

Alan

>
> "Folklore" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> | Have consumer level film scanners pretty much come near their peak and
> | improvements moving forward will be fairly minor from a quality
> | standpoint with speed and ease of use being the primary improvements?
> |
> | EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin digitizing
> | years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
> | prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
> | years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
> | waiting?
> |
> | Thanks,
> |
> | Folk...
>
>


 
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Alan Browne
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      09-30-2003


Folklore wrote:

> Have consumer level film scanners pretty much come near their peak and
> improvements moving forward will be fairly minor from a quality
> standpoint with speed and ease of use being the primary improvements?
>
> EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin digitizing
> years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
> prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
> years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
> waiting?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Folk...


As usual, whenever something is at the limits of performance we say,
that's it, don't need no more.

Drum scanners do a little better than film scanners with models up to
8000 dpi and at least one at 12,000 dpi, and of course a wet process.
Somebody recently mentioned a 64,000 dpi scanner ???!!!

So, yes, scanners might get even *better*.

See this photo: http://www.pbase.com/image/21774830/original by Simon
Stanmore (using my and his images) and look at the detail on the metal
part near the water (on the lower left crop in the image of the boys
fishing).

That is the 5400 at work without sharpenning or grain reduction.
Actually could have been better, it is a way off centre sample from a
dirty lens with a 2X on it. From that full frame image I could print a
24 x 16 that would only show grain if you stepped up to it.

The 5400 might not be the "last scanner" but it is certainly up near the
limits of what can be extracted from a slide or negative on your desktop
at home without a wet process and under $1,000.00.

Cheers,
Alan.

 
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John
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      09-30-2003
Right now, 4000 dpi scanners are relatively cheap. For 35mm film, that is
already much more resolution than you need. You can't scan more than the
information that is there, all you get is a large file with redundant data.

"Folklore" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Have consumer level film scanners pretty much come near their peak and
> improvements moving forward will be fairly minor from a quality
> standpoint with speed and ease of use being the primary improvements?
>
> EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin digitizing
> years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
> prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
> years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
> waiting?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Folk...



 
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Folklore
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      09-30-2003
Thanks Jim. My plan is definately selective scan. I'd likely go
through scanning my favs and then as time allows add to the digitized
collection. What I'd hate is to start doing this now and then a year
from now some major improvement comes along. I know some improvements
will come, but I can sleep OK as long as they're not significant (if
you get my drift).

Your good comments on the 5400 are very welcomed.

Now, in thinking about your math and the task before me I think I'll
have a Guiness.

 
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Folklore
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      09-30-2003
Thanks Alan. Great site!

>The 5400 might not be the "last scanner" but it is certainly up near the
>limits of what can be extracted from a slide or negative on your desktop
>at home without a wet process and under $1,000.00.


That's exactly the warm fuzzy info I'm looking for.
 
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Mxsmanic
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      09-30-2003
Folklore writes:

> Have consumer level film scanners pretty much come near their peak and
> improvements moving forward will be fairly minor from a quality
> standpoint with speed and ease of use being the primary improvements?


No.

> EG, is now a good time (like with the Elite 5400) to begin digitizing
> years of film (for viewing on PC/HDTV, mid-quality cost effective
> prints, archiving) or are there improvements coming in the next few
> years, particularly from an image quality standpoint, that recommend
> waiting?


There's no time like the present. If better scanners come along in the
future, you can always rescan. After all, you aren't throwing away the
film ... right?

--
Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
 
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Mxsmanic
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      09-30-2003
Alan Browne writes:

> The 5400 might not be the "last scanner" but it is certainly up near the
> limits of what can be extracted from a slide or negative on your desktop
> at home without a wet process and under $1,000.00.


At least for now.

--
Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
 
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