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Film Scanners - About reached their peak ?

 
 
Mxsmanic
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      10-01-2003
Rafe B. writes:

> You've got some responses claiming that there's still
> a lot of room left for improvement, that 4000 dpi still leaves
> a lot of detail unresolved.


Not necessarily a lot, but with fine-grained film, there is still more
detail beyond 4000 dpi, if your camera and lens were up to the task.
Often this means tripod shots and good glass (but you'd have those
constraints for digital, too).

> I say baloney. Or at the very least: unless you've got
> the very best optics, shooting on very slow, fine grained
> film, with a tripod, etc etc -- you're getting 98% of what's
> there at 4000 dpi, with the current generation of film
> scanners.


And if you do have the very best optics, and fine-grained film, and a
tripod, you're not. And some people have all of these (they all cost
less than a digital body).

> I'm on my fourth film scanner (Nikon LS-8000) and it will
> be my last, unless it dies catastrophically in the near future.


Famous last words.

> As I see it, there's not enough of a market in high-end film
> scanners to finance further R&D in this area.


There's almost a hundred years' worth of film to scan. That's quite a
market. If it isn't scanned, it will rot, so sooner or later it's going
to be scanned.

> I mean, how many LS-8000s and Imacon Flextights have been sold
> since their inception?


How many F5 or 1Ds bodies have been sold?

> The future is in digital image capture. My bet is that film
> scanners (or film) aren't going to get much better than
> they are today -- at least not for the consumer/prosumer
> market.


So Minolta's 5400-dpi scanner is just a freakish anomaly?

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Constantinople
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      10-01-2003
Mxsmanic <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> David Dyer-Bennet writes:
>
>> No, but it continues to get older.

>
> Film deteriorates with extreme slowness if it is properly stored.
>
>> Also, the hundreds of hours I've already spent scanning a tiny
>> percentage of my own photos is not an amount of time I can casually
>> spend *again*.

>
> If a better digital camera comes out, you'll have to spend even more
> time trying to actually _photograph_ those pictures again. With film,
> all you have to do is scan again, and you get a better version of the
> original.


OK, but the question wasn't, "how does film compare to digital cameras",
the question is, "scan now or scan later".

 
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Tony Whitaker
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      10-01-2003
Tony Whitaker <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:Xns9406C7B9B8A65lettonyin@207.69.154.204:

> http://www.mindspring.com/~skinsman/...20Photographed.
> htm l
>


Try this link: http://www.mindspring.com/~skinsman/ScanvsDupe.html

The spaces in the original file name were doing weird things.

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Bowser
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      10-01-2003
Haven't seen any examples of the Imacon 8000 model on the net; I saw them at
a dealer demo in Boston. The Imacon uses a different type of mounting
system, and won't accept mounted slides. The film is set in a flexible
holder that is bent around a psuedo-drum. The lens pivots rather than
travelling in a linear motion, which helps focusing. It could handle film up
to 6x9, I believe.

True enough about film, but I haven't had a problem in decades, and use a
fire-proof storage box for the really important stuff. And a lot of the film
I shoot is MF, and I've yet to see anything digital that can capture what I
capture in a MF chrome. Well, anything digital I can afford.

OK, off on a tangent: any idea (rumor) when that Sony 828 is being released?
If it's as good as it looks, I'm in.

"David J. Littleboy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bldejt$qkm$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Bowser" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:emoeb.641602$Ho3.131740@sccrnsc03...
> > Film scanners have a long way to go. I use a Nikon 8000ED, and while it

> does
> > a good job, anyone can see, simply by examining the film, that it leaves
> > much detail behind, and loses a lot of sharpness.

>
> When the film is critically focussed, it does _very_ well, showing pretty
> much exactly what my 60x microscope does. The problem is that it's nearly
> impossible to get the film flat enough to hold critical focus across the
> whole of a 645 frame. At least on my unit, if the focus is off by 15

units,
> fine detail is lost. With the glass carrier and the film held off the

lower
> glass to avoid Newton's rings, I can usually get it to within 10 units,

but
> I have to measure several points across the frame.
>
> > I have seen a couple of
> > scans from an Imacon 8000dpi model, and the difference is incredible.

>
> Are there any examples on the net? The one page I've seen shows the 8000
> holding its own against a 4000 dpi Tango. The drums, since they mount the
> negs with mounting fluid, don't have the focus problems, though.
>
> > That
> > level of resolution will make it's way down to consumer products,
> > eventually.

>
> Dunno about that. In addition to the focus problems, the other scanners

move
> the film to expose the R G and B channels at each pixel, making

registration
> a problem. (The Nikon 8000 uses four monochromatic LEDs (R, G, B, and
> infrared) at each point, so exposes all channels for each pixel at the

same
> point.)
>
> > Film, despite the onslaught of digital, is still an excellent
> > medium on which to store images. I have some 50 year old transparencies
> > taken by my father, and they still look great, and are very usable. I
> > suspect that the chromes I shoot today will have a similar life. And, as
> > scanning technology improves, so will the printed results from those

> films.
>
> But film can't be duplicated, so there's no way to archive it reliably.
> Fires, floods, and significant others (or parents or children) on cleaning
> rampages destroy much film every year. Make three sets of CD-Rs, put two

in
> bank safe deposit vaults in different towns, and your shots will survive a
> nuclear war.
>
> David J. Littleboy
> Tokyo, Japan
>
>
>



 
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Bowser
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      10-01-2003
Have you seen side by side comparisons between a good 8000dpi scanner and a
4000dpi scanner? The difference is amazing! I use a 4000dpi scanner, and
even examining the film with a 40X loupe reveals all the detail left behind
by the scanner. Scanning has a long way to go.

"Rafe B." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 10:22:57 -0500, Folklore <(E-Mail Removed)> 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?

>
>
> You've got some responses claiming that there's still
> a lot of room left for improvement, that 4000 dpi still leaves
> a lot of detail unresolved.
>
> I say baloney. Or at the very least: unless you've got
> the very best optics, shooting on very slow, fine grained
> film, with a tripod, etc etc -- you're getting 98% of what's
> there at 4000 dpi, with the current generation of film
> scanners.
>
> I'm on my fourth film scanner (Nikon LS-8000) and it will
> be my last, unless it dies catastrophically in the near future.
>
> As I see it, there's not enough of a market in high-end film
> scanners to finance further R&D in this area. I mean, how
> many LS-8000s and Imacon Flextights have been sold
> since their inception?
>
> There may yet be a small market for those who have been
> holding out to archive large collections of slides and
> negatives. But time is running out for those folks, and
> in any case, speed (ie., high-volume scanning) isn't
> terribly compatible with the need for higher quality.
>
> The future is in digital image capture. My bet is that film
> scanners (or film) aren't going to get much better than
> they are today -- at least not for the consumer/prosumer
> market.
>
>
>
> rafe b.
> http://www.terrapinphoto.com



 
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Rafe B.
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      10-01-2003
On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 12:06:35 +0200, Mxsmanic <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:


>So Minolta's 5400-dpi scanner is just a freakish anomaly?



Time will tell. I'm thinking yes.

I have not observed a rush to buy the Minolta from
owners / users of late-model 4000 dpi scanners
(either from Nikon or Canon.) Most of the glowing
reports of the Minolta 5400 are coming from folks
that are moving up from 2700 dpi scanners that
were current around 3 or 4 yeas ago.

In terms of archiving you're facing conflicting goals.
The desire to scan thousands of slides/negatives
is at odds with the technical requirements for
squeezing every last byte of information from the
film. Didn't you once tell us you spend half an hour
setting up one scan?


rafe b.
http://www.terrapinphoto.com
 
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Mxsmanic
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      10-01-2003
Constantinople writes:

> the question is, "scan now or scan later".


Both.

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Mxsmanic
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      10-01-2003
Bowser writes:

> Have you seen side by side comparisons between a good
> 8000dpi scanner and a 4000dpi scanner?


_Which_ scanners? Having the nominal optical resolution doesn't mean
that you actually get that number of pixels. While no 4000 dpi scanner
can provide more than 4000 dpi, some provide considerably less, thanks
to poor optics or due to other factors.

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David J. Littleboy
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      10-01-2003

"Rafe B." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 12:06:35 +0200, Mxsmanic <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
> >So Minolta's 5400-dpi scanner is just a freakish anomaly?

>
> Time will tell. I'm thinking yes.
>
> I have not observed a rush to buy the Minolta from
> owners / users of late-model 4000 dpi scanners
> (either from Nikon or Canon.) Most of the glowing
> reports of the Minolta 5400 are coming from folks
> that are moving up from 2700 dpi scanners that
> were current around 3 or 4 yeas ago.


The _only_ comparison I saw that showed any real advantage to the 5400 was a
test chart. All the normal subject comparisons (even against 2700 dpi scans)
showed no real difference (although grain is a tad less obnoxious in 5400
scans, there was no additional detail.) For subjects with normal contrast,
film simply doesn't record 5400 dpi worth of information. People who like
test charts will get all hot and bothered, and I suppose someone will come
along with a licence plate that can be read at 5400 dpi but not 2700 dpi.

> In terms of archiving you're facing conflicting goals.
> The desire to scan thousands of slides/negatives
> is at odds with the technical requirements for
> squeezing every last byte of information from the
> film. Didn't you once tell us you spend half an hour
> setting up one scan?


It takes me longer than that. I've got a lot of frames I'd like to scan so I
can see what I need to do better to get a good shot, but since they are just
test shots or goofs or ideas that didn't quite work, there's no way I can
justify spending the time.

Film's a major pain and incredible sink of time. I'm outta film the instant
there's an affordable full-frame digital. (Until then, I'm enjoying the wide
angle and the detail, but as soon as there's an alternative, I'll be there.)
People still doing 35mm film are completely nuts, unless they're doing wide
angle stuff.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan



 
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Philip Homburg
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      10-01-2003
In article <blehgs$3hr$(E-Mail Removed)>,
David J. Littleboy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>(although grain is a tad less obnoxious in 5400
>scans, there was no additional detail.)


I think that this is the most important effect of scanning at very high
resolutions. Better defined boundaries of grain will make it easier for
NeatImage-like algorithms to reduce the visibility of grain.



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