Slide scanning problem

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alfred Molon, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    scanned at 4000 dpi.

    Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg

    This image sucks, since it's totally blurred. If you unsharp mask it
    heavily (200%, radius 2), resize it to 2700x1800 and unsharp mask it
    again, it starts looking a bit sharp, but noise or grain start getting
    visible. It seems that we are at the level of 2 to 3 MPixel of real
    resolution.

    The other images he scanned are all the same (all blurred).

    A professional photographer told him that that's what you get from a
    4000 dpi scanner and to get a really sharp image you'd need a drum
    scanner.

    I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.

    Anyway, is this quality you get when you scan a slide with a scanner
    like this one ? What can be done to get a sharp scan ?
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
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    Alfred Molon, Aug 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. Alfred Molon

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Start by scanning some slides that were taken with a known sharp lens,
    and are known to be in focus without any camera movement etc. This will tell
    you if it is the scanner or something else.

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    "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    > with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    > scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >
    > Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg
    >
    > This image sucks, since it's totally blurred. If you unsharp mask it
    > heavily (200%, radius 2), resize it to 2700x1800 and unsharp mask it
    > again, it starts looking a bit sharp, but noise or grain start getting
    > visible. It seems that we are at the level of 2 to 3 MPixel of real
    > resolution.
    >
    > The other images he scanned are all the same (all blurred).
    >
    > A professional photographer told him that that's what you get from a
    > 4000 dpi scanner and to get a really sharp image you'd need a drum
    > scanner.
    >
    > I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    > but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    > images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    > dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.
    >
    > Anyway, is this quality you get when you scan a slide with a scanner
    > like this one ? What can be done to get a sharp scan ?
    > --
    >
    > Alfred Molon
    > ------------------------------
    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
    > Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
    > Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
    > Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
     
    Tony Spadaro, Aug 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. Alfred Molon

    Frank ess Guest

    Alfred Molon wrote:
    > My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta
    > SLR with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide
    > were scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >
    > Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg
    >
    > This image sucks, since it's totally blurred. If you unsharp mask it
    > heavily (200%, radius 2), resize it to 2700x1800 and unsharp mask it
    > again, it starts looking a bit sharp, but noise or grain start getting
    > visible. It seems that we are at the level of 2 to 3 MPixel of real
    > resolution.
    >
    > The other images he scanned are all the same (all blurred).
    >
    > A professional photographer told him that that's what you get from a
    > 4000 dpi scanner and to get a really sharp image you'd need a drum
    > scanner.
    >
    > I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    > but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the
    > scanned images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro,
    > scans at 4000 dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that
    > bad.
    >
    > Anyway, is this quality you get when you scan a slide with a scanner
    > like this one ? What can be done to get a sharp scan ?


    I think you have unrealistic expectations of sharpness. For any ordinary
    viewer, it doesn't look that bad. You get much more resolution, you
    start seeing how many grains are dancing on the head of a pin. Some kind
    of irrational, obsessive thing going on.

    If you use Opera and view it as submitted at 20% size, it looks like a
    nice slide photo. You want more sharpness at full size, you gotta use
    bigger film, I think.

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Aug 6, 2004
    #3
  4. Alfred Molon

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alfred Molon wrote:
    > My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    > with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    > scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >
    > Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg
    >
    > This image sucks, since it's totally blurred. If you unsharp mask it
    > heavily (200%, radius 2), resize it to 2700x1800 and unsharp mask it
    > again, it starts looking a bit sharp, but noise or grain start getting
    > visible. It seems that we are at the level of 2 to 3 MPixel of real
    > resolution.
    >
    > The other images he scanned are all the same (all blurred).



    Let's see, a Tamron 7:1 ratio zoom (and I bet) no tripod?

    >
    > A professional photographer told him that that's what you get from a
    > 4000 dpi scanner and to get a really sharp image you'd need a drum
    > scanner.


    Harumph. Yes a drum scanner is better. But a good slide scanner
    (incl. the LS-50) is certainly far better than what you have
    linked here.

    >
    > I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    > but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    > images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    > dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.


    Ask him if he used a tripod.
    What focal length / speed was he at?

    7:1 zoom ratio lenses are generaally not noted for sharpness.

    How does the slide look projected (slide projector)?

    Cheers,
    Alan




    --
    -- rec.photo.equipment.35mm user resource:
    -- http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.--
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 6, 2004
    #4
  5. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Frank ess <> wrote:

    >I think you have unrealistic expectations of sharpness. For any ordinary
    >viewer, it doesn't look that bad. You get much more resolution, you
    >start seeing how many grains are dancing on the head of a pin. Some kind
    >of irrational, obsessive thing going on.


    OK, so does this mean that this is what you get when scanning a slide
    taken with an SLR with a not too sharp lens ? That's basically what I
    wanted to know. So it's not that the scanner for some unknown reason is
    perhaps malfunctioning or perhaps is not properly setup ?
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
    Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
    Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
    Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
     
    Alfred Molon, Aug 6, 2004
    #5
  6. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Alan Browne <> wrote:
    >Let's see, a Tamron 7:1 ratio zoom (and I bet) no tripod?


    I don't know, but I'm quite sure he didn't use a tripod (it was a bright
    sunny day). I'd also guess that he didn't take the shot at full zoom -
    it rather looks more at the wide end or somewhere in the middle.

    >Harumph. Yes a drum scanner is better. But a good slide scanner
    >(incl. the LS-50) is certainly far better than what you have
    >linked here.


    Ok - so it's the scan which is not so sharp after all ?
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
    Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
    Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
    Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
     
    Alfred Molon, Aug 6, 2004
    #6
  7. Alfred Molon

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alfred Molon wrote:

    > Alan Browne <> wrote:
    >
    >>Let's see, a Tamron 7:1 ratio zoom (and I bet) no tripod?

    >
    >
    > I don't know, but I'm quite sure he didn't use a tripod (it was a bright
    > sunny day). I'd also guess that he didn't take the shot at full zoom -
    > it rather looks more at the wide end or somewhere in the middle.
    >
    >
    >>Harumph. Yes a drum scanner is better. But a good slide scanner
    >>(incl. the LS-50) is certainly far better than what you have
    >>linked here.

    >
    >
    > Ok - so it's the scan which is not so sharp after all ?


    The scan is probably as good as the particular slide will do ...
    but eliminate the scanner and just project it on the wall at 3
    feet x 2 feet or less and see how well it does.


    --
    -- rec.photo.equipment.35mm user resource:
    -- http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.--
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 7, 2004
    #7
  8. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Alan Browne <> wrote:

    >The scan is probably as good as the particular slide will do ...
    >but eliminate the scanner and just project it on the wall at 3
    >feet x 2 feet or less and see how well it does.


    Must be the slide which is not so sharp. Upon closer inspection I
    noticed that the only sharp structures in that image are the scratches
    in the bottom and top right corners.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
    Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
    Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
    Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
     
    Alfred Molon, Aug 7, 2004
    #8
  9. "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    > with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    > scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >
    > Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg
    >
    > This image sucks, since it's totally blurred.


    There is what looks like a piece of dust in the sky, and it's out of focus.
    The grain is also not in focus. These two facts suggest to me that the
    scanner is not focusing properly. Whether it's a hardware, a software, or a
    workflow problem, I don't know.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Aug 7, 2004
    #9
  10. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Andrew Koenig <> wrote:

    >There is what looks like a piece of dust in the sky, and it's out of focus.
    >The grain is also not in focus. These two facts suggest to me that the
    >scanner is not focusing properly. Whether it's a hardware, a software, or a
    >workflow problem, I don't know.


    Somebody suggested that too in another forum. Coult it be that you need
    to remove the slide from the plastic frame or does the Nikon LS 50
    scanner have an autofocus mechanism which corrects that ?
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
    Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
    Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
    Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
     
    Alfred Molon, Aug 7, 2004
    #10
  11. In article <>,
    Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >Andrew Koenig <> wrote:
    >
    >>There is what looks like a piece of dust in the sky, and it's out of focus.
    >>The grain is also not in focus. These two facts suggest to me that the
    >>scanner is not focusing properly. Whether it's a hardware, a software, or a
    >>workflow problem, I don't know.

    >
    >Somebody suggested that too in another forum. Coult it be that you need
    >to remove the slide from the plastic frame or does the Nikon LS 50
    >scanner have an autofocus mechanism which corrects that ?


    Zoom-in in NikonScan preview such that you can see the grain. First get
    the preview with autofocus and them move the focus point to a contrasty
    part in the preview and get another preview.

    If the focus improves, you have to investigate the focusing problem. Maybe
    the slide is not flat enough.


    --
    The Electronic Monk was a labor-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video
    recorder. [...] Video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving
    you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electronic Monks believed things for
    you, [...] -- Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
     
    Philip Homburg, Aug 7, 2004
    #11
  12. Alfred Molon

    Alan Browne Guest

    Andrew Koenig wrote:

    > "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    >>with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    >>scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >>
    >>Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    >>http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg
    >>
    >>This image sucks, since it's totally blurred.

    >
    >
    > There is what looks like a piece of dust in the sky, and it's out of focus.
    > The grain is also not in focus. These two facts suggest to me that the
    > scanner is not focusing properly. Whether it's a hardware, a software, or a
    > workflow problem, I don't know.


    Good observation. Alfred: verify that the scanner is in
    autofocus mode. That should work 19 times out of 20. With
    Vuescan you can manually focus as well (I believe), not sure at
    all about the Nikon application.

    Cheers,
    Alan


    --
    -- rec.photo.equipment.35mm user resource:
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    Alan Browne, Aug 7, 2004
    #12
  13. Alfred Molon

    Sander Vesik Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    > with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    > scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >
    > Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg


    You shoudl first establish that the lens wasn't teh cause of teh problem -
    project the slides.

    >
    > This image sucks, since it's totally blurred. If you unsharp mask it
    > heavily (200%, radius 2), resize it to 2700x1800 and unsharp mask it
    > again, it starts looking a bit sharp, but noise or grain start getting
    > visible. It seems that we are at the level of 2 to 3 MPixel of real
    > resolution.


    Which means something is terribly wrong

    >
    > The other images he scanned are all the same (all blurred).
    >
    > A professional photographer told him that that's what you get from a
    > 4000 dpi scanner and to get a really sharp image you'd need a drum
    > scanner.


    This is just bullshit.

    >
    > I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    > but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    > images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    > dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.


    Look? did he project them? Or jkust loko at the frame in bad light?

    >
    > Anyway, is this quality you get when you scan a slide with a scanner
    > like this one ? What can be done to get a sharp scan ?


    --
    Sander

    +++ Out of cheese error +++
     
    Sander Vesik, Aug 7, 2004
    #13
  14. Alfred Molon

    Sander Vesik Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > Andrew Koenig <> wrote:
    >
    > >There is what looks like a piece of dust in the sky, and it's out of focus.
    > >The grain is also not in focus. These two facts suggest to me that the
    > >scanner is not focusing properly. Whether it's a hardware, a software, or a
    > >workflow problem, I don't know.

    >
    > Somebody suggested that too in another forum. Coult it be that you need
    > to remove the slide from the plastic frame or does the Nikon LS 50
    > scanner have an autofocus mechanism which corrects that ?


    Already the now glacialy old LS-20 had autofocus. Worked better with
    slides than negs but worked.

    --
    Sander

    +++ Out of cheese error +++
     
    Sander Vesik, Aug 7, 2004
    #14
  15. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Sander Vesik <> wrote:

    >> I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    >> but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    >> images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    >> dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.

    >
    >Look? did he project them? Or jkust loko at the frame in bad light?


    I guess so. We are now working on the assumption that something must ge
    wrong with the autofocus of the scanner. My brother is trying out manual
    focus. By the way, he also mentioned that the scanner vibrates a lot -
    perhaps this is causing some motion blur.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus_405080/
    Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
    Olympus 5060 resource - http://www.molon.de/5060.html
    Olympus 8080 resource - http://www.molon.de/8080.html
     
    Alfred Molon, Aug 7, 2004
    #15
  16. Alfred Molon

    Sander Vesik Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > Sander Vesik <> wrote:
    >
    > >> I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    > >> but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    > >> images. So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    > >> dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.

    > >
    > >Look? did he project them? Or jkust loko at the frame in bad light?

    >
    > I guess so. We are now working on the assumption that something must ge
    > wrong with the autofocus of the scanner. My brother is trying out manual
    > focus. By the way, he also mentioned that the scanner vibrates a lot -
    > perhaps this is causing some motion blur.


    Is it on a solid flat surface?

    --
    Sander

    +++ Out of cheese error +++
     
    Sander Vesik, Aug 8, 2004
    #16
  17. Alfred Molon wrote:

    > My brother sent me some scans of his Nepal slides. He used a Minolta SLR
    > with a Tamron 28-200 lens and a Nikon LS 50 scanner. The slide were
    > scanned at 4000 dpi.
    >
    > Here is a full-resolution example (5400x3600, 2.4 MByte):
    > http://www.ddde.de/F21_35.jpg
    >
    > This image sucks, since it's totally blurred. If you unsharp mask it
    > heavily.....


    It's clearly not worth the bother...

    > The other images he scanned are all the same (all blurred).
    >
    > A professional photographer told him that that's what you get from a
    > 4000 dpi scanner and to get a really sharp image you'd need a drum
    > scanner.


    Nonsense.

    This is about as good as I can get out of my Canon FS4000 and slow slide
    film.

    http://members.cox.net/geonerd/19f_full.jpg
    Ragged/black edges cropped, downsized 4:1

    http://members.cox.net/geonerd/19f.jpg
    Full res, cropped.

    This is an unsharpened (the scanner does some USM by default) and
    otherwise raw image. View at 1:1 and compare with yours at 1:1
    Something is very wrong....

    > I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    > but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    > images.


    Is he projecting them, or just holding them up to the light? Just about
    EVERY slide looks good when it's an inch across...

    Try some pics with a prime lens, f8, and tripod. Your image looks
    somewhat like what my cheap digicam poops out when shot at fastest
    aperture (eg. a problem with the lens.)

    > So is the scanner the culprit ? It cost 700 Euro, scans at 4000
    > dpi, has a 14 bit A/D converter and shouldn't be that bad.


    Not unless it's got the focusing problem you suspect.

    > Anyway, is this quality you get when you scan a slide with a scanner
    > like this one?


    No, an LS 50 should be capable of much better.

    >What can be done to get a sharp scan ?


    One thing the others haven't suggested: Make sure the film in going in
    the scanner correctly. I it's scanned with the emulsion on the wrong
    side, the result will be poor.

    Good luck.

    -Greg
     
    Greg Campbell, Aug 13, 2004
    #17
  18. Alfred Molon wrote:

    > Sander Vesik <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>I thought that perhaps it's the 28-200 Tamron zoom which is not sharp,
    >>>but my brother insists that the slides look way sharper than the scanned
    >>>images.


    >>Look? did he project them? Or jkust loko at the frame in bad light?


    > I guess so. We are now working on the assumption that something must ge
    > wrong with the autofocus of the scanner. My brother is trying out manual
    > focus. By the way, he also mentioned that the scanner vibrates a lot -
    > perhaps this is causing some motion blur.


    Many scanners buzz when moving the slide carrier quickly, it should be
    almost completely smooth when scanning. You'll still hear the stepper
    motor making a quiet bzzzzzzz, but you shouldn't be able to feel
    anything more than a light tingle, if that.

    Put the scanner on a mouse pad for starters, just to dampen any unwanted
    vibrations.

    -Greg
     
    Greg Campbell, Aug 13, 2004
    #18
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