Looking for advice for a good Digital Ice 35mm slide scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Flush with success on my UDF BSOD crash solution, I've moved on
    to finding a good HD image backup utility, which I think is
    Acronis True Image.

    Now, I'd like the benefit of the experience of folks here
    that've converted their old 35mm slide and neg collections to
    digital.

    My old flatbed has a slide scanner, but the scans totally suck.
    Ditto for some cheap and very slow dedicated scanner I bought
    and discarded some years back.

    I've heard that Nikon Coolscans with Digital Ice to kill the
    dust spots are what I want, but I'd like to keep an open mind
    and find people who've actually used a mid-to-high-end dedicated
    scanner.

    I am willing to spend premium $$$ for a scanner with good dust
    control, and one that will minimize my post-processing time to
    get RGB, brightness/contrast, etc. "right". I will pay even more
    for a scanner with a multi-slide loader so I can batch scan a
    dozen or more slides at a time.

    Your opinions would be appreciated.
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #1
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  2. All Things Mopar

    Bob Salomon Guest

    http://www.braun-phototechnik.de/E/Products/scanner/scanner4000.html

    Up to 100 glass or glassless slides at one time fully automatically.
     
    Bob Salomon, Feb 16, 2006
    #2
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  3. All Things Mopar

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    I've been using a Nikon 9000 scanner for a while now, and it's excellent.
    The software is adequate, it integrates well with PS, and it does a killer
    job with all types of media. This is the medium format scanner, but I'vd got
    to believe that the 5000, the 35mm only model would be just as good.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Feb 16, 2006
    #3
  4. Today Bob Salomon commented courteously on the subject at
    hand
    This looks like just what I'm looking for, Thanks muchly. Can
    you tell me where I can go to get a price? I looked all over the
    Braun website and all I saw were specs, but no prices. I'm
    guessing a couple grand, but maybe I'm bracing myself but really
    big bucks unnecessarily.
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #4
  5. Today Kinon O'Cann commented courteously on the subject at
    hand
    Guess it's time to hit the Nikon web site again, huh? <grin> I
    need to find out if they have a slide loader, or even better,
    can take my Kodak 80 and 100 slide trays, like was just
    recommended to me with a Braun 4000.

    Thanks, I look at the Nikon 5000, as I have no medium format
    need (never shot roll film once I got past my Brownie 127 as a
    kid!)
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #5
  6. Today Kinon O'Cann commented courteously on the subject at
    hand
    I'm too excitable when I'm excited. <grin> Shoulda looked before
    replying to you. The Nikon 5000 is just under $1,000 with a 50
    slide loader available. The Braun 4000, on the other hand, is
    $1,249 with a built-in horizontal tray loader, and much more
    important to me, built-in capability to batch scan directly from
    Kodad Carousel 80 and 100 slide trays of which I have many,
    many.

    I'll investigate both more fully, now that I have two good
    places to start. I wouldn't scan an entire tray, naturally, but
    I already knew I'd have to preview a tray to even pick the good
    from the not so good, and I imagine Nikon and Braun software can
    allow me to select by tray number.

    My thanks to you and Bob for such fast, accurate replies.
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #6
  7. All Things Mopar

    Bigguy Guest

    Bigguy, Feb 16, 2006
    #7
  8. Today Bigguy commented courteously on the subject at hand
    Thanks, Guy. Being that my I "let my fingers do the walking"
    much faster than my brain can keep up <grin>, I discovered by a
    simple Google that $1,249 is both the apparent street price and
    list price. Duh! <grin again>
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #8
  9. All Things Mopar

    rafe b Guest


    A few words of caution. If you want the best
    possible scans, "batch" scanning won't generally
    get you there.

    Slides vary enormously by film type, processing,
    and exposure. Old (archival) slides tend to fade
    and shift in color. Kodachromes have the best
    history of fade-resistance but have their own
    issues with scanning, eg., they don't work with
    older implementations of digital ICE.

    The Braun scanner looks interesting but in my
    years on various scanner lists and forums, I've
    never heard it mentioned. It looks like one of
    those products that never made it to the US market.

    I have yet to see any "automated" film scan hardware
    or software that can match a carefully hand-tuned
    scan on a difficult slide.



    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Feb 16, 2006
    #9
  10. Today rafe b commented courteously on the subject at hand
    The half-dozen or so boxes I've looked at look remarkably well
    preserved.
    Didn't know that about Kodachrome. That'll be a really /big/
    issue for me. Why doesn't DI work with it?

    Ordinarily, I'd be in your camp on the best way to scan.
    Thanks for reminding me about quality. But, these slides have
    literally been gathering dust in my basement for almost 30
    years, and quality isn't at all the issue.

    The real problem is that I've long ago forgotten the details
    of what's in each picture. I did put a few notes on the slide
    boxes, which tells me the general location, but I'll have to
    rely on memory for the details.

    So, getting the job done quickly and painlessly is my goal,
    and not so much the money. I will cut the DPI in half if I
    have that option, as I really don't need the roughly 8 mega
    pixels the Braun is capable from. In fact, the first thing I
    would do is a batch resize in PSP 9 down to something
    reasonable, like 2 MP. Yeah, that blows the quality inherent
    in well-exposed Kodachrome slides, but again, quanity is the
    problem, not quality.
    I need to look around locally to see if I can find a store
    that has one. Judging by the picture of it with a Carousel
    tray mounted, it's footprint is quite large, which means I'll
    need to setup a small table in my office to hold it. That's
    OK, since I need something for my reconditioned slide
    projector to preview 40-50 boxes of slides en route to
    potential scan batch jobs.
    Rafe, I can assure you that my Nikon FTN photographic skills,
    while certainly acceptable to me, were hardly creative nor
    always technically correct. For example, I took lots of
    Ektachrome 160 pushed to 320 slides of castles and museums
    without flash. These frequently had WB problems big time as
    well as camera shake from the as slow as 1/4th shutter speeds
    I had to live with. Tripods were das ist das verboten at Mad
    King Ludwig's castles in (then) West Germany, and there was
    simply no time on the tours for a tripod anyway.

    You have no way of knowing how good or bad I am at this game,
    nor how good or bad my slides are. Actually, I don't either!
    <grin> Meaning, that while I can hold my own in PSP 9, I
    really don't at all know what to expect when I start scanning.

    I /do/ know that you are 100% right - I /will/ have to do the
    challenging scans one at a time, but I would only do that when
    I know damn well not to try to automate underexposures and the
    like or after I'd visually "scanned" the resulting images.

    A guy who bought an expensive camera to shoot snapshots, me,
    shouldn't complain 30-40 years later about their (lack of)
    quality, right? <grin> Thanks again.
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #10
  11. All Things Mopar

    John Bean Guest

    Kodachrome is an odd film - more like a monochrome silver
    film with added colour rather than a silver-free dye-based
    E6 film.

    If you look at the emulsion side of a Kodachrome you'll see
    it has physical "contours" following edges in the image.
    These look like surface defects in the IR channel so Digital
    Ice tries to remove them. Imagine the rest, it's not pretty.
     
    John Bean, Feb 16, 2006
    #11
  12. All Things Mopar

    tomm42 Guest

    Don't get too happy, it only takes Braun slide trays, which are
    different from the Kodak trays. These are common in Europe but not so
    common here, I'm sure Adorama has the trays.
    If you are only scanning for screen view, scan to 5 or 6mb (not mp).
    These should give you files that you could print to 4x6 and still have
    them look OK.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Feb 16, 2006
    #12
  13. Today John Bean commented courteously on the subject at hand
    OK. Yes, I remember the look of a 3-D relief carving for the
    shadows/midtones that could actually be felt on the mulsion
    side.

    I guessed before I even saw your post that DI is either going to
    remove some subject detail that it thinks is dust, or it's going
    to make the scan looking a photo that was rubbed with 400 wet
    sandpaper.

    So, what's the fix? I matters not what scanner I buy, it sounds
    like I'll be dispointed when the dust has to stay after I turn
    DI off. What do you do about this.

    Thanks again, John.
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #13
  14. All Things Mopar

    John Bean Guest

    I don't have a lot of Kodachromes so I live with it. I'm
    told that some newer defect-removal software works better
    with Kodachromes (and silver halide negs) but I have no
    experience of it so I can't express any useful opinion.
    There's bound to be a Kodachrome fan around here who has
    some hands-on experience to share.
     
    John Bean, Feb 16, 2006
    #14
  15. Today tomm42 commented courteously on the subject at hand
    Boy, Tom, that circular tray sure looks like a Kodak, but the
    site clearly says Braun CS/Universal and LKM magazines.

    What is LKM? You can see that I am not even smart enough to ask
    newbie questions. I assume from your comment and the vague text
    on Braun's site, that I'd need to move the slides from my Kodak
    trays to the Braun, scan them, and move them back. That's not
    quite a nice as my first blush reaction, but I think I could
    live with it.

    Braun claims it can scan to disk in a minute or two at both
    DPIs, with Digital Ice turned off. I assume that means that DI
    will slow the scan way down to do its magic. I also just heard
    today that DI is incompatible with Kodachome, the biggest part
    of my collection.

    Is there a place I can go to learn about how one actually uses a
    Braun, or the Nikon? It is one thing to read technical specs
    with very carefully couched provisos, like only quoting scan
    times with DI off. I look for a phone number and call them,
    maybe that'll help me

    Thanks.
     
    All Things Mopar, Feb 16, 2006
    #15
  16. All Things Mopar

    rafe b Guest


    Can't say from first hand experience, but dICE-4
    supposedly works better with Kodachromes.
    More info here:

    <http://www.asf.com/products/ICE4/ICE4_overview.shtml>

    dICE-4 (according to the link above) is available
    on only a few scanners so far -- Nikon's newest
    line, and the Minolta 5400.

    Bear in mind also that there are (were) several
    distinct generations of Kodachrome emulsions,
    each with different characteristics.

    The issue is really only with Kodachromes and
    with silver-based (ie. non-chromagenic) BW films.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Feb 16, 2006
    #16
  17. I've found that it can claim to complete the backup and have created
    an invalid archive; I've had to turn on verification on every single
    run to be happy (this was to a firewire external harddrive).
    Well, many hundreds of slides and negatives so far, but hardly
    everything yet.
    In some sense what you need is somebody more experienced with the
    Konica/Minolta scanners, and any other possible competition, since it
    sounds like you already know something about the ones I know anything
    about.

    At the end of last year I replaced my Nikon LS-2000, which I liked a
    lot, with the 5000 ED, which I like even more. It's faster, higher
    resolution, and like that.

    The dust control part of ICE is an absolute necessity. Not that this
    excuses you from cleaning your slides if needed; real data is still
    better than interpolated data.

    And I got the slide feeder for it; from all I'd heard, the earlier
    slide feeder wasn't reliable enough, but the new one was. Well, I
    never used the old one, but the new SF-210 is in fact reliable enough
    to be very useful. You do have to adjust it for the mount thickness,
    and you can't run stacks of mixed mounts.

    This scanner has so many adjustments that you can spend hours testing
    and tweaking for a single scan if you're not careful, but as you gain
    familiarity with them you start to "know" what to mess with and what
    not to bother with.

    And so far as I know you can't put the slide feeder on the cheaper
    scanners.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 16, 2006
    #17
  18. He said "older implementations", so it's unlikely to be a problem for
    you. Even my LS-2000 worked with Kodachrome better than 75% of the
    time, even though the manual said it didn't.

    According to Ctein the issue is the cyan dye being somewhat opaque to
    the infrared that ICE uses to identify the damaged regions. A picture
    with enough cyan density can trigger the ICE "repair".

    I didn't find any images that were a problem with my 5000ED, and the
    manual doesn't mention Kodachrome as a problem any more.

    Rafe is certainly right about different slides needing different
    treatment. I normally sort by exposure as well as film type; and
    sometimes have to rescan slides that didn't work well on the exposure
    in their batch.
    Yeah, getting it done is a virtue.
    Yes. Can be *such* a pain.
    On the 5000ED, you can set whatever size you want for the scans. I've
    done a lot at around 7MB files. The really maximum-size scans from
    that things are 130MB (that's with 16-bits-per-channel color, too). I
    imagine the Braun is similar in that regard (I know nothing about it).
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 16, 2006
    #18
  19. Not the way it played out in practice with my LS-2000. I found the
    occasional rare slide that had a problem, is all. And the 5000 ED
    doesn't even warn against Kodachrome any more.

    For the original poster, I don't think anybody has mentioned yet that
    silver-image B&W films absolutely do not work with ICE at all.
    Everything mentioned so far has been slides, so this may not be an
    issue for you. It makes the B&W scans a lot slower since you have to
    clean up manually.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 16, 2006
    #19
  20. Nope, except in cases like silver-image B&W films and a few Kodachrome
    images with an old impmlementation of ICE.

    What it does is use a fourth scan channel, in the infrared, to
    identify the damaged areas (dust, scratches, gunk on the film,
    whatever). The normal color dyes are transparent in the infrared.
    Then it automatically clones in from nearby pixels to fill the damaged
    area. It works *amazingly* well; it doesn't trigger on any kind of
    image detail, only on infrared opacity.
    When you have to turn ICE off, you clone out dust manually (I use the
    healing brush in Photoshop these days). It's slower, and a bit less
    precise, but the results are still first-rate.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 16, 2006
    #20
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