Scanning and Digital ICE

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tim Schubach, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. Tim Schubach

    Tim Schubach Guest

    I am a newbie to digital photography, and am trying to learn how to take
    full advantage of my digital camera. So I recently attended a seminar on
    digital photography where the presenter took some time to address new
    scanning technologies called Digital ICE and Digital ROC.

    I've been looking at flatbed scanners that offer the Digital ICE technology,
    because I, along with my 5 sisters, have boxes of old photos that are faded,
    torn, ripped, etc. I'm also currently using PaintShopPro v8.1 to do all of
    my photo editing ( I'm still a pretty green user ). I've found two scanners
    by Microtek, the i300, and the 6800 for $200 and $400 respectively.

    Am I better off using my Epson Perfection 1660 along with PSP8.1, or does
    Digital ICE do more than I will ever be able to do with the software? The
    software that comes with the Microtek is either Photoshop Elements, or
    Photoshop 4.1. Is there a big enough difference between PSP and the Adobe
    products to warrant a change? Keep in mind, my primary goal is to restore
    old photos, print some of them, and keep all of them in a genealogy database
    for future generations.

    Tim Schubach, Dec 27, 2003
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  2. Tim Schubach

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Get the ICE. I have saved hundreds of hours worth of my time just by
    scanning with ICE. If your time is worth anything you will find plenty of
    use for it. It will not work for everything so you'll still be doing enough
    to feel like you are still the one doing the job.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
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    Tony Spadaro, Dec 27, 2003
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  3. My experience with ICE is on a film scanner, not a flatbed. I find it
    saves me *at least* half an hour per photo in time spent manually
    fixing dust spots. That's a tremendously huge win.

    Not having used it on the sorts of damage that paper prints acquire, I
    don't know how well it works in that domain, though.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 27, 2003
  4. Tim Schubach

    Tyke Guest

    My wife recently purchased the Microtek 6800 with Digital ICE to replace an
    older (~ 2 years old) Microtek scanner. The upgrade was for the newer
    technology and higher optical resolution. The previous scanner was
    otherwise working well.

    I have been a long time Microtek scanner owner, this latest one being our
    third. The drivers have always provided a lot of image manipulation at the
    time of scanning, which is the point when the most information is available.

    The ICE technology does work, as other replies have stated. The use of ICE
    is limited to 600 dpi resolution. Microtek recommend using 300 dpi. This
    will be effective if scanning a photo and only wanting to print without much

    ICE requires two passes, but can save a lot of time editing.

    A nice feature of the 6800 is the LAN driver. We can now finally attach the
    scanner to one of the PC's and then scan from the other PC. My PC has a
    Firewire port which I used to connect to my PC. My wife then runs the
    scanner from the network.

    I installed the Photoshop Elements from the Microtek disk on my PC a few
    days ago. My wife's PC already had Photoshop CS (Ver 8) installed.
    Elements has many of the features of PS 8.

    If your photos are torn and faded, there is no software of which I am aware
    which will automatically fix these. Although ICE is recommended, and will
    save time, it cannot fix all of the problems you may face, especially with
    fading. You will have to spend additional time no matter which scanner you

    I have been playing around with Elements to see how it could post-process
    pictures from a recent digital camera purchase. My wife also gave me an
    excellant book "The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers" by
    Scott Kelby. If you intend to fix these old photos, consider this book a
    "must have".

    I have fixed a number of old family photos which were torn and faded using
    other software. It was very time consuming, but the results were very good.

    After reading Scott's book, I could now save time using Elements compared to
    the previous software, but you will have to invest the time to learn what
    the software can do - but this will be a big payback when you begin fixing
    the scans.

    Elements allows creating layers, which many other photo editing software
    also supports. Elements allows adjusting the opacity of each layer. This
    is a major time saver and enables many of the fixes which would take much
    more time without the layer+opacity feature.

    Dave Paine.
    Tyke, Dec 27, 2003
  5. Tim,
    I was not aware that flatbed scanners also offered ICE.
    This is a feature usually found on middle to upper class slide scanners
    and - as others have already mentioned - it is VERY well worth it's
    ICE means the slide is scanned with an infrared channel in addition to
    the RGB channels in order to determine scratches and dust (which will
    show as black areas in the otherwise pure white infrared picture).
    Hence this technology can NEVER work with reflective material
    (such as photographs) - it is only applicable to slides.
    Is this what you are looking for ?

    Regarding ROC:
    I use it on my Minolta Scan Elite II but I don't find it very useful.
    It's just a softener filter that reduces film grain a little. You could do
    the same in any good photo editor. Not nearly as useful as ICE.
    Martin Doppelbauer, Dec 28, 2003
  6. Regarding ROC:
    Correction: GEM is the grain reducer, ROC is color enhancement.
    Sorry, I frequently mix these two up ;-).
    However both are (to the best of my knowledge) software only algorithms
    that may be useful but need not necessarily be implemented in the scan
    software. Filters of a good photo editor should also do the job.

    Martin Doppelbauer, Dec 28, 2003
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