Thursday, January 09, 2014

Scanner Update

kw: product testing, product reviews, scanners, film scanners, slide scanners

See the post three days ago. My estimate of timing for running with Digital ICE technology was off by a factor of two. The actual time per image is 4.8 minutes, while the time without it is 0.9 minutes.

I also found that it is best to put no more than one strip of any length into each of the four sections of the film carrier. That makes wiping dust off easier, and striving to fill the carrier doesn't actually save any time. This means I seldom do more than 12-16 frames, rather than the 24 a full carrier can handle. As it happened, all my negatives were cut by the developer into 4-frame sections. The sheets in which I have had them stored have room for 6 frames per strip, so I cut every second strip into two pieces to economize on sheets. So now I load them 4, 2, 4, 2, for 12 frames per run. At 4.8 min/frame scan time, that is one run per hour, plus the time to unload and reload the carrier. I could speed things up by buying a second carrier, but I'll defer that.

I do a lot with the computer, so I have found I can run the scanner in the background. To start the day, I load film in the carrier and start a scan. It pays to be careful with the carrier's parts, because the tabs that hold them together are rather small. Once it is all together, I lay it on a light table and carefully slide the film strips until all edges of each image are visible. Then I dust with a blow-brush. I also clean the glass. Dust seems to get in there every time I open the lid. So I run Preview, set the options I want (Unsharp Mask off, Grain Reduction on High, Digital ICE on), and rotate any frames that I took in Portrait orientation. Then I hit Scan and I have an hour to do other stuff.

So it takes two sets to scan a roll of 24 (or 26) and three to scan a roll of 36 (or 38; I squeezed frames onto the leader and trailer as much as I could). I hope this helps. I suppose if you work in a clean room environment you can get by with out Digital Ice, because it really does take a lot more time. But I am fine with it.

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