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HP transparency adapter vs slide adapter

Praveen Murthy , Dec 21, 1999; 04:49 p.m.


I just got an HP 6300 scanjet flatbed. It is capable of 1200 dpi optical, 36 bit depth, and a dmax of 3.0 I think. Anyway, it comes with a dinky little 35mm passive slide adapter that can be made to work for web display after fiddling with the dust filter in photoshop. However, HP also sells a transparency adapter for 99 bucks, but this also sits on top of the glass. I was wondering how this is different or better than the existing 35mm slide adapter. Is the advantage simply the larger size transpareny that can be scanned? Or is there some other advantage?

Thanks, Praveen


Colm Boran , Dec 21, 1999; 09:59 p.m.

I don't own an HP scanner, but in all likelihood, the $99 transparency adapter is not passive. It probably has it's own light source and shines light down through the slide onto the CCD below. It should be able to throw more light through the slide than the passive one which is only reflecting light from below. This, in turn, should reduce the digital noise in the shadow areas of the image.

Brad Hutcheson , Dec 22, 1999; 01:20 p.m.

In the brochure for the 6300/6350/6390 scanner, the transparency adapter is indeed active. It has a light source for transparencies up to 5X5". I don't know how it would be with photographic slides, but it should be decent for large format considering the resolution the scanner is capable of.

Christian Deichert , Dec 22, 1999; 09:25 p.m.

I bought, then instantly sold, an HP scanner; both transactions were due to the "slide adapter." I ended up buying a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual and was infinitely more pleased. FYI, don't even bother using that little slide adapter; the "mirror" is made of grainy metal and the grain will show up in your scan.

Robert Wright , Jan 20, 2000; 12:45 a.m.

Check out: http://www.abstractconcreteworks.com/essays/scanning/Backlighter.html for info and examples of using this sort of slide adapter.

Dave Renfroe , Jan 01, 2003; 04:07 p.m.

Hello, Praveen I have occasion to try both "adapters" on my HP5300C (1200 dpi) flat bed scanner. I ended up taking the mirror rig back to the store and getting a "transparency adapter" off Ebay. I would say the results from the later are "OK", but I am looking for a reasonably priced slide scanner.

The results from the two types were similar, but the "Mirror" images were underexposed and the "Light-Source" images are overexposed. The later provides more even exposure across the slide.

The transparency adapter is a light source that turns on instead of the light under the glass. It plugs into the back of your scanner (assuming it is compatible) and then you select "Slides" when setting up to do a scan. It comes with a template that masks off everything but the slide and places the slide about in the middle of the glass, then you just set the adapter on top. Mine didn't come with the masking template, so I made one.

I had trouble getting the exposure correct using both. With the Transparency Adapter, maybe its because I don't have an official HP template as it may matter exactly where it sits on the glass. I have tried this both with a PC and a Mac, with the Mac providing some software adjustment for exposure. But I still need to jury-rig a way to get the light source away from the slide so it doesn't overexpose the slide.

Maybe someone else out there has some ideas on what is going wrong here with the exposure. The PC software assumes "automatic" exposure control with no way of tweaking it and I am not sure that the Mac software isn't doing the same thing - only offering a quicky software filter after it is scanned. It just doesn't work to adjust for an overexposed image in software, after the fact. Garbage In - Garbage out and all that.

But bottom line, I haven't been pleased with resulting digital files. I think it is mainly because you are pushing the limits of the mechanism that is really intended for flat-bed scanning. There are many vertical "streaks", etc.

If you wish to have a look at some results, I can Email you some examples. Just drop me a line at renfroe@oceansurf.net

Happy New Year, ............ Dave Renfroe

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