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Increasing shadow detail causing strange artifacts

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Roger Smith , Oct 10, 2006; 11:32 a.m.

What I would do:

1. Scan well-exposed, non-contrasty shots with ICE and surgically remove any feathery edges and or flairs.

2. Scan the rest without ICE and do the dusting with my spot healer.

3. Strongly consider a scanhancer for stubborn slides. It should reduce apparent grain and other artifacts, but at the expense of time- expect scan times to double or triple

Jammer Jammer , Oct 10, 2006; 02:26 p.m.

Thanks for all the feedback folks. I appreciate it.

I timed myself with two different approaches on the slide in question. I hand spotted a scan that I had not use ICE on. That took me 5 minutes and 45 seconds. I then used ICE on a second scan, hand spotted the minimal amount of spots that are left behind and surgically removed all of the fringing effects. That took 7 minutes and 46 seconds. So, depending on the AMOUNT of feathery artifacts, it looks like I'll be better off just doing the hand spotting. I haven't been blowing off or even brushing off dust from any of these slides thus far. I could experiment with that and maybe that would cut down the spotting time for those pesky slides that I am not able to use ICE on.

Question:
1. I've done no real amount of printing of any of these scans thus far and was wondering about something. The example that I showed you of the artifacts was a crop of the image at 100%. How large of a print would it have to be before anyone would even notice these artifacts? If you'd have to go pretty large for them to be noticed, then it would be foolish for me to even bother fixing the scans of a lot of the family snapshots that I'm scanning just for sake of having them archived.

Mendel Leisk , Oct 10, 2006; 03:14 p.m.

I was rushing in my last post (supposed to be working). The last workflow I mentioned was Vuescan with infrared defect detection on but "grain dissolver" (Minolta's euphimism for their light source diffuser) turned off. This combo gave me those feathery edges.

My reason for using Vuescan to try this is that Minolta, through their "Minolta Scan Utility" software (MSU), will *not* allow you to have ICE on and the Grain Dissolver out of the light path. I would suspect this was because they encountered problems with this combo.

Also, as others have mentioned, the grain dissolver at least doubles your scan lengths. Maybe you will have luck with the Scanhanser. I believe John Kelly has one, for his V. And if I recollect, he handn't really tried it out. Perhaps he can comment.

Mendel Leisk , Oct 10, 2006; 03:22 p.m.

Jammer, reading the options you've listed above, particularly option #3, the exchange: I believe the only "reasonably" priced scanner capable of scanning Kodachrome, and available new, is the Coolscan 9000. Even then I'm not convinced, particularly looking at the price tag.

Just from looking at those back of the sailing boat scans posted on the german site (if you found that in my links), The 5000 was eroding out portions of the actual image, while the 9000 was not. This is the behaviour you see when trying ICE on silver emulsion black and white. And the reason for this: there *is* some silver in the Kodachromes.

Roger Smith , Oct 10, 2006; 04:03 p.m.

And the answer is... in a snapshot size (4x6 inch) print, you likely wouldn't see the problem at all. In an 8x12, maybe if you looked for it. At 4000dpi (@ 300dpi you get 13x19 inches) it's apparent.

I really wouldn't return your excellent scanner but rather work with its limitations. Try the Giotto Rocket Air for all your dust blowing needs.

Jammer Jammer , Oct 10, 2006; 05:50 p.m.

Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate all of the help and information.

John Kelly , Oct 11, 2006; 01:15 a.m.

Jammer, you've gotten superb advice from everybody. Impressive.

A tiny bit more: "Kodachrome" is not one phenomenon. Between Kodachrome batches I've found variations in ability to benefit from (or tolerate) Ice. Nikon's documentation is totally candid about the erratic Kodachrome/Ice issue, and it's been discussed repeatedly (probably weekly) in this forum.

I do think you'll get better results with Vuescan, if only because it's got more subtle control over infared.

While Nikon 9000 MAY have Ice/infared advantages (I've never seen such a claim), it has disadvantages Vs 5000 and V in terms of its 35mm film handling, and perhaps its focus. You might gain something with a 9000 if you invested in a wet mount carrier . You might also solve your problem with an Epson 750 and wet mount. Unfortunately I've seen no credible reviews with 35, though they must be out there somewhere.

In any case, you don't appear to be trying to "increase shadow detail" so much as to invent it.

Roger Smith , Oct 11, 2006; 10:26 a.m.

"While Nikon 9000 MAY have Ice/infared advantages (I've never seen such a claim), "

What I've heard is that the 9000 uses a new "pro" version of ICE and may have a slightly differently implemented IR LED system. Who knows if it really works better.

Jammer Jammer , Oct 11, 2006; 03:20 p.m.

John, Thanks for chiming in. Always good to hear from the folks using this machine on a daily basis. As far as your last sentence though, I'm not sure that's the case. If I see detail in the shadow when projecting the slides, should I not be able to bring that detail out when scanning the slide? Maybe I'm asking for the impossible. I don't know? Thanks again.

Phil G , Oct 14, 2006; 09:02 a.m.

I've had this problem several times when scanning high contrast photos from e-6 film. I believe this is a function of the light source bleeding through the bright area as the scanning head is passing the dark area causing the halo area. Fireworks were most notable for me, as I not only had a single bright area, I had a prism-like effect from it. Unfortunately, no matter how I scanned, I couldn't get ride of the problem - even using scanners from two different manufacturers. While one scanner, the Canon FS-4000, showed the flaring to a lesser degree, the loss in shadow detail capture in normal slide scans and increased noise were enough for me to move to another scanner and relegate the Canon to backup.


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