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Old Mar 19, 2006, 2:32 AM   #11
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Thanks to all who responded and discussed this topic. Here's what I ended up doing...I bought couple scanners: EPSON Perfection 4490 with digital Ice, Epson CX-7800, and a $75 extension magnifyer lens tube for a digital camera (used it with my daughter'solympus E-300). When all was said and done, the lens tube with the camera copied the slides perfectly. I brought it back for a refund though. It picked up every spec of dust, too clearly! I'm too lazy to play photoshop all day long for each photo.

The Perfection 4490 was a joke, the digital Ice removed so much detail from my slides...my ex-wife and her friend were mistaken for a spec of dust and digitally removed from a photo, as were the legs of a fellow they were standing next to:?. I'm sure there was dust on the film right where they were in the shot, but I'd rather maintain some technical control over my reproductions. I do have to say, though, the Epson sure knows how to make a divorce final:blah:. I tried copying other slides with my ex, but alas, she wouldn't disappear from those images! I brought it back for a refund.

I fianlly settled on the CX-7800. It cost $139.00 at Sams, prints nice photos, has limited dust removal and copy editing features built in, copies slides rather quickly, and does the job I need done simply. If I was a professional slide copier, i wouldn't use it, but for my personal remembrance photos, it was fine. I'm sure if I were selling images, they'd be ok but not perfect....but lets face it, who cares how my slides of Spain from 30 years ago look on a computer monitor or tv, besides me. I've been reading a lot of posts from people planning on copying old unlcle so and so's slide collection...unless so and so was uncle Ansel, I don't think anyone is really going to care to much about perfect quality...

The EPSON CX-7800 wins hands down on cost, simplicity, and ease of use. I copy with 1200 dpi resolution.Sometimes I gohigher, but I'm not going to publish these photos--I'm just planning on boring the relatives with'em!--I can always send out a publishable slide or use a higher resolution and photshop the new image if I decide to go pro!.

PS. I did keep the image :evilf my erased ex-wife. Couldn't resist it!
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Old Apr 9, 2006, 6:17 AM   #12
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mhuth wrote:
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Short of higher end lab scanners for 5k+ the only system I know of with a slide feeder is Nikon 4000/5000 ED scanner (around 1K) with an SF210 (don't get the SF200 - it jams a lot, instead of just a little as the SF210). I have the 5000 with an SF210. I recently scanned around 1000 slide over the course of a couple of months of evenings and weekends. Without the feeder I would still be there.

This scanned is at 4000dpi and produces a 16bit color channel, and has ICE and ROC and DEE in the hardware and software. Scans take around a minute each without DEE/ROC, and 2-3 minutes each with DEE/ROC/GEM.

So it takes about 20 seconds to blow the dust off of each slide and load it - say 15 minutes to load up the feeder to maximum capacity (I don't usually do that, putting just one roll in at a time so I can catalog them) and then 50 -150 minutes to scan them, during which, if all goes well, you don't have to be at the machine.

The files are around 120 MBytes when saved as Tiffs. This is on a Windows XP 3.0GHz/2GB memory with SATA disks and USB2.0. Anything in the path that is slower will increase the scan times, especially of the software processes, which are DEE/GEM and ROC.

These are approximately 20 MPixel images with a very good dynamic range. Will beat the pants off of a digital camera photagraph of the slide. Slide have a large dynamic range, and the DEE processing really helps with most of them. The drawback to using the Nikon slide feeder is that that software engineers were too lazy to figure out how to do a preview scan to allow individual settings for each slide, so the scan parameters need to be a compromise when batch mode is used. But Photoshop or Elements has enough tools to fix up the scans in post processing if you need/want to. You'll need a recent version to handle the 16-bit color channels.
In fact scanning big pictures and enhancing them is probably one of the only purpose of having a PC with dual core CPU and gigabytes of RAM. To use more than 2GB of RAM you need a PC and its OS to go 64 bit. Photoshop is enhanced to use multiple CPU/cores since the old days of classic Pentiums.
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