Help wanted: Looking for a success story on scanning slides!?!

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by johan_niels_kuiper, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    I am looking for a success story in scanning slides using a dedicated film and slides scanner.

    Recently I have been reading up on scanning slides, but there are so many trouble-shooting threads, I have grown
    tired of reading them. The multitude of them is clouding my judgment when it comes to picking an effective setup.

    I still shoot on film extensively, using Leica and M-Hexanons to shoot available light on both Kodak E100G and
    Konica Impresa 100, as well as Ilford FP4, Tmax100 (and the occasional RolleiPan outdoors)

    My current hardware includes:

    a PC running Windows XP Home
    a PC running Ubuntu 7.10
    a Macbook (intel-based) running OSX 10.5 Leopard
    a Konica-Minolta Scan Dual IV scanner

    I have used both the dedicated Minolta software on XP as well as VueScan on all three platforms. It keeps
    freezing up at various moments in the process, from focussing on Ubuntu and Mac to scanning in XP. These moments
    vary from not being able to complete a single scan in ten attempts to scanning several rolls without any trouble.
    (Maybe the Scan Dual only works on Japanese holidays, or does it have some other intrinsic logic)

    So, either I keep using the Scan Dual IV (results are superb whenever it decides to please me) and I need a
    working setup in software, or I decide on a new dedicated film and slide scanner which has proven to be doing the
    job on either of the three platforms.

    Any working setup you decide to list here would be appreciated most if you would include as many specifics on
    system and software, since I am aiming for a trouble free use (finally a trouble free setup, that would be nice
    for a change...)

    Your comments are greatly appreciated, I'm getting somewhat misanthropic looking at the ten rolls of E100G from
    my trip to the Czech Republic that I'd like to scan.


  2. Sorry, that was supposed to read:
    • a PC running Windows XP Home
    • a PC running Ubuntu 7.10>/li>
    • a Macbook (intel-based) running OSX 10.5 Leopard
    • a Konica-Minolta Scan Dual IV scanner

  3. SCL


    I have an older Artixscan, and have used Windows XP for years on an older PC without many problems (other than my own ineptitude). The most important issue for me was to learn how to properly set up the scan parameters for the slide feeder, and add some memory to my PC (I now do it with about 1 gig). Once I got it, I've managed to save and properly color my father's fading slides from the Pacific Theater in WWII, as well as some fantastic Kodachromes his father took before the war. I've heard a lot of success stories with the late model Nikon film scanners, very few problems of any significance. It sounds to me like you may be running in a memory short environment. If this is the case, upgrade memory and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  4. On my old PC running XP, I constantly had issues with scans being hung up - it drove me nuts! I finally bit the bullet and bought a new PC, still running XP, but way more powerfull and latest dual core technology - no more problems whatsoever - scans every time, no more hang-ups. I use a Nikon 9000 and a Canoscan 9950 for LF scans.
  5. Johan, I can't tell from you question if you're looking for a solution or for encouragement. I can't help with a solution (beyond what others have suggested for possible memory [or disk space?] issues), but I can certainly help with the encouragement. I've simply never had a crash or hang issue with my Nikon scanners running XP. Never. Not with NikonScan, Vuescan or Silverfast. Most folks who I know have had similar experiences.

    Keep in mind that the internet always gives an exaggerated impression of problems. Best of luck to you.

  6. I have never had a problem with my Canon scanner except that it is time consuming,
  7. I hate viewscan. I don't really have experience with other programs but I hate it anyways. It forces you into the use of a pre-programmed filmbase color with any film, including slide films, which only serves to put a yellow cast on every slide film frame I scan. It hides the controls for the analogue gain (what you should use to compensate for exposure, not the post-scan "brightness" control or whatever) and I have not been able to get a decent velvia 120 scan from it yet using a flatbed. As I said: HATE! It uses it's own film scratch remover, ignoring the Coolscan 4000's ICE scratch removal entirely, which I can't figure out how to turn off. As such, it doesn't scan kodachrome well at all. Color balance is a crap shoot, and to do it correctly requires painstaking hand correction and rescanning to the point where optical enlargement is actually much easier than scanning the film and printing it digitally. I bought myself a color darkroom because of this program. So maybe its not all bad :-D Now I just have to convince my school to buy silver fast so I can try digital printing for once :-/
  8. Hello, thanks for all these answers so far. they have made me realise I had left some info out:
    • RAM on all machines is 2Gb, varying from 266Mhz to 533Mhz speed
    • Hard disk space is sufficient, as I back up all scanned and digital images to a network disk right away

    As said, I am looking for success stories, your combination with any of the mentioned platforms, your scanner and used software (possibly drivers) will do. Just so I know where to migrate the whole shebang if the Scan Dual keeps protesting its job...

  9. jtk


    1) With older computers it can be vital to do "Disc Cleanup" often as every other scan if you have a small C-drive and lots of applications (such as Photoshop).

    2) Give up on Minolta. Minolta did.

    3) No sympathy for Nicholas A, who is wrong in every detail about Vuescan, its Infared, the functioning of Nikon's Ice, and his workflow (and who evidently suffers from seriously underexposed Velvia). For starters, using Vuescan you use Vuescan's Infared,which is almost identical to Ice, perhaps better (is better with B&W). With Vuescan you are by definition not using Nikon's doesn't "come on" in the background. Color balance isn't "a crapshoot" if you have basic visual skills...but skills are the reason for school, right? You don't automatically get basic skills when you buy equipment, especially if you don't read the documentation.
  10. I agree with John about keeping your discs in good running order. Do the error checking and the defrag as needed.

    Do you have a second hard drive for data? I like to use my main drive for the operating system and programs. I use the second for data only.

    Have you got the latest drivers for your scanner? Does Minolta still support this scanner?

    I still use film along with digital. Earlier this year I decided to upgrade to a Nikon V scanner. I am so glad I did.

    I use both Nikonscan and Vuescan. They are both excellent programs. Nikonscan is very easy to use and had an impressive feature set. I am impressed with its ability to restore faded color negatives.
  11. For your lock-ups: in Vuescan try raising the value Prefs|Image Memory

    I think the default is 512. Try raising to 1024.
  13. @ J. Harrington: Thanks for the link to your web site, I have only read the first few paragraphs yet, but can already tell this is one site I will bookmark and revisit regularly! I was hoping for a positive story like this, although I am aware of the fact that all negative stories are providing a warped view of reality, I grew tired with them none the less.

    Always very nice and beneficially to read about a professionals' work flow. I have been looking at the mentioned Nikon scanners already in case the Scan Dual continues to prove troublesome (setting the Image Memory to 1024Mb didn't do the trick either...).

    A question: what operating system and software do you use in your business?
  14. Johan, where do you get the Konica Impresa 100. As to the issues. All good answers. One additional thought. Is this a SCSI or USB scanner. It is always worth double-checking the scanner attachment. Consider motherboard USB versus USB board, powered versus non-powered hub, the actual physical connection of the cable, if SCSI, double-check termination. It is ALWAYS WORTH TRYING a new or different cable. Good luck. VueScan is an outstanding program. And I suspect it has prompted Nikon to work harder on its own scanning software.
  15. I used a Minolta Scan Dual II on a Windows System with Pentium PII with 256meg RAM several years back, primarily with Vuescan. It very rarely froze. I believe it did happen once or twice, but so infrequently it doesn't stick in my mind.

    We're are still running a flatbed scanner with that PC and Vuescan, and it *does* lock up, quite frequently, maybe 1 in 20 scans. The scanner will be in mid-travel, and suddenly stop. It seems Vuescan and/or Windows "loses" the scanner. I have to:

    1. Close Vuescan, via Task Manager (Windows program for ending errant programs)

    2. Disconnect, and then reconnect a scanner cord (either the USB or Power cord seem to do the trick). Upon reconnection Windows makes its "I've found something" sound, and the scanner returns to it's home position.

    3. Restart Vuescan.
  16. Nicholas, you're more than welcome to "hate viewscan [sic]" if you like, but you might consider trying to learn it a bit more before you choose to publish a diatribe like this.

    Vuescan doesn't use ICE because it doesn't license it, and Ed Hamrick has chosen to do his own drivers for the scanner rather than just act as a front end to Nikon's. If it did license ICE, it would cost much more. ICE is software which uses information from a scanners IR channel if so equipped, so ICE itself is not really "built in" to Nikon scanner hardware - you have to use Nikon's drivers. Ed Hamrick has chosen to implement his own version of IR cleaning (which is downright TRIVIAL to disable if you choose - go to the Filter tab - IR clean is the first choice. Set it to "none". Done.), and while you might quibble about whether ICE or Vuescan's routines are better or worse, the differences are, at most, minor.

    "Analog gain" (a misnomer, but one Nikon itself promotes) is right there on the initial Input panel. I can't imagine how it could be more obvious. You do have to take the software out of "just scan it for me" mode, but you have to do that to do much of anything beyond just pushing the scan button with default values. Taking it out of beginners mode requires pushing one very obvious button.

    And finally, you most certainly do NOT have to use Vuescan's film base correction filters. While I agree they're essentially useless, again (do you sense a theme here?) disabling them is trivial.

    I do prefer Silverfast AI for transparency scanning, but not because it's in any way easier or more intuitive to use. If anything, it's even more obtuse. And interestingly enough, like Vuescan, Silverfast has recently begun to implement its own IR cleaning routine, also bypassing ICE (called iSRD and available only in Mac versions right now).

  17. This is something I'm trying to learn too, and there is a definite learning curve. It takes awhile to get good at it.

    I'm reading this book and can recommend it:
  18. Yeah, I'm absolutely thrilled with my new old Canoscan F2720U I recently bought, but I spend more time fixing dust than scanning. I guess the same would be true of my darkroom prints too, but the scanning it gives me a lot more time to browse my favorite photo websites. My only complaint is that the software locks up the machine it runs on until it's done. I know the problems you describe are only going to get worse as new operating systems are introduced. That's one of the reasons I need to get a Nikon scanner because they're the only game in town seemingly committed to making them long term.
  19. Michael; many scanners hog the majority of resources while scanning; even if the scan only requires a tad of CPU usage. Thus one might just use another box for scanning only.
  20. Using a Canon FS4000, which is now an ancient scanner, I've had very good luck scanning slides, even Kodachromes. But you do have to work at it a little to get the best results and be willing to do some post processing

    Off topic, my older version of Vuescan is just sucking when it comes to getting color right. I've actually gone back to using the normally suckier version of Filmget and I'm getting better results. Strange.

Share This Page