Is Digital ICE really needed for new film?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mihai_vali, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. I am planning to buy a film/slide scanner. I know they give a much better

    Now, I know that Minolta dual scan seems to be the cheapest acceptable
    film scanner. But it does not have digital ICE which I read to be important
    for shortening the scanning time. Unfortunately the "big brand" ones
    cost more than i can afford now. i have found though Benq 2470 which
    has digital ICE and costs just $40 more than Minolta.

    I am not planning to scan 15 years old films, is digital ICE really crucial?
    If yes, has anybody have any experience with Benq?

    Thank you.
  2. Using Applied Science Fictions Digital ICE lengths the scan time, not shortend it.
    Dig.ICE is crucial as it shorthens the amount of time you spend cleaning the scan
  3. Scans of clean slides or film without ICE treatment will require 5-10 minutes clean up, tops. Scans of very dirty or scratched can take hours.
  4. My question refered to new slides, when they are not filled with dust,
    or at least now much. Is digital ICE still crucial for this case?
  5. As I said, I'd expect to spend 5-10 minutes per new slide to clean, without ICE. It all depends on your definition of "crucial". I would think ICE will be more thorough in cleaning light spotting, compared to spotting by hand, but may introduce slight softening, depending on the scanner. Canon uses same infrared hardware as ICE, but different software. It is said to have little or no effect on sharpness, but not quite as effective as ICE. An automated process such as ICE, while increasing the scanning time somewhat, will leave you free to do other things, reducing the frustration factor, and for that reason might be ultimately more efficient. Cleaning, even with the cleanest images, does take time, and can get tedious. Even fresh processed, pristine slides will have spots, and occasional scratches, regardless of the processor.

    I've not heard of Benq. I'd be cautious of obscure name.

    I use Scan Dual II, and am scanning mostly old b/w negatives. Some are in good shape, and I can sail through the clean-up, if you can call 3 days per roll sailing. With a roll with lots of dust and scratches, I can spend 2 or 3 weeks to complete cleaning. I use a variety of tools in Photoshop. This is my main focus now, and since ICE does not work with b/w, it's not an issue for me. BUT, I have my sights on the pending Scan Elite 5400, which does have ICE, or some other ICE enabled scanner. Cleaning is laborious, and time consuming. As a hobby, and if you enjoy painstaking work, it's satisfying. But with large volume of images it will take a lot of your spare time.

    BTW, is the last post from same person as first? I'm confused...
  6. The only Benq 2740 review I found was

    I have some experience with old HP PhotoSmart S20 (without ICE) and now I have Nikon CoolScan IV (with ICE). It takes less then 2 minutes to scan a slide with Nikon. If you have decent computer (>500MHz) then ICE is done during scanning and it does not take any time (this may be different for Benq/Minolta). Cleaning one image can take 2-10 minutes.

    For me, the experience with HP S20 was enough to pay more for Nikon with ICE. However, if you don't plan to scan a lot then the saved time may not be important for you. Try the following: I expect to scan for 2 years and then switch to digital. I shoot 50 rolls a year, scan 10 frames a roll => I expect to scan 1000 images. If it takes 6 minutes to clean an image then ICE can save me 100 hours of uninteresting retouching. 100 hours was too much to save $300 for me.
  7. Another thought re cleaning by hand. I'm sure I've cleaned a lot of things that were actually part of the image, especially with black and white. Sometimes, it's very hard to tell. I suppose if it looks like a defect, it doesn't hurt that I cloned it out. Anyway, infrared detection of defects, such as ICE, eliminates this indecision.
  8. Trust me, there is always dust, whether it's freshly-developed film or not. I don't have Digital Ice, I have FARE on my Canon scanner (same idea). It saves tremendous amounts of time retouching dust spots I would otherwise have to do one by one on the computer monitor. I would absolutely, uncategorically not buy any scanner that doesn't have hardware-based IR dust removal, no matter how good it might be in other ways.
  9. I find that there is plenty of dust on my newly picked up slides and negatives. In fact, older stuff, consistently stored properly is not really dustier. I don't know anything about the scanner yuo mentioned but I would seriously investigate it - if i were buying a new scanner ICE or FARE would be a requirement
  10. I believe that Acer renamed much of their computer/digital equipment operation to "Benq".
  11. I just received the BenQ Scanwit 2740s scanner. I'm no expert on these things, but once I get it hooked up (sprained ankle & need different SCSI cable for it :-< ), I'll post my opinion on it. the 2740 has digital ICE
  12. BenQ is the new name for the Acer ScanWit. It's a quality product, if not quite cutting edge. Everything in my portfolio is off of a ScanWit 2720, which is the same at the 2740, except without ICE.

  13. I'd have a hard time living without ICE, even for images fresh from the lab. It's just really hard to keep a perfectly clean space and I don't like having to clean each image. That said, if you don't have the money for ICE and you do have the time and patience to clean your images one by one, it is possible to get good results. It just takes time...
  14. In the beginning I have a Minolta scan dual II without ICE. I find that I need to struggle long hours even for newly developed slide to remove those troubesome dust. It is always even evident in pictue of sky areas, and on people's face, etc...I promise you dust is your big enemy even for fresh developed.
    Finally I got a ED4000 from Nikon. With ICE it basically solved most problem and it helps to reduce grain as well. Now the workflow becomes more effective. For general scan, it takes a few minute to scan and post-scan processing in Photoshop. It really saves your valuable time. If you haven't purchase a scanner yet, do go for one with ICE or anything do the same job. Heard that Canon's 4000 is dropping price, it is well worth looking at.
  15. I would agree that all films – new processed or old – will have dust. The 'dust' can come from the cutting of the negatives (into 4 or 6 frame strips).
    I use the Minolta Scan Dual and I clean the films with a unique new tacky roll film cleaner that you can buy at
    This device rolls two special rubber rollers over both sides of the film simultaneously and these pick up the dust and hairs.
    The rollers are then cleaned on an adhesive pad. The unit also has an ’anti-static’ device that keeps the static charges to a reasonable level after cleaning.
    As is claimed on the website – the ‘BOOFLET’ helps prevent the dust going into the scanner in the first place and possibly causing problems later due to a build up.
    This unit can be used to clean those black and white films on which ICE and FARE don’t work.
    Nothing will clean up all the dust marks except for the final eye scan of the image.
    You will find that canned air and brushes just move the dust around.
  16. ICE saves a lot of time in the end, even on new film, which does pick up dust, and scratches especially if it was processed in a roller transport. Film also will have tiny specks on it from the get-go as well..ICE helps out the end it saves time, and with little to no loss of sharpness depending on the scanner.
  17. If your negative or slide has dust that you cannot take off, you need a software like ICE, it is not whether your film is new or old.

    To see how effective ICE is and what time penalty you have to accept to use it, you can read my review of the new Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 at:

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