Positive result of Scanhancer diffuser on flatbed scanners

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by benoit_mathieu, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. I want to report that the use of the Scanhancer plastic diffuser
    (http://www.scanhancer.com) significantly improves the quality of
    the scans performed on flatbed scanners. It was known to have a
    positive grain reduction (grain dissolver) effect on dedicated
    minolta film scanners, but nothing was told about flatbed scanner


    The most efficient way I've found to use it is by cutting 2 custom
    pieces fitting the Doug's MF film holder
    (http://home.earthlink.net/~dougfisher/holder/mfholderintro.html)
    calibration and film areas.


    Details of the configuration and picture of the effect can be seen
    at http://www.mathieu-dooms.net/benoit/scanhancer.htm


    I hope these results will be of interst for some of you.


    Benoit.
     
  2. jtk

    jtk

    Benoit, I'm puzzled as to why one would add extra diffusion to an already heavily diffused and already less-than-critically-sharp scanner (Epson flatbed).

    Have you removed the existing diffuser, then mounted Scanhancer on Doug's carrier? Interesting idea, if so.

    My usually-discerning 19" flat screen monitor doesn't reveal the change in grain that you describe.

    Please post another depiction of before and after.

    I use Doug's (excellent) carrier with anti-newton glass, but my goal is flat film and MORE sharpness. If I could resolve 120 grain with my own Epson flatbed, I'd be ecstatic!
     
  3. Jhon,

    I use an extra diffuser because the lid of the Epson 4180 is made of two ccfl tubes. Without this extra plastic, you get light fall-off on the edge of the medium format. It also help to keep the film flat.

    BTW, the picture area where I present the effect is a tiny crop of a full 6x6 negative. The effect is visible on a CRT monitor.

    Benoit
     
  4. The only effect I see on both a LCD and CRT is a softening of the image. In fact I prefer the
    non-softened image, it is with a bit more contrast. I can get the same effect in Photoshop,
    why
    go to all the trouble of a plastic diffuser? Grain can't be "dissolved" only softened.
     
  5. That effect is pretty modest compared to other results I've seen but it looks improved to me. It might have more of an effect on apparent dust/scratches with silver film that is worth more than the grain reduction in my opinion.
     
  6. jtk

    jtk

    With my 3200 I do not get falloff with 120. Perhaps a lesser model has that problem.

    Similarly, film flatness is not a problem if you use Doug's carrier with anti-newton glass.

    Grain isn't inherently a bad thing, but because of the scanner's inherent softness none of the examples has begun to resolve "grain," which doesn't exist in C41 film in any case.
     
  7. Hi, I strongly support Messieur Benoit Mathieu statements and claims. Having been a user
    of Minolta Dimage Multi Pro and Scanhancer for a while, I do get excellent results. The
    problem we faced was productivity and massive scans (multiple stripes of slides/negatives,
    Fuji NPH 400, NPS, Velvia 50, 100F, 400F and now Velvia 100). Tipical size is 645 and 67,
    with some 66.
    We were looking for a RELIABLE, FAST, not depending on the skill of the operator, CHEAP,
    and CONSISTENT way of scanning stripes fast, with quality for excellent prints (via MPIX,
    Costco, or Inkjet) up to 11x14 (tipical size would be 8x10). As little photoshop as
    possible, ideally automated under actions and the new bridge. So far, no solution was
    good enough.
    With the Epson 4870, we started some tests, the results were encouraging. Thanks to
    Doug MF Holder, the light was close, but not close enough. Using the ANR Glass, we got
    much better results. During a 35 min scan of 4/5 slides, the film WILL BEND, no matter
    how good you take care of it. The glass helped, but in the process we lost ICE. Even if ICE
    is painfully slow, it removes the need for a photoshop expert, and produces much more
    consistent results (remember consistency is key, as well as quality).
    Then I made a try with Minolta Scanhancer, which barely can fit the size of MF holder (too
    small), taped a 67 negative and a couple of positives, and did many tests. Light images,
    darker images, low contrast, high contrast, with/out dust, all you can imagine, since 8
    multipass with ICE (not recommended). The scanhancer did the job outstandingly.
    Of course we want more. I am trying to convince Erik to make a custom one for me, and
    possibly ask Doug to think about a TWO STRIPE MF Holder for 2 stripes at a time.
    We are also researching SCANMAX (Julio Fernandez) wet scanning solution for the 4870.
    Julio will have a custom made set for us next week. Will let you know.
    I would not recommend spending the extra bucks if you only scan once in a while, but for
    real digital workflow, it will pay itself in two days of photoshop operator, plus savings in
    scanner hardware, plus the option of using several scanners in paralel.
    Gustavo M.
     

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