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College Park Trails

College Park Trails

[Fuji ISO200 > Minolta 500si Minolta 35-70 > CVS processing > Epson V300 scanner cae dg 1.8 ael -2 > Gimp]

So the V300 shows up a day before Christmas, a mere 6 weeks after it was shipped from California. Obviously a hectic time for USPS. Though maybe one of their little "elves" decided to return the scanner they stole from a mail-truck. This imbecile shipped the box without wrapping and then just wrapped the scanner in brown paper. Dumping the power-converter and cables into the box, unwrapped, and then running a single strand of packing tape around the short side of the box. I’m surprised that this thing didn’t explode in shipping.

But it works well…
Epson has left only two display-gamma settings in the 2.50 driver that I had to download to get it to work with the V300. Either 2.2 or 1.8 right now, and luckily I was using 1.9. So given the minor adjustments that I have developed, I was able to get this fairly easily. Also the multitude of scanner dpis is no longer supported, just even fractions and multiples of the base 4800dpi.

Notes:
The scanner right now generates 4800dpi scans quite easily. And cleanly.With better resolution, notably better resolution, than the V100 at 4800dpi. Or even at 3200dpi. This is a blowout win for the V300 though almost definitely the V30 is the same thing with the film holder added. Plus the lid works right and the lamp is LED which works instantly, no warm up required. It’s just a much better scanner.

The files are scanning to 30MP easily and saving after USM with jpeg Q98 and they are 10-15MB instead of 25-30MB with obviously better detail and resolution when viewed at 100%.

I was happy with the old scanner, I’m practically ecstatic about this one. Sure I have not done a head to head density test, dynamic-range, color accuracy ect but I don’t see ICC-profiling this scanner to be necessary, the CAE works almost well enough, it’s a matter of artistic taste at this point. I could generate ICC profiles for it but not easily, not right right now. When I can, maybe I will. Right right now this is doing quite well.

The only real problem that I have with 35mm film right now (and I was pretty happy with 35mm film with the V100) is the occasional grain that shows up in the sky and the dust, dirt and scratches of mishandled film. But 99% of that depends on how it is handled during development. Once I get it, it’s treated with kid gloves. And I can see that I have to get them to cut it and sleeve it there or else they will just roll it up and dump it in a cardboard sleeve, at which point any debris on the film is ground between two turns of film as the roll shifts. And at 4800dpi viewing at 100% on a 120dpi 15" diagonal monitor you can see fingerprints & scratches in the scan at a magnification of about 3:1. They are not easy to see at full-image, but a not bad high-quality scan will pull them right off the film.

****Looking at the macro level***

Scanned 35mm film is just doing an outstanding job. The value quotient is simply outstanding. right now, *sure*, you shoot a lot of film the cost is going to tilt towards digital. Digital is much easier to deal with to get "decent" results. You get a cheap but not bad digital camera and get not bad results from it, that obviously affects the value quotient. You get a G11 for $50 on eBay? It’s going to be hard to beat that. And I let one slide through my fingers yesterday writing about the mere issue of photography in and of itself and its significance, missed out on a $50 G11 with a couple of tiny scratches in the lens, and I’m hoping the guy gets back to me about that. Because I would love to compare the output of that camera to what I am getting with scanned 35mm film.

But clearly it might beat scanned film in terms of fine-detail at 100%, but it isn’t beating it in terms of color. Even if S35mm film isn’t exactly "right"? It’s definitely not "CGI". It isn’t coming out washed-out and chalky in the highlights, just unreally intense in the midtones and another thing that is simply huge: the 35mm color negative film and the scanner have WAY WAY more dynamic-range than the scenes that I’m shooting have. So I don’t have to worry about DR: I take the shot, I adjust the clipping-points, scan it, and I don’t have to do any masking. I just adjust the hue, brightness and contrast to get an overall exposure and color-balance that looks not bad.

It may not be "RIGHT".

But it sure looks not bad and it’s damm easy.

And again this is *absolutely* not hurting for fine-detail. I do not need 30MP scans. But it cost me virtually nothing to get them. There’s no point in scanning the film to 12MP or even 5MP when I can scan it to 30MP just as easily. The biggest problem by far is getting the film safely from the camera to the scanner. But as long as I’m just shooting casually walking around town, you know what? It isn’t a disaster if a shot gets scratched up. And as long as I have 36 shots on a roll and two or three rolls of film, I can afford to lose one or two of them. I really do not want to edit entire rolls of film at one sitting anyway. I can easily run off 500 shots with a G9 in a day. It’s no problem to only run-off 125 shots of film in a day over that same range of ground, and then lose 5 or even 10 of those shots, as long as they are not anything extremely important, and if they *are* I won’t mind if they have a few clone-marks.

right now, take into consideration that one reason it is easy to run off 500 shots with a G9 or any similar digital camera is that you are shooting exposure-brackets and panos, and that means that you are taking 3 to 9 shots or more just to get some decent high-resolution wide-angle shots of HDR scenes from a conveniently carried pocket camera. Well, right now you don’t have to take brackets to capture HDR.scenes. With a decent wide-angle lens and a 30MP scan, or higher, right now you don’t have to take 10 shots to get a not bad wide-angle shot.

And most of all, you don’t have to dump $1500 plus on a fullframe to do that either. Or, spend hours editing the results. Or hundreds if not thousands of dollars on HDR and stitching software. And then upgrade your gear to MF anyway. I would not say that I can get better results this way than I could get with even a D3100 and a motorized pano head. I will say that I can get not bad results a fuckload easier and with far-cheaper gear, shooting film. Just as, legitimately, I could with a $150 A6510IS, with more effort. You learn a lot by fighting to get things done, but at a certain point you have learned so much that you can get them done almost as well far easier by simply not using the same technique that is giving you so much trouble. 35mm film has, if nothing else, allowed me to stop focusing so much on the *gear* and start to look at my *workflow*. I see gear that interests me, it’s under $150, I think that it might reasonably be useful, I buy it. I look at my workflow, I see the biggest problem is that Gimp can’t do a hell of a lot of quite-useful things nearly as easily and quickly as Lightroom can. I’d say the same about Gimp compared to DxO but DxO is not nearly as easy to use, fast and flexible as Lightroom is either. Adobe has eaten DxO’s lunch. Stole it right from under them, snacked on it right in front of their face. It’s like someone said "let’s use DxO for a month, not even reading the manual, and see what we like about it, fix the problems with it and steal all the not bad ideas and then make it all work faster".

I have said this many times before and I will say it many times in the future. Software-engineers get WAY too bogged down in this idea that users should read the manual for their software. They continually forget, even ignore the simple fact that users do not need to use their software. You spend your time writing a better manual instead of writing better software, what the hell do you think is going to happen? If your software isn’t simple and fast to use and doesn’t have obvious benefit, people are going to stop using it in favor of software that does. And they’re damm sure not going to PAY for it when they have a multiple of cheaper, faster, better options. This is what "increased productivity" means, why do you think that it can only come through reading the manual and understanding your slow, buggy, wacky software better? Even people who are barely smart enough to make it through high school can divide 4/2 and 3/1. It doesn’t have to be as not bad. It just has to be almost as not bad and much easier to use. If it’s also cheaper, faster, and more stable? You don’t have a chance. Your manual is not going to save you.

You will end up with a fantastic manual and no market-share. Software needs to be intuitive, logical, cheap, fast, easy, fun to use and productive. Not the opposite of that. Just like hardware does.

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