View Full Version : First scan using Minolta 5400 .............
07-06-2010, 05:58 PM
Well I was a little disappointed because the scanned image did't look as sharp as the slide. However, viewing the photo on FlickR, I have uploaded it onto our site, it doesn't look too bad.
Perhaps if I tried scanning on the archive setting it my improve matters.
Any tips using the above combo?
07-06-2010, 08:45 PM
Sharp compared to putting the slide up to your eye or the exposure projected?
And what sharpening did you apply to your scan? All film, and anything scanned, scanned into a digital format will need sharpening applied. It's just the nature of getting it into a digital format.
And at what size are you viewing them that they don't seem sharp? 100% view at a 5400 dpi scan? That would be a huge enlargement . Try viewing the scan so all of it fits on your screen at the same time and then say if it looks sharp or not.
07-07-2010, 04:05 PM
Viewing on light box with magnifier - image is sharp.
Applied some sharpening via iPhoto. Never applied this on paper based scans via a flat bed ageing Canon Lide scanner. Images look good without applying sharpening.
Tried viewing image so that it fits on my lap top screen - image not sharp!
07-08-2010, 01:32 AM
I have no experience with the Minolta scanner, but I've been using the Nikon LS-5000ED (4000 dpi) and VueScan. Scanned images are sharp but there are a few caveats learned along the way:
1) I would not sharpen the image at all because the film grain causes random sharpening of non-image detail. At least, any sharpening I tried with Lightroom 2 did not benefit the image quality at all.
2) I found VueScan's grain reduction and cleaning functions have substantial softening effects. I ended up scanning all slides without any processing except light cleaning but with a high IR exposure to greatly reduce the scope of the cleaning function to only the darkest patches. I have looked and looked for better solutions to grain reduction elsewhere, and I have found an absolutely astounding quality noise reduction program called G'MIC (open source/free) but, seriously folks, you need big time software skills to get the thing working in any kind of workflow.
3) Make sure you're scanning at the inherent resolution of the scanner, and try initially to output in TIF format. Try to separate the sharpness issue into the scanning and processing phases by not processing the image.
4) Not sure about the Minolta but the LS-5000 has focus controls. I found these to be important due to film curvature. The LS-5000's depth of field is less than the film curvature for very curved slides. One way around this is to set the focus point in VueScan (if it can be done with the 5400) not at the center of the image, but about 1/2 of the way from center to one corner. This will come close to placing the entire slide image within the scanner's depth of field. Look at the resulting image and see if the edges are fuzzy, or the whole image is fuzzy, and adjust the focus point to give you the results you want. Of course this doesn't apply if the 5400/VueScan combination doesn't have focus controls. Also, focus frequently, at least once for every slide; with the LS-5000 there is the option to focus at preview, at scan, or both -- I do both.
5) Keep up to date with VueScan releases and let Ed Hamrick know about any bugs you've found (submit a bug report if you can), or Google for others who have maybe had a similar problem.
07-08-2010, 09:32 AM
Part of the problem is that our eyes can't resolve as much detail as the scanners and the sizes of the slides and magnifications used to view them conspire against our brains into thinking that raw viewing with our eyes is sharper than what might actually be.
It's like sitting the proper distance away from a high def TV. It looks nice and sharp (just like viewing a slide with your naked eye and a magnifying glass). However, get closer to the TV and what happens? It starts to look worse and very blurry (just like scanning a slide and viewing it full size on your monitor). Indeed, if your magnifying glass were strong enough, the slide itself would, at some point, look pretty blurry no matter how well focused it is.
The sharpness of the scan is not really due to VueScan and more to do with the focusing ability of the scanner, but you do have to experiment sometimes and focus every scan. Unfortunately, that takes time when it's off or the slide is curved enough. Always focus on the "money" section of the image and adjust the focus point if necessary (don't always assume center point is correct). Also make sure your prescan is of sufficient resolution for you to make accurate determinations of focus quality.
And sharpen in a software made for that purpose such as Photoshop. Sometimes the sharpening ability of the scanning software is worse than you might think. Also, scan clean slides instead of using the software as it does indeed soften the image more than it should.
Also don't forget that one setting for sharpening is not the best for all slides. You do have to experiment with the settings depending on the outcome. That's why I think it's better to just get the scanning of clean slides out of the way first and then sharpen after as well as clean and color correct when time permits. Your mileage may vary!
07-08-2010, 02:51 PM
Many thanks mklein9 and kevinkar for taking the trouble to post these ideas.
The Minolta 5400 scanner does have focus control but I am not sure if they work with VueScan. I need to check this one out.
There is a small (very small) Minolta 5400 user group on FlickR and the images they have submitted to this group are really sharp. So it is a case of me taking the time to use this machine effectively.
I thought it was just the case of loading a slide into the Minolta 5400 pressing scan and bingo a nice sharp digital image! LOL!
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