New scanner

After 8k+ images including ‘overclocking’ the resolution for thousands of archival scans, and nearly 6 years of service (the photosensitive bar is actually expected to survive only a couple of years at specification) we are retiring the flatbed scanner, and replacing it with something able to do film.

In our collection of photos we have thousands of negatives. And my FIL has hundreds-to-thousands of slide images.  Well, now we have scanner which is advertised to manage scanning these materials at high-enough-to-be-useful resolutions. And supposedly includes software to manage the negative conversion.

Photo colour film is developed with an strong amber cast, plus being a photo  negative. If one scans at high enough resolution to get a good photo out of it, one must then carefully filter the results, first to eliminate the amber, then to normalize the white, and finally to reverse the negative. No matter how many conversion recipes I have tried the results have never been satisfactory.

Colour slides, on the other hand, have come out just fine – except the resolution is extremely poor when scaled up for printing. Even over-clocked to the max our older scanner could barely get 4800, and this resulted in many artifacts including tracer lines and, sometimes, moires. Scaled up to a 4×6 image this should have been a 1200dpi scan, but in practice it looked no more than 300dpi – not good enough for photo prints.

But on the document scanning sides of things, there are a few nifty elements. This is another Canon scanner, so there are quick autoscan buttons to use the scanner as a copy machine – scanning directly to the printer – or to pdf, or to e-mail. It also has a listed 4800 standard scanning rate, which is well into the archival levels without any overclocking for photos and historic documents.

Unfortunately the software must be downloaded before I can test the new hardware. And that is taking far too long.

I hate waiting.