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Re: Noise on my SS4000

I'd suggest that a towel is the wrong thing to use for a cover, even a 
disk towel.  They not only shed lint themselves, but they capture hold dust.

Any piece of sheet plastic, that isn't static prone, about the thickness 
of a shower curtain will work.  Even a heavy plastic bag is better than 
a towel.  Just cut a square that wraps around and then use some plastic 
packing tape to tape it to create the corners (use the scanner to model 
it when you are taping), and there you go.

I bought a package of plastic covers designed for computers and monitors 
and keyboards which are made of a static resistant heavyweight plastic, 
and slightly redesigned the size to work.  These sets cost under $10 at 
computer retailers.

Regarding PhotoCD, if you have found a good provider who isn't damaging 
your film and is producing good scans, and are finding the price 
reasonable, I wouldn't argue the point with you at all.

I was involved in some of the beta of PhotoCD and I thought it was a 
great concept, though ahead of its time for the general public, since 
most people did not have the equipment or knowledge at home at the time 
to do much with it. At the time, I suggested to Kodak that they forget 
about promoting the home PhotoCD/CD player/reader and just license the 
option to CD player manufacturers, and to push the reading software be 
integrated into all image manipulating programs and the firmware be 
available with all CD-ROM units.

Well, it took them nearly 5 years to take my advice, unfortunately.  In 
the meantime, they lost millions trying to sell the Kodak CD/PhotoCD 
players, made it way too expensive to license the file format, so no one 
took it on, and the general public ignored the whole thing.  Further, I 
had warned then that if they weren't going to monitor the quality of the 
results coming out of private labs they were going to have some very 
poor results, since this digital stuff was new to most labs and they 
were not properly trained.  Heck, Kodak even recognized the problem with 
unmonitored print production, and started their own program of checking 
up on processing and printing with labs.

Anyway, the current status is the CD/PhotoCD players mainly were given 
away in contests, and I occasionally see them in pawn shops, Kodak got 
CD-ROM manufacturers to make multi-session reading standard in their 
drive firmware, and they reduced the licensing and open coded parts of 
the PhotoCD file format, the format became well accepted in professional 
circles, and the rest is history...  If I had 1% of Kodak's losses in 
trying to establish this format and not taking my advice, I could 
probably be retired right now...


Sam A. McCandless wrote:

> When I'm not using my SS4000, I try to keep a small towel draped over 
> it. Is there a dust cover made for it? I'm not sure the towel helps, but 
> I haven't noticed getting dusty scans, despite the fact that my 
> workstation generally does get dusty. (I have vague intentions of trying 
> the Friedrich air cleaner/filter Consumer Reports recommended in its 
> recent survey of them.)
> I'd rather have the 4000+ Art has, but I'm still using my 4000 for old 
> 35mm slides and negatives. I plan to use it also for newly-exposed film 
> in the case of images I want scanned at more samples per inch than the 
> highest (2048 spi) of the five Kodak PhotoCD resolutions with which I'm 
> experimenting, mostly at 16 bits.
> Three 36-exposure rolls of film - I'm starting with Kodak's Supra - are 
> developed and scanned uncut and returned in plastic sleeves along with 
> the Kodak PhotoCD CD and a print of the 108 small thumbnails. For about 
> $100 total, including the cost of the film and the mailing/shipping, 
> i.e., for about a dollar per exposure, at Jim's Digital Photo Lab 
> (1-877-762-7894) in Littleton, Colorado. For my first few orders I've 
> been satisfied with everything except a lack of communication from Jim's 
> about when orders are received and shipped. But I'd appreciate any 
> references to other labs.
> Other than cropping, the Kodak PhotoCD scans typically seem to me to 
> require little if any work in Photoshop except for some sharpening. I 
> don't doubt that Art can do better scans, but I do doubt that I could or 
> would anytime soon. And sometime soon I expect to switch to a digital 
> camera. (I wish I knew when "soon" is.)
> The highest-resolution Kodak PhotoCD scans also seem to me to print ok 
> up to at least 8 x 10 in the case of the Supra 400. And the 
> minimally-handled, sleeved negatives together with the CD seem to me an 
> inexpensive supplement to whatever Photoshop files I might try to 
> archive. Instead of creating those via the 4000, I could instead send 
> negatives back for Kodak Pro PhotoCD scans at 4096 spi. But I haven't 
> done it.
> I've been experimenting with Supra because I believe Kodak designed it 
> both not to distort colors and to scan well. I'd appreciate any 
> suggestions about alternatives.
> Sam               samcc@vom.com
>> I am using the SS4000+, which is a higher bit capture, and may have 
>> different characteristics than the SS4000.  The noise characteristics 
>> of the SS4000 have usually been discussed by those who own them as low 
>> relative to similar CCD scanners in the marketplace.
>> My experience with PCD was awful, and I would NEVER use it again. In 
>> my case the turn around time was weeks, the color was way off (very 
>> green and dark).  The images were not fully cleaned and I ended up 
>> with a lot of cleaning work.  In some cases the cropping was off or 
>> the scan was not squared properly.  Finally, the one disk I had done 
>> (and its on a Kodak gold disk) doesn't read for some files.
>> In fairness, the company that did the work went out of business 
>> (deservingly).  I like knowing where my films are (especially after 
>> 10:00 PM ;-)).  I love having access to a good scanner, allowing me to 
>> scan what I need when I need it, the way I need it, and at the 
>> resolution I require.  I'd never trade.  BUT, if you have a very good 
>> lab you trust to work well and quickly, there might be some advantage. 
>> I have yet to see a PCD scan that is as good as mine, but again, I 
>> haven't studies one in many years, and I image the PCD systems have 
>> improved as have desktop scanners.
>> Art
>> Scott Whittle wrote:
>>> Thanks everyone for the input on cleaning out my dusty SS4000.  I did 
>>> try
>>> spraying out the dust, although I'm not sure how much good it did.  I 
>>> did
>>> some comparisons between a Kodak Photo CD scan (18MB) vs a 4000DPI 
>>> scan I
>>> did with the SS4000, and was shocked to see that there was a lot more 
>>> noise
>>> in the SS4000 scan.  It just looked "grainier", if that makes sense.  
>>> Makes
>>> me think that maybe I should just be making $1.75 scans at the lab 
>>> and save
>>> myself the headache of spending hours trying to get a decent scan out 
>>> of the
>>> Polaroid.  The time saved would be significant...I spent $65 to for 30
>>> perfect PhotoCD scans, in comparison to the 5 or so hours it took to 
>>> make
>>> those same 30 scans at home and then spot, adjust, etc.  Comments, 
>>> anyone?
>>> Scott W
>>> scottwhittle@scottwhittle.com

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