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Canon CanoScan 9950F review (7)

I have started uploading some of the scanned files (resized for web) to a photo album on Typepad, you can see them and judge by yourself.

October 28, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Canon CanoScan 9950F review (6)

To continue with the review, I decided first to have a rest, sleep a bit, recover from the excitement of the new scanner and try again the following day (which is today).

I installed the drivers on the PowerBook G4 and will try now to scan a strip of 3 frames on a 120 Velvia. I am using the following parameters:

  • Input Settings: Color Positive Film, 120 Format (6x6) -which was autodetected by the scanner (I really love that feature and it hasn't failed in all the scans I have done so far, it has cropped the images with very good results).
  • Output Settings: The resolution is 4800 dpi, which will give me files of 313MB
  • Image Settings:Auto Tone is OFF, Unsharp Mask is ON, Remove Dust and Scratches is Medium, Fading Correction is None, Grain Correction is High, Backlight Correction is None and Scanning Settings is High.

I haven't touched any other setting. The scanner is connected via Firewire to the Mac. I am not sure if it's faster than via USB 1.1 on my XP box but I will try that later by putting 12 35mm slides and comparing how long it took on the PC and on the Mac.

The estimated time was just above 30 minutes for these 3 frames, so I will post the results when it's done. Have to go and do some shopping now (food and stuff) ;)

October 28, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

Canon CanoScan 9950F review (5)

I've scanned a 6x6 slide (Velvia) at 300 dpi and printed it on my Canon S900 .. I am quite happy with the results. After reading some of the reviews that Vincent Oliver does on scanners, I must admit that he is right, scanning at 4800 dpi is a bit too much and I got a very nice result at 300 dpi for printing. No color correction and it is quite truthful.

Of course, this is no drumscan but at the price I got it, I am really happy with the results. I will be scanning a lot of negatives and slides :)

Disclaimer first:

  • If you want an in-depth review, like Phil Askey or Vicent Oliver, then wait until they do one :-)
  • I am not a professional operator, just an advanced amateur that loves this art
  • I haven't used anything but my Nikon Coolscan III or a work Nikon LS4000ED

If you ask me "is it worth?", the only things I can tell you are:

  • Given my limited experience, this is perfect for me
  • The quality is superior to my Nikon Coolscan III
  • I can scan up to 4x5 without having to pay 10 times more
  • VueScan has support for it (even though I haven't used it yet, only the Canon supplied software so far)

Hope this is useful to you ... I really like the results I am getting .. in the next couple of weeks, when I get more experienced, I will certainly review all this and post more ...

October 27, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Canon CanoScan 9950F review (4)


This is a screenshot of the ScanGear CS in action, while scanning a 220 Velvia slide.

October 27, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Canon CanoScan 9950F review (3)

I have scanned a frame of 220 film, velvia. At the highest resolution it's too much (too large) for the TWAIN driver, which can't go beyond 10Kx30K pixels at 48 bits (apparently it's a limitation of the TWAIN spec, according to Canon's instructions that came with the scanner).

The slide I used is not really good, I am going to scan another one ... I think I will have to play a bit with the levels but the resolution seems to me quite impressive. Of course, you need a good original to have a good scan as well :) It took around 15 minutes.

October 27, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (2)

Canon CanoScan 9950F review (2)

The following image was scanned at highest resolution (4800 dpi) and I didn't do any adjustments to it (no color balance or unsharp mask, just converted to JPEG - High).

This first image is the whole frame of the slide. As you can see it's not very nice nor very well exposed but the slide looks exactly like that, I find it quite accurate. I am trying to focus on the results from the scan ... and as I said previously, I am not a great photographer (yet), I need to work on this art MUCH more! This picture was taken a long time ago, more than 2 years (ok, it's not that long ago but ... sounds like so) in the south of France.

And this one is a 100% crop of a section of the original image. Again, the same applies, no processing and no unsharp mask. I will play around with some medium format slides and negatives that I have ... I hope the results will be as promising.

update: Of course, I changed the size of the images to 800x600 ... :) It's not the original 80MB file there ...

October 27, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (0)

Canon CanoScan 9950F review

After reading about it on photo-i.co.uk, I decided to jump on the oportunity and get myself a scanner that could scan both 35mm and medium format and that I could afford.

The new Canon CanoScan 9950F arrived earlier today, I got it through techbuy.com.au here in Australia. Their service was fast and efficient. It costed AUD 731 (roughly u$s 545). It arrived in a solid looking box. Inside it there was two CDs (one with Canon's drivers, the other one with Adobe Photoshop Elements), the installation manual, the film guides (one for 35mm film strips, another one for 35mm mounted slides, another one for 120/220 strips -2 strips of 3 pics each- and one for 4x5), the power supply and cable, a USB cable (strangely enough no firewire cable!) and the scanner itself. It comes well packed with lots of tape holding the moving parts together. It took me a few minutes to take everything out ;)

I installed the driver on Windows XP (not yet on my Powerbook, that will come later) and it was really straight forward. When I connected the USB cable to the computer, it detected it fine and everything was ready to go.

My first scan was of a 10x15 cm print and I was quite pleased with the results. Of course, this was without any color correction, on the default settings from the scanner. After that I decided to scan some Fuji Reala 120 film that I used in a Holga a few years ago (the film had expired in 1998 already and wasn't stored in a refrigerated place). The colors rendered very nicely! (sorry, I can't post that image at the moment). I am now in the process of scanning 12 mounted slides (35mm) at max res and quality, each file is over 80MB and it takes more than 1 hour to scan the whole batch. When that's finished, I will post some samples of the results. I can just tell you that from what I can see at the moment, I am really happy with this scanner. Disclaimer: this is my opinion, I am not a professional photographer (yet ;) ) nor a very experienced scanner operator. I personally think it's a very good buy, especially price-wise when compared with the Nikon Coolscan 9000 ED (RRP AUD 5000 !!!). I can't compare those two scanners in term of the results you get but for my application, it's awesome! I own a Canon S900 printer, so I will be printing some of these pictures up to A4 (can't print larger for the time being) and so it will be until I get an Epson StylusPro 4000.

I am quite happy with the ScanGear CS software, it detects and crops the frames very accurately (so far at least, with two strips of 120 film, one with 2 exposed frames and the other with 3 and now with 12 slides). The interface is quite simple and looks straight forward.

More later...

October 27, 2004 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (1)

iPod with pictures?

Apple introduced today a new series of iPods ... the most interesting one, iPod photo with up to 60GB of storage but I have to agree with Phil Askey's view, Apple missed it when they didn't include a built-in card slot. Still, at 600 u$s, it's not cheap but it's 60GB of storage ;)

October 27, 2004 in Geek Stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 40's and 50's in Technicolor and Surround Sound

Last night we went to The Metro to see the Royal Crown Revue. What a strange and fascinating experience that was!

The venue is located in the heart of Sydney's CBD (Central Business District) and this was the first time that we went out on a friday night in a buzzing city, like Sydney. It was an amazing experience, the lights, the people. I looked like one of those strange prehistoric men, brought back to life after having been frozen in the Antarctic ice for one thousand years, or maybe more like Fry in Futurama ;-)

When we went inside The Metro, there was a lot of cool (kewl) people, with fantastic hair styles, make-up, dressed in amazing swing-like-era dresses and suits. And most of them where our age (late 20's, early 30's) and even younger! And man they could dance! WOW! Flying around, moving like there was no tomorrow! I am (still) impressed! There was also a mix between some punk-looking people, with very colorful haircuts and torn apart clothes, some other people with even glasses that looked from the 50's. It was a display of "cool-ness" ... and of course there was me ... not cool but hey! I enjoyed beeing a freak! :-)

The band was great, they could make you feel the music! The drummer was outstanding, you could see him playing with style and with the rythm in him ... and bloody hell, the wind section was mind blowing!

They had some tunes that were more like proper jazz, bordering a bit the "modern jazz", than swing and I could see everyone enjoying that as much as the "dance-around-and-make-your-partner-fly" tunes!

At some stage I felt like I was inside one of those movies where all the kids go to the ball and they dance around (like Back to the Future) but in Technicolor and Surround Sound! It was a weird (pleasantly weird) experience!

October 23, 2004 in Australia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feeding the fish ...

I posted our saturday dive story on our common blog.

October 18, 2004 in Diving | Permalink | Comments (0)