Friday, May 19, 2006

New Scanner - Minolta DiImage IV

With the divorce, I have to split all the family photos from the past, oh, 12 years or so. My compromise: I'll take digital copies of all of them, and she can have the physical photos. Only problem: scanning photos is a PITA. I started out scanning the negatives at Costco, where they had a Fuji Explorer photolab, which does an amazing job of creating scans from negatives. But, they replaced the Fuji with something else that is faster at dumping prints out, but makes horrid scans from negatives. Macro-blocks 4x the size of the old Explorer lab. Sux0r.

So, about 5 months ago I went on a quest for a negative scanner. Nikon makes a great one, but because of their heavy marketing, it holds its' value in the used market quite well. $450 well, even. Turns out that Minolta used to make a negative scanner, and it was quite highly regarded, too. But they couldn't compete with the Nikon juggernaut, so they got out of the business in the fall or 2005 - right before I started looking.

Fortunately, there's things like eBay out there. Last weekend I found a New in the Box Minolta DiImage IV scanner for sale on eBay, bid on it and got it. Turns out it may have been a store demo or something - the bags and software had been opened. But, none the less, everything was there, including the original box.

Set it up in about 15 minutes on the Mac (I love macs), and scanned in some stuff. After a couple of passes with the settings, I realized that nothing I did was going to matter for my purposes - 4x6 prints and web-page images. So I set it batch scan a while ago, and this is what came out:

The full image (reduced in size for the blog):

And the detail of just the bike:

That's pretty flipping good, in my unlearned opinion. And, that is set to about 1/3 maximum resolution / quality on the scanner. (5 of 15 megapixels).

Now to start feeding it negative strips, and hope my hard drive holds out!

Yr. Hmbl Crrspdnt., etc etc
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