Coolscan IV to Pakon 135: IQ loss
Old 10-05-2014   #1
froyd
Registered User
 
froyd's Avatar
 
froyd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,088
Coolscan IV to Pakon 135: IQ loss

Thinking of letting go of the Coolscan IV ED in favor of the convenience of the Pakon, but wondering what I'll be giving up in IQ.

The Coolscan offers greater resolution and wider coverage area on the neagtive (no cropped frames), but what's I'm really concerned with is shadow detail. The Coolscan on paper sports a measly 3.6 DMAX, but its scans of dense material are quite good and better than the specs would have you believe.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-05-2014   #2
[email protected]
Registered User
 
raytoei@gmail.com's Avatar
 
[email protected] is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,000
giving up iq for speed.
the pakon 135Plus model is roughly 6megapixel (2000x3000 resolution)
versus the roughly 13megapixel resolution of the IV. (2900x4350 est)).
So the pakon is great for under 5min scans of the whole roll and prints
are usually 4R size. I have tried to print larger abit larger at 8R (8" by 10"),
and it works, just barely.

So i think if you can afford, get both. One to do quick scans, while the other is to
scan much higher resolution.

raytoei
(ps. i have a 135+ and a minolta 3200 for this purpose).
__________________
------------------------------------
Film is Photography.
------------------------------------
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-05-2014   #3
f16sunshine
Moderator
 
f16sunshine's Avatar
 
f16sunshine is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Age: 51
Posts: 6,258
Hi Froyd

I just added the Pakon to my Coolscan V ed,
I would not let the Coolscan go. The Pakon is a sweet way to save time and have quick high quality previews.
It is not a "grain level" scanner though.
I use it to preview images and select the keepers to scan with the Nikon or wet print (well... evetually I will wet print again )

Cheers!
__________________
Andy
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #4
froyd
Registered User
 
froyd's Avatar
 
froyd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,088
Can either of you comment on the Pakon's ability to penetrate shadow detail? Andy's Coolscan V is a d-max champ and a notch above the IV I have, so that comparison might not be too relevant. I never see any info on the Pakon's handling of shadows or even a dmax rating, for that matter.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #5
rolfe
Registered User
 
rolfe's Avatar
 
rolfe is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Egremont, MA
Posts: 389
The Pakon is no slouch at shadow detail, but of course it doesn't do reversal film except through a convoluted workaround. Negative film isn't really so much of a challenge, so it isn't surprising that the Pakon does well.
__________________
My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #6
Bob Michaels
nobody special
 
Bob Michaels's Avatar
 
Bob Michaels is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Apopka FL (USA)
Age: 75
Posts: 3,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by froyd View Post
..... The Coolscan on paper sports a measly 3.6 DMAX, but its scans of dense material are quite good and better than the specs would have you believe.
DMax is an arithmetically computed value based on the number of precision bits the scanner handles. It is basically used only for marketing purposes and almost useless in real life.

IQ of a scanner, including ability to handle dense portions of film, is determined by optical quality, mechanical precision, and quality of the electronic components used. In overall terms, you get what you pay for.
__________________
http://www.bobmichaels.org
internet forums appear to have an abundance of anonymous midgets prancing on stilts
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #7
froyd
Registered User
 
froyd's Avatar
 
froyd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,088
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
DMax is an arithmetically computed value based on the number of precision bits the scanner handles. It is basically used only for marketing purposes and almost useless in real life.

IQ of a scanner, including ability to handle dense portions of film, is determined by optical quality, mechanical precision, and quality of the electronic components used. In overall terms, you get what you pay for.
That is my feeling as well, but I wonder if the Pakon (also quality scanner, but one that favors speed over other aspects) can perform equally well as the old Coolscan IV when it comes to difficult negs. If the difference in IQ is negligible, the conenince aspect might push me to make the switch since I seldom need more than 3000px wide images.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #8
Charles S
Registered User
 
Charles S is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: switzerland
Posts: 85
Made the switch and never looked back.

I use the Pakon for whole rolls and to determine the keepers, which will be scanned on a Flextight either when I rent one or I will have it done for a couple of $ a piece once I have accumulated enough.

The fact that the Pakon made it so easy to scan makes me shoot more B&W film, which increases my skill, which increases the number of keepers etc.

In terms of IQ, I have printed up to A3 format on my home printer and the results are satisfactory. https://www.flickr.com/photos/charle...s/14911292090/ Happy to dropbox anyone the original so that you can pixelpeep or try to print. It is a 20 year-old negative BTW.

The crop issue can be resolved through a registry hack, supposedly no big deal.

So all-in-all. It is a scanner that requires some effort to set-up but once you have it working, it rocks.
__________________
www.charles-s.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #9
Bob Michaels
nobody special
 
Bob Michaels's Avatar
 
Bob Michaels is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Apopka FL (USA)
Age: 75
Posts: 3,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by froyd View Post
That is my feeling as well, but I wonder if the Pakon (also quality scanner, but one that favors speed over other aspects) can perform equally well as the old Coolscan IV when it comes to difficult negs. If the difference in IQ is negligible, the conenince aspect might push me to make the switch since I seldom need more than 3000px wide images.
Scanning speed is an insignificant factor for me because I edit first using a light table and then scan. Scanning only 1-3% of the frames I shoot allows me the time to do the absolute best scan possible. I figure since I am going to have to edit sometime, why not do it first so that I do not waste time on images that will not be used.
__________________
http://www.bobmichaels.org
internet forums appear to have an abundance of anonymous midgets prancing on stilts
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #10
ncc1701
Registered User
 
ncc1701's Avatar
 
ncc1701 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Astoria, NY
Posts: 92
Hey Bob,

What is the crop registry hack? How much more of the neg is scanned?

Thanks
__________________
Leica CL, Leica M240, M3, M7,Olympus Pen-F (half Frame), Olympus OM-D, EM1 II
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-06-2014   #11
NJH
Registered User
 
NJH is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 36
I set my index scan size to roughly 2mp or so on my KM5400 then step through each image to determine the ones or none to work on from each film strip. I struggle to understand what is so hard about that as pretty much every scanner surely comes with an index scanning facility that is both fast and can be set to a good enough resolution to judge an image.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-13-2014   #12
froyd
Registered User
 
froyd's Avatar
 
froyd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,088
I'm getting a little more familiar with the Coolscan IV to post some before and afters.

The first image is a scan from my local Cosco. The interpretation of the scene as a high contrast is pleasing to me, but I missed some of the highlight detail that was so clearly visible on the negative. I liked the finished result enough...but I wanted to get there myself by removing image information that being faced with missing data that a scanner either did not see or threw away.

This is what I imagine Pakon scan would look like and why I'm a little reluctant to take the dive.

03690023- RFF by kafe-pic, on Flickr


This is how much more tonal detail the Coolscan found on the negative:

Tmax 16bit grey scan - RFF by kafe-pic, on Flickr

and for fun, this is how the image ended up being processed

Tmax 16bit grey edited - RFF by kafe-pic, on Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-13-2014   #13
Bob Michaels
nobody special
 
Bob Michaels's Avatar
 
Bob Michaels is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Apopka FL (USA)
Age: 75
Posts: 3,724
Never evaluate a scanner based on the output from the scanner software. Instead base your evaluation on the final product you get after adjustment in your image editor. Otherwise you are basing your evaluation on the capabilities of the scanner software to automatically guess the software adjustments needed for a final output. You do not want those software adjustments made for you as each adjustment degrades the image a little bit.

Typically the best scan looks flat but contains the maximum detail it can obtain from the negative. That is what you should be striving for. Then you can use your image editor to make it look like what you want.

FWIW, I find the Vuescan software to be best at accomplishing the goal of the best final result, regardless of scanner hardware used because it makes the minimum amount of software adjustments.

Just remember that the detail gathered by the scanner hardware and the file delivered are basically unrelated.
__________________
http://www.bobmichaels.org
internet forums appear to have an abundance of anonymous midgets prancing on stilts
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:35.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.