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   Posted by Greg Brakefield on 11/15/02 at 9:45 PM

Subject:   Re: Noise on scans

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In Reply to: Re: Noise on scans posted by Noise4000 on 11/10/02 at 11:13 AM:


I have an FS4000Us and experienced the same exact Grain / Noise issues that you have. I have sent samples to Norman Koren and others in search of both the cause of the problem as well as a solution. After performing over a hundred experiments with various color negative and slide films, I'm afraid that I have to agree with Norman's conclusion that the majority of the "noise" issue really is caused by film grain.

I have found the following list of techniques can be employed to really make the FS4000 shine.

(1) First, forget FilmGet and use Hamrick's VueScan. Canon must employ some type of sharpening technique that magnifies the grain. In side by side comparisons (using the same piece of film scanned minutes apart) FilmGet consistently has more grain / noise than Vuescan.
(2) Vuescan also offers other advantages such as multi-pass scans and various grain reduction settings. When muti-pass (4 or more) is used in combination with the "Light" grain reduction setting, the grain / noise is reduced dramatically. As I said before, I have proven this many times using both Kodak and Fuji 100, 200, and 400 ISO color negatives. When slide film (Provia 100F, Velvia, etc.) is used you don't even need to use grain reduction.
(3) Further improvements can be made by processing the image with a noise reduction plugins, etc. I have tried demo versions of Grain Surgery ($199), Quantum Mechanic Pro ($199), and Noise Reduction Pro ($99) - each has it's advantages and disadvantages. Of the three, I thought Noise Reduction Pro offered the best value for the money.
(4) I recently demo'ed a stand alone software called Neat Image ($29 Home version / $59 Pro version). I was so impressed with it that I purchased the Pro version. This software is so powerful that it can remove ALL grain and noise (even to the point that the photo has a plastic effect). The software allows you to build a profile specific to the device, and in our case, film type and speed. You are given total control to determine what type as well as how much grain / noise filtration that is used to process the image. You can check out the demo at www.neatimage.com.

I hope that you find some of the information provided above useful. I can tell you that by employing these techniques, I have made numerous 13"x19" prints of outstanding quality.

Greg Brakefield


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