120tf and Multi Exposure

All the problems with Microtek film scanners

BOBRAPP
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120tf and Multi Exposure

Postby BOBRAPP » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:07 pm

I have upgraded my studio version to 6.5. The latest update (SFE-6.5.0r4(MicroIT8)) is show on the update page as M-E. It does not work with my system (Windows XP).

Is there an error on the page regarding M-E or is there something I need to do to enable it.

Kind Regards,
Bob Rapp

BOBRAPP
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Microtek 120tf and M-E

Postby BOBRAPP » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:41 am

The website has been updated and a cost of 55.00 US is required to upgrade the current Ai Studio to Ai Studio M-E.

I have upgraded and looking forward to testing the M-E.

Cheers,

Bob

deldridg
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Postby deldridg » Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:43 am

Hi Bob,

as an owner of the 120tf, I would be keen to hear how you go with Multi-exposure. I too have made the upgrade to 6.5 and early tests have revealed some alignment issues, which haven't thrilled me!

Here's a 1:1 crop:

<img src="http://www.davideldridge.com/misc/Multi-exposure-test-clip2.jpg">

I've put in a support request and am hoping for a swift response.

Hope yours works out better than mine. :-)

Cheers,
David E (Sydney, Aust)

BOBRAPP
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Postby BOBRAPP » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:06 am

I originally tried to see if there was an increase in dynamic range by scanning a step-tablet. With that as a target, the software would give a message and exit.

With a negative, I have mis-registration problems both at 2 and 4X. This is very similar to the issues I had with the initial software and the Minolta 5400.

Also, with the 5400, the scan window would show the masking taking place with the 2 - 4th scans. It is absent during my scans.

I am sure that they are aware of the problem and we will have to wait for the fix.

Cheers,

Bob

BOBRAPP
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Postby BOBRAPP » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:43 am

Lasersoft, today, has released version SFE-6.5.0r4a. I hope this fixes the problems. I will test it on the weekend.

Bob

Frank Lohse
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Postby Frank Lohse » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:18 am

Hi,
my tests of ME revealed similar spectacular artefacs (Polaroid ss120 converted to Microtek 120tf). ME is apparently challenged by steps in density. In addition I did not notice any visible gain in S/N compared to an ordinary 2*multiscan (single pass) of a MF Kodak E100GX.

I am afraid, that the mismatches of separate scans will have no real sollution due to bad reproducibility of scanner movement. I wonder if one could do it on one single scan switching sensor sensitivity step by step and creating two or more separate perfectly matching hdr-files in cache or even on disk to enable variable combination algorithms later in HDR Studio (masking!).
Of course this depends on how Lasersoft implements the switching of sensor sensitivity/ "lamp intensity". Maybe Lasersoft could comment on the matter.

Concerning the lack of gain in S/N in my test one has to examine the source of possible noise. Apparently there will be no S/N gain if noise is pure film grain. The noise has to be sensor noise witch is surprisingly low for the 120tf. There is of course no nead of ME for a correctly exposed positive in a film scanner like the 120tf with no eccessive dynamic range. ME should be reserved for excessive dynamic ranges with true sensor noise in shadows.

Regards
Frank Lohse
Last edited by Frank Lohse on Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LSI_Muenier
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Postby LSI_Muenier » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:01 pm

Dear Frank Lohse,

you are right: the improvement MultiExposure brings to a scan depends on the scanned target: film grain will be unaffected, but the signal to noise ratio is largely improved, and also better than with MultiSampling scans.

For most scanners it is not possible to change the exposure time for each scan line (which would automatically align the scans), but we need to work with several scan passes, and then align the scans.

Best regards
Martin

BOBRAPP
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Postby BOBRAPP » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:14 am

I have tested the later version (SFE-6.5.0r4a) and M-E still has alignment problems and is unusable. My scanner is a Microtek 120 tf with v1.8 firmware.

I hope the next version corrects the problems

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Postby kevgermany » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:41 pm

Have downloaded and installed the test 6.5.r04a for my 120tf. Also have the registration problems on the multi-exposure. Amazing that it's so difficult - v**s**n does multi sampling without registration problems.

Was disgusted to see that it's overwritten my old licensed version, even though it's a demo - so I must delete and re-install to get back to a working version.
Kev

Rocky
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SprintScan 120 with same issue

Postby Rocky » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:57 pm

Just to include the Polaroid SprintScan 120 into this identical problem. Mine has not been converted to Microtek 120tf, but Multi-Exposure creates the same problem as shown above in the image provided deldridg.

Has anyone had success with Multi-Exposure on the Microtek 120tf or SprintScan 120?

Frank Lohse
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Postby Frank Lohse » Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:46 pm

Hi again!
I am not at all surprised that no one on this forum is able to present convincing examples for successful applications of ME so far. I am still waiting for the description of a traceable scenario by Lasersoft with benefits for prints or displays.

Have a look at the characteristic density curves of available transparency films ( http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professi ... 0524ac.gif ).
One would never be able to extract more meaningful Information than max 2 LOG exposures (6 stops) of original scenery contrast. This will be represented on the film by at max 3 usable LOG in density thereby more and more distorted at the limiting borders.
The 120tf and the SS120 in regular scanning mode will be able to capture this information with its dynamic range in the majority of correctly exposed transparencies. No scanner nor ME will reconstruct missing information in shadows or high lights of transparencies nor will ME solve stray light limitations of flatbed scanners. The only benefit where to raise the scanners signal above the noise in shadows, if there is any significant electronic noise dominating film grain noise.

The goal in scanning is to choose the exposure such that the histogram will be in the upper/right hand part not clipping highlights. This can be accomplished changing “lamp intensity” in tab “special option” (I am using the German version not sure about the translation). Some Kodakchromes and other dense transparencies benefit by a larger value than the default value (10).
Unfortunately the lamp intensity is not really increased (this would give genuine better S/N but surely requires a different calibration). As I learned on this forum the exposure time is increased instead, as ME does it with additional scans.
I revisited my transparency archive and did not find a single promising transparency. Back light or indoor photos could be candidates. Even delicate dense Kodakchromes can be scanned with the 120tf/SS120 if one properly adjusts the single scan exposure as described.

The discussion of the “ME - benefits” should clearly distinguish scanning dynamically limited information of transparencies from real HDRI photography with genuine high dynamic linear data ( http://www.hdrsoft.com/index.html ). These have to be remapped to print or display them by manipulating the data in a very sophisticated manner.

Regards Frank

BOBRAPP
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Multi-Exposure

Postby BOBRAPP » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:38 am

I can report a vastly improved scan from Kodachrome transparencies with M-E on my Minolta 5400. I did have M-E scan alignment problems with the first issue of software for the Minolta. The second issue corrected the problems.

I am anxiously waiting for a new release the corrects the alignment problems with the Microtek 120tf.

Cheers,
Bob

Rocky
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Postby Rocky » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:29 pm

Thank you for your post, BOBRAPP. It is wonderful to know that there may be light at the end of this tunnel. Of course, mine is the SprintScan 120, and I hope that the techs at SilverFast take this one serious too.

Hopefully, I will be able to do the conversion mentioned in another thread -- changing the EEPROM Chip to convert to the Artixscan 120 (120tf). Still waiting for word back from support@microtek.de.

Rocky

BOBRAPP
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Silverfast 6.5.r5 and 120tf

Postby BOBRAPP » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:53 am

The lastest version still has alignment problems. ME has been reduced from 4 down to 2. I am still hoping for a version that works.

If anyone has had success with ME, please respond. I am sure that it is not just my scanner.

Cheers,

Bob

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Postby LSI_Heidorn » Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:24 am

Dear all,

i first answered a post from Rocky in the other thread before stumbling over this...

My colleague Dr. Martin M?nier is on a short leave, so i'll try to help.
It would be great if we could get a grip on the problem...

As i've personally seen him doing a lot of successful scans on our SS120, i am a bit clueless...

For all of you: is the situation that you did not succeed in doing a proper MEX Scan at all, or is it just one or a group of particular images that bug you while others scan fine ?!
I am still trying to see if we have a driver/Hardware/Firmware kind of Problem, or if you simply use images that are somehow difficult to process...

Greetings:

Nils Heidorn, R & D, LaserSoft Imaging AG


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