Jessop's cheapo scanner

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NNSW
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Joined: Oct 8 2000

Any one any thoughts on the Primefilm 1800u film scanner? It costs about £150, at least half the price of any of the other film scanners.

I thought I'd risk it and buy one. Very disappointing. I haven't tried printing but the onscreen images look like photos from books from the 1940s. (Photoshop just doesn't seem to help.) I suppose it serves me right.

This is a naive question but why is the quality so crap and yet the file size so high? Mag CDs often have high quality images
at only a few hundred kb (and even a lot less). Primefilm is chucking out scans of 10+
Mb with no obvious benefit.

I think my old Colorado 300dpi flatbed would do a better job with a normal print than the Primefilm would do with the neg.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

File size is no indicator of image quality. A camera with, say, 2kx1.5k pixels will record 3Mpixel sites. So, theoretically, the file should be 3Mbytes (if the pixels are quantised to 8-bit accuracy, real photographers ofetn use much more). If the image is compressed to remove information you can't see, then the file size can be greatly reduced.

TIF LZW compression can typically reduce one of these to about 400k.

JPEG can reduce it a lot further, maybe to 150k.

The full size file still has it all, the TIF file compresses losslessly (so you get out what you put in but the file size depends on the compexity of the picture), the JPEG file compresses lossily (so you really lose visible information and gain compression artifacts but you can define the degree of that and thus the file size).

Like the old adage says, "tha' get's owt fer nowt".

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alan@mugswellvillage.freeserve.co.uk. Delete village for a spam-free diet.

John Farrar
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Joined: Sep 13 2000

What Digital Camera reviewed the Jessops film scanner in its June 2000 issue and gave it 4 stars out of 5, which should make it a good buy, but that is not what NNSW has experienced for some reason. (I don't have that issue so I don't know what they actually wrote). I am not familiar with the Jessops scanner but if the results are as disappointing as you say then perhaps the unit is either faulty or the settings are not optimum. Obviously you will get what you pay for but I would have thought that you would have been able to get a pretty good 10x7 print from a scanned neg. with most budget scanners, or am I being too optimistic?

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

A bit off topic, but the Which? report put Jessops at the very bottom of the list when they tested photographic (print) processing.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Also off topic, Tom, what criteria did they use for the rating? I'm aware that Which will often give a very poor rating for something that seems trivial (like condemning a car because the steering wheel angle felt wrong etc.).

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alan@mugswellvillage.freeserve.co.uk. Delete village for a spam-free diet.

peter millard
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

It's much tougher to make a scanner that's capable of operating at the relatively high resolution needed to scan negs and trannies, than it is to make a 300dpi flatbed - though it sounds like you've found this out the hard way!

These days, almost any flatbed scanner will be capable of producing remarkably good scans from flat art and photo prints, but sadly the same isn't true of neg/slide scanners, as a lot will dpend on the optical resolution of the CCD, and how they interpolate the data they capture up into the final file size.

Sorry, but big files don't necessarily mean good files - it all depends where you start from.

Hope this helps

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Peter Millard
petermillard.com

Peter Millard
www.petermillard.com

Stephen Carter
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Joined: Nov 18 1999

I don't think there is such a thing as a good cheapo neg/tranny scanner. I bought a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual which seems to be regarded as 'entry level' by the digital photography fraternity.(Still around 400GBP!) It is really only just good enough to get reasonably photo quality prints up to A4. Even then it can soon struggle especially on underexposed slides (Colour Negs are always easier because they are less dense and the other way round, the eye being more sensitive to problems in the blacks than the highlights.) I would recommend this scanner especially if you use Ed Hamricks software to drive it. Even so slide/negative scanning is on the whole more tricky than scanning prints and seems to require more tweaking in photoshop.

Stephen Carter
www.seraphmedia.org.uk

NNSW
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Joined: Oct 8 2000

Thanks for all these comments. The scanner isn't completely awful. Just not what I'd hoped for. It's quick and fine for a look at ancient negs.

I was just hoping someone had some magic tweak!

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Back to Alan and the Which? report on print processors. I was impressed with their test proceedures Alan, which they took pains to detail exhaustively. They shot a huge amount of film in controlled conditions and even sent exposed rolls to the same processor at random times. They had kids to experts access the final prints. They took onto consideration cost, time and faults. The experimental proceedure looked good to me and although I've faulted Which? in the past, I couldn't this time.

tom.

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

I bought the Jessops scanner back in June and I'm quite happy with the quality. I'm using it to make the cover for my new video.
Not being able to compare it with any other film scanners I can't really say whether it's better or worse. I just considered it good value for money.
However, if you have a large number of slides\negs to copy, it'll take about 1 min. to do each one. Thankfully I've only got 800

Cheers, Chirpy.

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

NNSW
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Joined: Oct 8 2000

Chirpy

I'm new to this message board (and to video editing - not that this is relevant!). I was looking through past postings today and I noticed you'd mentioned the Jessop's scanner in another section a while ago.

Do you fiddle about with the settings a lot?
Maybe you just take better pictures than I do
and you've got better negs. If I scan in a neg from a colour film and then look at the computer screen and compare it with the print (from the local High Street), the print is better. It's sharper. There's more detail.

Worst of all, I've got lots of old b/w negs that I developed (in the bathroom) and the scanner really doesn't cope at all well.In the past I managed to develop some quite nice 10x8s chemically from some of these negs but the scanner's efforts really aren't good. (No: they're awful).

I'm glad you find the scanner OK. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

NNSW,

I'll get back to you on this -I'm just off to Jessops to replace my scanner - I wnt to test it the other day and blew the CCD, my fault, I plugged it into the wrong transformer
Thankfully, they're gonna replace it anyway
Cheers, Chirpy.

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

NNSW

Sorry I took so long.
No I didn't do anything clever with the scanner - just plugged it in and scanned 40 or so Fuji 100 ISO Slides - one of which I've used as my screen wallpaper.
At the risk of repeating myself, I just felt pleased with the results considering it'd only cost £150. Maybe if I had something better to compare it with I might change my mind.
I confess to knowing very little about all the technical side of things and I'm very grateful to Peter Millard for his in-depth email re. resolution, dpi, pixels, etc.
I just have a fairly decent (Minolta 7000) SLR camera and a whole bundle of slides that I'd like to do things with instead of just letting them rot in the cupboard. The 'Primefilm 1800u' scanner seemed the most affordable solution.
Sorry I wasn't much help.

Cheers, Chirpy.

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

NNSW
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Joined: Oct 8 2000

Thanks anyway.

kosh
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Joined: Oct 30 2000

When i was just leaving Jessops these scanners were just being distributed. It was marketed as a low budget scanner, that produced ok results (mainly for web pages, i wouldn't push it to a print, personally) it is actually the old Olympus 110 parallel scanner repackaged.
The image quality problem was down to it's ccd (it's about 6 years old).
I personally did'nt recomend or sell one to anyone, the lowest quality one i would recomend was their ACER scanwit 2700 (very capable for that little bit extra (minolta technology!! but i never said that!!)