Epson 4490 Flatbed Scanner Noise - Warning, newbie here

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Ken Morano, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Ken Morano

    Ken Morano Guest

    I have been scanning my 35mm slides with an Epson 4490 scanner at 4800 dpi
    and 16bit per color depth. I shoot 400ASA Kodak film.

    I see a large amount of noise in my resultant files. Large areas of same
    color such as blue sky, car bodies or boat hulls show a bit of a dirtty
    looking texture. When zoomed in during post processing, I see the noise is
    composed of a mosaic of multi colors.

    I do not use any noise reduction with the scanner software - it blurs the
    image too much. I do, however, use Noise Ninja 2. It works well but does not
    eliminate all the noise. When I get my 400ASA film processed with a Kodak CD
    (scanned at 1800 dpi 8bit per color) I never see this noise.

    5x7 prints of the files are fine but when I display a resized and cropped
    2560x1024 version of the file across two digital monitors as wallpaper, the
    noise shows up considerably.

    Scanning at 2400 dpi as well as 8 bit per color reduces the noise.

    Is this the nature of Kodak 400ASA film? Am I really picking up grain?
    Do dedicated film scanners show this noise too?
    Ken Morano, Apr 13, 2006
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  2. I have been scanning both new Fuji chrome slide film and old (50 years)
    Kodachrome and black & white film into my KM-5400-II scanner during the past
    few weeks. The new Fuji color film and slide film shows no or very little
    grain, but the 50 year old pictures, both slides and B&W film, show terrible
    amounts of grain, as well as quite a bit of fungus damage in the form of
    large black areas on the film, creating large white areas on the
    positive.... This may not have been the case had it always been stored under
    ideal warm, dry conditions, but after 50 years of storing under many unknown
    conditions, it is certainly the case.....
    William Graham, Apr 13, 2006
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  3. Ken Morano

    Peter Chant Guest

    Two things here. I presume you are referring to 400ASA print film. Yes,
    scanning bog standard 400ASA neg film at the resolution you are talking
    about you will see loads of horrible grain.

    The other trap, which I always fall into is that, no matter what resolution
    I scan at I always zoom right in to 100%, and usually scan at max
    resolution anyway. You will always see grain if you zoom enough. Can you
    see it at the intended print size?
    Peter Chant, Apr 14, 2006
  4. Ken Morano

    Ken Morano Guest

    Ooops, your right, I meant to say that I am scanning negatives (not slides)

    In answer to your question:
    - Without post processing with Noise Ninja, under the special circimstances
    I identify above, I can see grain on 8x10 (not noticable at 4x6).
    - Use of Noise Ninja, at a light setting that does not defocus the image,
    8x10 prints are cleaned up fine.
    - Using such a light application of Noise Ninja, however, will not (to my
    satisfaction) clean up a scanned image I plan to use as wallpaper for my
    computer monitor.
    - For wallpaper use, I have to make a choice of either accepting the
    graininess in portions of the image or accepting a bland defocused image
    with no grain.

    Thank you for responding. I'm encouraged by your warning of grain problems
    with 400ASA print film. I'll start experimenting with finer grain film.
    Ken Morano, Apr 14, 2006
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