Minolta Scan Dual owners- help please, poor focus!

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by David N Williams, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I've just purchased a Minolta Scan Dual IV with the intention of digitizing
    a large slide archive. I'm not at all satisfied with the results of my first
    few scans. Specifically, the images are very soft compared to the excellent
    sharp origonals, like a rubbish mail order developer.

    I've tried scanning at all resolutions.
    I've tried autofocus, spot autofocus and manual focus.
    I've tried turning off all the digital 'enhancements' to just get raw scans.

    Results are always the same- unacceptable (to me) lack of sharpness.

    I'm happy to offer an example:

    In the origonal of this image the womans face, the snow & stones in the
    foreground and even the bus and the bikers in the background are as sharp as
    a razor.

    So, do I have a lemon unit or were my expectations too high? I really can't
    believe so.

    Input from other Scan Dual owners much appreciated!


    David N Williams, Oct 15, 2005
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  2. David N Williams, Oct 15, 2005
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  3. Sorry, posted a correction.

    The jpg was saved with minimal compression and you'll have to take my work
    that this is what the origonal scan looks like!

    thanks in advance

    David N Williams, Oct 15, 2005
  4. I own a Scan Dual II, it's a bit older and a bit different beast.
    I use Vuescan software with it (from hamrick.com) and I'm generally
    happier with it than with minolta's offering.
    On DS2 Vuescan offers not only automatic focus but manual preset with
    clear maximum/minimum. Compare scans from different settings, you may
    have a blown targeting motor or something like that if these scans are

    Downsized sample doesn't tell much else than that you've serious
    sharpness problem. Try scanning full-resolution (2540dpi or how much
    does DS4 does..) and just crop some detail so that nature of sharpness
    can be easily seen.

    This is just a guess, I hope you're not trying to scan glass-mounted
    slides? Though they wouldn't have that much softness, but moireƩ instead.

    I can tell you from my experience that eye will blatantly lie sharpness
    of a slide or negative when viewed without magnification. I've
    enountered enough of these myself when I'm happily thinking of how I got
    these beautifully sharp images and then they're revealed as a no-good
    soft crap. I swear I get this same sh*t with digital too, the LCD
    previews tells you nothing but how good their builtin USM filters are :)
    Pasi Savolainen, Oct 16, 2005
  5. David N Williams

    Bill Guest

    Bill, Oct 16, 2005
  6. David N Williams

    Laurent Guest

    Not so bad... For a cameraphone... ;-)

    Laurent --> I have one, only my son uses it. For fun... ;-)
    Laurent, Oct 16, 2005
  7. Thanks for both of your constructive comments....
    David N Williams, Oct 16, 2005
  8. Hi Pasi,

    Thanks for the feedback. I've tried scanning with Vuescan and although it
    appears to autofocus to a greater extent than the minolta software (the
    buzzing before the scan is longer at least!) I get identical results.

    I've rescanned at 3200dpi, which is the maximum on the IV, and just cropped
    some of the rocks and the snow- www.lanhousesouthwest.net/example2.TIF ,
    www.lanhousesouthwest.net/example3.TIF , these are the orgional raw scans -
    hope that shows the problem better.

    With regards manual / spot-auto focusing, I've tried a range of scans with
    these options and can get no better results. With regards to a blown
    targeting motor, I don't think so as I can make the focus a bit worse with
    the manual option, I just can't make it an better!

    I'm going to contact Minolta on Monday and get their diagnosis then return
    it to the supplier for a replacement.


    David N Williams, Oct 16, 2005
  9. Sorry but that looks like the original isn't sharp, it has motion blur
    to north-east. On the other hand dust on original looks plenty sharp (in
    example2.tif, upper-righthand corner, black spot), so scanner autofocus
    appears to work correctly.

    Do try and scan from some source that you're 100% sure that is sharp.
    Something from which you have a very large (A4+) sharpish printout or
    something that you've seen projected on the wall. You can even sandwich
    something like razorblade in filmholder, hair could do too :)

    (The dust blob may seem a bit 'blurred', but it's pretty much as sharp
    as you can get _raw_ from scanner, it always needs more sharpening from
    Pasi Savolainen, Oct 16, 2005
  10. David N Williams

    Tony H Guest


    As Pasi has already mentioned, the dust specs on your scans look more
    in focus than the image, so that would suggest your problem lies there
    rather than with the scanner. To double check this, take an unwanted
    shot and scratch it gently in the middle with a sharp pin and scan
    that. If the scratch is sharply resolved and the image isn't, then the
    problem is in the image, and not with the scanners autofocus.

    I have the Scan Dual IV and I'm well pleased with the results. But,
    scanning at 3200 dpi (which I always do), don't expect your images to
    look pin sharp when viewed at 100% - they never do, but should be able
    to see the film grain, which will show that your scanner is OK.

    What viewing a 3200 dpi image at 100% will reveal, is all of the
    shortcomings in your equipment and technique, including camera shake,
    poor focussing, lens performance etc. You might not notice such things
    on a 7 x 5 print, but they'll certainly show up on a 3200 dpi scan!

    Good luck


    Tony H, Oct 16, 2005
  11. David N Williams

    Andreas Guest

    You don't do multipass-scanning, don't you? (I don't think so, but just
    in case: that could be the reason, because of alignment problems.)
    Andreas, Oct 16, 2005
  12. David N Williams

    griff Guest

    I know this sounds daft but have you removed all the packing? my dual 4 had
    a sheet of polythene over the diffuser glass with a pull tab sticking throu
    the door. griff
    griff, Oct 16, 2005
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