We rented a film scanner (Nikon Super Coolscan 4000) to scan all of the negatives from the wedding. I’ve learned a few things – the first is that scanning at high quality takes more work then it should. Color correction is hard to do well. And it’s not done well with automatic settings.

Some is the software. It’s clear that the either the Nikon Scan software isn’t designed to be used all day, or there are hidden options that I don’t know of. Things that could be automatic aren’t. I would imagine that a common method of scanning is to scan an entire strip with one set of parameters, save them, and give them reasonable names. It was certainly a common mode for me. Operations can be queued, but everything has to be done for each frame: Select it, load settings, click scan, save as, type name. There’s also no control of the scratch directory. It just uses virtual memory instead. But apparently, it never frees any, so there’s a 60 meg per image memory leak (at my 30 meg color scan size). That starts to starve my machine for swap space pretty quickly. At least it crashes often enough that that isn’t as much of a problem as it seems.

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