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Thread: Leafscan 45-opinions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Leafscan 45-opinions

    Need a scanner for MF, exclusively B&W, 6x7 and 6x9 format. Primary film is Rollei ATP processed in PF TD-3. Output will be 30"x 40" prints, occasionally bigger.
    Sandy King answered this query at the hybrid forums, and is of the opinion that the Leafscan 45, using two passes and stitching will give better results that a Coolscan 9000.
    Any insight from those using a Leafscan, or other suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Scott

  2. #2

    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    It'll also be slow as molasses, troublesome to keep going and won't run on current/modern operating systems. The good news is you can fix them yourself. The bad news is you will have to. Mine did give very nice quality scans. I've never run a 9000 but I'd pick it over the Leaf for the reasons given.

    You're really pushing your luck at the large print sizes you mention. If utmost quality is your goal I suggest you find a drum scanner with a great operator and pay for your scans. Or get a drum yourself if you have money and time.

    Or how about a bigger camera and a good flatbed?

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    9,476

    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    Buy three -- two spares -- and a stack of Mac Quadras with 256 mb RAM and Mac OS7.5 and have at it!

    I made a lot of money with mine ca. 1995

  4. #4

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    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    As I recall the original question was about scanning B&W film. I have made the comparison of Nikon LS 9000 versus Leafscan 45 with two passes and stitch and there is no doubt but that the Leaf gives a lot more effective resolution. Yes, it is slow to scan a 6X9 cm negative at 5080 spi, about 30 minutes per pass in my experience, and you sure would not want to to it with color since the Leaf would have to make three passes for that. However, with B&W film I don't find this amount of time troublesome, and the results are better than you would get with many drum scanners.

    As for systems, I run the Leafscan 45 on a MAC G4 with OS 9.2.2 though the Photoshop plug-in. I have owned the scanner for more than five years and have never had a bit of trouble with it, except for replacing the bulb. And for the record, it is possible to use the Leafscan 45 with Silverfast and very late MAC OSX computers.

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  5. #5

    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    If you could get one that runs properly for free or almost free then it might make sense. I ran mine on 9.2 after switching from 7.5.5, I think on an 8100 (maybe). I did mostly color and transferred the scans over ethernet to my main work computer. It worked well if you weren't in a hurry. Most of my scans were for publication so were not real large. The scans were good. Leafscan 45s were truly great scanners in their day.

  6. #6

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    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Ambrose View Post
    If you could get one that runs properly for free or almost free then it might make sense. I ran mine on 9.2 after switching from 7.5.5, I think on an 8100 (maybe). I did mostly color and transferred the scans over ethernet to my main work computer. It worked well if you weren't in a hurry. Most of my scans were for publication so were not real large. The scans were good. Leafscan 45s were truly great scanners in their day.
    I would not personally recommend the Leafscan 45 for someone planning to do a lot of scanning of color, especially at the maximum resolution of 5080 spi as scan time would be too great for my comfort range. However, for scanning medium format B&W negatives in two stitches at 5080 spi the Leafscan 45 is still a great scanner, better than both the Nikon LS 9000 and Imacon Flextight Precision II and III and about equal to Howtek 4500 drum. However, it is old technology and getting one up and running, if it is not already there, would not be a task I would want to take on.

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    181

    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    I finally sold my LS45. Yes, it did provide excellent output, but I finally gave up on it when the motor that drives the film holder during a scan stopped working.

    FYI - the LS45 works perfectly with Windows XP and Silverfast. The great thing about XP? You're not stuck with slow as molasses Mac hardware from eons ago.

  8. #8

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    Re: Leafscan 45-opinions

    There is one point I forgot to mention about scan time. If you are using the Leaf 2.2 plugin with Photoshop there is an option for reducing scan time from maximum to minimum or custom. If you are scanning correctly exposed and developed B&W or color negatives your maximum Dmax should not be well below the maximum dynamic range of the Leafscan 45, which is stated to be log 3.8. This allows you to reduce scan time by 50% or more without sacrificing image quality.

    Fact is, when I am doing a lot of scanning the bottleneck is image post-processing time, not scan time. This is true regardless of which scanner I use.

    Sandy King
    Last edited by sanking; 7-May-2010 at 06:52.
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

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