View Full Version : Fine lines in scans

Kirk Gittings
20-May-2004, 20:46
I recently replaced my Epson 3200 with the 4870 for the larger scanning area and Digital Ice for color commercial work. I have been plagued by fine light lines running in the direction of the scan. Cleaning the calibration space as they recommend doesn't solve it. Any suggestions or experience with this?

Doug Dolde
20-May-2004, 21:19
Are you using Silverfast? I have the same problem using Silverfast on my Howtek D4000 drum scanner. But not with the Howtek plug-in.

Henry Ambrose
20-May-2004, 22:26
Sometimes its dust under the glass or on the sensor or the optics somewhere, or it might be bad hardware. Is it always in the same spot? Is the line a single row of pixels? Is it colored, or blurry, or multicolored, or.....?

One test you might try is to scan a blank exposed piece of film to see what you get in that file. (like a piece of B&W with base density only) Do your lines show up there? Be prepared for a rude surprise. (or not) This could be like shining a light in your lenses and seeing all that dust for the first time. YIKES!!

If it has problems and you can still do so, send it back and ask for another one that works correctly.

I would leave ICE turned off for anything but lesser quality scans. (which is contrary to many other's opinions) Personally I want everything on the film and none of it mushed up or lost. Spotting is not so bad a thing as you do get a real close detailed look at what you've done.

Kirk Gittings
20-May-2004, 22:54
I have to scan 50 6x9 trans. so I can finish a job. To be honest with you. The Silver fast on the 4870 doesn't work correctly. Or I can't make it work. SF AI worked fine on the 3200, but SF SE on the 4870 won't turn on the scanning light. After screwing with it for hours in the interest of getting the job done I have been using the Epson Scan. The streaks are the same regardless of orientation of the film. One streak is dark and one is light. They are there with or without the Ice or anything else I change or clean or whatever. Their location has moved somewhat but that may be from static elec. moving the dust inside around as I clean the exposed glass. This really sucks. I actually like the ICE. It seems to work fine, but I am now spending as much time spotting the damn streaks on the 4870 as I did the dust on the 3200!

Doug Dolde
20-May-2004, 23:15
Mine look like this with the streaks perpendicular to the drum's length.


Amadou Diallo
21-May-2004, 05:14

I'm using SilverFast v6.2 with a Howtek 4500. My scans do not show such lines. Is your drum scratched or crazed in the transmissive calibration area? Are you inadvertently covering this area with tape? Try replacing the transmissive bulb and/or belt.

BTW are you using a mounting station ? That will help eliminate the air bubbles. Best of luck.

Bruce Watson
21-May-2004, 08:22

Replace your drive belt. For more information, browse the archives here:


21-May-2004, 10:31
I'm the moderator for ScanHi-End list on Yahoo - thanks for the plug Hogarth!

Check what Amadou mentioned. Could be a bad belt or a bad lamp too. But it's odd the plug-in is fine. You might also want to reinstall Silverfast.

Here's a post I wrote last year so the prices might have changed some.

For supplies for the 4000 Howtek check below.

Bulbs Osram 20W/8V - You are not going to believe the price of $16.19 each. I purchased them at:


64255 $16.19 Osram 20W/8V (GZX4) MR-11

Regarding belts - here's my post for them:

Just thought I'd mention where I purchased replacement belts for the Howtek=

D4000. McMaster-Carr has hundreds of sizes to choose from.

To replace the belt that drives the drum - it's really an O-Ring - I purchased O-Rings from http://www.mcmaster.com/ . I ordered the Neoprene rubber O-Ring as that had the best specs and was in-fact what was in my scanner originally. Here's the specs from their web site:

Part Number 94115K343 $13.50 per Pack

System of Measurement: Inch AS568A Dash Number: 343 Inside Diameter: 3-3/4" Outside Diameter: 4-1/8" Width: 3/16" Type: Neoprene Durometer: Shore A: 70 Temperature Range: -65 to +275F Color: Black Package Quantity: 15

Best of luck to all,

John V.

Doug Dolde
21-May-2004, 13:50
Thanks for the suggestions all. I have replaced the bulb and will try a new drive belt.

I did take the scanner in for service at Genesis in Phoenix and it scanned perfectly with the Howtek MAC plug in...no streaks. I did this myself so am not taking anyone's word for it. They ran the Howtek diagnostic on it and it passed perfectly.

Yes, I do have a mounting station. The drum as well as the calibration strip are in perfect condition.

I get streaking with Silverfast on all settings, 48 bit, 24 bit, grey, HDR, you name it.

Unfortunately I don't have a MAC and would need to buy one to run the Howtek plug-in. The only other alternative to Silverfast is Aztek's Digital Photolab at $1995.

21-May-2004, 14:23
I understand now. It works ok on a Mac, but not on your PC. Then the problem is not the scanner - it's the Window's computer end. It could be a bad SCSI cable or card. Try replacing the cable and moving the card to a differnent slot.

Kirk Gittings
21-May-2004, 15:07
Henry, After spending a couple of hours on the phone with Epson they agreed that should take it back, which I did. The new one seems to work fine right out of the box. They had no explanation, but did not agree with dust under the glass though I could see some large ones. Thanks for the info.


Doug Dolde
30-May-2004, 11:12
Thanks for the advice. A SCSI cable was the solution.

Doug Dolde
30-May-2004, 11:13
Thanks for the advice. A new SCSI cable was the solution.