Brooks (brooksmoses) wrote,

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New toy! (And why California is the wrong shade of green)

Somewhat recently, I was poking at various slide/film scanners on eBay, and came across a Nikon Coolscan II that was advertised as "not tested, makes funny noise on power-up". And, being a bit overconfident in my repair skills if it indeed had something messed up internally, I bought it. It turns out that it does, indeed, make a horribly loud clattery noise at the end of its power-up proceedure. This, according to the helpful regulars on comp.periphs.scanners, is what the autofocus mechanism normally sounds like. And, when I finally got it hooked up and found a slide to test it with (since it didn't come with the film adaptor), it does indeed work perfectly well.

So I ordered a film adaptor for it (which turned out to cost twice as much as the scanner itself cost), and finally got to try that out this evening.

I was quite pleasantly surprised by the results -- and reminded that there's still a lot of difference between the quality of my digital camera and a comparably-priced 35mm SLR, even though the resolution is nearly comparable. Part of it is the difference between optics that weigh a quarter-pound, and optics that weigh a quarter-ounce; the focus is sharper, and in the better photos everything in the image is in sharp focus down to the pixel level -- and it's an 8 megapixel image. But a large part of the difference is in the colors; I finally have an image that shows what suzanne means when she says California is the wrong shade of green.

That's just a random patch of woods behind an abandoned garage, in the middle of June after a few rainy days. It's not something exceptionally green, either; everywhere that has plants is nearly that color, everywhere you look. (Even the side of the old garbage truck is turning a bit green in spots.) I haven't pushed the saturation on the scanner, either; that's actually toned down slightly, since I had to shift the picture slightly magenta to white-balance it.

That is what the "right shade of green" looks like.

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