Bought the scanner this afternoon, installed it and ran a few test slides thru it. To summarize my review of the scanner - Love at first sight!!!
Now to the details:
1. Installation: A breeze. Took me 15 mins from the time I entered my room to the time the time I was ready to insert my first slide.
2. Software: Started with DS dual 3 easy, quickly skipped it and turned on DS dual3. A fabulous software! Very intuitive! Has every control you may need and more - Levels, curves, USM, HSL, etc etc - basically ALL the photoshop tools one generally uses. Uses a 3 step process to scan - 1st step is index scan. generates very low res images just so that u can indentify it, then a prescan of slightly higher res that is used to adjust image exposure, curves etc and then final scan. Quite nifty and VERY powerful. Don't think I will ever use vuescan again!
3. Image quality: FABULOUS! Started with 2 very difficult slides (displayed below). Both very contrasty - first taken in sun using Ektachrome VS. Using earlier scanner, shadow details too difficult to extract. With this it was a breeze. on the 2nd photo of the flower, with my prev scanner, had to choose between correctly representing the curved green leaf on the right and the texture on the white flower. Again this one made it so easy I was wondering what the prob earlier was. As for colours, they were perfect! Tried another slide of a yellow flower with a green background. With the previous scanner, the blue channel was so noisy the green background turned blue! Had to delete the blue channel to restore any semblance of normalcy. With this scanner, again what I see on the slide was EXACTLY what I got! Even if it had such good colours and nothing else besides I wd still have bought the scanner! Needs almost no colour correction. And this is true even of a negative that I tried!!
Here are the samples -
Negative points - the dust brush sucks. Better leave it off - has almost no effect on dust and probably only degrades image. So ICE lovers have one reason to dislike the scanner.
4. Speed - am using USB1.1 so cant really comment. But seemed fast to me anyway. Am sure with USB2.0 this will be real good.
In short, dont know whether to laugh or cry - laugh because it is so good and cry because I know I am going to spend the next 2 months scanning my old slides again!
Buy Buy Buy!