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Minolta Dimage Scan Multi PRO Scanner Test Review
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PERFORMANCE: Scan Times

Scan times seem reasonable. Small scans at low resolution can happen in less than a minute, and if you start turning on all the features for which you paid good money you can slow things down so far that it can take an entire day for one scan.

Big scans with ICE and multiple sampling can take a while: a 35mm slide really scans at 4,800 DPI in a minute with no ICE. I can scan a 6x7 chrome at 3200 DPI in 2 minutes with no ICE, but if I use ICE that goes out to 10 minutes. Do that and add 16x sampling and it takes an hour. If you do this in the stand-alone driver instead of Photoshop and it can take 3 hours. See what I mean?

Use ICE, high resolution and multiple sampling only if you need them.

GEM seems to take forever even to preview. GEM is for reducing grain from fast negative film.

I tried ROC once, but it took so long that the slide faded even more just waiting for the prescan!

Here are measured scan times on my Mac dual 450 MHz G4, OS 9.2.2, firewire connection from within Photoshop 6.0.1, 1 GB RAM allocated to Photoshop, 20 gigs free HDD space. Yes, a lot of the scan times vary even with the same settings. No, I don't know why; I'm just reporting what I timed. I saw little variation between 16 and 8 bit scans.

As you can see there are a lot of blanks. I just haven't tried those combinations yet.

It takes about three minutes of whirring and clunking when the scanner is first turned on for it to warm up.

After this first warmup the scanner is always ready to go without waiting, which is better than all the other scanners I've used, save for the Nikons whose LEDs require no warm up time. Other scanners like the Epsons, Microteks and Canons always seem to be making me wait around for them to warm up for each scan, even if it's been just a short time since the last scan. If I was smarter one probably could program those other scanners to leave the light on longer. It takes 1 minute to warm the bulb up again if the scanner has been unused for more than two hours.

It takes 8 seconds to wake up the import driver after hitting File > Import > Multi PRO in Photoshop.

It takes 33 seconds to create four index views from the 35mm slide holder. The index views are to used reference which image you are addressing in the subsequent prescans and scans.

Prescans take about 16 seconds for 35mm and 30 seconds for medium format. Prescanning four 35 mm takes 2 minutes total.

I tried one scan with the AF on Scan set to off and it was awful. I always leave the box AF ON SCAN checked, although it takes an extra moment to get the focus set each scan.

The reported scan times are in addition to all this warmup and prescanning. You can just jam in transparencies and forget the warm up and prescans after the first scan. This is fine for 35mm, but with 120 you may not be aligned well, so expect a 30 second prescan to allow you to tell the scanner where to scan..

Scan times will vary. When ICE is used the scans can take even longer than I measured below if the original is in extra bad shape due to the even more processing required during the scan. These times are for Velvia, no ROC, no GEM, no USM, no curves.

Scan times are from when I click SCAN to when the image pops up in Photoshop.

Times for scanning negatives seem a little longer. 16 or 8 bit scans seem to take the same amount of time.

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