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[OM] Manual or Auto focus scan?

Subject: [OM] Manual or Auto focus scan?
From: Chris Barker <ftog@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 29 May 2004 11:44:37 +0100
Dear All

I was a little distressed when Walt W came out with the information 
that manual focus was much better than the autofocus on his Minolta 
Dimage Scan Elite 5400.  I envisaged hours and hours of re-scanning all 
my wonderful images (well someone has to think that they're wonderful 
;-)) to get the best from them.

I had a go with Vuescan's manual focus facility, but there was no 
indication how I was doing without rescanning every time I tweaked the 
control; this looked like doubling the time it would take me to re-scan 
each image.  So I wound up the Minolta software with Import in 
Photoshop (7.1 on a Mac in OSX).  Sure enough, there was a better 
system for manual focus: a bar extends further for better focus.  And I 
tried it yesterday as a comparison with the autofocus ... it was 
certainly noticeably better with manual focus.

So I compared 2 scans of the same slide (Provia 400F, OM4 with 50/1.8 
MIJ).  Aside from the different colour balance, the focus looks about 
the same.  So, does Vuescan do a better job of autofocus than Minolta's 
software?  Why does the Minolta software, if it can indicate varying 
degrees of focus with a little bar, not improve its own focus 

To allow you to make your own judgement, I have put the 2 scans on a 


It's all marked to show you which is which.  The thumbnails on this 
page are 350 pixels wide, the larger files linked to these are 700 
wide.  The photo is of my brother, a woodsman in Mountshannon, Co Clare 
fooling about with bunch of lfowers.  The exposure was 1/250 at ƒ4, and 
I am prepared to accept that it is a bit soft, either through inept 
focusing on my part or perhaps through movement.  But I do not believe 
that either image is better than the other because of the scanning 
focus system.

Comments on the html (use of Dreamweaver) or anything else would be 
welcome.  I can make the pages smaller if anyone really wants me to.  I 
use a Mac with the monitor's gamma set to 2.2, but I should be 
interested to hear from Windoze users if the display is dark.



C M I Barker
Cambridgeshire, Great Britain.

+44 (0)7092 251126
ftog at threeshoes.co.uk
... a nascent photo library.
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