Minolta DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO
A New Multi Format Film Scanner That Raises The Bar
Most photographers want to use the best tools available and hope they can afford the best. When it comes to film scanners, Minolta's latest DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO sets the standard for a reasonably affordable scanner. This new Minolta scanner offers trend-setting specifications as well as the ability to scan both 35mm and 120 film formats up to 6x9cm (21/4x31/4"). Of course, numbers alone tell only a small part of the story. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. The rest of this report is an account of my experience with this scanner and why that experience and the resulting images produced convinced me this new Minolta DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO sets the bar for serious film scanning.
The physical attributes of the DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO are a bit deceiving as it is no larger, if not somewhat smaller, than some 35mm-only film scanners. But as soon as you pick the scanner up its weight lets you know there is some considerable substance in its all-metal construction. This is carried through to the film holders, which are large relative to the scanner's compactness, and quite rigid with very well-designed easy access and secure film support, including an ingenious adjustable 120 glassless holder. Once the scanner is turned on and you begin using it the substance of the scanner is confirmed by its smooth, Swiss watch-like precision operation--it makes all of the right sounds, both reassuring and subdued. The software is obviously intended to complement a scanner intended for professional and serious use. The controls are straightforward and logical, supporting quite complete control over every aspect of the scanner's operation. This includes precise framing and full continuous output specification, as well as providing adjustment to all attributes of image quality necessary to optimize output. Although automated scan image color correction is available (and Minolta has made every effort to provide easy scanning solutions), the Minolta software demands precise inputs, which come only with knowledge and practice like that acquired by an experienced and skilled user of Photoshop.
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