Canon 8400F Scanner Review
'FARE' Level 3 and settings to use with it.
Before I start into this section I should mention that scanning a negative provides a superior scan than any print can, regardless of size. The negative that was used to create the print is the original, and contains much more color and detail information than the print can, slides are the best source to use if available. In the examples below the first scan is from the photo the second is from the 35mm Negative and the last is the same negative with FARE options turned on.
The differences are more obvious when viewed at the actual scanned resolution of 2400dpi and in this case the print and negative are very recent so fading isn't an issue, what about a slide from 1961? We'll get to that in a moment, right now I want to talk about software settings that should be used as the simple interface really doesn't give you any, I will mention that the simple interface generally produces fine scans and applies the default FARE setting to the scans so they look fine. My issue is that when you use the simple interface the highest dpi you can scan at is a measly 600dpi, we didn't purchase a 3200 dpi scanner to scan at 600dpi!
The Scanner Driver by default opens with the 'Simple Mode' Interface so click on the tab labeled 'Advanced Mode' which allows us to have complete control over what is going to happen when a scan is performed. I played with many of the options and found some to have no noticeable change on the finished scan while other options had a significant effect. While scanning slides from 1961 I used the settings as seen in the photo below.
The rest of the settings can be tweaked and it's up to you to decide if they are worth playing with. I will mention that any of the FARE processing options such as the 'Remove Dust and Scratches' will take much longer around 3-5 minutes versus 30 seconds for a normal scan to complete. The extra time is partly due to the second Infa-red scan and the needed processing time to complete the 'Remove Dust and Scratches' command.
So after tweaking all these settings what improvement can I expect from FARE?
If you inspect the close-up on the right side of the main image (1:1) you can see where the Dust and Scratches have been removed, obviously some traces are left but they are not distracting to the over-all image. FARE does a decent job of restoring the faded colors and the Dust and Scratches have been considerably removed. Here is another sample taken on a slightly overcast day
Now I'm not a scanning professional and I barely know how to use Adobe Photoshop so those who are thinking I can do a better job in Photoshop probably can, for the rest of us we have FARE. Canon's FARE technology in most cases delivers as promised, and for the those of you looking for powerfull Photoshop like options in a simple to use program check out Thumbs Plus 7 it sells for $50 (US).
The Canon 8400F does have some issues.....
These are fairly minor quibbles but they are a nuisance that Canon should have noticed and corrected.
I have used various scanners and I admit for the most part this scanner doesn't really offer any compelling reason to upgrade or spend more than a lower priced Canon model. But if you intend to scan slides or negatives this scanner provides results comparable to much more expensive dedicated film scanners and the scanner delivers on it's promise of 48-bit, 3200dpi scanning.
I hope you enjoyed this article.
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