Nikon Coolscan – ICE or No ICE?

I wrote an article about Post Processing Errors with a Nikon Coolscan 5000. This update gives us a the results of two different options that can be used to scan color negatives or slide film with the Coolscan. One option is clearly superior to the other.

NOTE: The images are just under 1mb and may load slowly. This is to provide an adequate comparison.

Scanning with No ICE

The first option is to scan with no ICE used. Remember that ICE is what removes spots and blemishes from the negative using the infared scanning capabilities of the Coolscan. Also remember that with color negatives or slides, the GEM and ROC settings, even with the ICE turned off, give the post processing error.

Scanning with ICE Enabled

The second option is to use the ICE option. This should help remove dust spots although it will not help with grain management. The ICE function does not work with greyscale images because of the way it works. However, ICE works wonders with color images.

Comparison of ICE and no ICE

Below is a comparison of two images, the first using ICE and the second with ICE turned off. Notice the dust in the right hand image, or the one without ICE.

Notice in the second example the level of detail. Again the image on the left was scanned using ICE and the one on the right with ICE turned off. The detail level is the same in this 1:1 or pixel level view. However, the contrast is a bit higher with the ICE turned on.

Next I will look at the actual negative through a loupe to see which one of these images best represents the contrast of the negative. For now, the ICE scan provides significant dust removal and would be the scan I will use.

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