Scanhancer intro
Models & details
Is this real?
Why 5LE?
Newton's rings
Scanhancer LEK
Other scanners
How to order?
User comments
Order now
Contact us

Can Scanhancer 5LE be used with other scanners?

Currently Scanhancer 5LE is available exclusively for the Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro through this website. We are researching the use with other scanners and some solutions have been found.

Tests with other Minolta scanners (Scan Dual III/IV, Elite II) have shown that using a Scanhancer 5LE with those is less effective than with the Multi Pro. When using the scanning method as described in the Scanhancer 5LE Manual most of the possible improvement will be reached already. Using a Scanhancer 5LE only adds marginally to their functioning (mostly in shadow areas of negative scans). Reason for this is that those scanners have softer light sources and their lens sharpness is considerably less than the Multi Pro's, so the grain isn't clearly visible anyway. The sharper Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 does not need a Scanhancer 5LE because it has a similar device (Minolta calls it "Grain Dissolver") built in. The new Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 II does not need a Scanhancer. It does not have a "Grain Dissolver" built in, but it has a fixed light diffuser that makes the scanner act like a compromise between scanning with and without "Grain Dissolver". Only for scanning B&W silverbased emulsions this scanner's light source is not optimized. Tests with a Scanhancer inside the Elite 5400 II have shown that some improvement is possible in this field.

Please keep in mind that the Scanhancer is NOT designed for use with the older MF models, Multi and Multi II. There is no developing of a Scanhancer for those Minolta scanners.

The current state of testing with other brands has resulted in a few interesting developments:

Tests we did with the Polaroid SprintScan 120 / Microtek ArtixScan 120tf have resulted in a working version for the glassless MF filmholder of that scanner. This Scanhancer PM should preferably be used in conjunction with Silverfast scanner software. Despite the fact that this scanner model does not have ICE to work with the Scanhancer, peppergrain is amazingly well suppressed. See a real world example made with the Microtek 120tf here (1.5Mb). In case you would like to purchase this special Scanhancer PM, please contact by email.

There is a working version for the Canon FS4000US now too. The improvements are not dramatical, but certainly worthwhile, especially for B&W silverbased emulsions. The Scanhancer for the FS4000US has to be mounted inside the scanner through the front opening, where it can stay permanently. It can only be ordered by email.

Tests with the Nikon LS-5000ED have shown that this scanner seems to be well capable of taking advantage of the Scanhancer 5LE. Especially peppergrain can be effectively suppressed in both colour and B&W materials. There is also a clear advantage when you want to sharpen the scanned images. They become less gritty. See the Scanhancer version used for the Nikon LS-5000ED here. It seems to be likely that this way a version for the Nikon V should be feasible too. We are currently testing this. (Have a look at this and this discussion too. They are set up by users of the Scanhancer with a Nikon V.) Older Nikon scanners, like the LS-4000ED have a light source that is too weak to work with a Scanhancer.

Tests with the Nikon LS-8000ED/LS-9000ED have been unfortunate so far, although a Scanhancer for those scanners is much desired by many. We'll keep trying, but cannot promise any serious improvements for the near future. Update: some new tests have shown that a Scanhancer can work with the Nikon glass holder for the 9000. Some interesting improvements for B&W scanning were reported. Grain grittyness was reduced quite apparently. Check back for new developments here.

Many people ask for a Scanhancer for their flatbed scanner, like the Epsons. Unfortunately flatbed scanners suffer from different problems than a Scanhancer can solve. Their lack of actual (not theoretical) resolution and their inability to focus cannot be compensated by a Scanhancer. To have a really sharp scanner in the first place is vital in order to benefit from the Scanhancer advantage. It is advised to buy a dedicated film scanner to start with when you are after making serious film scans. That being the starting point will lengthen your pole enormously in jumping for the highest quality. However, at the moment flatbed scanners are improving with each generation and they are getting closer to resolving grain. In this discussion you can see the results of tests with an Epson 4180 and a piece of Scanhancer 5LE material. So perhaps in the future there might be good use for a Scanhancer in a flatbed scanner.

Happy couple