Thanks for the information guys. ScanGear has settings for BW negs as well as 3 levels of grain correction...so I assume that it is set up for BW negs - but I'm willing to try other programs at this stage. I tried scanning a neg as a positive and negative image last night and could not see any difference between the two. I'll have to look into calibration as Art suggests. I'm also going to see if I can scan on an Epson to see if there is any improvement. I've never heard any complaints about Epson.
Sorry for hijacking this thread