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RE: filmscanners: Request for "unbiased review" of Polaroid 120
Polaroid 120 Users --
Thanks, David, for referring me to the archive. I found and read Ian Lyons'
Polaroid-120 review which isn't nearly so detailed at Rafe B's review of
the Nikon 8000.
Would anyone like to post a review of the Polaroid 120 as complete as
Rafe's? His excellent Nikon review appears below.
-- Victor Landweber
> >Lest I come off as a shill for Nikon, here's my
> >summary on the Nikon 8000 ED, after three weeks
> >of fairly intense usage. There's a little bit
> >of ammo for Mr. Hemingway here, but also some
> >stuff that ought to concern him.
> >The Good:
> >* overall, excellent scans, especially on 645
> > negatives. Quality on par with the Leaf 45,
> > maybe even marginally better. (Sorry, Austin.)
> >* ICE really works. I'm very impressed.
> >* Fast. 645 scans w/o ICE in about 5 minutes.
> > (on Athlon 700 MHz machine with 512 MB RAM)
> > Add about 50% more time for ICE. [But one other
> > user has emailed me about very slow scans...]
> >* surprisingly good auto-exposure, at least on
> > most negatives. I use it often -- and I'm
> > usually very fussy about scanner settings.
> >* no film-type "profiles" to choose from --
> > scanner is uncannily accurate at properly
> > "inverting" different types of C41 film
> >* good software (NikonScan 3.1) despite some
> > conflicts and issues with installation. It
> > has all the essential controls I want,
> > including histograms and a good curves tool.
> > All in all, one of the best vendor-supplied
> > scanner drivers that I've worked with.
> >* clever, sturdy film holders (but not without
> > some problems -- see below)
> >* good 24/7 tech support by phone, very little
> > waiting. Rapid escalation to "2nd Level"
> > support if need be, but 2nd-Level is only
> > available during "normal working hours."
> >The Bad:
> >* large, noisy machine. Scanning mechanism
> > has a suprisingly coarse sound. Offhand, I
> > don't see why the machine needs to be this large.
> >* Film holders sometimes seem to wiggle as
> > they're being moved about by the scanner
> > (during thumbnail and preview acquisition, when
> > the carrier reverses direction.) This does not
> > inspire confidence in the mechanics.
> >* 35 mm film holder: very flat negatives can
> > slide around. I find I need a tiny piece of
> > tape at the edge of the filmstrip to prevent
> > this.
> >* 35 mm slide holder: possible auto-focus
> > issue (but I need to investigate this further.)
> >* 645 film holder (glassless): occasionally a
> > negative at the end of a strip can't be made
> > to lie flat. When this happens, focus goes
> > to hell. (Apparently not much depth-of-field.)
> >* 645 holder: 4 images (max) per film strip.
> >* 645 holder: the method used by NikonScan to
> > locate the images is ridiculous and error-
> > prone. It can be worked around but that adds
> > some time, as one needs to iterate between
> > an "offset" setting and another thumbnail/
> > preview.
> >* I long for a "non-batch" film-loading mechanism
> > like with my earlier film scanners. The movable
> > film-holder slows everything down. Each time you
> > enter the TWAIN driver you need to re-acquire
> > thumbnails and the preview of the image you want
> > to scan. Slows things down a lot.
> > This could be avoided by using NikonScan "stand-
> > alone" but the problem there is that its TIFF
> > file "save" operation is so dreadfully slow, it
> > would negate any time savings. (Takes as long
> > to save a 170 MB TIFF file as it took to make
> > the scan in the first place.)
> >* Banding issues on dense slides/negatives. The
> > workaround is to use "SuperFine" scan mode but
> > that slows down scanning by a factor of three.
> >In summary: it does the essential functions very
> >well, but with a number of quirks and bothersome
> >user-interface headaches. The banding issue is the
> >most worrisome; I've only seen this in the last
> >24 hours or so. The "Super Fine Scan" fix seems to
> >work so far, but I'll feel better about this after
> >I've tested it some more.