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Re: filmscanners: Canon 4000 scanner VS Nikon LS4000

Greetings all--

I'm a bit surprised to see the nature of the comments about Mikael 
Risedal's report of focus problems; as if this is a new and unheard 
of issue.  Surely anyone who's been on this list awhile is aware that 
this is a perennial issue with the Nikon filmscanners!

Web reviews that mention focus problems with the Nikon filmscanners 
that I've learned about through this list include:



I also reported here my own experiences with my two-month old Nikon 
LS4000ED only a few weeks ago, complaining about focus problems.  Let 
me reiterate:

o I have thousands of Kodachrome slides dating back twenty years in 
both plastic and cardboard mounts with what I consider "normal" 
degrees of curvature for slides.

o I have a number of these slides where the Nikon cannot produce 
sharp scans across the entire image.

o The NikonScan software lets me place the focus point anywhere on 
the image I like, and will give me razor sharp scans at that point. 
However other regions of the image will consequently become blurry.

o When you manually set the focus point (by clicking the preview 
image where you want the scanner to focus), the scanner will focus at 
that point and report a number.  By clicking around you can compare 
the various focus numbers.

o Regions that are within 6 focus units of the focus point (the 
scanner just gives a number, doesn't say whether this represents 
microns, angstroms, or what) will be substantially as sharp as at the 
focus point.

o Regions that are 12 units different from the focus point will be 
noticeably blurry.

o  I have some slides where I have measured a range of at least 20 
focus units.  On these slides I can click various areas to find the 
range of focus units, set the scanner manually at a number halfway 
in-between, and get the best AVERAGE sharpness across the image. 
HOWEVER, the blurriest parts are blurrier than when I scan the same 
slide with my 4-year-old 2300 dpi filmscanner.

o Therefore on these slides I'm getting 4000 dpi sharpness in certain 
parts of the scan (say the center) and less than 2300 dpi sharpness 
in other parts (say the edges).

o I have not done as much work with negative strips as I have with 
slides. I do see some focus variation across negative images but so 
far it doesn't seem as bad as for my most-curved slides.

OK, now you have four independent reports on focus issues with the 
Nikon scanners: Mikael's, mine, and the two websites quoted above. 
The phenomenon is real, and it's not simply that people making silly 
mistakes and misinterpreting the results.

Whether it's a problem for you depends on the state of your film, how 
much work you're willing to go to (glass mounting all your slides?) 
and how demanding you are.


Bill Fernandez  *  User Interface Architect  *  Bill Fernandez Design

(505) 346-3080  *  bill_sub@billfernandez.com  *  http://billfernandez.com


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