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[filmscanners] RE: Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED and sharpness/focus

  • To: lexa@lexa.ru
  • Subject: [filmscanners] RE: Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED and sharpness/focus
  • From: "Gary Richardson" <grichardson@watercove.com>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 15:08:13 -0500
  • Unsubscribe: mailto:listserver@halftone.co.uk

> Mounted or unmounted slides?  When you look at the slide
> obliquely, is it
> quite flat, or is the film surface bending or curving in any
> way?  The newer
> Nikon scanners have a limited depth of field that is very
> sensitive to any
> deviation from complete flatness in film.


All the positive (i.e. slide) film I've tried has been mounted slides. I've
also tried remounting a couple of slides. I haven't tried unmounted slide
film. I do have some unmounted rolls. I suppose I can give that a try and
see what happens.

> Do you have an example of the "soft" scans online to look at?
>  It's very
> rare to get a scan so sharp that adjacent pixels contrast
> sharply, but it is
> possible to come very close with good film held flat.

I don't have any handy, but once at home I can easily do some scans to show
the results.

> See http://www.smallevents.com/sample.jpg for an unmodified
> extract from a
> full scan on a Nikon 8000ED.  Is your scan more or less
> sharp?  (Note that
> this scan was off Fujichrome Velvia.)

Without having my scans in front of me to compare, I'd have to say my scans
are equally as soft; MAYBE just a tad bit sharper. BTW, all my slide film is
Kodak Elite II 100.

> Also, have you scanned these _same_ slides on other scanners
> (to make sure
> that it's not just the slides)?  Handheld stuff may have
> enough motion blur
> in it to negate the high resolution of even a 2700-dpi scanner.

Some, yes. When I noticed this problem with the Nikon I scanned in a couple
of slides that I had scanned with my old HP Photosmart scanner and compared.
I felt that the HP scans were sharper. I'm fairly sure the HP scans weren't
altered in photoshop, because I always felt the HP scans were of good enough

> What type of film are you scanning?  Fast films may have
> grain that is easy
> to see at 4000 dpi (e.g., T-Max P3200, ISO 800 color negative
> films, or
> Tri-X).

For color print film, I don't use anything faster than 200 speed. For
slides, 100 speed, and B&W 100 speed.

I emailed a friend who has the LS2000, asking if he's seen the problem. He's
seen it as well, but since this is the only scanner he's had he figured it
was "normal" and would work on his scans in Photoshop. Did the 2000 has the
same narrow depth of field that you say the 4000 has?


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