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RE: filmscanners: Nikon 8000: An Unbiased Review

Title: RE: filmscanners: Nikon 8000: An Unbiased Review

I also have an LS8000.  I got it a week ago and was having the banding problem (as well as AF and various other problems).  The super fine CCD mode did fix it but not I'm not having the problem even though I'm not using super fine CCD mode.  Nikon tech support (who I'm pleased with so far) has recommended that I send it in for service or replacement.

Anyway, a very short review is:

Pro - Excellent scans, reasonably fast considering what's going on, customer service very good, software has a nice feature set, Digital ICE seems to work as advertised without softening the scan.

Con - Bugs, bugs, bugs.  The software just closes on it's own occasionally.  If the scanner is on but NikonScan isn't open, I can't load a film holder.  I'm getting sporadic "can't autofocus" messages.  I don't think the 120 film strip holder is that great.  I can usually get the film to be fairly flat but it takes care.  For the price  they should have included the glass 120 holder.

Overall I really like it and it has all the features I could reasonably ask for.  However, I'd be in love with the thing if there were no bugs.  I have to wonder what they were doing when they delayed the ship date.

Paul Wilson

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rafeb [mailto:rafeb@channel1.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 8:47 AM
> To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> Cc: lsmith@lwsphoto.com
> Subject: filmscanners: Nikon 8000: An Unbiased Review
> 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.
> rafe b.


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