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filmscanners: Request for "unbiased review" of Polaroid 120
Polaroid 120 Users --
Rafe B. wrote a marvelous review of his experience with the Nikon 8000
(posted to FILMSCANNERS on 6/26/01). Can someone with a Polaroid 120 post
-- 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.
>* 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."
>* 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
>* 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/
>* 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.