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Re: filmscanners: LS-4000ED Dmax 4,2 or rather 2,3?

I just went back to the Popular Photography issue that reviewed the new scanners, and what I saw was very different from what was said here earlier today. They rated the LS-4000 Very highly. In fact, maybe too highly... 
Test Results: Resolution: extremely high (60 lp/mm); Color Accuracy: Excellent;
Shadow Detail: high, ... Image Quality Rating: Extremely high, etc. It delivered "the highest test results in this roundup along with the Polaroid SprintScan 120".  The "true 42-bit color" sounds like they bought some puffery, but overall, these are their conclusions based on their in-house tests. 

At 05:44 AM 06/28/2001, you wrote:
On Thu, 28 Jun 2001, Tomasz Zakrzewski wrote:
> Test scans at www.imaging-resource.com also show that only after some
> tweaking in the scanning program scans with good tonal separation in shadows
> can be obtained. I'm puzzled. Can you comment on this Dmax matter?
> In fact I don't care about any Dmax or stuff. I just want to make perfect
> scan of my precious negatives and slides and do it only ONCE because "time
> is money". That means on a good enough machine so that my scan don't look
> made on a too cheap machine in several years time. I thought that the 4000ED
> might be such a machine, but now...
> Apart from this Dmax thing, this scanner's real resolution is 3240 ppi
> effective.
> The 4000ED doesn't differentiates reds good enough, too.
> Why is it so that I can't buy a flatbed scanner in $ 1000 price range that
> would show no noise in shadows of scans of reflective media (prints) and
> it's impossible to find a well designed film scanner in the $ 2000 price
> range?
> Right now my conclusion is that the home filmscannig technology is still
> immature.
> And the flatbed technology? A huge gap between what's promised and what's in
> real life.

Tomasz, you're right.  At least in some regards.

CCD-based scanners are far from perfect, and even
the newest generation shows some (if not all) of the
inherent problems with the technology.  As with
microprocessors, progress has been evolutionary, not
revolutionary.  We have more pixels now, and we can
finally scan 120 film at the same resolutions that
we'd been using for 35 mm.  Aside from that, the
changes are mostly cosmetic, IMHO.

If you want "perfect" scans you may have to go with
a drum scanner.  The Imacon line of scanners are also
pretty nice (and mucho $$$).  I think they're still
CCD-based, but they do something clever that the
Nikons, Polaroids and Minoltas don't.

It's no accident or surprise that the reference
scan on Tony's filmscanner-reviews site is done
with a Howtek scanner and fancy 3rd-party driver

>From personal experience, the dynamic range of my
8000 ED seems on par with my existing film scanners.
But hey - maybe that banding I've been seeing on
dense negatives is a symptom of poor Dmax?  I dunno.

At one point a couple of weeks back, I'd convinced
myself that the dynamic range of the LS-8000 was
markedly better than that of my Epson 1640SU,
which I'd been using to scan 645 negatives before
acquiring the LS-8000.

In the last week or so I've been scanning 35 mm
stuff on the LS-8000, and results are mixed.  Some
scans are perfect, some show banding.  Fixes
suggested by Nikon Tech Support help sometimes,
but not always.  I'm wondering if the the high
temperatures here are a problem, also.

Fancy lenses and auto-focus (as in the Nikon 4000 and
8000) may also be a mixed blessing.  In some regards,
I miss the simplicity of my existing and much
"simpler" 35 mm scanner.  I worry about that 14-
element zoom lens in the LS-8000, and I have seen
mis-focusing on some slides.

rafe b.


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