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filmscanners: SS120 "closer to perfection" (was Nikon 8000ED)



>From: Ian Lyons <ilyons@msn.com>
>Joel,
>
> >> Can you elaborate (since the SS4000 is well-nigh perfect <g>)?
>
>It's closer to perfection.
>
>You write a list of all things you think are great about the SS4000 and 
>I'll
>tell you which have been bettered. I could save you the bother and say that
>whatever you write is now better ;-)

You're a bit like my older brother who used to say "Let's see who can think 
of a higher number.  You go first." <g>

Transparencies:

1. Information rendering from lower "zones" (i.e., shadow penetration) is 
exemplary
2. No grain aliasing and capable of very sharp *final* images without a 
penalty in grain emphasis
3. Reasonably fast
4. Accurate color balance:  a little bias to magenta or red with extremely 
low-key images, but easily correctable
5. Range of rendered values can allow one to shoot E6 where previously only 
C-41 might be suitable
6. Even sharpness across entire image (I had a Nikon LS-20 which drove me 
nuts from being sharp in the middle and soft at the corners, so though one 
might view this as just "normal," to me it has restored mental health)
7. In general, the SS4000 seems to make slide very good scanning film. With 
previous generations of scanners, I think we were forced to resort to print 
just to be able to get something decent. I certainly was and was quite 
unhappy about it.

Print:  I quit shooting prints because I don't need to because of #5 and #7 
above. YMMV.

Miscellany:  Lovely lunch-box aesthetics! Dyn-o-mite plastic case! (Sorry, 
hope the SS120 is a little prettier ...)

In general, the SS4000 makes a soft, unassuming scan, like a darkroom print 
on a #1 paper. It seems to get almost ALL the information off the film and 
allows one to maximize one's use of Photoshop (or whatever) to "find the art 
in the raw material."

However, my comparative experience is with a Nikon LS-20, which even though 
it was generally terrible for slides, could do quite well on easy images and 
in such cases often produced nice, punchy, sharp scans. (I'm sure the LS4000 
is gobs better.) When I got the SS4000 I was expecting the same thing only 
better, so I was surprised at the SS4000's softer, flatter scans -- until I 
realized I was now using Photoshop to create rather than correct so much of 
the time.

Joel W.
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