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RE: filmscanners: Nikon LS IV/Nikoscan 3.0

I was worried, when I bought my LS40, that NS 3.0 would drive me crazy on my
Win98 PC (note, not Win98SE which is recommended - ordinary 98 isn't).  It
crashed, twice, in 3 days of heavy usage.  I was pleased that it was nowhere
near as bad as reports led me to expect.

Upgrading to 3.1, it hasn't crashed at all in 2 weeks of intensive scanning
(2-7 hours per day).

The user interface of NS is really fantastic.  Photoshop could learn a thing
or two (i.e the combined Levels/Curves/Histogram palettes).

There are peeps with NS 2.5 who prefer it, it seems.  I think there's a
degree of luck involved here.  3.1 is much more popular than 3.0.  I guess I
was lucky to buy the scanner a few days after 3.1 became available for

Unfortunately, NS is incapable of treating "difficult" negs with the respect
that they deserve.  It is rather slap-happy with its exposure, causing sky
to blow out if the sky is only a small portion of the image (despite the
fact that the sky is entirely within the dynamic range of the neg).  If NS
was a camera, most people would reject the camera's auto-exposures as
unusable, in my view.  NS applies a too-low gamma to the images it produces
and it over-saturates most colour and makes people look like they've been
grilled for a minute or too (their skin is too pink).  (All of these
comments apply to negs - slides seem pretty spectacular!)

For negs, Vuescan seems entirely neutral in terms of exposure (leaving you
to make the choice as to whether you want highlights or shadows to
compress - if at all) but it also seems to be a little under-saturated (Fuji
Super G, Kodak Supra 400/800) and imparts subtle hue shifts that make me
think "Vuescan".  Vuescan is certainly the better software of the two, in
terms of the final image.  I just wish the user interface of Vuescan made
more effort at being "what you see is what you get".  e.g. setting offsets
is pure hit and miss which is a complete fallacy when we have the power of a
*graphical* user interface at our disposal.

Still, it was worth $40 to get a much more convincing idea of how my negs
should look when scanned.  I have a new, fairly radical, approach to
scanning that I want to describe, but I need to spend some time constructing
that description and some supporting files...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> [mailto:owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk]On Behalf Of Ray Amos
> Sent: 06 July 2001 23:24
> To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> Subject: Re: filmscanners: Nikon LS IV/Nikoscan 3.0
> Claudiu Falub wrote:
> >
> > Many thanks to all who answered to my request. It seems this is one very
> > effective list. I downloaded the software and hope to solve my
> nightmare. I
> > really don't understand why a famous company (read Nikon) can
> produce such a
> > garbage (Nikonscan 3.0) ...
> Claudiu,
> Perhaps you should read your instructions and learn how to use your
> software before you start badmouthing Nikonscan software.  I use it
> quite successfully (I use the latest version 3.1).  So do many others on
> the usergroup.  Actually I have tried Vuescan and Silverfast and like
> the Nikonscan software better.  I have no problems.  Again I suggest you
> learn how to use the software before you slander the entire company.
> More than likely you're problems are with your computer or your lack of
> knowhow.  I do not think my software is "garbage".  I don't like you
> calling it garbage either.  Nothing I can do about that though.  If you
> live within 100 miles of Greensboro, NC I would be willing to drive to
> your home or office and try to help you solve your problems.
> Ray Amos


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