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Re: filmscanners: SS120 first impressions and a few questions.

At 06:51 AM 7/11/01 -0400, Cary Enoch Reinstein wrote:

[Rafe B:]
>>Your complaint regarding NikonScan 3.1 being "buggy"
>>is surprising to me.  I had some initial problems
>>getting NS installed, but it has not been remotely
>>buggy since then.  The installation issues turned
>>out to be due to device conflicts.
>>Which leads me to suspect that a good number of
>>reported bugs in NS are in fact due to device
>>conflicts.  This info is of no use to you at the
>>moment, but others reading this may care.

>Since I installed NikonScan 3.1 I haven't had any problems with its TWAIN 
>module. When used stand-alone it may have memory problems. The integrated 
>curves and histograms dialog is the best I've ever seen in any graphics 
>application. The version at Nikon's European site is more complete than the 
>one at their US site. It includes a utility named regsweeper.exe which 
>should be used before installing ver. 3.1.

The version of NS 3.1 supplied on the Nikon CD has these 
utilities on it, though they're well-hidden.  The Nikon 
Level-1 tech knew where to find 'em.

Re: stand-alone NS versus TWAIN.  I don't have problems 
with either one in terms of stability, but there's a 
tradeoff with regard to useability and efficiency.


1. Using TWAIN, scan data is sent to Photoshop (the 
TWAIN host) quite rapidly.  But you have to close the 
TWAIN applet to do anything in Photoshop.  Then, when 
re-entering the TWAIN applet later, to do the next 
scan, you have to go through the whole process of 
obtaining thumbnails, re-locating the images, etc.

Alas, with 170 MB files, you really want to save 
them to disk and close them before going for the 
next scan.

2. Using NS stand-alone, you avoid the above issue. 
However, NS stand-alone is *very* slow at saving 
scans to disk (several times slower than Photoshop.)

I agree that NS 3.1 is (in most regards) quite 
a decent scanning app, on the issues that most 
directly affect image quality.  The preview image 
is as large as I care to make it.  The densitometer 
readings are accurate, and the curves tool works 
smoothly and predictably.

Its major weakness, IMO, is its method of "locating" 
individual images on a 645 film strip.  Working around 
this problem generally costs 2-3 minutes per mis-located image.

>I didn't use Nikon's throwaway IEEE1394 board because I already had an 
>Adaptec 1394 card installed for DV capture. The Adaptec card is much more 
>robust and I'm guessing that it won't cause any conflicts. I suspect that 
>some reported conflicts are due to the Nikon card. The Adaptec doesn't need 
>any drivers or installation routine because Windows 2000 recognizes it 
>automatically, probably the same for Win9x also.

Hmmm. Interesting.  In the course of resolving my 
initial problems with NS, Nikon mailed me a second 
Firewire board, which didn't change or help matters 
at all.  But it was the same exact board (vendor 
and model) as the first.

The vendor is Ratoc, and I did have a word with them 
via email.  It seems the model they bundle with the 
Nikon scanner is a special OEM version; there's no 
info at all about this model on the Ratoc website, 
and Ratoc defers all support to Nikon.  Ratoc's 
"advice" at the time was fairly lame, and not much 
help.  (Reinstall Windows, reinstall VIA drivers, 

I was tempted to pick up a Firewire card at Circuit 
City, but the models I saw were $75, and were definitely 
not Adaptec.

rafe b.


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