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RE: filmscanners: Nikon Scan & VS Negative dynamic range

OK mystery solved at last.  I looked at the manual for the first time 
(which must say something about ease of use of NS3.1!) and there it is - 
"Lo-contrast" is a facility only available on the LS2000 and the LS30.  I 
attach the relevant page so that you can see (as a GIF 30k, I hope this 
doesn't exceed our list limit but I am sure it'll be chopped into bits and 
dropped into the sinners bin if so) .

I cannot understand Nikon not providing this useful tool for the newer 
scanners unless they think they have implemented the function better in 
some other way.  Without using this, I get blown highlights and black-hole 
shadows to such an extent that I use "Lo-cont" all the time.  If you don't 
have it, and given that the white and black point settings mentioned by Rob 
are only post-scanning adjustments, I would not use Nikonscan.  Maybe this 
is why I have continued to defend Nikonscan in the face of others' criticism.

Incidentally, the manual also includes an excellently informative flow 
chart (p109) to show where different bits of processing are done, something 
I always wanted in the LS2000 manual, and something I never understood till 
now.  This shows that the only adjustments that take effect at the scan 
level (as opposed to post-processing) are Scanner Extras functions, ICE and 
Analogue gain.  Of these the only ones which affect exposure are 'Analogue 
gain' and 'prescan lo-contrast' so these are two very important 
functions.  To lose the latter with the recent scanners is a bad move IMHO 
and means - use Vuescan.  Unless there is something I've missed.

BTW we "older scanners" (not sure if you are referring to me or my machine) 
do have Analogue gain.  But not of course, ROC and GEM.    Allow me to swap 
scanners with you so that you can enjoy the benefits of Lo Contrast.

My apologies Jawed for suggesting that you use this useful facility that 
Nikon in their wisdom have chosen not to give to otherwise fortunate owners 
of newer scanners.  Ironically on the given manual page, they use as an 
example a photo which is practically your moon photo to demonstrate why the 
function is useful!

If any Nikon people DO lurk on this list ...  why did you do this?  Maybe 
Jack of ASF knows as a result of their liaison with Nikon?


At 09:33 07/09/01, you wrote:
>Well, I've located the palette you're referring to, but all it has in there
>-Strip Film Offset (yes I use the evil strip film adaptor)
>-Manual Focus Adjustment
>-Scanner Extras - which contains a Calibrate button and a Help button
>-Scan Bit Depth
>So, no sign of this contrast thingie...
>You using a Mac?  You really using 3.1?  It doesn't appear in the manual -
>dare I say it!  Care to send a screen dump?  Maybe it understands older
>scanners - maybe older scanners don't have Analog Gain so the contrast
>thingie is exclusively for them.
>Maybe Nikon thought that the Analog Gain palette provided enough control for
>the LS40/4000 - how funny that is!
>I've just, as a test, set the Master Gain to -2 and then the R, G and B
>gains to -1 (i.e. -3 total!!!!) for a frame that features the moon (late 80s
>Kodak Gold 200).  Yep, the moon's detail appears - but of course nothing
>else does.
>Vuescan gets the whole range without me even having to do any tweaking
>(actually since I had Color balance set to none the top of the histogram
>came out at 198!).
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> > [mailto:owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk]On Behalf Of Julian Robinson
> > Sent: 06 September 2001 15:15
> > To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> > Subject: RE: filmscanners: Nikon Scan & VS Negative dynamic range
> >
> >
> > I have NS 3.1, and on my system there is a tool palette called Scanner
> > Extras.  If you open this, there is a setting called Prescan Mode
> > which you
> > can set to Low cont neutral (or hi key or lo key).  But note that this
> > setting only appears if you have "Negative" selected rather than
> > "Positive"
> > for your film type - IOW it is not available for slides.  Maybe you were
> > set to slides the day you looked in there.  I was mystified for
> > quite some
> > time because I thought I saw it... then I didn't... then...
> >
> > It reduces the contrast of the scan, so that the whole histogram will fit
> > into the available range which is how I like it - then into PS in 16 bits
> > and reshape from there.
> >
> > Julian
> >
> > At 22:36 06/09/01, you wrote:
> > >I've never seen these options in Nikon Scan 3.0/3.1.  Where should I be
> > >looking (I can be blind like this sometimes)?
> > >
> > >Jawed
> > >
> > > >===== Original Message From Julian Robinson
> > <jrobinso@pcug.org.au> =====
> > > >Have you tried Scanner Extras / Prescan mode / low cont neutral?
> > > >
> > > >Julian
> > > >
> > > >At 09:44 06/09/01, you wrote:
> > > >>It is very simple: NS decides to clip a neg scan if the dynamic range
> > > >>encoded in the neg is more than a certain amount.  I don't
> > know what this
> > > >>amount is, but I can demonstrate a very strong difference
> > between NS and
> > > >>Vuescan in this respect with shots on Supra 400.
> > > >>
> > > >>No amount of adjustment to NS's master or R, G, B light output levels
> > > solves
> > > >>this problem - you can tweak the output levels to choose
> > which you'd rather
> > > >>lose (shadows or highlights) but you cannot get the full
> > range of such
> > > a neg
> > > >>with NS.
> > > >>
> > > >>Maybe older versions are different.  I write this with
> > respect to NS3.0 and
> > > >>3.1 working with my LS40.
> > > >>
> > > >>(Hoping I haven't grabbed the wrong end of the stick.)
> > > >>
> > > >>Jawed
> >
> >

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