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RE: filmscanners: Bruce Fraser Reviews Nikon 4000ED

I've read both his comments and Wire Moores, and the truth is somewhere in
between. his are written for a major magazine readership, yours, if you will
excuse me, seem quite hostile to the 4000.

Bruce says "If ICE is cool, GEM
is nothing short of amazing." Blah, blah. What he doesn't say is that these
features are partly designed to overcome a liability for this product
because of how the Nikon optical subsystem (unlike many others) emphasizes
film contamination and grain.

I dont find that rings true. The optical system in my 8000 is excellent, and
definitely superior to the (only) competitors product. ICE is amazing, and
GEM is indeed time consuming, but what's an extra 30 mins of processing time
for a grain free image? remember these are UNAVAILABLE in the competitors
The point Bruce is making here is aimed at the sceptical professional to say
that this software (Digital ICE) really does *work*. Those are presumably
the same sceptical professional who told Polaroid research forums that they
didn't want it or need it. err: wrong. Polaroid is now having to back track
and bring out updated machines with it on. (4000plus, due soon)
That's why, in short, he is stressing it with adjectives like 'amazing'.

Give me a tack sharp scanner like the Nikon, with digital ICE, rather than a
slightly less sharp one without. I'll take the sharper (sorry: more
pronounced) grain any day, and sit through a 30 min GEM grain reduction if,
(and only if - we're talking about using grainy films here) it is needed.
Compare that to the hours of frustration and technique involved with
converting to LAB, gaussian blurring of blue channels, smart sharpening
actions, etc, etc, that used to be necessary to get rid of grain in skies,
flesh tones, smooth textures, etc.

As for the color profile being out of wack, now *that* is a major issue in
my opinion. I have just discovered how much better profiled Vuescan's
results are than Nikonscans for Nikon scanners. (though there is an annoying
VS bug with the 8000 that I've reported to Ed) Nikon seems to have pumped up
the contrast and clipped the ends to give the casual user funkier results,
rather than accurate ones. Vuescan doesnt do that. the problem is I have
100GB of scans sitting on my raid that I may now have to re-do having found
this out.
If only Bruce Fraser would make his profiles available to download for the
rest of us, or better still, Nikon fixed theirs in 3.2...  (but don't hold
your breath).



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