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RE: filmscanners: Canon's scanner

Thanks Bill, appreciate your efforts.
The bottom line from your review taking three (FS4000US, SS4000 and CoolScan

1. Shadow details (apparently reflects dynamic range) winner: Nikon CoolScan
   Runner-up: SS4000
   FS4000US takes third place.

2. Sharpness winner: FS4000US
                           CoolScan 4000ED and SS4000 are about same in this 
department probably
                     there might be barely noticeable difference towards
Nikon (not sure)

3. Grainess winner: FS4000US - the smoothest pattern
                          LS400ED and SS4000 are probably at the same level 
while additional
                          benefit might go to Nikon thanks to his GEM feature 
(reportedly to be

I've heard and read in various reviews about LS4000ED's focusing problems at
the frame edges
Since the slides or negatives aren't perfectly flat even when framed and
LS4000ED uses
AF on some predefined point on the film surface, it might lack enough DOF to
count for
uneven flatness of the original.
You apparently gained extensive experience with LS4000ED, so can you confirm
that ?
Canon's FS4000US is likely to use similar focusing technique as well, but
seems to produce
edge-to-edge sharp images continuously (given perfect original, of course).
That leads to the conclusion that Canon AF mechanism provides greater DOF
which perfectly accommodates bended originals.
BTW, Minolta scanners use free focus idea. I can understand it as providing
constant focus with very deep DOF to accommodate bended originals.

It would be interesting to compare dynamic ranges of FS4000US and SS4000

Regards, Alex

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
[mailto:owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk]On Behalf Of Bill Fernandez
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 18:38
To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
Cc: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
Subject: RE: filmscanners: Canon's scanner


Last night I compared scans of the face on Kodak's Q-60 Ektachrome
transparency targets from the LS4000, SS4000, FS4000 and a Howtek
drum scanner and a ScanMaker 8700 flatbed Scanner and felt that:

o Of the 35mm film scanners the Canon had the finest grain pattern,
very much like the drum scanner's.

o The Nikon had the best shadow detail:  The Canon clealy blocked up
before either the Polariod or Nikon.

o The film grain of the Nikon was the most distinct of all scanners,
yet when viewed from greater than 4 feet nonetheless seemed slightly
sharper than the Polaroid (don't remember how it compared with the

o The ScanMaker 8700 scan looked just as good as the drum scan in
terms of grain, sharpness, color balance, resolving hairs (such as
the eyelashes), but the shadows blocked up and were filled with green
noise much worse than any of the scanners.

Technical details:

o The monitor is a 22", Mitsubishi 2040u calibrated and profiled with
PhotoCal and the Monitor Spyder.

o The Nikon scan was made by me and output with the Wide Gamut
profile.  This profile is the best I've found of the ones Nikon
supports for pulling out shadow detail. It makes a substantial
difference over, say, Adobe RGB.

o The Canon scan was taken from the Hively website,

o I had two Polariod scans: one from the VueScan website
(http://www.hamrick.com), the other from Tony Sleep's website.

o The Howtek drum scan was taken from Tony Sleep's website.  Note
that he had to sample it down to make it match the size of his other
scans, so a significant amount of detail must have been lost which
would explain why the ScanMaker 8700's scan had as much detail
(except in the shadows).  It was also made from a 4 x 5 target, which
inherently has lots of detail that the 35mm targets don't.

o The ScanMaker 8700 scan was made from a 4 x 5 target by me at it's
maximum optical resolution of 1200 dpi.


o Shadow detail is very important to me, and I'm finding that using
the analog gain control and outputting to the Wide Gamut color space
my Nikon LS4000ED is doing quite well on that account.  Clearly way
better than the Canon.  Possibly better than the Polaroid with dark
slides where the analog gain can be bumped up without blowing out the

o The sharpness and fineness of grain of the Canon is beautiful, and
note that Norman Koren (www.normankoren.com) who's extremely fussy
about sharpness (I know him :-) seems pleased with his.

o The GEM grain reduction feature on the Nikon works VERY well, and I
find that GEM scans sharpen up very nicely whereas straight Nikon
scans accentuate the grain so much that you can only sharpen them a
tiny bit.

o I have noticed no increase in shadow detail nor reduction in shadow
noise using multisampling (I've tried up to 16x) on the Nikon.


I want a drum scanner!  Short of that it seems to depend on what
tradeoffs you want to make between cost, shadow detail, etc.

Good luck,


At 4:21 PM +0200 3-10-01, Alex Z wrote:
>The view things I'm still concerning about thinking about Canon FS4000US:
>1. Somewhat reduced Dynamic range (seems to be 3.4) comparative to the
>rivals (manufacturer claimed 3.6 for SS4000 and 4.2 for CoolScan 4000ED).

>2. The reviews gave me an impression that it even better suited for
>negatives rather then slides (there is opposite problem with rest of
>the scanners).

>3. Lack of multipassing capability like of Minolta Elite and Elite II.


Bill Fernandez  *  User Interface Architect  *  Bill Fernandez Design

(505) 346-3080  *  bill@billfernandez.com  *  http://billfernandez.com


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