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RE: filmscanners: Nikon film flatness (was Glass slide mounts)
My only conclusion is that something must be up with the 4000 (which I don't
have) compared to the 8000 (which I do).
By rights, the medium format 8000 should by far have the bigger problem with
film flatness, but I can assure you that it's fine - no more nor less than
one would expect.
I use glassless carriers for most work, and glass ones for any dimensionally
challenged (!) film.
But I have nothing like the problems you describe, and no idea why. A
smaller format should be far easier to control than a larger one. so
assuming we have similar expectations, your problems seem greater than mine,
with no logical explanation.
As for glass mounting, I was mainly talking about unmounted strips of film
(easy to put in a glass carrrier) rather than individual slides, so I
appreciate your reluctance.
My only caveat is that there are very well known problems with bowing of
cardboard slide mounts, which you do specifically mention yours being, so...
how much flatness should you expect from an ageing (warping) piece of card
and glue? and how much should you expect a scanner to deal with that issue?
I would ship some of them over to plastic mounts and see what changes that
makes. Of course if your film has been sitting for years in a bowed card
mount, then it would have to be a glass slide to force it back into shape.
Do you find exactly the same problem with plastic mounted kodachromes?
The other thought: all the posts complaining about this issue have been from
4000 owners too. none from 8000 people. hmmm.
hope you find a workable answer to your frustrations,
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Bill Fernandez
Sent: 20 October 2001 15:28
Subject: RE: filmscanners: Nikon film flatness (was Glass slide mounts)
Your post was very sane and reasonable and after reading it I was
feeling that maybe life isn't so bad after all... until I turned back
to my shiny new, $1,600 Nikon LS-4000ED and returned to wrestling
with focus problems. Your final word is a good one so you don't have
to respond, but I'd at least like to share my thoughts with the list.
Three years ago I bought a 2,400 dpi Minolta Scan Dual for $500 which
was the best I could afford at the time. It scans one of my favorite
Kodachrome 64 slides with even sharpness across the entire field,
even into the corners, albeit only at 2,400 dpi. Now, three years
later, I spend three times as much for a top of the line scanner with
two or three generations of improvement. I find that on this
favorite slide I can get it sharp in the center and fuzzy in the
corners or vice versa. Or, if I set the focus point (numerically)
halfway in between then I get maximum sharpness in a ring-shaped
region, while the center and corners are BOTH out of focus.
Now there's nothing wrong with this in principle, and I wouldn't mind
if it was only a little bit out of focus, it's just that (with the
focus at the halfway point) the center and corners are no sharper
than my three year old scanner is across it's entire field. So it's
very disappointing to wait three years and spend three times as much
to get no better sharpness across the field than what I've already
got (other things are LOTS better, but here I'm concentrating on the
focus problem). Now even this wouldn't be so bad if all the other
scanners had the same problem. But I've never heard about this as an
issue with the Polariod SprintScan 4000, or the Canon FS4000, or
higher end scanners such as the Imacon flextites (although there was
a recent post by a person who's had this issue with his Artixscan
So here I am with thousands of cardboard mounted Kodachromes, of
which perhaps a hundred are worth some serious attention, and I have
to think: If I focus near the center and let the edges and corners
go so fuzzy that (depending on the slide) they're no better than a
1,000 to 2,400 dpi scanner, is that good enough for images I really
care about? Will the fuzziness show on the largest prints I'm likely
to make? Am I willing to put up with the incredible hassle of glass
mounting a hundred (or hundreds?) of slides? And when I get to my
negative strips, will I have to slice the good ones out of the
middles and glass mount them too? Would I have avoided this problem
entirely had I bought a Polaroid or Canon?
I wouldn't mind if the sharpness only varied a little bit across the
field. But losing half the resolution of the scanner is highly
unsatisfactory, both intellectually and visually.