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Re: filmscanners: Nikon film flatness (was Glass slide mounts)
Since you felt the need to get in your "final word" (actually several
hundred... but who is counting ;-) I'll do the same...
I would agree with most of what you said IF,
1) Nikon made this matter clear in their advertising, or at least
somewhere that the consumer could read it
2) Knowing this fact, they provided a glass carrier included with the
scanner, since they must realize that people spending the amount they
ask for a higher end consumer scanner are looking for edge to edge sharpness
3) other 4000 dpi scanners were unable to do any better in this department.
Clearly (excuse the pun) this is NOT the case in any of the above.
Personally, I don't care if the problem with these scanners is due to
low lux light sources, bad lenses, optical design or because Nikon is
from the planet Mars. The point is, the problem not only exists and is
left basically unacknowledged, but a good many people apparently don't
much like it, and it would appear the same good many people do not want
to ravage their mounted slides to place them into glass carriers, and
deal with that whole range of problems.
I guess the real question for many is, does whatever advantage the Nikon
film scanners provide (if any) over the competition (SS4000, SS4000+,
Canon FS4000, etc) justify all the problems this shallow DOF creates in
the work flow?
That is up to each individual, but I think they ALL deserved the right
to have known what to expect BEFORE they made their purchase. If Nikon
was more forthright about this matter, I'd have little more, if
anything, to say about it.
PAUL GRAHAM wrote:
> Hi all,
> My opinion on film flatness has been explained before, so this will be my
> final word on the topic.
> I've worked in very high end darkrooms for 20 years, typically making 4 foot
> to 6 foot prints (110 to 180cm) every day, from 35mm and medium format negs.
> That is an enlargement factor of 5000%.
> I have the brightest enlarger heads for these formats - 1000W of halogen
> lamps, BUT.. I still have problems with film flatness. Brighter light
> sources make no difference - you simply have to use a glass film holder for
> this type of high quality work to get edge to edge film flatness.. there is
> no other way, and there has been no real alternative in 100 years of
> darkroom technique/ equipment.
> Now a regular home enthusiast with a small enlarger won't use a glass holder
> because they don't look so closely at detail corner sharpness plus typically
> they stop down too much (enlarger lenses are at their optimum 2 stops down,
> any more degrades the resolution) to get the depth of field/ corner
> sharpness, which masks any uneveness of film. Or perhaps their lenses are
> not as wide in aperture to begin with.
> My point is that the higher your demands get, the more you notice things
> like film flatness becoming critical.
> Cheap scanners, or low resolution scanners, like cheap enlargers, dont show
> the best from the film, but neither do they show the faults in the
> technique, such as absolutely flat film. it's a good compromise - a stopped
> down aperture masks a lot of alignment issues that look good up to a point
> but ask for resolution beyond that point, and the problems begin.
> I think this is what we are coming across with the new high end prosumer
> If you want the ultimate - a 4000 dpi scan, with edge to edge sharpness,
> then you may have to accept that you need to use glass holders or take other
> measures to ensure flat film.
> My point has always been that it is wrong to expect ultimate resolution
> corner to corner by just dropping a strip of film in a holder and pressing
> 'scan'. Nobody in the pro-scanning world of drum scanners does that or gets
> that. Nobody in professional darkroom work does that or gets that. So lets
> get realistic here...
> Maybe, just maybe, Nikons approach has been to use a light source that
> requires a wider lens aperture, gaining very high resolution (they come top
> in most critical resolution tests) and long term colour stability. Polaroid
> have taken a different path, used a different (brighter) light source, a
> smaller aperture and gained depth of field, trading off against ultimate
> Nikon make and sell glass holders for their scanners, so...
> You pay your money and you makes your choice...