I'm a bit surprised to see the nature of the comments about Mikael
Risedal's report of focus problems; as if this is a new and unheard
of issue. Surely anyone who's been on this list awhile is aware that
this is a perennial issue with the Nikon filmscanners!
Web reviews that mention focus problems with the Nikon filmscanners
that I've learned about through this list include:
I also reported here my own experiences with my two-month old Nikon
LS4000ED only a few weeks ago, complaining about focus problems. Let
o I have thousands of Kodachrome slides dating back twenty years in
both plastic and cardboard mounts with what I consider "normal"
degrees of curvature for slides.
o I have a number of these slides where the Nikon cannot produce
sharp scans across the entire image.
o The NikonScan software lets me place the focus point anywhere on
the image I like, and will give me razor sharp scans at that point.
However other regions of the image will consequently become blurry.
o When you manually set the focus point (by clicking the preview
image where you want the scanner to focus), the scanner will focus at
that point and report a number. By clicking around you can compare
the various focus numbers.
o Regions that are within 6 focus units of the focus point (the
scanner just gives a number, doesn't say whether this represents
microns, angstroms, or what) will be substantially as sharp as at the
o Regions that are 12 units different from the focus point will be
o I have some slides where I have measured a range of at least 20
focus units. On these slides I can click various areas to find the
range of focus units, set the scanner manually at a number halfway
in-between, and get the best AVERAGE sharpness across the image.
HOWEVER, the blurriest parts are blurrier than when I scan the same
slide with my 4-year-old 2300 dpi filmscanner.
o Therefore on these slides I'm getting 4000 dpi sharpness in certain
parts of the scan (say the center) and less than 2300 dpi sharpness
in other parts (say the edges).
o I have not done as much work with negative strips as I have with
slides. I do see some focus variation across negative images but so
far it doesn't seem as bad as for my most-curved slides.
OK, now you have four independent reports on focus issues with the
Nikon scanners: Mikael's, mine, and the two websites quoted above.
The phenomenon is real, and it's not simply that people making silly
mistakes and misinterpreting the results.
Whether it's a problem for you depends on the state of your film, how
much work you're willing to go to (glass mounting all your slides?)
and how demanding you are.
Bill Fernandez * User Interface Architect * Bill Fernandez Design
(505) 346-3080 * firstname.lastname@example.org * http://billfernandez.com