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[filmscanners] Re: GRAIN/ICE SHOWDOWN: Nikon LS8000 vs. MinoltaScanMulti Pro!


In my experience higher resolution systems typically present a "softer"
picture, but levels of detail rendering are higher.  Tonal transitions are
rendered more continuously, and this is the reason for the "softer"
appearance, but it's a more accurate reproduction of the source, and this
(of course) is desirable.  Rafe's suggestion the sometimes "sharper"
appearance of lower res is analogous to posterization makes sense.  A gross
analogy would be a continuous tone ramp vs. a stepped ramp.  Audio engineers
use the term "crunchy" to describe low res digital sound, and in David's
comparison the Minolta scan does have a somewhat crunchy look compared to
the Nikon.

On a personal note, I'm thrown into a quandary.  I'm thinking of returning a
recently purchased SS120 for the LS-8000.  Looking back over recent posts I
see that Jack Phipps asserts dICE usually does work with Kodachrome, and
suggests a two scan layer blending approach for when it doesn't.

I'm also wondering if LS-8000 scans with no dICE (for B&W scans
particularly) are more problematic than with CCD scanners using a
conventional light source?  Comments from users regarding Kodachrome and B&W
scanning would be appreciated!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Arthur Entlich" <artistic-1@shaw.ca>
To: <kingphoto@mindspring.com>
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2002 4:37 AM
Subject: [filmscanners] Re: GRAIN/ICE SHOWDOWN: Nikon LS8000 vs.
MinoltaScanMulti Pro!

M. Denis Hill wrote:

> I would find these observations more useful if the observers would include
> mention of ownership of either unit under discussion. Not to imply the
> possibility of bias, of course.;=)
> M. Denis Hill
> Minolta Multi Pro owner

Although I'll agree personal bias can enter into this discussion rather
easily, I think some of it is not conscious.  For myself, my first look
led me to favor the Minolta because I expect to see all the "detail",
and the Nikon looked softer.  Well, the Nikon is softer, but I'm not
sure it is less detailed, however.  I think the Minolta is so
"amplifying" (maybe due to aliasing, or the light source, or the post
scan processing that might be hidden) the DDSG situation that it is
almost obscuring the detail that is under it.

With film scanners, I think the problem is counter intuitive response.
WHat I mean is, we have all be taught to look for defined objects with
distinct edges as a harbinger of "sharpness" and therefore assume that
also means better detail and more resolution.  With film scanners
however, due to the digital nature of the capture (a defined element
with a distinct matrix) scans need to come from the scanner in a
unsharpened or softer condition than we wish the final result to be.

Even a few months ago, I was looking for the wrong things and even
yesterday, it took me a second look to fully appreciate what I already
knew, that sharpness and detail are not the same thing, necessarily.

This is why I'm again suggesting that scans that have not be processed
with USM are, in effect, half processed, and do not make for accurate
comparison material.

I am still blown away by the fact that I can take a scan from the
SS4000+ and literally (at .8 radius and 0 threshold, crank the
sharpening Amount in Photoshop to maximum, and not see sharpening
artifacts at normal printing resolutions.  Yet, with the Minolta (Dual
II), forget it.  before I'm halfway up the Amount scale, I'm seeing
grain galore, and noise, and specks, etc.

With the Polaroid scan, I decide what level of sharpness is appropriate
for a specific look, and printing style.  With the Minolta, I'm at the
mercy of the scan not falling apart.

I therefore propose, that comparisons be done post USM, because that is,
afterall the true indication of the ability of the scanner.


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