Response to Dave Kings question, below:
I don't have the LS8000, nor am I famiiliar with the Minolta Scan Multi, but
I do own an LS4000, which I believe is funtionally the same as the LS8000
(just works with 35mm). I scan both straight B/W (like Neopan 1600, Delta
3200, etc.), C41 B/W (like XP2 and TCN400), as well as slides and color
film. I believe most scanners, and certainly the Nikon, use an infrared
light plus software to eliminate noise, dust etc. and this is called ICE. I
also know that the infrared technique simply does NOT work with straight B/W
and Kodachrome, although I don't know the exact reason - something to do
with how the infrared interacts with those kinds of emulsions. I know that
when you select the ICE option to scan either straight B/W or Kodachrome,
you get an unusable result - horribly solarized looking. I also know that
when you turn off the ICE feature, the scanner works very nicely with those
films. On other films ICE works wonderfully well, and it also works just as
well with C41 process B/W film. Because of that, I've been shooting more
C41 process B/W more lately, but not exclusively.
One way to reduce the dust and noise is to, prior to scanning, gently wipe
the negative with an antistatic cloth specifically intended for that purpose
(check your photo store).
I've also been using GEM, the Grain Elimination option, with happy results,
especially on fast films like Ilford Delta 3200. For those films I've been
setting GEM at the highest level, and it really does a great job at
eliminating the grain. It does make things a bit softer too, but the
scanner is producing 4000dpi, so you can lose a bit of sharpness and a lot
of grain and still get a sharp 8x10. I believe GEM uses your computer,
rather than the scanner, to do it's job, and GEM is compute intensive. I
have a 1400MHz Athlon with 500GB of memory (Win 2K), and it still takes a
while. But the result is worth it - I get scans I simply was unable to
I haven't been experiencing the problems with partly out-of-focus scans
(maybe once?), but I store my negatives flat. And there is a fairly easy to
use strip holder that is somewhat less convenient than the strip feeder, but
that holds the negative flat and also allows you to scan the last mm of
width in the strip, when you need it.
I've been quite happy with the Nikon Scan 3.1 software. I own a copy of
VUESCAN, which I've periodically fiddled with. It may do a better job than
the Nikon Software, but frankly the controls are so confusing I too often
end up resetting to all-defaults just to get it to work again. It is
especially non-intuitive when it comes to cropping and selecting output
resolutions. I know I could figure it out eventually, but life is short,
and there doesn't seem to be enough advantage in the scans I've tried.
Nikon 3.1 has crashed (and crashed Photoshop) probably 3 times in the past
several months. Several possible causes seem to be ejecting film and
closing Nikon 3.1 before it is done, or leaving the scanner unattended for a
long time after completing a scan. I just avoid these weaknesses - maybe
they'll fix the bugs some day.
Most of the scans I've done since February are done on the LS4000, and are
visible at my web site:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave King [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, April 08, 2002 11:28 AM
> To: Jack Phipps
> Subject: [filmscanners] Re: GRAIN/ICE SHOWDOWN: Nikon LS8000 vs.
> MinoltaScanMulti Pro!
> On a personal note, I'm thrown into a quandary. I'm thinking of returning
> recently purchased SS120 for the LS-8000. Looking back over recent posts
> 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
> scanning would be appreciated!
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