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

The thing that appeals to me about the SS120 is that it uses a conventional
light source, and there are no real surprises scanning anything.  However,
dust is a problem as in any dry non dICE scan.  I see what appears to be
grain aliasing with Fuji Superia 400, but not Fuji 800, and 800 scans look
better (to me anyway) than 400 scans.  100 speed chrome scans look very
good, and Kodachrome 64 scans look very good.

The film holders are not fiddly at all as far as I'm concerned.  The 120
film holder is open with no cross bars, and doesn't require cutting film
strips into individual frames, but as a result individual frames do go out
of focus a bit in the middle of the edge of the "free end".  Taping a blank
strip to that end would fix that.

Unmounted slides work quite well in the 35mm strip film holder if you use
the middle frame.  You have to place the frame in such a way so that when
you close the clamping top piece it will center the frame on the cross bars
before the clamping piece hits the end stop (it's easier to do than
explain).  This works well, and the single film frame is then flatter than
if left in the mount.

But there are a few compelling things about the Nikon LS-8000....  it
appears to scan neg films with less grain aliasing (considerably in some
cases, judging by some of the comparisons posted).  Why that might be I
won't try to guess, if in fact it's true.  (comments?)

The new Nikons also appear to do better without dICE than previous versions,
which makes them viable for scanning B&W, and the occasional Kodachromes,
where problems may emerge only occasionally according to recent user
comments.  Again, this may be better performance than with previous versions
(because the 8000 has a diffused LED source?), and dICE appears to work well
with the majority of scans.  Last, the Nikon appears to me to have better
resolution than any of the other 4000 dpi scanners, ranging between slight
and significant depending on the scanner and film.

I asked B&H today about returning the SS120 I purchased the other day, and
there is no problem if within 7 days, but LS-8000's are backordered 30 to 60
days!!  It would appear this is a very popular scanner.  It's not an easy


----- Original Message -----
From: "Simon Lamb" <simon@sclamb.com>
To: <kingphoto@mindspring.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 11:31 AM
Subject: [filmscanners] Re: GRAIN/ICE SHOWDOWN: Nikon LS8000 vs.Minolta
ScanMulti Pro!

OK, thought I might try the SS 120.  Read a lot about it and the main issues
seem to be fiddly holders (especially trying to line up the 35mm neg.
strips) and no ICE.  Can any users let me know thoughts re. the holders and
whether the need for ICE is less than the Nikon/Minolta due to the different
type of light source.



----- Original Message -----
From: "david/lisa soderman" <scapes@wi.net>
To: <simon@sclamb.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 11:50 PM
Subject: [filmscanners] Re: GRAIN/ICE SHOWDOWN: Nikon LS8000 vs.Minolta
ScanMulti Pro!

> Howdy all,
> I'm back.
> There were several questions and comments that various folks had to say
> the sample scans that I recently posted.
> I'll try to respond to everything at one time.  I hope this works out.
> First, no I did not do the scans at the same time.  Back around
> time, I had the Nikon LS8000 for a short time.  I just happened to save a
> few of the test scans.  I saved one @2000ppi w/no ICE...and one @4000ppi
> w/ICE.  I think there was even a 4000ppi scan w/VueScan & Ed's IR
> The VueScan one was the only one that I did set at "superfine scan" mode.
> (No choice w/VueScan).  Honestly, I didn't notice banding in my type of
> "people" portraiture.  Then again, I didn't test the unit for an extended
> period of time.  If I had only known, I surely would have kept the Nikon.
> In mid-December, I exchanged the Nikon unit for the Minolta Scan Multi
> At the time, I was "gun shy" from all the negative reports coming in re:
> Nikon unit.  Also at the time, there weren't many reports on the Minolta.
> What little feedback there was - was all great.  It was the busiest time
> year for my business.  By the time I actually got the unit out of the box
> and began testing it, the store said it was too late to return it.  I
> filled out the warranty card; the scanner is basically brand new.  What to
> do next?   (hear the violins in background)
> I decided to try scanning that same neg that I used the Nikon on.  I was
> immediately horrified when I saw the grainy/gritty look...especially on
> faces of people!  Also, there was scads of dust, dirt, debris and
> everywhere.  ICE helped, but did not clean it all up.  Also, the
> grainy/gritty look was still there.  Any scanning without ICE on this
> machine would be a time consuming extravaganza of cleanup.
> I never did use 4800ppi on the Minolta, because of it's interpolation on
> negs.  So, everything I posted was @ 3200 ppi.
> No, I haven't ever used GEM on the scans to minimize grain.  I tried and
> tried...but still haven't ever seen the "progress bar" even begin to move
> fraction of an inch  - even after 45 minutes.  I simply gave up on GEM
> the Minolta.
> And no, I haven't tried the "defocusing" idea yet.  I've been wasting lots
> of my time on this machine lately.  The only reason that I've recently had
> this much time to fiddle around with it is because I've been home sick
> a bad cold.  But as soon as I recover, I've got to make a decision re:
> to do with this thing.  First, I need to know whether this is typical
> performance for negs...or whether I have a defective unit.  Then I'll know
> whether to sell it...or have it repaired first; then sell it.
> I've yet to hear *any* input from anyone else who scans negs with the
> Minolta Scan Multi Pro.  So I can only assume that everyone else out there
> is scanning transparencies.  Actually, no that I think about it, Jack
> from Applied Science Fiction mentioned that he has made good neg scans on
> it.  I wonder if he's seen the posted scans.  I must remember to send him
> CD with full rez samples.
> I find it interesting that when I posted my 1st batch of scans a few days
> ago, (Minolta scans only), nobody found the grain objectionable.  Only
> placed next to the Nikon scans did anyone complain.  (Myself included!)
> When I find time, I'll try the "defocusing" idea - even though I think
> preposterous to need to do so on such a costly box.
> Also, I would like to point out that the "crud"/grain/noise is still
> present...even at lower resolutions like 1600ppi.  I don't know if I'll
> time to illustrate that though.
> Meanwhile... any thoughts, comments, questions or suggestions are warmly
> welcome.

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