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[filmscanners] Re: Re:GRAIN/ICE SHOWDOWN:NikonLS8000vs.MinoltaScanMulti Pro!

On 13/4/02 8:34 am, "Dave King" <kingphoto@mindspring.com> wrote:

> I took shipment on an LS-8000 today.  As you say Anthony, Nikonscan 3.1.2
> returns an excellent result at default settings, and curves etc are very
> responsive and useful.  8 bit workflow here I come.  The scanner mechanism
> makes reassuring sounds in operation, and seems very solid.

Glad to hear that your LS-8000 makes "reassuring sounds".  My LS-4000 sounds
like a meat grinder chewing on a tin can.  At first I thought something was
horribly wrong with it, but others claim this is normal.

My reactions to NikonScan are less favorable than yours.  I've used versions
from 2.5 to 3.1.2, and there are two issues that bother me.

I do see quite a few shots where NS gives an acceptable result from its
default/automatic settings.  But there are many where the results are way
off.  The color balance and/or exposure are wrong, and I need to twiddle
curves, levels, and analog gain to make things right.  As others have noted,
NS frequently chops off shadow detail - you can see this as abrupt cuts on
the left side of the histograms.  Changing the black point settings does not
seem to fix this.  I suspect there is a bug in the software.

The other issue is speed.  NS seems to run slow.  Perhaps the LS-8000 runs
faster, or maybe it's a PC vs Mac thing.  But with my LS-4000 and Mac
G4/867, I can produce scans quicker with VueScan than with NikonScan.  Part
of this is related to the first issue, since VS seems to have smarter
algorithms for setting color balance and exposure.  So there is less
tweaking to do.  But VS also seems quicker in the scan and file writing

Neither of these programs is going to win any awards for user interface
design.  I slightly prefer the adjustable palettes of NS to the flipping
tabs of VS.

The bottom line for me is that I prefer to use VS most of the time.  But I
sometimes go back and try NS in cases where a difficult slide is not coming
out well in VS.  Example: on negs with really bad grain, the GEM function in
NS seems to do a better job than the grain reduction filter in VS.

At the end of the day, some folks will say they get better results from NS,
some preferring VS or Silverfast, etc.  So it goes.  Perhaps it depends on
the shots you are scanning, what sort of results you need, work habits, etc.
Julian Vrieslander <julianv@mindspring.com>

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