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[filmscanners] Re: Black levels mangled in Nikon Scan (?)

I'm the moderator of Multi Pro group (only multipro)
at Yahoo  - It seems as we got the same problem.

This is the result of a long threads of Minolta Soft
1.02 Multi Pro Vs Vuescan.

It is an software issue - and the most true and
undertandable explanation follows:

Either is it in the calibration or in the prescan:
The Blackpoint and Whitepoint is not exactly set.
That is - the CCD's are given the "wrong gain" leading
to "walling" off the histogram to either side *and/or*
loss of some part of the histogram.

Several tests with Vuescan and the Minoltasoft 1.02
confirms this!

All of us agree that this is the case.

There are workarounds - in Minolta soft You can chose
a part of the picture to represent the rest of the
scan and get it right.

However for Minolta Multi Pro - this is agreed by many
Minolta facilities - but not officially yet agreed by
Minolta Japan. We wait for a new version of that
software. With Vuescan we get the "right" histogram.

This may eas up Your discussion - if it's the same
problem - and for me it certainly sounds familiar!

This just came before my eyes - and as a hint for You
fellows using Nikon instead of the Minolta MF-scanner
I give You our theori about this phenomenon.
In general - for color negatives and B/W is it harder
to get the Bp and Wp because of it's wider
EV-latitude. So also for the programmers - Ed Hamrick
did it - hat's off!

Bo Wrangborg/Sweden
No other posts here exept for users of the Multi Pro.
Posts / inlays here of orther things not regarding
Multi Pro are removed! But feel free to read it's

--- Julian Vrieslander <julianv@mindspring.com> wrote:
> I'm appending below some excerpts from a current
> thread in the usenet group
> comp.periphs.scanners.  This information (if true)
> seems to confirm what
> some of us have been suspecting - that NikonScan
> messes with black levels in
> a peculiar way.  The symptoms show up as a loss of
> shadow detail, or as
> discontinuous shapes and sharp cutoffs in
> histograms.
> I've wondered if this was a bug, since VueScan
> produces smooth histos from
> the same slides.  But now we learn that this might
> be a "feature"
> intentionally provided for us by Nikon, so that more
> of our scans will come
> out contrasty, and with the same dark blacks and
> blocked up shadows that we
> are used to seeing in drug store prints.
> Perhaps someone on this list can provide a more
> technical explanation of
> what it going on here.
> *****
> From: "Bruce Feist" <bfeist@flock.org>
> Newsgroups: comp.periphs.scanners
> Subject: Levels in LS-4000 with NikonScan
> I've noticed that whenever I scan a color negative
> with my LS-4000 and look
> at the levels, there's nothing at the far left.
> That means that there's
> nothing purely black, right?  The curve becomes
> non-zero at the same point
> in each negative, so I've created a user setting
> which sets the black point
> to where that happens.  Is this a logical thing to
> do? Do other LS-4000
> users see the same thing?  Should I be worried about
> it?
> *****
> From: "Bruce Feist" <bfeist@flock.org>
> I asked Level 2 Nikon support about it this morning,
> to see if they were
> aware of the problem and hopefully working on a
> firmware upgrade to fix it.
> The technician was very knowlegable; he knew that it
> didn't show up in the
> older scanners -- and he says that it was done
> deliberately; it's not a
> problem with the scanners.  With color neg film in
> particular, people were
> complaining that even totally unexposed film wasn't
> producing true blacks,
> so their blacks weren't black enough... so Nikon
> padded things out a bit to
> create the possibility of truer blacks.  Blacks
> aren't being clipped out;
> the colors are slightly compressed to make room for
> them.
> One way of using this is to create custom settings
> for different films you
> use frequently which put the black point at the
> appropriate place for that
> film.
> If what I'm saying doesn't make sense, please blame
> it on me and not the
> Nikon guy; I could have confused something or other,
> but I'm confident at
> this point that the levels aren't a bug.  (It's
> conceivable that they're a
> judgement error on Nikon's part; I don't know enough
> to judge that.)
> *****
> From: East75th <east75th@wo.EDITOUT.rldnet.att.net>
> Bruce:
> If you look at the histograms, you'll see that in
> the adjusted image's
> shadow area detail  has been trashed because the
> information in that area
> has been compressed-out by Nikon's "feature."  There
> are ways to adjust the
> shadow area blacks without having the manufacturer's
> software presuming
> what's best for you, and that's assuming one is
> satisfied with the results
> that NS 3.x produces. Given the response I've seen
> elsewhere and gotten by
> e-mail, a lot a people agree with me that the result
> of  NS 3.x negative
> scans range from strange to ghastly.
> Because there's a workaround available, it's not
> such a big deal to people
> who know how to use scanners.  However, it should be
> a trivial matter for
> them to alter NS to make the use of that feature an
> option so that everyone
> is happy.
> Regards,
> Dane
> --
> Julian Vrieslander <julianv@mindspring.com>
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> with 'unsubscribe filmscanners'
> or 'unsubscribe filmscanners_digest' (as
> appropriate) in the message title or body

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