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[filmscanners] Re: Black and white scans on LS4000 ED andotherissues


I'm still struggling to understand your repeated dislike of collimated light
sources, and particularly of Nikon scanners.

The only 'advantage' I can see in using diffuse light is that all sorts of
unwanted detail, such as grot on the film surface and grain in the film will
be less clearly resolved. However, EVERYTHING will be less clearly
resolved - I simply don't believe that diffuse light can selectively reduce
some detail such as grot on the film, and not all the other detail in the

Isn't it the same as photographing an object in bright sunshine (parallel
light) or bright cloud (diffuse light)? One gives sharp shadows, the other
soft shadows.

Enlargers can have interchangeable diffuse light sources and parallel light
sources. The former give soft images with less contrast, while the latter
give sharper images with higher contrast.

I came across another review the other day that said the same thing:

" The Nikon CoolScans use an LED light source that produces a very highly
"collimated" beam. Other scanners use more diffuse fluorescent light
sources. We've found that the collimated light source used in the CoolScans
reveals more fine detail in scanned images than do the diffuse lighting of
other units. Note though, that you may or may not like this: Part of the
detail that the collimated LED light will reveal is the film grain itself,
which some photographers would rather suppress. We personally tend to prefer
the results obtained with the collimated lighting, but recognize that others
may not. Compare the sample images from the various scanners on this site,
to see which suits you best."

So why can't you accept that some like it sharp, and some like it soft? Some
like grain, and some don't. We all have our likes and dislikes, so let's all
agree that you like diffuse light scanners, but that others may not!
Collimated light scanners are not per se badly designed; they are just
differently designed - to suit a different idea of how to achieve a good

Bob Frost.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Arthur Entlich" <artistic-1@shaw.ca>

I guess Nikon has never heard of the potential benefits of diffused
light sources.

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