Coolscan 4000 & new film scanners

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Melvyn Kopstein, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. I have heard rumors about Nikon introducing new scanners this Fall. I was
    considering the Coolscan 400, which comes with a $200 rebate. However, if a
    new family of scanners is introduced then I'd prefer to hold off my
    purchase. Also, anybody have experience with the Minolta Scan Elite 5400?
    Melvyn Kopstein, Aug 16, 2003
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  2. Melvyn Kopstein

    JR Guest

    Do a google news search...or just scroll down..been discussed a number
    of times, but here is the skinny....

    The minolta 5400 is AMAZING. It outperforms the Nikon 4000 in every
    way. It's still cheaper than the 4000...

    5400 DPI files at 16 bit color deapth are about 210 MB each, so a fast
    computer with lots of memory is needed.

    Everything works as advertised on the 5400...

    I have it and love it.

    The added Dmax is ESSENTIAL...which is spec'd at 4.8, but tests show an
    actual Dmax at around 4.2, which is still higher than any other 35mm
    JR, Aug 16, 2003
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  3. As far as I can tell, the 5400 is slower than the LS-4000. And for some
    tasks I find the LS-4000 already too slow.
    I just keep asking: who performed those tests, what kind of test was
    conducted to measure Dmax, etc. (Note, the 5400 may well be better than
    the LS-4000 in this area, but I can't find any actual Dmax tests
    (in this range) for scanners on the Internet)

    Philip Homburg
    Philip Homburg, Aug 16, 2003
  4. Melvyn Kopstein

    ThomasH Guest

    Well, than tell us which way is the "every way." Numbers and bits
    are not all. How fast does it scan, does it have batch scan adapters,
    comparable to SA-30 and SF-200S. If not, in *some ways* LS4000 might
    be still the tool of choice.

    I would say that LS-400ED has dmax of approx. 4.2
    ThomasH, Aug 17, 2003
  5. Melvyn Kopstein

    JR Guest

    OK....yes 16 bit A/D vs. the Nikon 14 bit. 5400 DPI vs. 4000 DPI. Yes
    the Nikon does a 4000 DPI scan in 28 seconds, the Minolta in 60 seconds,
    but that's capturing more data,so in scan time, it's slower...slightly.
    Manual focusing with a focusing knob versus software only manual focus.
    Just a few things.....
    Until the 4.8 dynamic range is disputed, then in my opinion the Minolta
    is 4.8.

    JR, Aug 17, 2003
  6. Melvyn Kopstein

    JIM Guest


    Me thought the 4000 scan took around '48' seconds? Real question, JR, since
    you own one of these 5400's, is: when scanning a negative, is it possible to
    crop into it, i.e., select a portion of the negative and scan only that?
    That's about the only thing holding me up from trying to round up one;)

    Shoot'em up, scan later, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all the rest will love you
    for it!!

    JIM, Aug 17, 2003
  7. Melvyn Kopstein

    Alan Browne Guest

    I dispute it. My signal processign friends say, "discard the lower
    order 1.5 bits." so it is 14.5 bits per channel.

    Dmax = log 2^14.5 = 4.36
    Google for details....

    The Nikon claim of 4.2 Dmax is more realistic than Minolta's claim.

    Alan Browne, Aug 17, 2003
  8. Melvyn Kopstein

    JR Guest

    Well according to that then the Nikon because it only has a 14 bit A/D
    will have a max DMax of 3.76.

    JR, Aug 17, 2003
  9. Melvyn Kopstein

    Alan Browne Guest

    Oh! I thought the Nikon had 16 bits/channel...

    (and clarification of my post, BTW, it's not "discard", but rather,
    "consider as noise").

    Alan Browne, Aug 17, 2003
  10. Melvyn Kopstein

    JR Guest

    Yes you are right 48 typo....

    Real question, JR, since

    Yes you select the area to be scanned and at what reolution and color
    bit depth....SO just because it's a 5400 DPI scanner that uses 16 bit
    A/D converters, you can scan a small crop at 2700, or 1350 DPI as low as
    300, and at 8 bit color....making a smaller file and faster scan.

    JR, Aug 17, 2003
  11. Melvyn Kopstein

    JR Guest

    No the Nikon is a 42 bit scanner, 14bits per RGB channel....But it will
    output the file in 16 bit or 8 bit, meaning the last 2 bits are just
    zeros, but the software, Photoshop sees this as a 16 bit file and can do
    16 bit processes. The Minolta is a true 48 bit scanner, 16 bits per RGB

    JR, Aug 17, 2003
  12. Melvyn Kopstein

    ThomasH Guest

    Its 14 indeed. At the release time of LS4000 scanner many people
    we doubting the dmax of 4.2 already. This number indeed does
    not acount for the ever present noise level in all analog

    I cannot compare LS4000 and the new Minolta because I never used
    it and of course JR should not be doing so neither if he was not
    using the LS4000. This is like listening to someone who has chosen
    amplifier A over amplifier B because it has more watts indicated
    in a brochure, in a sense.

    The 14 vs. 16 bit per color is not a scanning speed determining
    factor for firewire interface. My firewire is in fact quite
    underutilized during the scan. I am running an external drive on
    the same Firewire card while I scan and it is damn fast, I almost
    never realize that its an external drive. Scanning is just as
    fast with and without the drive being used.

    Thus, considering how long the LS4000 is already on the market,
    we must admit that Nikon did a splendid job with this scanner.
    I am curious how many bits effectively has the Minolta 16
    bit/color converter, considering the noise of the light
    source and of the sensor. Only such numbers would really provide
    a fair compare.

    Besides: There is still the little matter of batch scan! I just
    downloaded the Minolta 4500 manual and I cannot find anything
    comparable to SA-30 roll film adapter or a slide feeder.

    For me the 4500 is just another device for people who scan now
    and than a few frames and have the time to fiddle in a few mounts or
    a film strip into the manual adapters. It is recent, thus it uses
    newer chips and supports higher resolution than the Ls4000, if you
    will ever need it considering the grain on even finest of films!

    ThomasH, Aug 17, 2003
  13. Melvyn Kopstein

    JR Guest

    I compared them because of the information I accumulated on both because
    I was looking into both. I decided on the Minolta because of the Dmax,
    and the extra resolution. This is my second film scanner and I hope it
    will be my last.
    I am NOT bashing the Nikon, even for 3 or 4 year old technology, it's
    not that far away from what may be the state of the art today.

    At this time there isn't a bulk system for it....There the Nikon beats
    I have scanned Astia 100F at 5400 DPI that is virtually grain
    free...With films getting better and better, the extra resolution can
    make a difference. By the way, In a few weeks, I have scanned
    hundreds of images...not the occasional user.

    JR, Aug 17, 2003
  14. SNIP
    Dynamic Range tests are a bit tricky, because it may be difficult to
    separate the test target noise from the scanner noise. I am in the process
    of finalizing an SE-5400 Dynamic range test web-page, but have yet to
    compare the same method to other scanners.
    A number on its own doesn't say much, but the SE-5400 seems capable of
    covering the range of most (the new Velvia is said to have an *impossible*
    range of >4.0) well exposed slides. Under-exposed slides can be scanner
    exposed longer, but most film isn't accurate above D=3.0 anymore.

    Bart van der Wolf, Aug 18, 2003
  15. The data for the Velvia target from Wolf Faust (Charge V030303) shows
    Y=80.51 for patch GS0 and Y=0.04 for patch GS23. This means that Dmin=0.094
    and Dmax=3.40.

    I have no idea how much (E-6) processing affects Dmax. However, assuming that
    this is the Dmax of an unexposed slide after regular processing, this means
    that you can easily measure Dmax values upto 3.40. I have no idea
    whether (using Velvia) you can reliably go beyond that or not.

    Philip Homburg
    Philip Homburg, Aug 18, 2003
  16. Melvyn Kopstein

    Tommy Huynh Guest

    Not disputing that the Minolta is better than the LS4000 but a 16 bit
    A/D converter doesn't mean anything if the CCD is good out to only 12
    or so bits. After that, you're just doing a better job of digitizing
    noise. There have been several scanners put out there with 16 bit A/D
    converters boasting the theoretical 4.8 Dmax which produced images of
    lesser quality than the LS4000.
    Tommy Huynh, Aug 18, 2003
  17. Melvyn Kopstein

    Alan Browne Guest

    That's a lovely statement, but until you can characterize the noise,
    don't go around suggesting that the CCD is "only 12 or so bits".

    Which "several scanners" are you talking about? Name them and sources.

    For A/D conversion the theoretical Dmax can be readilly determined by
    subtracting 1.5 bits. See my other posts in this thread for the numbers.

    Alan Browne, Aug 18, 2003
  18. SNIP
    FWIW the charge I have (V030301-20) has:
    GS21 X=0.43, Y=0.46, Z=0.36 which would translate to RGB 16/15/10
    GS22 X=0.19, Y=0.21, Z=0.17 which would translate to RGB 7/7/5 (Yellowish)
    GS23 X=0.06, Y=0.05, Z=0.04 which would translate to RGB 3/1/1 (Reddish)
    The fact they are not neutral doesn't matter, as long as the values are
    known, and they don't deviate too much from the guidelines. Some of the
    deviation is inherent to the material used.

    I believe GS0 and GS23 are sort of the Dmin and Dmax of the material the
    target was produced on. AFAIK it is not an official part of the GS1 to GS22
    grayscale, but more a presentation of extremes, and the color (the X and Z)
    may be far from neutral. Vigorously trying to profile those exceptional
    patches may throw off the accuracy of the rest of the profile.

    Looking at the characteristic curve for Velvia (RVP), any density increase
    of more than approx. 3.0 above base density, is mainly Green and Blue. Red's
    D-max is almost 0.50 ! lower than Green, so deep shadows look reddish
    according to Fuji's AF3-960E data sheet.
    Again, it is my believe that reaching the density is one thing, accurate
    color is another, and Velvia cannot produce higher Red densities than about
    3.10 above base density (according to the Fuji data sheet). Push-processing
    will affect the lower densities more than the D-max, but the D-max is not
    going to increase with pull-processing (not much anyway).

    The new Velvia is said to have an extremely high D-max (don't know how
    accurate the colors are there), which will be impossible to scan on any
    thing but *the best* drumscanners.

    Bart van der Wolf, Aug 18, 2003
  19. Melvyn Kopstein

    EDGY01 Guest

    << I have heard rumors about Nikon introducing new scanners this Fall

    you can get into a tail chase by trying to keep up with technological changes
    (which is what all manufacturers want!) or simply realize that the 4000ED will
    most likely handle the 90% solution for you. If you're really honest with
    yourself about your scanning needs and the ultimate product of your scans
    (prints to size XX) then the 4000ED is more than suitable for your needs. If
    you HAVE to have the lastest bells and whistles...

    Dan '8000ED' Lindsay
    Santa Barbara
    EDGY01, Aug 19, 2003
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