Coolscan III + slides = dark blue cast

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Don, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Don

    Don Guest

    OK, I had it with incompetent clowns at Nikon's (so-called) support!
    I'm both desperate and exasperated, so: HELP, please!

    Hardware: Nikon Coolscan III a.k.a. LS-30
    Firmware: 1.3.1
    Software: Nikon Scan 3.1.2
    Film: Kodak (both negatives and slides)

    1. Negative scans come out perfect. (<= Important!)
    2. An empty slide frame produced a true white scan (!) as it should.
    3. Positive slides come out too dark and with a HEAVY blue cast!

    The blue cast is so heavy that trying to remove it introduces all
    sorts of artifacts making the resulting image unusable. The darkness
    of the scan results in a VERY narrow dynamic range. All in all, I get
    better results scanning slides with a $100 flatbed scanner!

    Over the last 3 months I ran tests using all permutations of available
    settings e.g. with and without color management, autoexposure, ICE,
    etc, etc, etc.... And I mean ALL permutations! Not an easy thing to do
    as inane Nikon Scan must be restarted after each change. Hair lumps on
    the floor... Claw marks on the walls...

    End result: No matter what I do the heavy blue cast is always there!

    So what can we deduce bearing in mind facts 1 and 2 above?
    It can't be hardware or cabling. It can't be any global setting. It
    can't be the Windows version (one of the "clever" suggestions by the
    Nikon's support "genius"...)

    Why? Because negatives and empty frame would be affected too!!

    So, it's over to you folks. HELP, please, before I defenestrate this
    Nikon piece of... ahem... hardware.

    Don, Oct 22, 2003
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  2. Don

    Flycaster Guest

    Defenstrate, huh? Didn't realize that was a verb, but I do get the point!

    What this tells me is that an incorrect profile is being applied by the
    software. I'm sure you've checked and double checked that the film type,
    speed, and brand are OK, right? My advice is to download a free version
    (it's watermarked) of Ed Hamerick's Vuescan and see if you get clean
    positive scans with it. If it works, pay Ed the nominal fee for a license
    and defenestrate the Nikon junkware - Vuescan is a *much* better program,
    and the learning curve isn't too bad either..
    Flycaster, Oct 22, 2003
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  3. Don

    Don Guest

    ;-) Apparently, it's commonly used in psychiatry when an inmate or a
    patient walks up to a window and... continues walking. Well, Oxford
    lists it so it must be legit.
    Unfortunately, Nikon Scan "knows better" and the only options are the
    very descriptive Negative or Positive.
    I tried Vuescan in order to narrow down the cause. Vuescan does remove
    most of the cast when all automatic bells and whistles are turned on
    but, essentially, the image it receives from the scanner still has the

    The only explanation I can think of is the firmware. Namely, color
    negatives have an orange cast which is compensated with a blue mask
    before the image is inverted.

    It appears to me as if Nikon firmware is applying this blue mask
    indiscriminately i.e., to positives/slides as well.

    This still doesn't explain why an empty frame comes out white (as it
    should) but the only one who can explain all this, i.e. Nikon
    "support", isn't much help...

    Don, Oct 23, 2003
  4. Don

    Flycaster Guest

    Try a google search for a Nikon scanner newsgroup/forum. There should be
    something, and I'll bet you get a response or 2 that would be of direct
    benefit. Another thought is to contact Ed Hamerick via e-mail, describe the
    problem, and ask him for a diagnosis. He's usually good at responding, and
    he knows a *lot* about film scanners.
    Flycaster, Oct 23, 2003
  5. Don

    East75th Guest

    East75th, Oct 23, 2003
  6. Don

    East75th Guest

    East75th, Oct 23, 2003
  7. Don

    Don Guest

    I just thought I'd try here first...

    Anyway, just as I was about to write an email to Ed Hamerick, as you
    suggested, Dane (see next message) pointed me in the right direction!!

    In a nutshell: It's all Nikon's fault and their "support" personnel is
    blessed with incompetence of galactic proportions!

    Don, Oct 23, 2003
  8. Don

    Don Guest

    A great THANK YOU!!!

    BTW, if I was peeved at Nikon's incompetent "support" before, now I'm
    absolutely furious!

    Not only should this information be splattered all over their
    documentation but all (so-called) "support" personnel should have it
    tattooed on their foreheads.

    This massive Nikon incompetence has wasted me 3 months of work and 15
    CDs of (now) useless scans.

    Don, Oct 23, 2003
  9. Don

    Paul J Gans Guest

    I'm about to make your problem worse. I had the LS-30 (and
    had it for years). I used Nikonscan 3.12 also and I had
    NO problems of the sort you mention. I no longer recall if
    I updated the firmware so I can't help you there.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Oct 24, 2003
  10. Don

    Flycaster Guest

    I just looked at the web-site. Ouch. I'd be ticked-off too.
    Flycaster, Oct 24, 2003
  11. Don

    Don Guest

    Well, I upgraded both the firmware and the software to the latest
    versions available before starting to scan all my slides.

    BTW, the problem only occurs with Kodachrome slides (which is what
    *ALL* of my slides are) so if you used different film you wouldn't
    have had any problems.

    Don, Oct 24, 2003
  12. Don

    Don Guest

    What I find absolutely inexcusable is that Nikon's so-called "support"
    is totally ignorant of this major design flaw and illogically blaming
    everything from the Windows version to the monitor color profile,
    finally advising me to send in the scanner for repair!? Two words:


    There! I feel a little better now... ;-)

    Don, Oct 24, 2003
  13. Don

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Ok. That wasn't clear from the first post. I've used mainly
    Kodachrome and I don't recall any problems with it, but I do
    have a substantial amount of Fuji film too. So perhaps I've
    just not hit the problem yet.

    Thanks for bringing it up.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Oct 25, 2003
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