What is better Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 or Coolscan V ED?


A

Andy Salnikov

Hi all,

I'm planning to buy a scanner to scan a bunch of the
very old BW negatives. From what I read in different places
Super Coolscan 400 is probably a good match for this task
for a price. There is also a Coolscan V ED out there in
probably the same price range, but I could not find any
particularly useful review for it. Does anybody have experience
with V ED? How good is it compared to Super 4000? How good
is it for scanning dense or overexposed BW negatives?

Thanks,
Andy.
 
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D

degrub

Essentially the same scanner, some enhancements for KC. Check the specs
 
B

Bruce Graham

Essentially the same scanner, some enhancements for KC. Check the specs
Does the Coolscan V have multi-sampling? (I *think* I read that it
doesn't but the Nikon 4000 does and that might be useful for those
overexposed dense B&W negs)
 
F

Fred Toewe

Bruce Graham said:
Does the Coolscan V have multi-sampling? (I *think* I read that it
doesn't but the Nikon 4000 does and that might be useful for those
overexposed dense B&W negs)
You're correct that Nikon Coolscan V ED ( I have one) does not have
multiscan in their NikonScan4 software, but the hardware is perfectly
capable of performing this function if you want to use a third party
software to drive it like Vuescan etc.

However, you do not really need multiscan for dense negatives. Nikonscan
does an amazing job IMHO of finding an image in a negatives that are so dark
that you cannot even guess what the subject is. Now to be sure, if your
negative is that badly exposed, you're not going to get an award winning
image from it, but the result will usually be viewable.

I cannot compare these results to the model 4000, as I have never owned or
used one.

Bon chance,
Fred
 
D

Don

You're correct that Nikon Coolscan V ED ( I have one) does not have
multiscan in their NikonScan4 software, but the hardware is perfectly
capable of performing this function if you want to use a third party
software to drive it like Vuescan etc.
That's not quite correct. Even though the Coolscan V hardware is
capable (in theory!) it requires firmware reprogramming. Vuescan does
*not* multiscan on Coolscan V like NikonScan does on the 4000. What
Vuescan does is not only very time consuming but utterly useless.

The process it employs is called multi-pass multi-scanning which means
the image is scanned, the scanner assembly goes back and the image is
scanned again, and again, and again... At this point all those scans
are *misaligned*! Vuescan then just merges them all blindly *without*
aligning resulting in a blurry mess. That's a monumental waste of
time!

By comparison, a far better (and considerably faster!) way is to scan
once and apply a small amount of Gaussian Blur to dark, noisy areas,
preferably incrementally.

Or, if one really wants to multi-pass multi-scan, it's much better to
do it manually, align the scans and then merge in an editor.

What 4000 does is called single-pass multi-scanning where the scanner
advances to a line, scans it several times, averages out the result
and then proceeds on to the next line. Since multiple scans are
performed while the scanner assembly is stationary, there's no
misalignment between individual scans used for averaging.

However, even that does not produce as good results as twin scanning
or high definition range images, but single-pass multi-scanning may do
in some cases. Multi-pass multi-scanning *with alignment* comes very
close but it takes more time and effort. But multi-pass multi-scanning
*without* alignment (the Vuescan "method") is a total waste of time.

Don.
 
F

Fred Toewe

Don said:
That's not quite correct. Even though the Coolscan V hardware is
capable (in theory!) it requires firmware reprogramming. Vuescan does
*not* multiscan on Coolscan V like NikonScan does on the 4000. What
Vuescan does is not only very time consuming but utterly useless.

The process it employs is called multi-pass multi-scanning which means
the image is scanned, the scanner assembly goes back and the image is
scanned again, and again, and again... At this point all those scans
are *misaligned*! Vuescan then just merges them all blindly *without*
aligning resulting in a blurry mess. That's a monumental waste of
time!

By comparison, a far better (and considerably faster!) way is to scan
once and apply a small amount of Gaussian Blur to dark, noisy areas,
preferably incrementally.

Or, if one really wants to multi-pass multi-scan, it's much better to
do it manually, align the scans and then merge in an editor.

What 4000 does is called single-pass multi-scanning where the scanner
advances to a line, scans it several times, averages out the result
and then proceeds on to the next line. Since multiple scans are
performed while the scanner assembly is stationary, there's no
misalignment between individual scans used for averaging.

However, even that does not produce as good results as twin scanning
or high definition range images, but single-pass multi-scanning may do
in some cases. Multi-pass multi-scanning *with alignment* comes very
close but it takes more time and effort. But multi-pass multi-scanning
*without* alignment (the Vuescan "method") is a total waste of time.

Don.
Don, I won't get into a pissing contest with you. I've seen so many of your
anti-Vuescan posts... that I just delete anything with your name on it.
Whether YOU want to call what Vuescan does as multipass or not is
your business. Just because you have an opinion of what something
is or isn't, doesn't change what the rest of the world thinks one little
bit.

Sorry to be such a **** on our first exchange, but that's where I'm
coming from.

Otherwise, cheers,
Fred
 
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L

Lorenzo J. Lucchini

Fred said:
Don said:
Don, I won't get into a pissing contest with you. I've seen so many of
your anti-Vuescan posts... that I just delete anything with your name on
it. Whether YOU want to call what Vuescan does as multipass or not is
your business. Just because you have an opinion of what something
is or isn't, doesn't change what the rest of the world thinks one little
bit.

Sorry to be such a **** on our first exchange, but that's where I'm
coming from.
However, for what it's worth, I confirm that Don is completely right on
this.

He did give a valid explanation for his opinions: scanners' motors simply
move too much for a second pass to accurately match the first pass. All
you'll get is a blurry image, when all goes well.

There are (not too many) tools for automatic alignment of images, such as
ALE (but look for a list I posted some weeks ago), that I suggest trying
out to anybody who's interested in doing multi-scanning with a
non-hardware-multisampling scanner.


by LjL
(e-mail address removed)
 
K

Kennedy McEwen

Fred Toewe said:
You're correct that Nikon Coolscan V ED ( I have one) does not have
multiscan in their NikonScan4 software, but the hardware is perfectly
capable of performing this function if you want to use a third party
software to drive it like Vuescan etc.
No it isn't - multiscanning has been specifically disabled by Nikon in
the Coolscan V firmware and is NOT available as an intrinsic hardware
capability.

A workaround (or bodge) to this is multi-pass scanning, which is merely
an attempt to simulate true multiscanning, and is something that Vuescan
can apply to any scanner but which relies on the scanner mechanics being
accurately repeatable on multiple scans to the full resolution of the
scanner. Few scanner mechanics have this capability.

It is one thing making a step of 1/4000" per line with a certain error
in each position, but that tolerance tightens by more than three orders
of magnitude when the entire scan is repeated. Few scanners are capable
of this, and a direct comparison of multiscanning results on Vuescan
from an LS-4000 (single-pass) and an LS-V (multi-pass) show that the
Nikon mechanics simply is not up to the multi-pass job, though it may be
significantly better than most.
 
W

Wilfred

Lorenzo said:
Fred Toewe wrote:

Don, I won't get into a pissing contest with you. I've seen so many of
your anti-Vuescan posts... that I just delete anything with your name on
it. Whether YOU want to call what Vuescan does as multipass or not is
your business. Just because you have an opinion of what something
is or isn't, doesn't change what the rest of the world thinks one little
bit.

Sorry to be such a **** on our first exchange, but that's where I'm
coming from.

However, for what it's worth, I confirm that Don is completely right on
this.
He is, where the Coolscan V is concerned. But don't misinterpret what he
claims as "the VueScan way of multiscanning is multi-pass
multi-scanning". This is not true because VueScan can do single-pass
multi-scans on scanners that support it through their hardware. There
are even scanners that have this feature disabled in the manufacturer's
software, but that can do single-pass multi-scanning with VueScan - for
instance the Minolta Scan Speed.
 
D

Don

Don, I won't get into a pissing contest with you. I've seen so many of your
anti-Vuescan posts... that I just delete anything with your name on it.
I will not state the obvious... (And there's more than one!)
Whether YOU want to call what Vuescan does as multipass or not is
your business.
There *is* a difference between MULTI-pass multiscanning and (true)
SINGLE-pass multiscanning as I clearly explained if you only bothered
to read before the red haze descended.

As you can see from all the other comments everybody else understood
that right away, but they did read it calmly.

That you would misinterpret such a widely known *neutral* fact as
"anti-Vuescan" and immediately lash out in a personal attack says it
all, both in terms of knowledge and temperament.
Sorry to be such a (expletive deleted) on our first exchange, but that's where I'm
coming from.
You're apparently coming from a very angry place, as is evident from
your unprovoked overreaction . But, then again, that's the natural
habitat of the rabid Vuescan lot (not to be confused with reasonable
Vuescan users).

Don.
 
D

Don

He is, where the Coolscan V is concerned. But don't misinterpret what he
claims as "the VueScan way of multiscanning is multi-pass
multi-scanning". This is not true because VueScan can do single-pass
multi-scans on scanners that support it through their hardware.
That's correct and I didn't say otherwise. The subject was very
specific about how to retrofit multiscanning to Coolscan V which is
why I was very careful to limit my comments to scanners whose firmware
does not support multiscanning.
There
are even scanners that have this feature disabled in the manufacturer's
software, but that can do single-pass multi-scanning with VueScan - for
instance the Minolta Scan Speed.
Yes, of course, which is why I indicated that in case of Coolscan V
that was not possible without reprogramming the firmware.

Don.
 
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D

DenverDad

Andy,

I can't address specifically which of the two scanners you listed would
be better for the task since I haven't used either. But I wanted to
thrown out one more idea regarding extracting detail from dense
transparencies (overexposed negatives or underexposed slides), which
you could use regardless of the scanner chosen. What I've started
doing is using software called Photomatix, which combines two or more
different exposures of the same image. What you do is scan the film
twice with the scanner - once at normal exposure then again at a
somewhat longer exposure. The long exposure scan will of course blow
the highlights, but it will also have brighter, less noisy shadows.
Photomatix combines the two images in a way that keeps the non-blown
highlights from the one image, and the better exposed shadows from the
other. But the key thing is that it has an algorithm for aligning the
two images before comgining them, so it presumably does a better job
than the scanner in this respect. My results so far with the trial
version of Photomatix have been pretty good, based on scans from my
Canon Canoscan FS4000 scanner.

You can find Photomatix here:
http://www.hdrsoft.com/

For reference, here are the other methods I've tried for difficult
slides:

1) Use the "long exposure pass" feature with this scanner: this did a
seemingly good job - until I started pixel peeking, that is. What I
found was that it generates some strange artifacts. These are probably
related to mis-alignment between the two scans.
2) Multipass approach. This seems to work as it is supposed to. But
the number of scans required in order to see a significant improvement
makes the scanning time just too long (especially with the rather slow
FS4000). I never really convinced myself i was seeing the
mis-alignment induced blurring that people worry about, however.


Jeff
 
B

Bruce Graham

Andy,

I can't address specifically which of the two scanners you listed would
be better for the task since I haven't used either. But I wanted to
thrown out one more idea regarding extracting detail from dense
transparencies (overexposed negatives or underexposed slides), which
you could use regardless of the scanner chosen. What I've started
doing is using software called Photomatix, which combines two or more
different exposures of the same image. What you do is scan the film
twice with the scanner - once at normal exposure then again at a
somewhat longer exposure. The long exposure scan will of course blow
the highlights, but it will also have brighter, less noisy shadows.
Photomatix combines the two images in a way that keeps the non-blown
highlights from the one image, and the better exposed shadows from the
other. But the key thing is that it has an algorithm for aligning the
two images before comgining them, so it presumably does a better job
than the scanner in this respect. My results so far with the trial
version of Photomatix have been pretty good, based on scans from my
Canon Canoscan FS4000 scanner.

You can find Photomatix here:
http://www.hdrsoft.com/

For reference, here are the other methods I've tried for difficult
slides:

1) Use the "long exposure pass" feature with this scanner: this did a
seemingly good job - until I started pixel peeking, that is. What I
found was that it generates some strange artifacts. These are probably
related to mis-alignment between the two scans.
My experience is that the Vuescan "long exposure pass" is a bit of a
gamble and can sometimes give some very good results on my FS4000. But
it is not something that you would consider as part of your regular
workflow but it is handy to know it is there for an emergency (which is
about all Ed Hamrick claims for the option). It may be worth repeating
the scan several times and pixel-peep to check for a good scan. I think
it sometimes fails on its blending as well as misalignment.
2) Multipass approach. This seems to work as it is supposed to. But
the number of scans required in order to see a significant improvement
makes the scanning time just too long (especially with the rather slow
FS4000). I never really convinced myself i was seeing the
mis-alignment induced blurring that people worry about, however.
my experience on the FS4000 is similar - I do see a little mis-alignment
blurring on a x4 scan (sometimes a worse one) but I soon got tired of
this multi-scanning process as it was too slow for any small gains to be
had. My scanner was new when I tried it and blurring could only be worse
now it has extra dirt and mechanical wear.
 
A

Andy Salnikov

Hi all,

thanks for all your comments. From what I read here
it seems that the only real advantage of 4000 over Ls-50
is a single-pass multi-scanning. Few comments indicate
that multi-scanning is too slow anyway to be used
efficiently, so it may not be even a big advantage after
all. It looks like these two guys are almost identical
feature-wise and quality-wise. Does anybody know about any
other competitor to these two which can scan dense BW
negatives? I was thinking about Minolta Scan Elite 5400 too
but after reading excellent review of LS4000 at Imagingsource
I decided that it should be Nikon :) Should I reconsider it?
How good is 5400 compared to LS4000?

Andy.
 
K

Kennedy McEwen

Andy Salnikov said:
Hi all,

thanks for all your comments. From what I read here
it seems that the only real advantage of 4000 over Ls-50
is a single-pass multi-scanning.
The LS-4000 also supports the optional bulk film adapters, the LS-50
doesn't.
 
H

Hans-Georg Michna

That you would misinterpret such a widely known *neutral* fact as
"anti-Vuescan" and immediately lash out in a personal attack says it
all, both in terms of knowledge and temperament.
Don,

that reply of yours was not actually needed. I guess that many
readers like me, even those who know neither you nor Fred, took
his reply as a confirmation that your message was correct. :)-)

Hans-Georg
 
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H

Hans-Georg Michna

Kennedy,

just a remark on the sidelines.

Actually, the fact that two successive scans are misaligned
could be used by clever software not only to yield less noise,
but even to yield a higher resolution.

Ver time-consuming, but a very interesting way out for those who
cannot afford a scanner with a really high resolution.

I don't know the mathematics, but I guess that a doubling of
linear resolution is probably doable with a reasonable number of
scans.

If multiple scans were perfectly aligned, increasing resolution
would not be possible at all.

Is there any software that can do this?

Hans-Georg
 
K

Kennedy McEwen

Hans-Georg said:
Kennedy,

just a remark on the sidelines.

Actually, the fact that two successive scans are misaligned
could be used by clever software not only to yield less noise,
but even to yield a higher resolution.

Ver time-consuming, but a very interesting way out for those who
cannot afford a scanner with a really high resolution.

I don't know the mathematics, but I guess that a doubling of
linear resolution is probably doable with a reasonable number of
scans.

If multiple scans were perfectly aligned, increasing resolution
would not be possible at all.

Is there any software that can do this?
Yes, it is possible - it is a technique I have used myself in imaging
systems, albeit with a deliberate and systematic misalignment between
successive frames.

The practical increase in resolution is limited by the system MTF though
(most often through the optics, but also by the spatial response of the
CCD), and is generally somewhat less than double that of the original
device.

I don't know of any software that permits the automatic alignment of
frames within fractional pixel pitches for interleaving or the decision
on which frames are aligned well enough with any others in the set to be
integrated with each other.
 
L

Lorenzo J. Lucchini

Hans-Georg Michna said:
Kennedy,

just a remark on the sidelines.

Actually, the fact that two successive scans are misaligned
could be used by clever software not only to yield less noise,
but even to yield a higher resolution.
I'm not sure the two can be obtained *together*, though. I think there's a
bit of Heisenberg involved ;-)
Ver time-consuming, but a very interesting way out for those who
cannot afford a scanner with a really high resolution.

I don't know the mathematics, but I guess that a doubling of
linear resolution is probably doable with a reasonable number of
scans.

If multiple scans were perfectly aligned, increasing resolution
would not be possible at all.
Yes, two perfectly aligned scans won't do it. But it's dubious to me whether
you can actually achieve higher resolution even with misaligned scans: come
to think of it, scans are not just *misaligned* in your everyday scanner,
but they're misaligned in ways that vary *in* the image.

The top may have some amount of average misalignment, the bottom may have
some other amount, *and each row or column might have a different and
random amount of misalignment* due to errors in the motor steps
(vertically) and loose movement of the CCD array (horizontally).

How would software find out about all this?
No, I think multi-scanning, in practice, will be much more useful for noise
reduction, with scanners.
Is there any software that can do this?
Yes, ALE, at http://auricle.dyndns.org/ALE/ .
It's wonderful software, though slow as hell.


by LjL
(e-mail address removed)
 
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L

Lorenzo J. Lucchini

Kennedy said:
Hans-Georg said:
Yes, it is possible - it is a technique I have used myself in imaging
systems, albeit with a deliberate and systematic misalignment between
successive frames.

[snip]

I don't know of any software that permits the automatic alignment of
frames within fractional pixel pitches for interleaving or the decision
on which frames are aligned well enough with any others in the set to be
integrated with each other.
ALE can do all that, as well as perform more geometrical transformations
than just translation in order to get images aligned.

Trivial as it may sound, though, I can't find in the manual where it
describes a way to *manually* input the amount of misalignment between two
given images.


by LjL
(e-mail address removed)
 

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