Any Nikon CoolScan 8000/9000 users here?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mood_lover, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. As an experiment, set up a new account on your computer, then do some scanning in there and see if the colors and dynamic range improve. An administrator account with all its downloads and stuff can interfere with your scanning without you knowing. On my iMac, I set up a "Guest Account" and when I scanned in that, it fixed every problem I ever had with my 120tf
  2. My Epson scans are as good or better for color than the scans I get from most labs. Color is determined by the skill of the operator and the quality of the neg/chrome. I worked in a minilab with a Frontier. I could "fix" the prints people would bring in from other labs wit the SAME scanner. What lab are you using for Frontier/Noritsu scans?
  3. Hmm I find this really hard to believe considering each hardware has its own way of interpreting the same negative.

    You're claiming your flatbed scans are as good or better than $30000 dedicated film scanner hardware. Do you have any proof? Any work online that shows your color scans?

    Color is first determined by the hardware, as its the first point of entry for the information coming in from the scanner. You are telling me you use post production to map your reds, greens, and blues that are coming in from the Epson to that of the Frontier, and I just cant believe it til I see it.

    The labs I use are FIND, Richard Photo Lab, and Carmencita.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  4. Don't be misled by "mint" and "60 day warranty", they mean nothing if the electronic chips or capacitors are about to go south. "Serviced" means cleaning and not much more. "Mint" means a shiny outer case with no scratches, but a shiny case doesn't do the scanning. Two components to keep in mind for failure are the Power Supply and the Motherboard. Both are boards with lots of electronic bits and pieces on them and are under stress when the full 4000 dpi is used constantly. Your best bet is an 8000 that has had an easy life, but just how you can determine that without the seller ensuring you of such with proof, is next to impossible. That's why I suggested finding out the history of a proposed purchase before buying. Don't be put off though, you've just got to keep certain things in mind when buying second hand goods. You need an escape plan, a way of fixing things if and when problems raise their ugly heads

    Yes the lens is under the film and the light is above the glass. The light finds its way through the glass, through the film, down on to the mirror and then through the lens and into the sensor. There's nothing to worry about, but the mirror and lens must be kept clean for maximum sharpness
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  5. Those are three of the best film labs in the world! Great choice on your part. No wonder you can't get scans as good as theirs. But, as I said, the main thing is the skill of the operator. I did this for a living; I know whereof I speak. Frontier and Noritsu scanners are expensive in large part because they are designed for incredibly heavy commercial use, at high speeds. Their automation is amazing (when used correctly), but that too is a big part of their cost. Still, the best scans are available from drum scanners with highly skilled operators.

    Consider too that a great photographer will get better pictures--in all respects--with a "cheap" camera, than I would with a 'Blad digital.

    EDIT: A Flickr album of mine.
  6. Youre right and I am still on guard anytime I buy such old second hand equipment. I have 14 days to return it but after that as you know it just becomes a risk. But still, I figure if it doesn't last too long I can sell it off as parts and take it as a lesson learned. If it at least works for a year then my money was worth it. The 60 day warranty must be honored if the electronics are fried within the two months but Im trying not to be so negative cause I've heard good things and this guy seems like a dedicated scanner seller. We'll see I guess. Should I ask him the history of the scanner? Im not sure what he'd say to me if he's trying to sell it and I've already arranged to buy it. What would an escape plan even be?
  7. Hmm, as I suspected the colors from your Epson results are much different than even the LS-50 results which I prefer much more. The LS-50 colors are calmer, more in balance with one another, and feel very film-like. The Epsons are more vivid, not exactly in harmony, and feel more digital. Don't know if that makes sense.

    Check out this Carmencita blog post for example, the colors here are gorgeous:
    Martin Condomines: 5 Months Away - Carmencita Film Lab
  8. Very interesting results, but that funky color on the Noritsu is obviously due to auto-mode and not an indicator of quality when using manual settings. Anyways say youre right about the cost, due to automation and output.

    How do you explain the examples in the link I sent? They usually scan with a Frontier and get a quality and feel that I cant seem to figure out how to pull off on any other scanner. Here's the link again: Martin Condomines: 5 Months Away - Carmencita Film Lab
  9. I think of "bottom" as the side closest to the scanner lens.

    In the FH-869G, the bottom glass has an anti-reflection coating, much like a camera lens. The emulsion side of film has relatively matte finish, and is usually cupped upwards (away from the lower glass). These elements combine to make the formation of Newton's Rings unlikely on that surface.

    The upper glass has a slightly etched finish. There is nothing to prevent the film from touching the upper glass, especially since the back of the film is shiny and cupped upwards in the middle. AN glass prevents the film from touching except in minute spots. While the scanner could resolve this etched surface, it is spaced about 2 mm from the lower glass, and somewhat out of focus. it doesn't matter, and may help that light through the AN glass is somewhat diffused.

    I don't know about the "big labs" since I have always scanned my own images. Mini-labs are another matter. Unless you request otherwise, their scans have exaggerated contrast and saturation, and relatively low resolution (4x6' quality). Lab prints are done digitally on light sensitive paper and processed wet. Colors are more intense on a wet print than from an inkjet, and more glossy. However a dye-sublimation (more accurately, dye-transfer) printer comes very close to wet print quality and intensity. My big Kodak dye-sub is no longer supported, but I have an inexpensive Canon 4x6 printer that does an excellent job, and works through my home Wi-Fi network.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  10. I have done a comparison of the Nikon with the Canon film scanners. Search and you will find some of these with links to others (e.g., LINK).

    The CanoScan 4000FS is nearly as good, maybe equal, to the Nikon 9000, but it has only antique and slow connections (so-called "fast SCSI").
  11. true, I missed that by the time I got around to posting. Medium format is one reason I spent the money on the Nikon.

    I have used both and think that automatic dust/scratch processing is not so hot period.
  12. I know.
  13. I created a new gallery, "Medium Format Scans" and added a few photos. These are basically raw scans other than cropping while scanning. Including the border may affect the exposure, After adopting Lightroom, I generally included the border while scanning, since adjustments are easy and non-destructive. All photos in this gallery are scans of negative film. - Discover, Develop and Discuss Photography

    When scanning, devise some scheme whereby you can refer to the original negative easily. I give each roll a date/subject code and name the image accordingly, appending the frame number. The film strips are stored in clear archival pages, in binders. Derivative images are saved in sub-folders. In general, I don't name photos, but that can be done in LR, and pointers to the original added to collections, etc.

    The OP asked if a scanner profile improved accuracy. Unfortunately it does not work that well with negative film. However calibrating your monitor, adjusting the images to taste, then printing with a print profile works fairly reliably. I find that prints are darker than on the screen, but a half stop adjustment is usually sufficient. I use a default value (80%) when printing from LR, and it works well enough for most purposes.
  14. Ed would you mind fixing the link? Its currently linked to the user's profile - Discover, Develop and Discuss Photography

  15. My galleries are public. PNET's links are broken. This one takes you the right gallery, "Medium Format Scans."


    Les Sarile (LessDMess) is probably the scanning expert in this forum. I'm a fussy tech geek, retired engineer.
    mood_lover likes this.
  16. Ed, are these photos in the medium format scans gallery all from the CoolScan 8000? The detail and color is amazing!

  17. Thank you. The were all scanned on an LS-8000. I don't recall which film, but probably Fuji Reala. We haven't had fall colors like that since. Mother Nature can take all the credit.
  18. I realize this thread is a couple of months old but in case anyone is looking at it down the road I have some insight from the novice perspective. I just started shooting film last summer. Concepts such as "Depth of Field" were new to me. Back then I picked up a used Epson V500 for $40 or something. I've been satisfied with it but kept hearing how much better an actual film scanner would be.

    A few weeks ago as chance would have it, I saw an add for a non-working Coolscan 8000 ED for $100. Figuring the film holders alone were worth more than that, I snapped it up as quick as I could. All it took was some cleaning and re-lubrication to get it working again. I've tried vuescan and silverfast. Vuescan doesn't do thumbnails on this scanner from what I can tell and in general just operates it slowly. It took a lot of messing around with settings to get a scan that would compare favorably what I'd get with minimal adjustment from the same negatives in Epson Scan and the V500.

    SilverFast does do thumbnails (it calls it an overview or something like that) and seems to work faster but costs major $$$$.

    So I found and old G5 to run Nikon Scan on. It did again, take me awhile but I've gotten it to the point now where I can actually get pleasing results and see more detail in the scans than what I was getting before. All this makes me wonder whether it would really be worth it to spend $1,000 on an 8000. It all depends on your needs I suppose. I may end up being a big fan in the long run but so far it's been a fair amount of work for a modest improvement.
  19. I've wondered that too. Maybe I didn't clean the mirror or lens as well as I thought or maybe something got on it when I was reassembling it.

    The other real possibility is user error and unrealistic expectations. I'm still very much a novice at this stuff. Even in the last few days I've managed to get some better results. Someone with more skills and a more discerning eye may have noticed right away. I was expecting more of clear and obvious improvement in every way. What I was forgetting is that some of images I'm comparing didn't turn out so well on the epson either the first time through.
  20. Well, after a couple of weeks with it, I'm pretty confident that if my photos were of resolution test targets taken under ideal conditions, I could notice the difference in favor of my 8000. ;)

    But my photos aren't either ideal or designed to show resolution differences. My initial reaction was that I was actually getting more pleasing scans from the Epson.

    Later I realized that I wasn't comparing apples to apples. I was comparing an image that I'd done a fair amount of post processing to after scanning a couple of different times on the Epson. It was a picture of a bike on the beach that I like and it was my first attempt at using Caffenol as a developer. I screwed it up, - left it in the developer too long. The Nikon did an excellent job of showing me how flawed the image was. :)

    That was a B&W photo. I also wasn't pleased with how the colors came out in VueScan on my first scan of a color photo using the 8000. Just seemed really flat. But all this has to do with software and not the ability of the scanner itself.

    I'm now remembering that my out of the box experience with the Epson wasn't so great either. I got some horrible scans at first because I'd left ICE on while scanning a B&W photo.

    Anyway, I've become convinced that I'm getting more detail out of the 8000 (as I should) but still not clear in the end how much that really matters with the photos I'm taking. I'll have to try some larger prints and see. On the one hand, given the choice I want as much detail in my scans as I can possibly get, but for where the majority of my photos will end up getting viewed, the Epson does a good enough job most of the time.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

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