nikon 8000 v. imacon; windows v. mac

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Nobody Nowhere, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Some time ago I asked one of my many "little boy" questions: "is imacon
    better than nikon 8000, or (on a different occasion) is mac better than
    windows?". On both occasions I was told "try for yourself", and David
    also added "and tell us the result". Today, I went to a shop where I
    could scan 6 x 6 hassy negs with an imacon, and play a little with their
    mac. I wish I didn't do it. I have found that I liked both more than I
    did my current nikon 8000, and windows xp. Both sets of software seemed
    to me to be better and more user friendly than the Nikon and windows xp
    software; not only this, but the imacon (colour flex?) software seemed
    to allow for more intelligent manipulation of the image. As I just
    said, I liked the results of the scan better than my current Nikon
    scans. It was not a question of number of pixels, I ended up with only
    100mb files or so, but the image seemed to me to capture much better
    the atmosphere as I remembered it. Whether this was due to the ability
    of the imacon to focus better, which some say it is the case, I wouldn't
    know. I often heard that "nikon 8000 gives you 95 per cent of what
    imacon gives", but I was never entirely convinced by this argument: the
    chimpanzee also has 95 per cent (or even more) of the human genes, yet
    it is still a chimp. I wish I knew what to do now!
    ps: the imacon was of the expensive kind, something like a 846, or
    something like that. On these shores it sells for only the equivalent
    of 18000 us dollars *plus* 17.5 per cent tax!!!!! (ok, new, big
    deal...).
    --
    nobody
     
    Nobody Nowhere, Dec 23, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Nobody Nowhere" <> wrote:

    > Today, I went to a shop where I
    > could scan 6 x 6 hassy negs with an imacon, and play a little with their
    > mac. I wish I didn't do it. I have found that I liked both more than I
    > did my current nikon 8000, and windows xp.


    Well, the mac part is easy: buy a mac.

    > Both sets of software seemed
    > to me to be better and more user friendly than the Nikon and windows xp
    > software; not only this, but the imacon (colour flex?) software seemed
    > to allow for more intelligent manipulation of the image.


    Hmm. NikonScan is a kludge and inconvenient, but I like the curves tool it
    provides. The fact that it shows you where on the curve the place you point
    at in the preview falls is very useful. I find that rough color correction
    at scan time using that tool gets very close most of the time.

    > As I just
    > said, I liked the results of the scan better than my current Nikon
    > scans.


    So put some crops of them up on a web site somewhere. The Imacon scans below
    don't tell me much about the scanner.

    http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/

    Were you scanning a silver-based B&W neg? My fondness for the Nikon is based
    on its performance on color materials. The one roll of silver B&W I scanned
    was rather gritty.

    http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis/ugly-c2.jpg

    > It was not a question of number of pixels, I ended up with only
    > 100mb files or so, but the image seemed to me to capture much better
    > the atmosphere as I remembered it.


    Huh? What's the "remembered" bit??? You should have the film in your hands,
    so you should be able to see which is doing a better job.

    FWIW, I tend to be dismissive of the Imacon because the bloke at Luminous
    Landscape seemed unable to get good scans from his, and there's a lack of
    sample scans on the net to compare.

    > Whether this was due to the ability
    > of the imacon to focus better, which some say it is the case, I wouldn't
    > know.


    The 8000 _autofocus function_ is flipping amazing: extremely repeatable and
    accurate.

    The 8000 DOF is too shallow, so you have to keep your film flat to within
    +/- 10 or 15 focus units and manually set the focus to the center of the
    range of focus distances across the frame to get a sharp scan across the
    frame.

    Do an 8000 scan of a small crop from your test negative with the focus set
    on that crop area and compare it to the Imacon scan.

    > I often heard that "nikon 8000 gives you 95 per cent of what
    > imacon gives", but I was never entirely convinced by this argument: the
    > chimpanzee also has 95 per cent (or even more) of the human genes, yet
    > it is still a chimp.


    This is, of course, an invalid argument. Genes are software, and thus an
    increase of 5% in gene size gives a nearly infinite* increase in available
    complexity. (This is a basic result in the theory of computation due to
    Turing.)

    *: The function that describes the increase in complexity with program size
    grows faster than any other function.

    > I wish I knew what to do now!


    One problem is that desktop scanners collect crud in their optical systems
    and you may need to persuade Nikon to clean the thing. This is easy for me,
    since Nikon's Tokyo service desk is short taxi ride from here, and Nikon
    service in Japan, unlike that in other countries, is excellent. I was being
    unhappy with my scans from the 8000, and rescanned one of the first slides I
    had scanned with it and found it had lost a lot of contast. US$200 and a
    week later and I was back to being happy with the beast.

    > ps: the imacon was of the expensive kind, something like a 846, or
    > something like that. On these shores it sells for only the equivalent
    > of 18000 us dollars *plus* 17.5 per cent tax!!!!! (ok, new, big
    > deal...).


    For US$18,000 it flipping better be better than a US$2,000 scanner...

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Dec 24, 2004
    #2
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