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Thread: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

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    How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    With the death of my Minolta Multi Pro I need to secure a new scanner and wonder about users opinions on the Nikon 9000 ED which seems the only affordable alternative.

    I have a 600+ volume of 35mm (Velvia/Provia) slides to scan and then 35mm is over.

    However, I'm a 120 shooter and really need to focus on this attribute.

    Currently using an Epson V700 and BetterScan MF holders which I'm pleased with, BUT, is the Nikon THAT much better (i.e. US$2,500 better).

    And what about problems, user friendliness, software, (don't mention Vuescan!) essential extra's (ANR glass etc) and reliability.

    Appreciate any advise and tips.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    There's no specific scanner forum here so you'll find scanner threads all over. search for "nikon 8000" and "nikon 9000" to find past discussions.

    Nikon's 8000/9000 is pretty fast and convenient, and gives good results. The software is great and simple, best one I've used. Multisampling and Digital ICE are great functions. There may be some issues with getting the 120 film to stay flat depending on which holder you use. Personally I use wet mounting to work around any flatness and newton ring issues. Actual resolution in a 4000 dpi scan is slightly lower, MTF tests have shown 2500-3400 dpi depending on who you ask. Dynamic range goes all the way down to bit 14 if you use multisampling, which should mean Dmax over 4.0.

    The 8000 has a design flaw which leads to banding in dark areas if you use the fast mode where it scans 3 lines at a time. This means that for high-quality scans the 9000 is 3x faster than the 8000. Otherwise I think they are more or less equal.
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  3. #3
    nei1
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    If I were you Id try and stick with a cathode light source ,its what the newest imacons use and some old minoltas.Though I should say that Lars knows a massive amount more about this than me,
    Last edited by nei1; 7th May 2009 at 13:08.

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    It works well and scans fast, it's ICE does an outstanding job. I use VueScan to run it, normally use 4x sampling, and use the anti-Newton glass neg tray for most all of my scans -- factor in the AN neg tray to your purchase price as it is essential IMO. The only thing I've seen do better is the newer big Imacons, high-end Creo's and better drums. As a plus over the comparable Minolta, it is still offered as a new product from Nikon and is supported.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Now that I've retired from advertising, I should start a scanning service for GetDPI forum members.

    Let's see, 600 35mm slides at 5 minutes each total = 50 hours scanning.

    600 slides @ $5. each = $3,000. or $60. an hour.

    Okay, maybe not a good idea ...

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Thanks every one of you for responding.

    I'm inclined towards the Nikon as Jack pointed out, it's still supported. I'd love an Imacon but the cost and shipping over here would kill me!

    Nikon it is then.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Now that I've retired from advertising, I should start a scanning service for GetDPI forum members.

    Let's see, 600 35mm slides at 5 minutes each total = 50 hours scanning.

    600 slides @ $5. each = $3,000. or $60. an hour.

    Okay, maybe not a good idea ...
    Yeah that won't work so well, not without true unattended batch scanning (and low cost of labor). My old Nikon LS-2000 with feeder was pretty good in that sense, it did 50 slides unattended over 3 hours. It was OK with plastic-mounted slides but jammed a lot when scanning paper-mounted slides. The nikon 8000/9000 requires a lot more attention in that you can only scan 5 slides at a time.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    With the glass holder, the Nikon could also be used to scan 4x5, if one is willing to cut a couple of millimetres around the image. Here is what Mike Stacey on Flickr wrote:

    "I have the FH-869G as shown here:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=218836&is=REG The raised guides on the holder just collapse downward, they are not fixed. I have to cut about 11mm off the top and bottom of the film combined - that's including about 5mm of black edging. Also about 5mm off one side - this is not much more than I do anyway when post processing as I always use an 8 x 10 or 4 x 5 ratio which requires a bit of cropping.

After cutting, the film fits straight in and I scan (Vuescan) 4 times - one each quadrant then stitch in CS4. I'm using a Mac with 4GB of memory and dual core uP so it's all OK. I have only done it on 2 pieces of film so far so I will see if I am prepared to cut my film again - not sure yet but when it's all said and done, there's not much difference and one could mask the GG accordingly to make shooting more accurate.
"

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Ouch, cutting up your best 4x5s, that hurts...
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    It is only about 5mm in each dimension, and one can shoot with some bleed to account for that.
    I know, it is not the best solution, but one has to be inventive when the budget is tight!

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    I actually tried modifying a holder to scan 4x5's some years ago. I cut a slit in the lower edge to let the film sit further down so a larger area could be scanned - so I wouldn't have to cut up my film hehe

    In the end, I wasn't too happy about losing a few percent of the image as I had not taken that into account when composing.

    It was in this process that I came to the conclusion that if I am going to scan for digital output from a view camera, then a 6x9 cm with Digitar lenses plus a MF scanner like the Nikon hits a sweet spot.

    To get good 4x5 scans you have to step up to either Imacon, Creo or drum scanning. Although I have heard that the Epson V700 isn't too bad.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    I am not really happy with my V700, even for 4x5. Resolution is OK, not great; but Dmax is pathetic. That is why I am exploring alternatives. I love shooting with a 4x5, and can not convince myself to spend 20K for a digital back, and end up trying to compose and focus on a small 36 x 48 mm piece of silicon!

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    I think you can scan nearly a full 6x12 CM on the glass tray, so you are giving up quite a bit of the height of the 4x5 neg. On the upside, assuming you compose with that in mind, you have sort of built-in after the fact rise and fall adjustment if needed at trim time. But in the end it might be more economical to get a 6x12 filmback for your 4x5 and shoot the 120 format directly...
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois_A View Post
    I am not really happy with my V700, even for 4x5. Resolution is OK, not great; but Dmax is pathetic. That is why I am exploring alternatives. I love shooting with a 4x5, and can not convince myself to spend 20K for a digital back, and end up trying to compose and focus on a small 36 x 48 mm piece of silicon!
    Actually, for the money, the V700 must surely be the best in it's class.

    Just prior to the Multi Pro dying on me, I was comparing slides scanned from both scanners and although the 35mm comparison really exposed the V700 weakness, the 120 stuff was getting remarkably close from a sharpness point of view. But sharpness isn't everything. The MP held highlights and found shadow detail that the V700 couldn't dream of. The superior Dmax of the MP really shone through. Wonderful smooth tones, great detail.

    In fact, I've just bought another one!

    I know, no support etc etc, but bought from a member of the MP forum and complete with spare lamp (that's what swung the deal).

    Investigating the Nikon 9000 over here established NO service centres, twice the "normal" price (i.e US$ 5,000) and "Oh, we don't supply them anymore but we can get one for you" !!

    And I've had enough of Ebay purchases!

    Fingers crossed.

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I think you can scan nearly a full 6x12 CM on the glass tray, so you are giving up quite a bit of the height of the 4x5 neg. On the upside, assuming you compose with that in mind, you have sort of built-in after the fact rise and fall adjustment if needed at trim time. But in the end it might be more economical to get a 6x12 filmback for your 4x5 and shoot the 120 format directly...
    Yeah this is partly why I got a 6x9 cm view camera - digitizing options (at a certain cost and convenience level) are much superior to 4x5. The Nikons deliver excellent resolution and DR for their cost range. The only real issue is the 120 holders, it can be tricky to get both film flatness and no Newton rings. Wetmounting helps but really is a custom option.

    I just discovered today that my glassless 120 holder is broken, one of the snaplocks has broken off. Take this as a precaution, those little snaplocks are a bit fragile.

    A question about the glass holder FH-869G: On my holder the upper glass has a matte surface and a glossy surface. It came with the matte surface up and the glossy surface towards the film. What I am wondering is if the matte surface is supposed to be up, in which case it acts as a light diffuser, or down, in which case it acts to prevent Newton rings.

    At this time I use it modified so the matte surface is down. I get no Newton rings from the top glass anymore but I wonder if the matte surface structure affects scanning and ICE in particular.

    I also replaced the bottom glass with AR-coated art framing glass (had to get European glass - the glass I could find in California was not quite optically flat but had a wavy texture to it). I still occasionally get newton rings, but they are a lot weaker than with the original glass. (this is all with E6 film - b/w neg film emulsion is less flat so Newton rings not so much of an issue there)
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Lars, on the betterscanning web site fo their holders for the V700, they mention to put the film in contact with the glossy surface when wet mounting, and against the AR-coated surface when dry mounting. It probably would make sense for the Nikon too.
    http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/msfluid.html
    http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/msdry.html

    A question for those who have experience with the Imacon and/or Nikon:
    How a used Imacon Flextight Precision III would compare with the Nikon 9000 and the latest X1 and X5 ?

    Thanks,
    François

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois_A View Post
    Lars, on the betterscanning web site fo their holders for the V700, they mention to put the film in contact with the glossy surface when wet mounting, and against the AR-coated surface when dry mounting. It probably would make sense for the Nikon too.
    http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/msfluid.html
    http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/msdry.html

    A question for those who have experience with the Imacon and/or Nikon:
    How a used Imacon Flextight Precision III would compare with the Nikon 9000 and the latest X1 and X5 ?

    Thanks,
    François
    Thanks François and Jack, good to see images of anti-newton glass it looks exactly like the cover glass in my 869G holder. So Nikon must have made a mistake then, mounting it with the matte surface away from the film.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    The AN surface is matte and that is definitely the side you want the film to contact if trying to avoid Newton rings.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    I took some time yesterday and today to revisit the different MF holders and compare - glassless, 869S, glassed 869G, and my own custom wetmount tray.

    In my mind there is no doubt, for quality scans wetmounting is the way to go. It's actually faster to wetmount than to try to get the film stretched flat in the glassless holder, and with the glass holder there is always the spectre of newton rings.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Lars, quality wise, where do you see a difference between glass 869G and your wet mount approach ?

    Thanks

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Wetmounting has a few advantages:
    - Completely flat film means it's possible to get the sharpest possible scan
    - No Newton rings - with the 869G you have to examine each and every scan, and if there is a clear blue sky in an E6 frame for example then it can be very frustrating. Fixing Newton rings in post-processing is not realistic.
    - Slightly higher contrast - film surface does not have mirror finish so it diffuses light very slightly, leading to loss of contrast around edges between high and low density. With wetmounting the surface is clear and glossy.
    - Some people say there is an advantage WRT grain structure, perhaps it's true with b/w film but I don't see much of a difference with E6.

    All in all, quality could be said to be 10-20% better by some subjective scale. Most of all it's a time saver - you know scans will be sharp and good so no need to rescan.
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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReeRay View Post
    Actually, for the money, the V700 must surely be the best in it's class.

    Just prior to the Multi Pro dying on me, I was comparing slides scanned from both scanners and although the 35mm comparison really exposed the V700 weakness, the 120 stuff was getting remarkably close from a sharpness point of view. But sharpness isn't everything. The MP held highlights and found shadow detail that the V700 couldn't dream of. The superior Dmax of the MP really shone through. Wonderful smooth tones, great detail.

    In fact, I've just bought another one!

    I know, no support etc etc, but bought from a member of the MP forum and complete with spare lamp (that's what swung the deal).

    Investigating the Nikon 9000 over here established NO service centres, twice the "normal" price (i.e US$ 5,000) and "Oh, we don't supply them anymore but we can get one for you" !!

    And I've had enough of Ebay purchases!

    Fingers crossed.
    I have heard some glowing reports about the Kodak (Creo) iSmart flatbed scanners. However I don't know if they are still in the Kodak catalog. B&H doesn't list them any longer so you may have to look around to see.

    Woody

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    Re: How good is a Nikon 9000 ED?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    I have heard some glowing reports about the Kodak (Creo) iSmart flatbed scanners. However I don't know if they are still in the Kodak catalog. B&H doesn't list them any longer so you may have to look around to see.

    Woody
    Creos appear second hand every now and then - when was in the market for a high-end scanner in 2006 the price level was $5000 and up. It's really a big machine, a Supreme weighs in at some 70 kgs. Different league than a Nikon, both in price, capabilities, and size.
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