Nikon 4000ED suggestions

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I've borrowed this scanner for a month or two and, since Nikon does not support it on Macs with Intel chips, I am forced to use VueScan.

Most of the images I am scanning are negative film, exposed with some early Olympi and aftermarket lenses. The quality of the lenses is not very good, but never having looked as scans off this combination of camera and lens I don't know whether the flaws I'm seeing in the scans are the result of the kit or the scanner.

The scanner has both a slide module and a strip film module, but does not have the film carrier which can be used with the slide module.

Here are some observations:

All other things being equal the strip film scan is sharper than the slide scan no matter where I place the focus tool.

The strip film scan is very, very soft at the edge where the film strip was cut, but internal frames are uniformly unsharp at the edges perpendicular to the film sprocket hole edge.

There appears to be no way that I can get access to ICE through VueScan, but sometimes it seems to have worked and other times it doesn't.

My question here is about maximizing sharpness in my scans. Strip film has serious problems with the image on the end of the strip, while film in a slide mount has substantial sharpness problems throughout the image.

If you have this Nikon film scanner, or experience with it, can you give me any suggestions for how to proceed? I have pretty much concluded that I need to place every neg that I wish to scan in a slide mount to combat the cut-edge problem which seems more serious than the overall-lack-of-sharpness problem. This is OK with me as I would like to stop storing all the film I have that contains images I would have trashed had they been digital. Cutting each keeper negative off the strip and ditching the rest of the strip could seriously reduce my film storage.

Some comments on VueScan, for those of you who may be contemplating a project like this:

VueScan has a lot of liabilities, the most irritating of which is that it fails to see the scanner if VueScan has been hidden but the scanner powered off. For instance, if I shut the scanner down for the night and put the Mac to sleep for the night without quitting VueScan, the next time I power up the scanner VueScan cannot find it.

The error message from VueScan under these circumstance is beyond lame, completely uninformative.

There is no information in the help files for VueScan about the significance or usage of that strange blinking circle with a tiny little F in it. None. Buried in the drop-down menus is a Focus command. Hmm.

VueScan's list of films, used to adapt its scan to the bias of each of those films, does not use any of the codes, neither numeric nor alphanumeric, that appear along the sprocket-hole edge of the film strip.

So I'm mostly looking for suggestions about how to improve my scans from those who might have had experience with this scanner. Not so much from those using VueScan - that's just a gripe fest.

Thanks.

--
Emily L. Ferguson
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508-563-6822
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