Nikon Scanner Details

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This section is designed to give you a more in-depth introduction to the Nikon LS-2000 Film Scanner.  In the quick tour you learned how to scan a slide using established settings.  In this section, you will get a more detailed look at how to adjust settings yourself, and how to scan negative film as well as slides.  It is assumed that you have used the scanner and are familiar with how to start it from Adobe Photoshop.  If not, go back and take the Quick Tour.


Scanning Slides

Scanning Negative Film


Scanning Slides

1.  In PhotoShop, use the File:Import:Select Twain32 Menu to select the Nikon LS-2000, then use the File:Import:Twain_32 Menu to start the Nikon Scan Module.  2.  Verify that you are scanning positives and are in the RGB color space.  Important - Under NO circumstances should you adjust any settings under the pref button!
3.  Begin setting the adjustments under the tabs by clicking on the top tab to open it.
4. Looking at the contents of the top tab (above, right), note that the tab is divided into two areas.  Leave the top part alone.  It shows that the input is to be the whole slide, which is about 3.66 cm (36.6mm) by 2.44 cm (24.4 mm) - the size of a 35 mm frame.
5.  You may want to adjust the output.  In general, it is better to scan a larger image than you need and either crop it or reduce it in Photoshop, but larger images take longer to scan.

To scan for the web or on-screen use:

Be sure that the measurement unit is pixels, and use the size of the computer screen as a reference.  Most screens are set at a resolution of about 1,000 wide by 800 pixels high. Note the blue locking symbol which means that changing one dimension will automatically change the other.

For a scenic picture where you want to capture most of the slide, use a width setting of about 800 to start with.
For a medium-sized organism in the picture that you want to emphasize, perhaps by cropping, use a width setting of about 1,000.
For tiny objects in the picture that you want to bring out, set the width over 1,200 - and be ready for a grainy picture.
Set the resolution to 72 pixels/inch.

To scan for printed output:

Be sure that the measurement unit is in inches or centimeters.

Click on the arrow to the right of the long bar at the bottom (it says "custom" in the image above).  Select the printer you plan to use; the program will set the resolution.  If the printer is not listed, select custom and manually set the resolution to 300.
Adjust the width to the size of the final image you want to print.

Be sure that the measurement unit is pixels, and use the size of the computer screen as a reference.  Most screens are set at a resolution of about 1,000 wide by 800 pixels high. Note the blue locking symbol which means that changing one dimension will automatically change the other.


6.  Now, click on the second tab from the top.  This tab allows you to customize the response of the scanner to overall brightness as well as the brightness of each individual color.  In general, you SHOULD NOT MODIFY these settings; if you must, be sure to RESET them before closing the program.  You might want to click reset yourself to be sure that anyone else's settings do not affect your scans.
7.  Click on the third tab from the top. This tab allows you to modify the brightness and color balance of the scan.  Again, you should not modify these settings; be sure they are all set to the middle.
8.  On the bottom tab, you might actually  get to make some changes! Clicking on the top horizontal bar (where it says CleanImage in the image to the right) brings up an array of choices, most of which aren't pictured here.  They are:


  1. CleanImage - This is the feature that the Nikon is famous for.  Special software analyzes the data and can actually tell what information comes from the film and what comes from dust, boogers, scratches and fingerprints.  When turned on, it eliminates all the artifacts.  It is like magic, but it does increase the time required to make a scan.  Leave it on in the normal mode.  The sharpen mode does a preliminary sharpen, but it is better to have the sharpening under your control in PhotoShop.
  2. Manual Focus Adjustment - Normally the Nikon will autofocus (one of the reasons you shouldn't mess with the preferences); this allows you to focus manually.  Disregard.
  3. Analog Gain - This adjusts the gain (brightness) BEFORE the digital information is obtained.  Disregard.
  4. Multiple Sample Scanning - this repeats the scanning passes to icrease the final quality of the image.  On some images, it just might be worth it, but it greatly increases the time required to make a scan.  It is a waste of time for images to be viewed on the computer screen.
  5. Scanner Extras - A paltry sampling of extras it is.  You can experiment with interpolation algorithms, but it's best to leave this setting as it is.  The other choice, Negative Prescan Mode, might be worth a shot if your negatives are not scanning well.  There is one alternative Negative Prescan Mode you can choose from.  If you make any changes here, remember to reset them when you are finished. 
  6. Pixel Data Size: Two choices here, 8 or 12.  8 gives adequate quality, 12 might be better.  I have not tested the effect of this choice, but a setting of 12 will increase the file size.
7.  Begin scanning slides.  Scan up to 10 at a time (but remember if the computer hangs up before you save files, you will lose the unsaved files).  You cannot edit or save a scanned image until you close the Nikon Scan 2.1 window and return to PhotoShop.



Scanning Negative Film

In general, scanning negatives is only slightly more complicated than scanning slides.  Still, you should be familiar with scanning slides before attempting to scan negatives.  This section assumes that you are using the SA-20 strip film adapter and a strip of negatives.  To scan a single negative you either need to mount it in a slide mount (and use the slide adapter) or use the Nikon Strip Film Holder and the Slide Adapter - see Dr. McShaffrey for instructions.

1.  Remove the MA-20 Slide Adapter and replace it with the  SA-20 Strip Film Adapter.  The scanner should be set to scan negatives rather than positives.  Inserting the Strip Film Adapter usually makes this change automatically.
2.  Load a strip of negatives into the adapter.  You should be able to read the numbers an lettering on the edge of the film as it is loaded in, that is the numbers should not be reversed or upside down.  If there is any curve at all to the film, it should curve downward as shown in the figure to the far right.
3. Once the film is loaded, the only real difference in scanning negatives comes in dealing with the thumbnail box.   Open the thumbnail box by clicking where the arrow indicates in the figure to the right (NOTE:  the red arrow won't be there in the actual program!)

These figures show the two possible views for the thumbnail box (if you have a strip of 6 negatives there would be 6 boxes instead of 4.  


You toggle between the views by clicking on the box with 4 squares or the box with one square (see arrows). The blue (on the number or on the thumbnail frame) indicates which frame will be scanned.

4.  To make the scans, select a frame by clicking on it.  To select additional frames, click on them while holding down the Control key.
5.  Once you have selected all the frames you want to scan, set you other preferences  (resolution, output size, etc.) the same way you would do for slides.
6.  Click the scan button to scan all of the slides you selected.  You will not be able to do any editing until all of the frames are scanned, so bring a good book.