A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Digital Darkroom > Scanning>Software > Nikon Scanners, Vuescan,...

Nikon Scanners, Vuescan, Digital Ice, Kodachrome and the Intel iMac


First     Prev     1   |   2   |   3     Next    Last

Scott Turner , Sep 17, 2007; 02:40 p.m.

"With either SilverFast Ai6 or Vuescan Digital ICE in NikonScan is used in a passthrough arrangement between the two software programs.

People have begun to use the trade name "ICE" much as they do "Kleenex" or "Xerox" ("hand me a piece of Kleenex while I Xerox this memo about how well ICE works in Vuescan" :-) ), but the most useful generic term is probably infrared cleaning. That out of the way, no, Vuescan does NOT have ICE, which is a specific, licensed implementation of IR cleaning, nor does its developer claim such. Vuescan does, however, have its own, homebrew IR cleaning routines, so in the generic sense, yes it does offer IR cleaning for any supported scanner which has an IR channel available, as Nikon scanners do.

I point this out, not to be pedantic, but so that folks considering Vuescan understand that the cleaning routine in Vuescan will not be the same as ICE. In my experience, it generally works quite well - but as is common with Vuescan, how well may depend as much as anything on which version you're running. IR cleaning is one of the things that Mr. Hamrick seems to like to tweak fairly regularly.

And just to be complete, real ICE IS available in Silverfast, but it has nothing to do with a passthrough from Nikon Scan. Silverfast licenses the technology themselves, and are thus able to include it directly for scanners which offer an IR channel.


Mendel Leisk , Sep 17, 2007; 03:33 p.m.

Yeah, Vuescan using the IR data for cleaning, but it is not ICE. With my Scan Elite 5400, Vuescan's cleaning was no where near as good as ICE. Much more incomplete and left more obviously softened areas. Depends on the scanner I think, other users with Nikon scanners report good results with Vuescan's cleaning.

John Kelly , Sep 18, 2007; 08:49 a.m.

Current Nikons are (I think) the only scanners with the forth infared-dedicated light for which the more advanced Ice 4 was designed and named.

Ice 4 can be installed on older scanners with 3 lights (older Nikons, 5400 and 5400II Minoltas)but according to documentation it won't perform as well. Vuescan also takes advantage of that 4th light if the scanner has one.

With Nikon V I find Vuescan's infared at least as good as Ice4. But the real reasons I prefer Vuescan are its better-organized front end and its superiority with B&W silver film. I'm not aware of any difference with Kodachrome, but I only scan that occasionally ... few problems. Seems zero difference with E4/E6, C41.

It's easy to physically clean film that's been processed and stored reasonably well. ( canned air, perhaps Tiger Cloth).

Martin Allen , Sep 19, 2007; 10:47 p.m.

Robin --

You asked me to let you know the upshot of my effort to get my Nikon 4000 ED to play nicely with my new Mac Pro. The short of it is that they won't play together as advertised. I have been in touch with Silverfast support and Nikon support. Both basically say to uninstall and reinstall the software. That has not solved the problem, as I explained in my post above.

Having struck out with them so far, and with Apple support, I did an archive / reinstall of my operating system (OS X 10.4.10) and then reinstalled Silverfast. Still did the same thing -- the program freezes when I eject the film.

Last night I ltried the scanner and Silverfast on my wife's computer, which is an original model Mac Mini, i.e., not an Intel-Mac, and uses OS X 10.3.9 (i.e Panther). Silverfast (v6.5.1r2) worked perfectly on that computer -- the film ejected normally and the computer did not freeze. Does this look like a clue?

Today I made an appointment with a "Mac Genius" at the local Apple Store and lugged my Mac Pro and scanner in to see if they could solve the riddle. I wound up trying the scanner on two computers at the Apple Store (downloading and installing the software for the purpose) -- another Mac Pro and a iMac, both Intel Macs running OS X 10.4.10. Silverfast froze on both of these machines when I ejected the film -- same problem I have with my own Mac Pro.

So, I conclude from this that Silverfast v6.5.1r2 does not work properly with an Intel-Mac running OS X 10.4.10. I can't tell whether the flaw occurs with the Intel-Mac computer or the OS X 10.4.10 operating system. I have emailed Silverfast support with the explanation I laid out above but have not yet heard back from them.

One thing that is curious to me is that the problem seems to be general for the Silverfast program on these machines -- it is pretty clearly not limited to my machine or something I did to screw things up. I ran into the same flaw with Nikon Scan, too, as I explained. It would seem likely that this flaw would have occured for others who use this software and equipment. That being the case, I am puzzled that Silverfast has not reported this to be the case, if it is so. I can't be the only person on earth using this combination of equipment and software. Likewise, I have not seen posts on the problem on this or other forums where I would expect to find them. I wonder what I am missing.

Anyway, for now I have to give up on using Silverfast and my Nikon scanner on my new Mac Pro. I can still use them on my old PC and transfer the files to the Mac after I've scanned them. Not the ideal solution but one that will work. I could also use Vuescan if I care to since it works fine on my Mac. Odd that Vuescan works well and Silverfast doesn't.

That's my report.

Jamie Conlan , Sep 22, 2007; 05:18 p.m.

It's a late reply, I know, but for what it's worth:

I have a macbook pro and a coolscan 9000 with nikon scan 4 intalled running and working fine. I can't imagine why others are having so much trouble with this. are you downloading the most current software from the nikon site? One important thing I have found, is on the website there are two options for downloading nikon scan. one says "full version" and one says "updater" The option for the updater actually gives you the most recent version of the sofware, regardless of whether or not you have a previous version installed. Follow this link:


hope you can figure it out and I'd be happy to help anyone with questions.


Martin Allen , Sep 24, 2007; 11:32 a.m.

Jamie --

Thanks for letting us know that your Coolscan 9000 works with your MacPro. Unfortunately, I have not been so fortunate with my Coolscan 4000ED. I reported to Nikon technical support the results of my efforts (detailed in my post above) to get my 4000ED to work on an IntelMac at the Apple Store, which failed, and on a non-IntelMac, which succeeded. Nikon technical support responded as follows:

"Unfortuantely the LS-4000 is not fully compatible with Intel Macs. It cannot used powered adapters such as the SA-21, SF-210 or SA-30. You can use the FH-3 and the MH-21 but you cannot use the strip film adapter. Some users reported success using Vuescan. Unfortunately we do not have any information if or when their will be an update to correct this. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for using Nikon products!"

I can't explain why the Coolscan 9000 works with the Intel-Mac (your experience) and my Coolscan 4000 does not, other than to speculate that the firmware for the 9000 may compatible and the firmware for the 4000ED may not be.

Jamie Conlan , Sep 24, 2007; 11:55 a.m.

martin, im sure that yours is a firmware problem with the older 4000 scanner, but just for kicks, you should try and download the nikon software from the link that I provided and see if there is any inane update included in there that may help you. if not, sorry for you.

I have used vuescan and find it to be a terribly frustrating program. i have used silverfast and do not like it simply because it makes too many auto corrections for me. the best scan in my opinion is a flat scan straight from the nikon software that the user then manipulates in photoshop afterwards, but that is making an assumption on my part that you know how to use photoshop well enough to get the scans that you want.

i hope the link I provided may help anyone to resolve their problems, but if not, good luck!

Martin Allen , Sep 24, 2007; 02:44 p.m.

Jamie -- I did update the firmware on my scanner to v1.10 and also installed and tried Nikon Scan 4.0.1 and updated that to 4.0.2 in my effort to leave no stone unturned. It did not resolve my issue. However, it is conceivable that I did not update the firmware correctly. There is note on the download link to the firmware upgrade that says one must have Nikon Scan 3.1.4 installed. I think I did not have that version installed on my computer when I upgraded my firmware. So, it is possible that this is the problem. I did mention this to Nikon technical support but they did not say anything in their response other than the statement I quoted in my post above. Anyhow, I'll try again and see what happens.

Robin Barnes , Oct 05, 2007; 07:50 p.m.

Martin thanks for giving the feedback I asked for.

I sent Nikon UK an email asking for clarification on iMac/Coolscan compatibility and have received the following reply.

"The Coolscan scanners are not currently compatible with Apple iMacs. Nikon are currently running compatibility tests but there is no set date for these results therefore I cannot inform you of when this issue will be resolved."

All things considered it looks like Vuescan is the safest bet at the moment.

Martin Allen , Oct 05, 2007; 09:23 p.m.

Here is the latest on my effort to use my Nikon 4000 ED and Silverfast on my Mac Pro. I retained my old PC and have it networked with my Mac Pro so I can use it via MS Remote Desktop. So, from my Mac I can now open my PC (which is running Windows XP) and operate my scanner using Silverfast remotely and save the scan files to a folder on my Mac Pro. It seems pretty smooth so far and its as fast as it was on my PC before. So that seems like a decent workaround if you don't mind having a PC around to use as a server. That will do for now. Hopefully Nikon and/or Silverfast will get around to correcting the problem that makes this workaround necessary.

First     Prev     1   |   2   |   3     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses