The Scanning Process

These are the processing steps that occur in scanning film in a CCD film scanner such as the Nikon LS-2000.  The scanner operator can affect results by specifying the LED brightness, the bits/channel, and the tone curve.

Control Advantages Disadvantages
LED Brightness More light images more shadow detail.  Continuous value space Globally affects tonal values.  Can aggravate CCD flare.  Preview image may have to be regenerated for each new setting
Bits/channel Enables greater precision through smaller intervals.  12 bits enables 16x precision Increase from 8 bits doubles file size.  Image application (e.g. Photoshop)  functionality may be restricted
Tone curve Greatest flexibility. Can globally or locally shape tonal curves. Works in more restricted digital domain.  Note however that with NikonScan 3 curves are applied prior to downsampling, enabling the user to obtain an 8-bit file with a full range of intensities

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