Sean, yes, when I first got my new Mac Pro last year, I tried Nikon Scan immediately because I had read that it wouldn't work on Leopard or Snow Leopard and I wanted to see for myself whether it was true. The software would not launch. I tried for about 30 minutes (fixing permissions, restarting the Mac, relaunching, etc.). It still would not launch. Officially, Nikon says it should not work and is not supported. So I purchased SilverFast.
Today, when I read your post and Christoph's post, I was going to reply, "tried it and it didn't work" and "please see my post above". But I thought, "let me try it again, just for kicks." I tried launching Nikon Scan and, to my disbelief, it launched successfully. Then I scanned two test scans (1x and Super-Fine 8x). They worked! Nikon Scan 4 now works on my Snow Leopard Mac! I don't understand why it now works, but this is very good and unexpected news. The only problem is that Nikon Scan 4 never played well with my slide feeder (it always crashed during batch scans). SilverFast generally plays well with the slide feeder. I'll test Nikon Scan again to see if (somehow) that feature works better.
As for Silverfast 8, my time estimate of "10 seconds" was incorrect. It was a subjective and emotional impression, but I had failed to actually time it. So here are some scan timings and results (all at 4,000 ppi):
- Nikon Scan 4 (16 bit, multiscan Super-Fine 8x): 2 minutes, 15 seconds
- SilverFast 6.6 (48 bit, multiscan 1x): 30 seconds
- SilverFast 6.6 (48 bit, multiscan 8x): 2 minutes, 45 seconds
- SilverFast 8 (48 bit, multi-exposure off): 1 minute
- SilverFast 8 (48 bit, multi-exposure on): 2 minutes
All other settings are "zeroed out" (I always scan "raw" and process in Photoshop later). With multi-scanning, both NikonScan and SilverFast 6.6 produced acceptable images with no apparent scan lines. But SilverFast 8 creates scan lines. The problem is not a matter of previews or redraws. The scan lines are in the image (confirmed by opening in Photoshop and viewing at 100%).
See the attached JPEG. In the SilverFast 8 image on the right, you can see tiny scan lines along the edge of the roof and the roof beam. They make the roof line look jagged.