Thanks for your feedback. Good to know that Vuescan contains drivers to enable use of the Nikon 8000 ED with Windows 7.
I did use both the Silverfast software and the Epson scan software when scanning this negative on the Epson scanner, but I didn't find any noticeable difference in sharpness and detail in the two scans when no sharpening or noise reduction had been applied to either. But there can be a slight difference in tonality, brightness and contrast, unless one is very meticulous, because the adjustment tools in the different software are different.
The upsampling algorithm I used for the Nikon scan was Bicubic Smoother (Best for Enlargement). However, I notice that Photoshop Creative Cloud has introduced a new option for upsampling, called 'Preserve Details (Enlargement)'. I've just tried it, and I see a very marginal improvement in contrast and detail when using 'Preserve Details'.
Which brings me to the next point. I think my reasoning is flawed when I draw the inference that the additional noise and appearance of oversharpening in the Nikon scan (after applying the same amount of sharpening to the upsampled image as applied to the Epson scan) might suggest that some default sharpening has been applied by the scanning software to the Nikon scan.
I don't think this is necessarily correct. I think it's more likely that the lens in the Nikon scanner is a more contrasty lens than the lens in the Epson flatbed.
Image resolution is always a combination of lens and sensor resolving power. I believe the combination of the lens and the sensor in the Nikon scanner is simply producing a more contrasty image than the Epson scanner, but not necessarily a more detailed image.
Now, as I understand, as long as detail exists it can be brought out with sharpening. If detail doesn't exist even faintly in the scan, because either the lens or the sensor lacks sufficient resolving power, then nothing can be done, short of using some complicated algorithm which might make a guess as to what the detail might have been.
The fact that I have so far been unable to discern any detail in the Nikon scan which I cannot bring out in the Epson scan with appropriate sharpening, or even inappropriate sharpening, such as severely oversharpening both images, suggests to me that the main advantage of the 8000 ED is that it produces better 'apparent' resolution straight out of the box, whereas the Epson V700 needs more work in post processing, particularly with regard sharpening.
To be more certain about this, I guess I would need a negative or slide of a high quality resolution-chart to scan. However, I find it difficult to believe that the fine hairs, skin pores, film grain, marks, blemishes, dust spots and fine scratches on the film surface do not provide sufficient detail to make a good comparative assessment of the resolving power of the two scanners.
Searching for the faintest scratch on the negative, I found one positioned over the Hill Tribe guy's neck. This scratch is significantly thinner than a single strand of hair on the guy's chin.
The attach image compares 100% crops of the original 6400 dpi scan from the Epson V700, using the Silverfast software, and the Nikon 8000 ED scan after upsampling using 'Preserve Details'.
Both images have been excessively sharpened to bring out the maximum detail, but the Epson scan needed significantly more sharpening to get the detail appearing the same.
I can't see the need to scan a resolution chart. Surely
there can be no finer detail than the grain of the film, and that fine scratch rising from the bottom of the frame, left of centre.
I should also mention that these file sizes are around 380 MB in 16 bit greyscale. In 48 bit color they would be more than 1 GB and any print of the entire image, that would be large enough to reveal that fine scratch as you see it on your monitor, would probably not fit on your wall, from floor to ceiling.
Have I made my case?
By the way, you have to be logged on to see images which are attachments.