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HI all,

 

Interested to shoot some film again recently, but would like to get a scanner first.

 

I am able to buy a, Nikon CoolScan 5000ED, but it was an old product. It seems to technology is very big different just a few years time, I wonder is this coolscan a good buy? or now there are good film scanner which still in production?

 

thanks.

 

 

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I got rid of my scanners, except for an Epson flatbed which I use for documents

 

I am currently going through a lot of old material (which happens to still sell) using a duping system which has taken me all of a week to devise: D800 with sharpening at 6 and mirror up, Micro-Nikkor set at F8, enlarger film carrier over an even light, darkened room.  Set bracketing to 3 at whole stops.  Basic adjustments in Lightroom, and then use a PS routine to overlay the dark areas of the overexposed file and the light areas of the underexposed file over the 'correctly' exposed file. Play around with the layers a bit.

 

This works very well with old Velvia slides (MF and 35mm) some of which are beyond the capability of a drum scanner (I can make direct comparisons, because I have access to a lot of drum scans of old work), and once built into a routine is surprisingly efficient.

 

Most prosumer scanners (such as the 5000ED) will give you horrendous grain aliasing coupled with dismal dynamic range.

 

Robert

Edited by Robert Brook
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An advantage of the Nikon Coolscan would be the Digital ICE automatic dust removal. Duping slides could lead to a lot of dust-spotting. But certainly the scans look incredibly noisy in comparison to digital camera captures. 

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Without real knowledge I get the impression that 35mm film scanners have not really improved in the last few years. Most serious photographers who need digital images have switched to digital cameras. So most of the newer film scanners seem to be pitched at happy snappers.

 

18 months ago I was looking at scanning my archive and in the end I built a basic computer (had most of the bits) with an old version of Windows so I could use a SCSi interface card. I could not find a modern scanner that was as good as my old Artixscan 4000t (similar generation to the 5000?) and the later Nikons etc were expensive. It does mean I do not have ICE though.

 

Of course with film the dust spots are in different place on every image; at least with digital the dust spots are mostly in the same place for images from a particular shoot.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Of course with film the dust spots are in different place on every image; at least with digital the dust spots are mostly in the same place for images from a particular shoot.

 

True in general (I know my sensor spots by name) but not when you are duping slides. Then you have your sensor spots and the spots on the slide as well. Could be tedious.

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Of course with film the dust spots are in different place on every image; at least with digital the dust spots are mostly in the same place for images from a particular shoot.

 

True in general (I know my sensor spots by name) but not when you are duping slides. Then you have your sensor spots and the spots on the slide as well. Could be tedious.

 

 

I can testify - it is TEDIOUS!

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I bought this scanner a few years ago and digitised a large number of slides.  This summarises my experience:

 

1.  The Nikon software supplied with it is awful.  Viewscan (Hamrick Software) does a much better job.

 

2.  Digital ICE dust removal is by and large not terrribly useful or effective.

 

3.  Film grain is recognised as data, resulting in huge file sizes for top quality scans (120 MB .tif files).

 

4.  The scans are disappointingly soft.  That may be due to inherent softness of film and its grain compared to the digital outputs with which we are now familiar, the quality of the scanner (but this is supposed to be the best there is) or (at least in some cases) retired lenses being not as good as the ones I am currently using.  Whatever the cause(s), and it may be a combination of these, I was generally disappointed with the end product.

 

5.  Scanning slides is a very slow process.  I bought the 50 slide batch loader attachment, which generally worked pretty well, and then went away and left the kit to chug away under its own steam for a few hours.

 

I have managed to scan a few slides to a quality where I have felt able to upload them here to Alamy, but only a very few.  I am not at all convinced it was worth the effort.

 

Finally, my scanning was a few years ago now, on a computer running Windows XP.  I have not tried using this scanner on my current system (Windows 7) - before laying out your money on this, you should check that it is likely to work with whatever OS you are currently using, and that it will actually interface with your computer - so many cards no longer fit current motherboard expansion slots (unfortunately I cannot remember how the scanner connects to the computer and whether the interface would still be current).

 

Graham

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Graham is spot on. I had to go with Vuescan which is good value as the software that came with the scanner would not work with the later operating system.

 

My scanner has a scsi interface but the later version had USB as I believe most later scanners did. But check, you may still need drivers that are unavailable but Vuescan seems to find and work with most serious scanners (as well as a lot of others). The support from Hamrick is pretty good as I recall.

 

Like Graham I am not sure is worthwhile for stock unless you have stuff that has historical value (I know most of it will in the end). Part of my reason for scanning it (and I still have a long, long way to go) is just to get my archive all in one place in a usable form. My film caption details are very thin as well, so it relies on memory, recognition and research; another burden.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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I spent almost two years scanning slides (I'm like slow) for Alamy back in 2007-2009 with my Super Coolscan 4000. Remarkably, I didn't have one QC failure. The scanning was very much worth the effort in my case as these images continue to lease regularly.

 

I actually found that Digital Ice worked very well for me. Would have gone bonkers and/or blind without it. However, I don't think I would be brave enough to submit scans these days. QC is much grumpier than it used to be. :(

Edited by John Mitchell

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I spent almost two years scanning slides (I'm like slow) for Alamy back in 2007-2008 with my Super Coolscan 4000. Remarkably, I didn't have one QC failure. The scanning was very much worth the effort in my case as these images continue to lease regularly.

 

I actually found that Digital Ice worked very well for me. Would have gone bonkers and/or blind without it. However, I don't think I would be brave enough to submit scans these days. QC is much grumpier than it used to be. :(

 

But with Alamy you do have the archival route. I would scan as large as I can (around 24Mpixel in my case) and then downsize as a final step before submission - probably to 8-12Mpixel which is acceptable for the archival route; don't expect too much from old technology.

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I spent almost two years scanning slides (I'm like slow) for Alamy back in 2007-2008 with my Super Coolscan 4000. Remarkably, I didn't have one QC failure. The scanning was very much worth the effort in my case as these images continue to lease regularly.

 

I actually found that Digital Ice worked very well for me. Would have gone bonkers and/or blind without it. However, I don't think I would be brave enough to submit scans these days. QC is much grumpier than it used to be. :(

 

But with Alamy you do have the archival route. I would scan as large as I can (around 24Mpixel in my case) and then downsize as a final step before submission - probably to 8-12Mpixel which is acceptable for the archival route; don't expect too much from old technology.

 

I see. I just sent everything (non-archival) through at full size (54 MB) with no probs at all. Mind you, I was very picky about which slides I scanned. I haven't found the Nikon scanner to be very dependable even though it's built like a tank. The last repair job cost over $500, and it's starting to do odd things again.

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Most of my pics (and those sent to alamy in my new account) are 35mm slides these days. I just love film.

 

Nikon 4000 + Vuescan + Mac. I leave off any fancy noise/dust removal features (use Photoshop). The lab where I have them developed is VERY clean. Usually, I have no more than five spots, if that, to remove. No scratches, no stains, often as fast as tidying up a digital image. 

 

One thing is the DOF of the scanner. If the slide is curved, then you are not going to get a sharp scan across the slide. I have my slides mounted at the lab. They are usually flat. The occasional one has been curved, so I scan a few times with different focus points, then use layers to pull in the sharp bits of each scan. Don't have to do this often (thank goodness).

 

I don't downsize. I don't find the scans soft at all, nor does QC.

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2.  Digital ICE dust removal is by and large not terrribly useful or effective.

 

3.  Film grain is recognised as data, resulting in huge file sizes for top quality scans (120 MB .tif files).

 

 

I have to disagree with that. Digital ICE is extremely effective (except for Kodachrome and monchrome films). In my experience it has no noticeable effect on sharpness (I scanned mainly Velvia or other Fujichrome slides) and saved a lot of time spotting. Also the uncompressed TIFF file size should depend only on the pixel count and the bit depth. The grain or noise will affect the file size on disk of file types which use compression such as JPEGs and compressed TIFFs. I have never submitted a scan to Alamy though. Even my best ones look awful when viewed at 100% in comparison to DSLR captures.

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 I have never submitted a scan to Alamy though. Even my best ones look awful when viewed at 100% in comparison to DSLR captures.

 

 

Try it! 

 

Pixel-peeping-paranoia and obsession with equipment limits opportunity.

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Unfortunately I sharpened most of my scans in Photoshop and generally didn't keep unsharpened versions. The sharpened ones look incredibly noise although they print up fine at A4 or even A3. Even where I did keep unsharpened versions, they look so soft and noisy in skies that I would fear for my now very good QC record if I was to submit any. I don't intend to rescan any in the foreseeable future as I have more than enough recent images to process without adding extra work. Anyway my Coolscan 4000 lives in a drawer with an FM2 and FM3a for company and none of these have seen the light of day for several years now. I would have to reinstall Snow Leopard on a new partition to get it working. 

 

No. The D800E gives me everything I ever wanted in a camera - unbelievably sharp, clean, noise-free images which can be heavily cropped or enlarged to massive sizes. Pixel-peeper I may be  :ph34r: but if this is bad behaviour, then bring it on. The level of detail in the landsapes I shoot is truly astounding - I am still amazed after 18 months at the results I am getting - and this is one of the things I am aiming for - incredible detail in my images. This would never have been possible with 35mm film cameras and any type of scanner. 

 

I loved my Coolscan 4000 when I got it back in 2001 and my manual Nikons at the time. I thought the results then were astounding. But they have been far surpassed by technological developments, I would argue that staying rooted in the past is probably a lot more limiting than moving forward when the technological improvements result in far better imagery and far less work producing it  B)

Edited by MDM

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Finally, my scanning was a few years ago now, on a computer running Windows XP.  I have not tried using this scanner on my current system (Windows 7) - before laying out your money on this, you should check that it is likely to work with whatever OS you are currently using, and that it will actually interface with your computer - so many cards no longer fit current motherboard expansion slots (unfortunately I cannot remember how the scanner connects to the computer and whether the interface would still be current).

 

 

I use a Coolscan 5000 on Windows 7 with Vuescan and it's absolutely fine. It connects via USB so no need to worry about expansion cards.

 

Alan

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I have an Epson V700 but I have not submitted any images scanned with it to Alamy.  My local lab uses the same scanner.

 

Those that seem to be STILL SELLING FILM IMAGES to clients via photo shoots at weddings or engagement sessions seem to be using an old Windows XP machine with a Pakon Scanner (the software will not work with Windows 7).  Images from the Pakon are 6mp in size and too small for Alamy.  I don't have experience with a Nikon Cool Scan but I have heard it is as good or better than the new Epson V700.

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I'm still using my CanoScan FS4000 with a SCSI card connected to a Lenovo T62.

The FS4000 will connect using a 2.0 USB, but it is way too slow.

 

I would say that more than 75% of the images I have live on Alamy were 35mm

chromes scanned on the CanoScan FS4000.  According to what I have read and

what I have seen myself, the CanoScan was the sharpest desktop 35mm scanner

made.

 

I've also heard very good things about the NIKON 5000ED, but they are selling used

for twice what they sold for new.

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I'm still using my CanoScan FS4000 with a SCSI card connected to a Lenovo T62.

The FS4000 will connect using a 2.0 USB, but it is way too slow.

 

I would say that more than 75% of the images I have live on Alamy were 35mm

chromes scanned on the CanoScan FS4000.  According to what I have read and

what I have seen myself, the CanoScan was the sharpest desktop 35mm scanner

made.

 

I've also heard very good things about the NIKON 5000ED, but they are selling used

for twice what they sold for new.

 

Considering that a market still appears to remain for high-end scanners - and the prices that used items go for - I am surprised that someone, somewhere, isn't filling that niche with an up-to-date quality model.

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I would say that more than 75% of the images I have live on Alamy were 35mm

chromes scanned on the CanoScan FS4000.  According to what I have read and

what I have seen myself, the CanoScan was the sharpest desktop 35mm scanner

made.

 

I've also heard very good things about the NIKON 5000ED, but they are selling used

for twice what they sold for new.

 

The Canonscan FS4000 came out around the same time as the Nikon 4000 and I had the opportunity to try out both. I had bought the more expensive Nikon very soon after it hit the market but discovered to my dismay that it had some serious problems with getting sharp focus across a slide no matter how it was mounted. I tried about 4 or 5 different Nikon 4000 scanners before I found one that was satisfactory (very friendly manager of my local Jessops store at the time). He also gave me a Canonscan FS4000 to try out at one point and, while it was certainly sharp across the image, the Nikon was significantly superior in terms of dynamic range with much better shadow detail and much less shadow noise. I opted for the Nikon mainly for that reason as well as Digital ICE. 

 

The Nikon 4000 was a major leap forward at the time in prosumer slide scanners in terms of dynamic range. I had previously had a Minolta and before that a Nikon Coolscan 2, which had dreadful shadow noise. The scans looked like somebody had splashed polkadot paint in the shadow areas.

 

I guess much depends on the type of photography in terms of the importance or not of shadow noise but it was one of the first things I would always look for in a scanner. Thankfully a thing of the past now - the D700 heralded a new era in that regard.

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I am in the process of digitising my mono negative collection from years back. My setup is light box with homemade film holder to allow film strip to be moved through one image at a time. The camera (X-E2) fitted with 50mm Minolta rokkor enlarging lens on extending tubes is mounted on my tripod over film carrier.

 

This is much quicker than waiting for a scanner to complete the scan of a few negs.

 

Just for the record I do have a quality flatbed scanner too with film carriers but only use it for documents etc.

 

Allan

 

EDIT: Have just recently complete digitising my slide collection using same method with homemade slide carrier.

Edited by Allan Bell

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Almost half of my images on Alamy are scans I have made using my Nikon Coolscan 9000.  Two thirds of them are from Kodachromes shot in the late 1960s in Turkey and the Middle East.  I have kept an XP system going just to run the scanner.  I started digitizing my slides before I had heard of Alamy.  I had to start over to meet their exacting standards, but in the long run I think I benefited from it.  I have continued to upload scanned images as I work through my backlog.

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Almost half of my images on Alamy are scans I have made using my Nikon Coolscan 9000.  Two thirds of them are from Kodachromes shot in the late 1960s in Turkey and the Middle East.  I have kept an XP system going just to run the scanner.  I started digitizing my slides before I had heard of Alamy.  I had to start over to meet their exacting standards, but in the long run I think I benefited from it.  I have continued to upload scanned images as I work through my backlog.

 

I started submitting scans to Alamy in 2002. When I restarted scanning in 2012 I found I got much better results with the same equipment as I had a much better understanding of digital imaging and processing. I would not use old scans now, I would rescan.

 

Just a thought to bear in mind.

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When I restarted scanning in 2012 I found I got much better results with the same equipment as I had a much better understanding of digital imaging and processing. I would not use old scans now, I would rescan.

 

 

I would endorse that. I have scanned most of my old trannies five times now, each time with better results than the last as I get more experienced, not only with the scanning but with the post-processing.

 

Alan

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I'm still using my CanoScan FS4000 with a SCSI card connected to a Lenovo T62.

The FS4000 will connect using a 2.0 USB, but it is way too slow.

 

I would say that more than 75% of the images I have live on Alamy were 35mm

chromes scanned on the CanoScan FS4000.  According to what I have read and

what I have seen myself, the CanoScan was the sharpest desktop 35mm scanner

made.

 

I've also heard very good things about the NIKON 5000ED, but they are selling used

for twice what they sold for new.

 

I bought a new CanoScan FS 4000 US  back back in the days of SCSI for about $500 (US) that I used for newspaper work. It was fine for ISO 400 color neg and I really enjoyed the ability to do six frames at a time. After a few years it developed some issues with the film transport mechanism so I upgraded to a new Nikon 5000ED. The Nikon cost me about twice as much but I like it so much better that I'm rescanning files I did with the Canoscan. 

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