Film Scanner - Where/What to buy?

aricher

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Original poster
Feb 20, 2004
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Chi-il
I have a huge backlog of medium format slides and negs to scan and am considering buying a Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED. Has anyone here had any experience with this scanner? Any other options? Also, where is a good cheap reputable online (US) vendor for this sort of item? Thanks.
 

snap58

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2006
310
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somewhere in kansas
aricher said:
I have a huge backlog of medium format slides and negs to scan and am considering buying a Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED. Has anyone here had any experience with this scanner? Any other options? Also, where is a good cheap reputable online (US) vendor for this sort of item? Thanks.
I have the 8000 and love it. Bought it at a local camera store a few years ago, had them order it for me. Took a little longer but didn't want to risk dealing with a damaged delivery, it's on the large side. The 9000 should be a significant improvement as well as considerably less expensive. The medium format scans are great, but make a really big file so check you hard drive space too. Note, you will likely have to re-cut you negatives.
 

aricher

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Feb 20, 2004
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Chi-il
Thanks snap. Do you scan medium format? If so have you found the need to get the optional glass film holder? I've read in some reviews that Nikon's included film holder doesn't quite hold the film taut.
 

snap58

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2006
310
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somewhere in kansas
aricher said:
Thanks snap. Do you scan medium format? If so have you found the need to get the optional glass film holder? I've read in some reviews that Nikon's included film holder doesn't quite hold the film taut.
I scan 6x4.5 and have had good luck. If your film has a stubborn bow in it I could see this as an issue. The way I store my negs they flatten out pretty well. Since it is an option you could always order it later. It will be two more surfaces you have to keep dust off of. I may order one some day just to see, who knows it may take it to another level? The largest prints I've done are 19x13, you can of course go way past that, in which case the glass holder may show it's worth.
 

aricher

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Feb 20, 2004
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Thanks for the quick feedback snap. Most of my 6x6 is flat as can be. I've been reading some reviews and it sounds like minor bowing can be fixed by a heavy book on a flat surface. It also seems the glass holders are out of stock nearly everywhere. I'd like to hear some other opinions on scanners here but the 9000 is looking pretty good. How is it and handling B & W? From my understanding Digital ICE doesn't work with B & W negs - true?
 

snap58

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2006
310
0
somewhere in kansas
aricher said:
Thanks for the quick feedback snap. Most of my 6x6 is flat as can be. I've been reading some reviews and it sounds like minor bowing can be fixed by a heavy book on a flat surface. It also seems the glass holders are out of stock nearly everywhere. I'd like to hear some other opinions on scanners here but the 9000 is looking pretty good. How is it and handling B & W? From my understanding Digital ICE doesn't work with B & W negs - true?
Something to do with the silver crystals is why it doesn't work, should work on CN type film which is color BW. Most of my negatives are BW, but even on the color I have not had the need to use the Digital Ice yet...

I use the holders that store the negs on one side and the contact print on the other then put them in a notebook, works great to keep them flat.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
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Northern Virginia
Depends on how you are wanting to use the resulting scans for. For the best scans IMO, the Nikon 8000 and 9000 scanners can't be beat IMO.

Yet the likes of the Epson 4990 scanner (and the 4850) have won many a praise from pros for medium format scans.
 

mrichmon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
873
2
aricher said:
I'd like to hear some other opinions on scanners here but the 9000 is looking pretty good.
The Nikon 9000 ED is a great scanner. But you might want to also look at some of the high end flatbeds such as the Canon CanoScan 9950F and Epson 4990. Some flatbeds are approaching D-Max values previously only available with dedicated film scanners. There are a number of positive reviews of these flatbeds to be found online.

An additional benefit is that the scanning software with the high end flatbeds (particularly the 9950F) allow you scan multiple images. You put a couple of neg strips on the scanner set it to scan and then leave it for a while. Sitting in front of a film scanner can get tedious so being able to batch scan might be useful to you.
 

ChrisA

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Jan 5, 2006
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Redondo Beach, California
Chip NoVaMac said:
Depends on how you are wanting to use the resulting scans for. For the best scans IMO, the Nikon 8000 and 9000 scanners can't be beat IMO.

Yet the likes of the Epson 4990 scanner (and the 4850) have won many a praise from pros for medium format scans.
I have the Epson 4870. Batch scanning is nice. It would be nicer with a 4990 because it can do bigger batches.

As for the film being not flat, a scanner is not an enlarger. It does not project an image. Light passes through the film as a parallel beam so not-flat does not mean not-focused. It might introduce a slight geomeric distortion but that would be very slight.

Digital ICE is also __very__ slow. It can take hours to run ICE on a batch on film on an Epson flatbed scanner. But it really does work.

ICE was developed by Kodak and is licensed to the various scanner makers. However each implements the technology differently. There are some settings. Epson chooses to "go easy" and maybe miss some dust but never clone out details Others may be more agressive.

Read more about ICE on kodak's web site.
 

Lebowski

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2005
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Phoenix, AZ
I use the 9000 ED at work. Its a bit tempermental, took some messing with to figure out its magic settings. Its one of the best film scanners i have used. Batch scanning works like a charm.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,892
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Northern Virginia
ChrisA said:
I have the Epson 4870. Batch scanning is nice. It would be nicer with a 4990 because it can do bigger batches.

As for the film being not flat, a scanner is not an enlarger. It does not project an image. Light passes through the film as a parallel beam so not-flat does not mean not-focused. It might introduce a slight geomeric distortion but that would be very slight.

Digital ICE is also __very__ slow. It can take hours to run ICE on a batch on film on an Epson flatbed scanner. But it really does work.

ICE was developed by Kodak and is licensed to the various scanner makers. However each implements the technology differently. There are some settings. Epson chooses to "go easy" and maybe miss some dust but never clone out details Others may be more agressive.

Read more about ICE on kodak's web site.

There is a 3rd party solution for "flatness"; forgot the www address for it.
 

aricher

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 20, 2004
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Chi-il
I think I'll be taking the plunge on the 9000. I'd rather get a dedicated film scanner than a flatbed. I know the process of scanning all the backlog will take awhile but I don't mind chipping away at a sleeve of sides a day. Thanks for the feedback folks. Looks like Amazon has the best price - anyone know of any other good places to check out?
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,339
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Boston, MA
i just bought a nikon 5000 ED and i love it. i bought it at a local shop (hunt's photo) in boston. they match online offers from some online retailers. give it a try at your local shops because you get it right away without waiting and shipping costs.