Nikon Coolscan III or buy a new scanner?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mcozturk, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. mcozturk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #1
    I have a Nikon Coolscan III, which has a SCSI connector. I have learned that I can purchase a SCSI to USB connector from RAYTAC ($120) and a 3rd party scanner software from Hamrick ($40) to use the tool on my new Macs running OSX.

    The total cost is $160 but I can buy a new scanner for that price - checked amazon, there are at least 10 scanners under $100 to do the job. Is my old Nikon still better than these new inexpensive scanners? Should I buy a new inexpensive scanner or invest in the scsi to usb adapter?

    Thanks,

    Mehmet
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Although it wasn't a Nikon Coolscan, some years ago, we tried a SCSI to USB adapter for a scanner at work... which didn't work, no matter what we tried. Without being able to test things before buying, personally, I tend to try to avoid bodges and work-arounds. They can sometimes mean more time and sweat spent on flaky solutions.

    However, being a dedicated film/transparency scanner, my hunch is that it will still deliver better results than a low-end (sub $100) scanner. If you raise your budget a little higher, take a look at something like a CanoScan 8800F ($160ish) or higher; mine's given good results from the occasional film scan. You could always sell the Coolscan on eBay or Craigslist to offset some of the cost.
     
  3. mcozturk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #3
    Thanks! I have heard good things about the converter and the software. It makes sense to try them only if my old Coolscan III is much much better than the other inexpensive ones. I suspect it is though since the newer Nikon models cost thousands of dollars. The difference may be in things like focusing ability, color depth, etc. but I do not know enough to make a comparison between my Coolscan and the new slide scanners that cost under $150.

    Mehmet
     
  4. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #4
    Cool topic

    I've got an older Nikon LS-30 SCSI scanner that I used to use with my old Blue & White G3 Mac tower running system 8.6... I put a SCSI card in the Mac, but haven't used the scanner since the old Mac was retired. If you get yours running, I'd be very interested in how it works, because that old scanner was seriously decent in it's time, and film sure hasn't changed any. It produced 30+meg .NEF files which were excellent when taking the time to get the settings for each negative or slide correct before the scan. You could also scan directly into .tiff files. I kind of miss using it. I still have the old Mac tower, so maybe I'll fire it up and put the scans on an external drive. Funny, but that old B/W Mac tower only had a 6gig drive, and 192mb RAM, but it ran Photoshop, Dreamweaver, scanned photos... lots of stuff. But, I always was careful about keeping my scans to a reasonable size because of storage... Now, many of my old scans are not as hi-res as I would do today...

    I also have a newer, slightly higher resolution Nikon LS-50 ED usb 2.0 scanner that works fine, but the older scanner just seemed quicker and easier to use...

    I haven't used any of the newer, inexpensive scanners with film or slides, but I don't see how they could be better than these solid Nikon scanners. Short of going upscale to hybrid or drum scanners, the Nikons are really the standard for film scanning.
     
  5. mcozturk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #5
    Just an update:

    I was able to run my Nikon CoolscanIII on my MacBook Pro running OS 10.5.8 using the VueScan scanner software and the RAYTAC U2SCX Ultra SCSI to USB adapter. It worked like a charm on my first try.

    I had purchased the standard edition of the VueScan software but I had to upgrade it to the Pro version in order to be able to use the IT8 calibration.

    I have also ordered the IT8 standard from Adoroma. More on this later...

    Mehmet
     
  6. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #6
    Thanks for the update, and the info. I'm also running 10.5.8, so that might be a good thing to try on my LS-30 (Coolscan III.) I appreciate hearing about this as you get further along with it. Cheers.
    -phil
     

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