USB 2 Adequate for Film Scanner

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by garycurtis, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. garycurtis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #1
    My friend will be scanning in my 35mm film library using is Nikon Coolpix scanner. It is a pretty old device. I would suspect most of the B&W image flies would be about 2Mb or so. The color transparencies would be about 8Mp each.

    How long the I/O process take per image? He is using a pretty late model MBP laptop.
     
  2. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #2
    USB 2.0 is more than adequate.

    The scanning speed depends on the scanner, so knowing which model it is would help. Look for the model specifications on Nikon support website, the scanning speeds are usually listed.
     
  3. Chancha macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #3
    The "speed" of a scanning process is dependent on many factors other than the USB interface, it is hard to say because each specific setup of computers / scanner / images / software just varies. That said, USB2 is probably not the bottleneck, as the DSP that handles the image processing on a scanner is ofter slow, not to mention the mechanic movement of the light and sensor etc takes time. Also the resulting file size of the images are irrelevant, these are generated on your computer, not from the scanner which needs to be sent through the USB2 cable. You cannot think of it the same as external drive bandwidth over USB.

    Anyway, I would say unless you are dealing with thousands of scans, otherwise just live with what you have. A proper scanner and dedicated computer workflow that "really" speeds things up is not at consumer price point, they are for libraries or museums etc. If speed is still a priority, try to optimize the scanning settings to the point where you can accept the quality, while it takes the least time to process.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    USB2 should be fine for a film scanner.

    Give it a try.

    If the software is outdated, you may be able to scan directly into the "Preview" app.

    There is also an app called "VueScan" that supports almost all older scanners out there...
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Are you sure it is a coolpix I suspect that it is a CoolScan.

    They are great scanners... and yes, they are very slow because of the processing they do. USB2 will not get in the way... they are a very high res scanner and the scanning itself takes a lot of time.

    I bought a Nikon CoolScan ED5000 for about $1500 a while back. Last time I looked, I could probably sell it for twice that much.

    /Jim
     
  6. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #6
    Right. CoolScan. Who can keep track of all these names?

    It is kind of sad that most of these old, heavy duty film scanners are in the hands of camera stores. Perhaps they can afford to maintain and service them. But they charge a fortune to folks with film who want digital files.
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Back when I undertook my task of digitizing all of my film/slides (10's of thousands)... I found that buying a high quality scanner, and then selling it once done... was actually cheaper and better than buying a crap scanner (with zero residual value). I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that the residual value on this expensive scanner would double!!!

    I would have normally sold my scanner by now... except that I have another big job of digitizing slides/negatives of a deceased uncle who was the default photographer for my greater family (parents/aunts/uncles/cousins, etc). Once I finish that job... I'll be selling the scanner because I do not generate any new non-digital images.

    /Jim
     

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