Film Scanner Advice

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Dallas, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    I have several thousand slides collected over a lifetime, I would like
    nice scans of at least the best ones. I purchased a non-focusing flat
    bed scanner 4 years ago and all the scans come out with a very
    noticeable lack of focus. Obviously, I'd like to replace it with a
    dedicated slide scanner that can do a decent job.

    In a perfect world I'll love a Nikon CoolScan LS- 5000 ED with the
    SF210 feeder - but it looks like it would take about $3 grand to get
    one on eBay. I find that pretty hard to swallow.

    I'm guessing the multitudes of no-name, toaster sized $80 scanners that
    are all over the market are junk?

    Is there something in the $400 price range that can do a nice job?
    (Clearly, I'd like it to have at lease a 5 slide automatic carrier.)

    The other option I was considering was to just bite the bullet and get
    the Nikon CoolScan LS- 5000 ED with the SF210 feeder, scan all 5000
    slides and when I was finished, put it back on eBay and get my money
    back. (These things don't seem to lose any value.)

    Ideas? Comments?
    Dallas, Dec 26, 2011
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  2. Dallas

    Alan Browne Guest

    The Epson's have a great rep for flatbed transparency work. Model "700"
    (plus a letter or 2) comes to mind.
    The 5000ED was $1150, new, from B&H in the winter 2010 catalog. Used
    they should be less, unless there is such a dearth that they are hard to

    I see the used one on ebay at 0 bids opening at $1800 with a Buy-it-now
    of $2500. Ridiculous.

    Shop around some more.
    From what I've heard/read they are crap.
    Used (more than $400 but less than $1000).

    The Nikon Coolscan-5000ED.
    Minolta Dimage Scan 5400 (first version if possible - more reliable)
    Good idea, but you'll take a haircut. I think the price you note above
    is way over.

    I bought the Minolta 5400 for $1000+tax, scanned something around 10,000
    slides/negatives. Sold it for $500 a couple years later and bought a
    Alan Browne, Dec 26, 2011
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  3. If you can take the hit the Nikon & feeder might produce better quality with
    less hassle and as you say doesn't lose value. Might even be worth losing
    $300 or whatever a mid-range scanner would cost you off the resale price for
    what may essentially be a one time job.

    5000 is a lot of slides. Without a feeder I'd be bored shitless and that
    doesn't count how long it would take to feed slides by hand.

    It's going to be a shrinking market but would there be scope for you
    providing a rental and/or scan service?
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Dec 26, 2011
  4. I've been looking at the Plustek OpticFilm 7600i SE. Gets consistently
    good reviews.

    Sells for about £230 over here so about $360.
    Garry Douglas, Dec 27, 2011
  5. Dallas

    Chemiker Guest

    On Mon, 26 Dec 2011 16:20:34 -0600, "Dallas"

    I was in the same situation. I would up going with the Plustek
    OpticFilm 7600, which was in my price range, and I've been pretty well
    satisfied with it. Having said that, I would add that I've heard
    pretty good things about the Epson Perfection 700-750 models, which
    will also do MF and LF scans. The Plustek is 35mm only.

    The unit comes with Silverfast software, but I use VueScan instead.


    Chemiker, Dec 27, 2011
  6. Dallas

    Chemiker Guest

    I use that scanner.

    It isn't bad for the casual user and much better than those things in
    the under $100 price range. It is manual feed and takes both mounted
    and unmounted media. The high resolution they claim is not really a
    consideration because you can scan in the 3600-4800 range and get
    results that are almost indistinguishable from the hi-res scans.
    Anyway, slide crispness deteriorates over the years, along with color
    shift, so there's really nothing to be gained by scanning at 7600
    lines. PS users may feel that hi-res scans make post scan treatment
    easier, but I'm not qualified to deal with that issue. For saving
    images for family/genealogy purposes, I consider the Plustek a decent
    choice for 35mm. It doesn't break the bank.
    Chemiker, Dec 27, 2011
  7. Dallas

    Noons Guest

    Aye... So many have fallen (myself included) for the flatbed scanner
    "high quality scanning" nonsense of a few years ago that nowadays it's
    hard to find a good dedicated scanner...

    Coolscan V ED is also very good and a LOT cheaper in ebay in this day
    and age of insane prices for Nikon film scanners. The snag is that you
    need to insert each slide by hand: the feeder doesn't work with this
    one, AFAIK.
    Total, unadulterated junk, They are capitalizing on claims by idiotic
    incompetents that any 5MPixel scan of film is plenty enough.

    At that price level, don't expect too much automation: that's what you
    pay the extra for.
    The Opticfilm suggested by Chemiker is not a bad option and quality of
    scan is reasonable to very good. Make sure you select the model with
    the Infrared dust reduction.

    And use vuescan software: it's cheap and excellent.

    Another option is this:
    Very sharp, with ir dust reduction. The only problem is the drivers
    and software that come with it absolutely suck. Only option to use it
    properly is vuescan.

    Don't waste time with Minoltas: they stopped being made ages ago, most
    are tired old units and parts and repair is almost impossible to
    Nikon's Coolscans stopped being made a year or so ago, parts and
    repair are still easy to find.
    The way things are going with film scanners in ebay, I wouldn't be
    surprised if this paid off in the long run! Still, it's a risk...
    Noons, Dec 27, 2011
  8. Dallas

    GMAN Guest

    I trreuly have had good results with my Primefilm PF7250u Scanner i got from
    ebay a while back. It does Digital Ice3.

    Very happy with it.
    GMAN, Dec 28, 2011
  9. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Just wanted to say thanks to the respondents...
    Dallas, Feb 9, 2012
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