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Nikon Scanner.. Better Alternatives????

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Alanroseman, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Anyone have a suggestion other than the:

    Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED Film Scanner with the Nikon SF-210 Auto Slide Feeder for Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED Scanner.


    The CoolScan is around $4700. give or take and the
    Auto feeder is roughly $500. This equipment is already on site, and the feeling is it isn't good enough for the task at hand.

    Anyone have a recommendation other than this set up for the transfer of a professional stock photographers slides?

    He's not at all happy with the quality of this combo and feels he should be getting better quality / less noise.

    If you have personal experience with an alternative setup, more expensive or not, I'd like to hear your suggestion...

    Thanks folks.

    Cheers, Alan
     
  2. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Jul 20, 2010
    Suggestion:

    Don't use any Scratch removing software (degrades image detail).

    If you can scan multiple times (2,4.8,16), try using 4 or 8 scans (it will reduce noise). This is not "Multiple Exposure", ME increases DR.

    use at least 4500dpi - 5500dpi (Optical) about 60mb-125mb TIFFs

    don't expect 30s scans, a good scan may take a few minuted each.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Only scanner owed has been the Nikon Coolscan V. Not sure if Nikon has upgraded the software for this machine to run without crash issues on Macs with Intel processor. It's attached to the eMac. Old scanner. Reliable but bit slow on the eMac. . Need to check the Nikon site if they have addressed the Intel Mac software issue. Would like to process a few 35mm slides on the new iMac. Also have a few rolls of APS film that need to be scanned. The APS feeders have been a bit pricey.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. MaxElmar

    MaxElmar Mu-43 Regular

    61
    May 18, 2011
    New Jersey, USA
    Replace the operator. Scanning film, from a technical standpoint, is at least as hard as photography itself. It's requires years of experience and the very best equipment to do it properly and to a very high technical standard. It's usually not worth it for stock. Or any photo that's easily replicated. Probably not what the photographer wanted to hear. But getting a better piece of hardware won't matter unless operator is upgraded as well. And then it might not make financial sense. (For typical stock photography.)

    Imacon is the next step up from that Nikon. But I've seen experienced, professional operators get great, professional results from the Nikon 5K...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hello MaxElmar,

    You may be close to the bone on this. However, in my line of work one can not fire clients.... One simply tries to find a solution that's workable, and of equal import, trainable. This would be the first complaint I've heard regarding the equipment listed in the OP.

    It's a long flight for me to do an on site. I would like to be prepared with an alternative hardware setup, as often the case with end users, once they've soured they refuse to believe it was NOT the hardware. Often it's less stressful to let their ego off the hook, and give them a new path. Then it's my fault when the results are less than stellar... they all seem to prefer it being someone elses fault....

    I'm always on the lookout for better, faster, cleaner hardware in this regard. This is not a "standard" tech call for me.. most of these folks already have their systems in place.

    The reason I asked for input is to ascertain wether the equipment on site was / is suitable. I'm of the opinion that the hardware on site is fine for the project. If so, I'll make the on site visit, create a work flow path, and train staff for the process.

    Thanks for the input so far... I remain willing to review offered alternative hardware solutions.

    Alan


     
  6. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    That scanner is a good scanner, but scanning technology is not plug and play. You need to learn how to use it and treat each slide individually. Most auto feed setups run through lots of slides and give the mediocre result you would expect.

    You really need to know what you are doing with the Nikon.

    (Although I don't think you need "years" of experience to get it right, it isn't rocket science.)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That is a terrific scanner. If you want a step up from that send them out to be scanned using a drum scanner (and oil mounted). I would think that if you can't get that combo to produce a good scan that is operator error. In all fairness however, it is not easy to make great scans. It's time consuming and requires quite a bit of experience and skill. Perhaps you could hire someone that has the kind of skill to do the scans using the Coolscan.

    What about the scans does the client find unacceptable?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    His feeling is that the Nikon is providing overly noisy results, and noise reduction involves softening to some degree.

    This would not be a standard stock collection (not that it matters an awful lot) This work has never been offered as stock, though often requested.

    It is often difficult to get a correct technical definition of the problem from an end user..

    I've opened an FTP account on my server for him, and I expect to receive a few samples later in the day..

    Thanks for all the input, Alan

     
  9. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Try multi sampling. That will reduce noise without impacting quality.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi dixeyk,

    I'm currently looking at this: Hasselblad Flextight X5 Scanner
     
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    The flex tight will give a much better film plane than the Nikon, which is hostage to film curl.
     
  12. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi Hikari,

    All slides.... nothing but mounted slides..

    Alan
     
  13. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Hopefully FLAT mounted slides.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    Coolscan 8000 or, better 9000 ED. 4000 optical dpi x 16 bits. Much less noise due to better diffused LED's (R,G,B, plus IR for scratch detection). I considered it as the Beseler 45 equivalent of the scanners.

    It scans 4x5", 120/220 rolls up to 6x9cm but I used it for 6x17 cm pans (Technorama), special tray for 24x65mm pans (X-Pan...), 35mm mounted slides or 2 filmstrip negatives (x6) at a time. No automatic feeder, you have a flat tray where you place five slides, even the thick ones with glasses.

    You can automate the scanning process with Siverfast scanning software.

    It's good and slow... as a scanner.

    The modern, fast alternative: Nikon D3x, bellows, short-mount macro lens and slide duplicator, strobe on extension cord.
    It's my current setup for 35mm slides and negs. 4200 dpi, no vibration, dust or registration problems... Good enough, as Gary would say.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Yes. Flat mounted slides....
     
  16. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    There was a recent issue with Nikon not supporting the Mac OS past 10.4 (antiquated) with the 9000ED.

    Do you use Silverfast as the alternative?


     
  17. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    I keep my old Power-PC Mac tower (G something), CRT and last System 9.x...

    It takes care of the printing, the scanning and most serious layout, with my old Illustrator, pre-CS Photoshop and XPress 3.32!

    Now, seriously, for slides I do prefer the D3x...
     
  18. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    :2thumbs:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have heard those are quite good. We looked at that for our lab. Ended up not getting the funding for it. Also, as I recall that FlexTight Scanner is sort of a advanced flatbed scanner (not quite a true drum scanner right?). Although the samples we saw from it were terrific.
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That scanner allows for oil mounting of your transparencies right? We used to oil mount on our Crossfield drum scanner (that thing was HUGE), although as I recall that was the only way to mount the image to the drum. It's been so long since I worked in that world. Scanners sure have come a long way. That Crossfield ran about $250K.

    drum-scanner.