Picking a Slide Scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Seravi, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Seravi

    Seravi TPF Noob!

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    After much research, my family has decided to purchase a scanner to make digital images of all our slides (my parents were broke when i was a kid so all our family photos are slides). Looks like it will be more cost effective for us to purchase the scanner and then sell it once we're done (as opposed to having some one else do it for a couple of grand).

    Here's the list of scanners we're considering. Is anyone familiar with any of them, or can offer general feedback on the process?

    Plustek OpticFilm 7200i Film Scanner

    Alestron Prime Film 3650u Slide/Film Scanner with Digital ICE Technology

    Microtek ArtixScan 4000TF 4000 dpi 35mm Slide

    Pacific Image PS-3600 Automated 35mm PowerSlide Scanner with 3600 dpi, USB & IEEE 1394 Interface Compatible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've heard good things about the 'Coolscan' line...from Nikon I believe...but I have no first hand knowledge.

    I've also heard that 'Digital ICE' technology is a real time saver because it removes a lot of dust spots. The other ones may have their own dust removal technology, so I'd suggest you check out that feature.

    Also, if you are doing a lot of slides, I would consider a scanner with a bulk loader...or at least see if that is an option. That way, you should be able to set it up and let it run though a good number of slides, rather than having to baby sit it the whole time, changing each slide or small group of them.
     
  3. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the Nikon Coolscan V with Digital ICE, but am still learning how to work it.

    Digital ICE does a good job on old slides and negavies with dust, scratches and spots, but I still have not figured how to get it to remove only scratches on new slides and negavies with getting odd colors.

    The biggest issue is that the scan times are not close to what Nikon clams, also read that in a review after I bought it.
     
  4. PaulBennett

    PaulBennett TPF Noob!

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    I have been using a Nikon LS-2000 for many years and truely happy with the results. Having converted almost 3000 personal slides to DVD albums for the kids and several slides to 16" x 24" framed enlargements for wall hangings.

    It can be used with stand alone software or programs like Photoshop have an import command which will activate it. It is a Nikon so in my estimation is better than whatever is #2. From time to time I've catalog shopped the Nikon LS-4000 and LS-8000. I see no technical advantage to the final image as the LS-2000 scans 1350 dpi which is plenty good but later models have sped up the scan speed. Slides and negative film are both accomodated and the color curve information is exported fwiw in the image file. For each scan you can select a cleaning algorithm and/or can do multiple scans to improve the fineness of the image or do color and gamma corrections prior to a final scan.

    The SCSI interface might be the only possible downside to the LS-2000 in a laptop setting. SCSI interface is not shared by later models that use USB, but SCSI interface cards are easily available and do come with some machines.
     
  5. peterfcassidy

    peterfcassidy TPF Noob!

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    I researched these items for a year and ended up with this unit in large part for its reputed extraordinary color trueness. It took me a while to find a shop that stocked it at a good price but I have only been astounded by the results. At 16 bit with 2x scans you end up with a beautiful 130 Mb (generally) file that gets every detail with amazing color trueness. ICE is helpful but you should know that if you get a scanner of this kind of quality you should get some dust-free film wipes and a bottle of PEC-12 or other emulsion cleaner. Slides that looked clean on a desktop viewer were, in reality, a complete mess. I spend upwards of 20-30 minutes per slide to get them perfectly clean. It cost a few bucks but when I print an image, I know every penny was well-spent. If you want to resell it, you'll get most all your money back as the units are produced in limited periodic runs at a Nikon factory.

    Peter

     

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