Nothing suitable from Pentax, so I've gone Nikon

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ChrisA

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 08:52
If George can pick attention-grabbing headlines, I don't see why I shouldn't!

Not a camera - a scanner. After an enormous amount of indecision, which I now regret, since delaying has cost me a bucket of money, I've ordered a Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED from Adorama in the USA.

It hasn't arrived yet, but I thought I'd post about it now for two reasons. One, to start a sort of blog about my scanning experiences (although I won't be offended by any scanning related discussion points that come up from others here).

And two, to make slightly better known the fact that this scanner and its less expensive litter-mate, the Coolscan 5 ED, have, as far as I can tell, been discontinued, and very few places have any new in stock. They're being snapped up at quite a rate too, from what I gather from my email exchanges with Adorama, and are going for crazy money on eBay at the moment.

From all the reading I've done, the most common view (if not universally held) seems to be that the Coolscan range is the best for dedicated scanning of colour negatives, of which I have some 4000 dating back to 1984 when I got my first camera - a Pentax Super A. I have none of the prints, however, so effectively my whole adult life is hidden away in a pile of negative folders in a cupboard.

I'm not getting any younger (age-wise at least), so since 4000 negs will take a while to scan, I need to get cracking. Also, I'm hoping that the resale value of the scanner stays high, so that even if it all turns out to be a horrible labour-intensive mistake, I'll get back a fair bit of what I spent.

So far, Adorama have been quite helpful - they seem to have a reputation in the USA equivalent to SRS' here, and they've been willing to do an 'exception pick' for me to check that everything is Ok in the box. Apparently they've added additional packing for me, to protect it in transit.

I'll post more when it arrives - but in the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for me, that it arrives in one piece, works, and continues to work! There will be a couple more lenses hitting the classifieds in the near future to bridge the rather large gap between what was already in my PayPal account and what it's cost me.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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johnriley

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 08:55
Well you've made an excellent choice of scanner, but I don't fancy the thought of actually doing all that scanning.

Good luck!
Best regards, John

Clarky

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 09:04
Good luck with it Chris, I hope it arrives in one piece.

As John says, I don't envy you.

So I gather there are no descent equivilents to be had in the UK
What makes the Nikon Coolscan so desirable
Camera:|K-7|
Pentax Lenses:|DA12-24/f4 ED AL|DA35Ltd Macro|FA31Ltd|FA77Ltd|FA50/1.4|F70-210|FA20-35 f4/AL|A*200/f4 Macro ED|A50/1.7|A50 Macro f2.8|1.7xAF adapter|
Voigtlander|125/f2.5SL Macro APO Lanthar|
Sigma Lenses:|EX DG 100-300 f4|2X & 1.4X TC|
Flashes:|AF540FGZx2|RingFlash AF160FC|

Mannesty

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 09:26
I started a similar task a few years ago. I haven't got very far with the scanning. I bought a Minolta DualScan IV which does an OK job, together with Vuescan software.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

ChrisA

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 09:28
Clarky wrote:
Good luck with it Chris, I hope it arrives in one piece.

Thanks (and thanks, John, too)!
Quote:
As John says, I don't envy you.

No. I'm dreading it. But it's my whole life, pretty much. Most will be snaps, just memories I want back, but who knows, there may be a few good pictures in amongst the dross.

I'm not looking forward to the terabytes of hard disk I'll need to buy as well, not to mention the Vuescan software, which by all accounts is a huge improvement on Nikon's offering.

Quote:
So I gather there are no decent equivalents to be had in the UK

Well I've looked long and hard. Microglobe used to stock them as did Warehouse Express, but they've been out of stock for ages. There was that dodgy place that came up here recently (can't remember the name) that allegedly had some, too cheap to be true - I wasn't going to touch them with a bargepole.

So now that it's been officially discontinued, at least in Europe, it seemed to me that the chance of getting a new one from the UK was very remote.

Quote:
What makes the Nikon Coolscan so desirable

The image quality, basically, and the speed (it's a lot faster than the Coolscan 5). Pretty much everything I read suggests that it's simply the best for 35mm dedicated scanners, albeit expensive.

I guess I'll find out...

alfpics

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 09:50
Quote:
I'm not getting any younger (age-wise at least)

And so say all of us! I mean that about ourselves as well

Tempted to answer Yes to your poll - but it applies to me as well!

I bought a Minolta Scan Elite 5400 some years back. Still have a few thousand slides and negs I would like to do. However I suspect I will never accomplish that task - so many other things have priority

Andy
Andy

MattMatic

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 09:55
Definitely, definitely get Vuescan

You can set it up to do batches of slides and negs. I did thousands that way while working on other things (just feeding the scanner).

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)
Last Edited by MattMatic on 22/09/2009 - 09:55

gartmore

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 09:58
Well good luck.

I embarked on a similar project with the same scanner as Mannesty and found it just too time consuming although I did discover some pictures that I had overlooked initially. I found the supplied software was fine if not terribly intuitive but didn't work with Vista until I downloaded the free trial of Vuescan and then it magically did. I grabbed mine as soon as Minolta announced it's demise.

If you have contact sheets you can be selective in what you scan otherwise you are going to birning the midnight oil.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

ChrisA

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 10:06
alfpics wrote:
Tempted to answer Yes to your poll

I did, so don't hold back!!
MattMatic wrote:
Definitely, definitely get Vuescan

You can set it up to do batches of slides and negs. I did thousands that way while working on other things (just feeding the scanner).

That's exactly what I want, and is all the recommendation I need.

You realise you'll now probably get a lot of daft questions from me in the near future, don't you?
gartmore wrote:
Well good luck.

Cheers!
Quote:
If you have contact sheets you can be selective in what you scan otherwise you are going to burning the midnight oil.

The tanker is booked
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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womble

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 12:37
Although the quality is not top-notch, a very quick way of copying slides and negs is to simply use a slide copier and your camera. I can rattle through a box of 36 slides in about 20-30 minutes. Good enough quality for on-screen viewing, powerpoint, small prints and contact sheets. I then save the time-consuming scanning for the pics I want at higher resolutions.

I would be very interested in how you get on with the scanner. I have been thinking about getting a better one myself for the 8,000 slides currently residing in archival quality hanging files...
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Steve Chasey

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 13:55
Chris - the trick about getting scanning done is to

a) work out a (durable) file naming regime (ie MES-P0688-105 - tells me shot on an ME Super, processed June 88 and its slide no 5 of roll no 1)

b) pick out boxes of slides alined with a particular event or theme - like a holiday somewhere and stick at it until the batch is done

c) descide if you are going to archive the slides in binders or rebox them after scanning

d) if archiving to binders, whether to print off a contact sheet to go with the slides for quick easy reference and/or a reference page indicating what, where, who etc as best as can be remebered.

I allow about 2-3 mins a slide with my Coolscan V ED. You need to clean the next slide with a rocket blower or brush blower as the previous slide is scanning. A roll a night isn't too bad, especially if they are all related so you have a meaningful box to tick when the batch is completed.

HTH. It's along term project which is best done in moderate hits in my experiance. A tinny helps the job along as well


Steve

ChrisA

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 14:20
Steve Chasey wrote:
a) work out a (durable) file naming regime (ie MES-P0688-105 - tells me shot on an ME Super, processed June 88 and its slide no 5 of roll no 1)

Yes, I was thinking about this. As it happens, I'm doing negs, not slides, but the issue is the same.

All the films are numbered, and the strips will just go straight back in the folder after scanning.

I don't suppose the scanner is clever enough to 'see' the negative number along the edge of the strip, is it?

Quote:
HTH. It's along term project which is best done in moderate hits in my experiance. A tinny helps the job along as well

Yes, the beer supply needs to be factored into the cost, too. Hadn't thought of that, although I may opt for malt whisky, of which I have a supply that might possibly be extensive enough (about 30 bottles on the go in two cabinets)
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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niklas

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 14:35
I am using an Epson flatbed scanner with a film lid extra equipment for the job of scanning transparent photo material.

It goes 12800 dpi and takes up 12x12 in size.
I can do positive and negative in colour and black and white.
And yes, I actually do have some B/W positive dias.

I believe Epson still makes some flatbed scanners doing this job fine.
But I think they limited resolution to ~9600 dpi.

It's a big task and sometimes I go 2-4 days in a row.
I wonder if I will be done.

Niklas
15mm - 450mm equivalent, and still can't reach...

ChrisA

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 14:43
niklas wrote:
I am using an Epson flatbed scanner

How do you deal with dust?

I tried a flatbed some time ago, and it was a nightmare. I couldn't keep the negs dust free to save my life... If it had just been a few frames, I'd have been happy to clone the marks away but with the number I need to do, I gave up after a very short while.

Mind you, I didn't have the ICE software at the time. I suspect that's going to be a lifesaver.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
.

niklas

Link Posted 22/09/2009 - 14:53
ChrisA wrote:
niklas wrote:
I am using an Epson flatbed scanner

How do you deal with dust?

I tried a flatbed some time ago, and it was a nightmare. I couldn't keep the negs dust free to save my life... If it had just been a few frames, I'd have been happy to clone the marks away but with the number I need to do, I gave up after a very short while.

Mind you, I didn't have the ICE software at the time. I suspect that's going to be a lifesaver.

I have a battery compressor for fighting dust.

Niklas
15mm - 450mm equivalent, and still can't reach...
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