Coolscans now ridiculously priced.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raymondc, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. I have been putting this on hold b/c I haven't got my 120 format camera yet. But look at the prices. Almost doubled and this is used. Should of got one 2yr ago, ie $1k for a 8000.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It is simple supply and demand. If you think the price is ridiculous, don't buy it.
    A few years ago, I was choosing between the Coolscan 9000 and 5000. Since I have over 30 years of 35mm slides, a 35mm scanner is pretty much a must. Eventually I decided that I don't have enough medium-format film to justify the 9000. Nowadays I use the Coolscan occasionally when I need to digitize some old slide.
  3. And don't forget the time spent scanning film...time is money;)
  4. Well I had to import them anyway, used or new. At home they are just so expensive. Actually I think we have new ones still at the shops but they are $6,000US for the 9000 :D Film gear has always been expensive for us, for some weird reason now digital is more aligned, perhaps just 20% more than USA. A new F100 was like $2,000US.
    Has anyone just used flatbed scanners for proofing but outsourced scan jobs when you required? Taking its original price. Maybe an amateur (me) might not spend even just $1,000US for outside scan jobs.
    How do you justify it, even with the old prices? Do you really scan that much and end up requiring those better scans ie., printed/matted up for whatever your purpose? Speaking for advanced amateurs of course.
  5. How do you justify it, even with the old prices?​
    I justified my little Coolscan V, at the old prices in the U.S., because I knew I would be careful with my slides and the scanning. But that takes a lot of time, and I often find the time difficult to justify.
  6. While you can scan them all right. Financially speaking, wouldn't it be cheaper to use a consumer scanner. How much of those scans are actually printed up or matted up largely? If an amateur runs an exhibition and puts a few images thru a camera club competion, maybe 20 images a year. Is a $1,000US scanner make sense if you get my drift .....
    I got my printer used at a unbeliveably price, an Epson 2200 which is hated by many. I had to get it custom calibrated locally. But at its market price, an amateur like me just wouldn't get back the purchase price between the difference of lab price vs paper/ink cost.
  7. Financially speaking, wouldn't it be cheaper to use a consumer scanner.​
    No, it would not. Leslie talked about the value of time first, and I put it in a slightly different way. The time expenditure in scanning is very high. Time is valuable even if you are an amateur. I don't want to waste time with a crappy scanner.
  8. I meant that you could just outsource the scan jobs. An amateur might only do 20 meaningful prints a year if that .... Would that work?
  9. I don`t justify that silly prices. And with such inusable old software on current computers. Hiperexpensive drum scanners are not an option to me.
    And I still don`t understand why film scanning has to be such big pain this times. For less than $1000 I can have an incredibly capable camera, to achieve whatever I want in PS or NX2, but only to use a crappy tool with a crappy software like Silverscan or EpsonScan (amongst others) to hardly get mediocre results.
    Camera manufacturers have won the battle. Good for them... ;P
    I`m decided to support film and to keep traditional printing. Long live to my enlarger! :D
  10. I think in a few years we will all have access to sufficiently high resolution digital cameras that with a suitable lens (i.e. 75mm Apo-Rodagon-D) we can get very good results with a slide copying setup. And the exposure times will be fractions of a second, so ... let's not worry too much about the future of scanners.
  11. Yeah cos I thought, the manufacturer has discontinued them. Other than Imacons and above, too expensive for the avg amateur. So when Windows 9 come around, what happens to software and drivers? And what about if Firewire is significantly updated or that a complete new technology replaces it? No warranty. So do they pick up another used one, maybe 10yr used ......
  12. God willing, Ilkka...
  13. I think Ilkka is correct NOW! A D3X on Manual with a 105mm macro at f8, ISO 200, Auto bracket +1 , 0, -1.. with maybe a touch of Auto HDR, will provide as good a result as a consumer level scanner. To get the best from a dedicated slide scanner is a steep learning curve and is never a quick process.
    I don't know whether dust and fluff removal is quite so easy, as I believe ICE technolgy involves an IR scan (?) aswell.
  14. Ray, I have an Epson V700 and a Nikon 9000. The Epson, used with a glass holder from, gives quite good results with medium format film, though not as good as the Nikon. (And an Imacon is better than a Nikon, and a drum scanner is better than an Imacon). Using something like the V700 (or maybe a V600) to make scans for the Web and smallish prints and sending out for better scans for your very best images seems like a viable plan.
    I got the Nikon a few years ago and am glad to have it but wouldn't pay today's prices for the reasons cited by other posters.
  15. Kent: The Epson V600 hasn't been out that long, and it is now less that $200 US. Look at the specs ... generally, it seems, the res and specs are going up, and the price down. You are exactly right ... useful for the day-to-day, and send out for material you are really going to work up.
  16. The coolscan is worth its price at the old price not the now inflated price. While was expensive, I do need a good scanner to know how good my film is. The scanner is for digitize my negative to use with digital process but it's primary function is my negative viewer. If I got a good negs and want prints. I would go in to my darkroom and make them.
  17. If you're interested in MF, you should keep in mind that other prices have FALLEN, in many cases more than balancing out the inflated cost of a Nikon scanner. Consider both Mamiya RZ and Hasselblad equipment--both can now be had for a fraction of their new prices. For example, you can get a new V series back at Freestyle for over $1000, or buy one in great condition for $200. You can get a lens for $400 that cost $3000 new. It's the same for lots of other MF gear which can be had for pennies on the dollar.
    Also keep in mind that, for the foreseeable future, you probably won't lose money on a Nikon, should you buy one and chose to sell it later. Sorry, MIke, you probably WILL be losing money on that D3x in a couple of years...
  18. I think there is a new film scanner coming out in July made by Pacific Image for 35 mm and 120 film. B&H has it on their site for under $2000. I am waiting for the review from some first users. Looks like a good substitute for the Nikons.
    I currently have the Coolscan 5000, not that much for digitizing old negs, but for new ones from my film cameras. I don't usually scan more than a couple of frames from a roll so the time issue is not too bad, but it allows me to use all my 35mm film gear and do digital post processing. If the Pacific Image is good, my Hasselblad pictures can go the same route to digital.
  19. Usually, acccording to the received "laws" of Capitalism, low demand equals low price.
    However, scanners and some other things are cases where low demand makes the few surviving producers less and less able to have economies of scale, resulting in essentially handicraft production with high labor costs, among others. And as pointed out, even with low demand, the supply may be even lower.
    So, yes, you should have bought a few years ago.
    People are absolutely right about one thing -- get the fastest scanner you can afford. I made the mistake of getting an excellent quality, but slow speed (SCSI) film scanner and I paid the price of a faster scanner over and over again with my own time.
  20. I bought the Nikon V when it came out as I was still shooting an F100 then. I still it use to scan 35mm slides, although I don't shoot 35mm at all now. I recently bought an Epson V700 with BetterScanning holders and VueScan. Why? Last summerl I began to get tired of the uniform look I was getting from my Nikon DSLR bodies. I bought a couple of historical cameras, a 1914 Kodak Special and a 1937 Voigtlander Bessa, both 120/6x9. I also began using my 4x5 field camera again weekly, and bought several historical lenses dating 1860 to 1900. I'm having a blast with these! To digitize the images the V700 does fine for up to 16x20 enlargements. The price of earlier drum scanners like Howtek has come way down, but I have no interest in those big cumbersome things. The scans I get from the V700 are good enough for most of what I do with the images, but if I printed a lot of them then I would buy something like the Nikon 9000. Eventually I too think technology will come up with another answer.
    Kent in SD
  21. @Scott. cannot look at it from that way. If it wasn't for digital, I just won't be owning a FM2N, F100 or the expensive MF cameras. I would probably be shooting with a F80 or one of those basic Mamiya 645 manual focus units. I don't make any sales from my hobby. It's just camera club exhibition and interclub competitions.
  22. dumb question, but i will go ahead anyway! has anyone tried projecting slides and re-shooting them with a dslr on a tripod?
  23. Indeed I have, about 25 years ago as a poor-mans slide copier!
    By using 2 separate optical systems you double your glass based errors. On film, the contrast seemed to go up aswell, blacks darken and whites blow-out simultaneously! Also the screen material is never truely white or clean!
    Cheapest way to go is to put the slide to be copied on a lighbox, mask off the surrounding bright area, pop on a standard 50mm lens with a set of manual extension tubes, point it straight down (tripod or copystand) focus manually to fill the frame and shoot away. Use the histograms to get the exposure perfect. Job done.
    You can selectively crop if you can go beyond 1:1 optically for FX or use DX (1:1.5)
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    has anyone tried projecting slides and re-shooting them with a dslr on a tripod?​
    Clearly that is technically possible, but why do you want to get the projector lens involved in this process? Generally speaking, projector lenses are not of very good quality, and even though some are good, getting more optics into this process will only degrade the image further. And any screen you project the image onto is not necessarily flat and the projector lamp is not necessarily evenly illuminating.
    If we do switch to useing a high-quality DSLR to digitize film images, I would imagine the set up will be similar to the old-fashioned slide/film dupication process in the old days where you place the film in front of the camera with some set up and use some macro lens to capture the image. You need a good light source to evenly light up the film.
  25. Cheapest way to go is to put the slide to be copied on a lighbox, mask off the surrounding bright area, pop on a standard 50mm lens with a set of manual extension tubes, point it straight down (tripod or copystand) focus manually to fill the frame and shoot away. Use the histograms to get the exposure perfect. Job done.​
    I have done this, but with a Nikon 55/2.8 lens, and it works OK. As Illka has suggested, add a sizzlingly sharp repro-quality lens and the results from a good quality DSLR(I've used a D2Xs and D3, but not D3X units)should be quite good. To date I've only made about 6X size prints from a D3; I don't know how big they could be enlarged without either the lens or the 12mp sensor showing it's limitations.
  26. Out of nostalgia (I had one of the originals), I bought a Honeywell Repronar made especially for slide duplication and 'correction'. I lucked out and what I and everyone else thought was a incomplete Repronar, turned out to be a post-"Pentax" Repronar made to take any camera. As a result I got it for peanuts (not counting shipping, of course). Maybe, someday, I'll do a post on it.
    It actually works quite well. But all of my slides are pretty much all scanned in, with great effort and time. :(
    I can tell you that the Spiratone and similar slide copying attachments sold "like new" are that way because no half-way sentient being ever tried to use them more than once. Trust me, you can skip that experiment. Spiratone actually sold a rear projection 45º device for getting slides into movies. It's better than wall or screen projection if you want to go that route.
    In the end, there's no real substitute for a dedicated film scanner, although some of the newer flatbeds are OK, but just that, OK.
  27. Without a good dust removal program the idea of copying slides with a duplicator, macro lens or cheap scanner may end up with a frustrating experience - Photoshop takes too long to rectify this.
    That´s why many prefer the Coolscan series and pay these inflated prices. I use Vuescan nowadays with a Coolscan 5000 and am pleased, though sharpness may be slightly inferior to the Nikonscan software I used before and the learning curve is steep though by no means impossible.
  28. IMHO the price in image quality from any "dust removal program" I have ever seen is unacceptable except for web use.
    Clean the film carefully and hand spotting, avoiding 'reduction' artifacts, in PS is manageable.
  29. Clean the film carefully and hand spotting, avoiding 'reduction' artifacts, in PS is manageable.​
    This is true for material that is otherwise ok (e.g. no scratches). If you digitize old slide collections hardware supported restauration (ICE) is very helpful. Such techniques do not degrade the impage quality as pure software solutions. For me, this is also one of the best reasons to use a scanner instead of a camera with a slide reproduction set. The Nikon 5000 and 9000 do a very good job here.
  30. I have digitized 10s of thousands of old slides, mostly Kodachrome, mostly at 4000 dpi and I simply can't agree that the ICE, etc. software is "very helpful" for Kodachrome, and even for Ektachrome. Nowadays I shoot mostly C/N or B&W film, and nothing there has changed my outlook.
    I tried everything I could find and nothing worked nearly so well as "clean and spot".
    Careful cleaning of the slides before scanning is far productive than cleaning the image afterwards, and skipping the noise reduction step also speeds up scanning by a huge amount. I especially feel that it is precisely things like scratches that can be fixed much better by a human than by an algorithm. If you're doing web posts, and a handful of images, then ICE away, of course.
    Of course, you can just blur the thing to eliminate all detail although you probably ought to scan at 72 or 90 dpi for that. ;)
    If ICE works for you, bravo, but it is not for everybody, nor should it be the test of the quality/utility of a scanner or work flow for digitizing images.
  31. I believe ICE and like software are based on recognition of foreign bodies (dust) on the emulsion side of the film via a special infrared channel built into the scanner. This is specified not to work with Kodachrome, as I understand it because of the "relief" effect on the emulsion side of Kodachrome.
    Thus stating that ICE does not work with Kodachrome or creates artifacts is well known lacking true relevance. My results with Ektachrome and Fuji slide film are good, sometimes amazingly so, particularly if used with Nikonscan. Vuescan works pretty well too.
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It is well known that Kodachrome is difficult to scan. Unfortunately, I used that extensively until the early to mid 1990's, when I switched to mainly Fujichrome. So I have plenty of Kodachrome slides around.
  33. Reflecta sells under the Pacific Image brand in USA, and will soon sell a medium format scanner for about 2K. That might be your answer. I bought a Nikon 9000 when it was "only" $1800, but there is no way I would pay the inflated prices nowadays --- I would rather go digital ;). And don't forget the software. From what I can tell on the blogs, you need to upgrade to SilverFast when using the Reflecta scanners --- there has been some complaints about the included software. FYI: I use the SilverFast archive suite with my Nikon 9000. Works great.
  34. I don't think that it is all that well known that Kodachrome doesn't work well with these things, and it is highly relevant for those of us whose library of slides is mostly Kodachrome.
    I have used Nikon scanners and found the situation there to be materially the same as with other scanners and software. At one time or another, I've tried most of the consumer (ca. 4000 dpi) scanners at one time or another, and nothing I've seen changes my mind about 'noise' reduction software.
    As have said at least once above, if it works for you, great.
    I still say it should not be the criterion by which one chooses a scanner and a work path for digitizing images, especially slides. Resolution and speed are far more critical than whether there are built-in or other noise reduction procedures.
  35. FWIW, I do recommend biting the bullet and getting a fast Nikon scanner. Not for the noise reduction, but for its speed and quality of imaging.
  36. I think we are starting to agree :) . And ICE is not a noise reduction (that would be detrimental to image quality!) but rather a dust removal program.
  37. Since Nikon left the scanner market people have been looking for similar-quality alternatives at a reasonable price. One strategy is to leverage existing DSLR gear. I have seen some images of B&W negs posted by someone who used a Nikon D700 with a 60mm AF Micro Nikkor as the copy lens and a lightbox as the light source. They looked sharp and had good DR.

    For 35mm scans the current Plustek 7600i has been well received, and seems to be a scanner of choice for Leica film shooters. It was designed in close collaboration with the company that makes Silverfast software. I bought the Silverfast Ai Studio version of the 7600i a few months ago for $439 at B&H to scan slides taken with my Nikon FM2 and F801S. I started to reuse those cameras once I got the scanner. I have been generally quite pleased with the results, although I am still learning how to get better results from it, especially from "difficult" slides and negs.

    Some people are using a Plustek for 35mm scans and an Epson V700 or 750 for medium- and large-format scans. There is a good review at the Luminous Landscape website that compares the Plustek 7600i, Nikon Coolscan 5000, and Epson V750 scanners, showing the relative strengths of each scanner. Go to Plustek Optic Film 7600i review, and be sure to download the full review, which contains plenty of scan comparisons between the three scanners. The Plustek compares quite favorably to the Coolscan, although the Coolscan is still a bit better for overall scan quality, and has a few features not found in the Plustek.

    The Reflecta/Pacific Imaging medium-format scanner looks interesting. There have been sightings of a medium-format prototype from Plustek, but who knows when or if that scanner will come out? Good luck in your search for a suitable scanner.

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