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Railfan Technology > Replacement Slide Scanner?

Date: 04/29/19 09:36
Replacement Slide Scanner?
Author: jbwest

I hope this will forever be a hypothetical question.  But when my Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 dies, what would I replace it with based on what is currently available.  I suppose the good news is I have scanned most of the old stuff that is any good, and anything new is taken with a digital camera.  But it is still fun on a cold day to get out the old slides and try to find something worth scanning.  From an occasional perusing of posts on this subject, I don't sense there is a clear winner here, but perhaps I am overlooking something.


Date: 04/29/19 09:53
Re: Replacement Slide Scanner?
Author: trainjunkie

You are not wrong, there is no clear current winner. I wrestled with the same concern for a long time and finally broke down and bought a spare for my Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II off the auction site. It is stored for the day I hope never comes. But if I didn't have the spare, and had to replace the scanner today, I'd probably opt for one of the Plustek models such as the OpticFilm 120 or the OpticFilm 135. As far as I can tell, not having actually used one of Plustek models, these are the closest we're going to get to our beloved but discontinued Minolta and Nikon film scanners. I have owned several Minolta and Nikon film scanner models over the years and they are hard to beat. But on paper, these two Plustek models seem to be as close as you can get spec and feature-wise. 

Date: 04/29/19 11:14
Re: Replacement Slide Scanner?
Author: 3rdboxcar

If you have a Nikon digital camera have you thought of a Nikon ES-1 or ES-2

I have just purchased and ES-2 and sourcing a 60mmG lens, a friend of mine did some really basic test, hold the slide up to the window and take a picture below is the result with a Lumix compact TZ10.  

Date: 04/29/19 11:30
Re: Replacement Slide Scanner?
Author: trainjunkie

3rdboxcar Wrote:
> If you have a Nikon digital camera have you
> thought of a Nikon ES-1 or ES-2

I have experimented with converting slides using a D-SLR and a slide copy attachment and IMHO, there is no comparison between a properly scanned slide using a film scanner with high DMAX, and one captured using a D-SLR. In my experience, the only thing that is better than a high quality desktop film scanner, are images produced from a high-end drum scanner.

Here's a post I did back in 2008 on this topic. https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?9,1580694
Since then I have tried other camera bodies, lenses, and have used different scanners. The results have not changed much. Not enough for me to replace my film scanner anyway.

That being said, which I said way back then as well, if you are just making reference files or just posting stuff to the Internet, a slide-copy setup is probably fine. In fact, many of the so-called "slide scanners" on the market today are actually image capture devices using the guts from a digital camera. They do not make a true line-by-line scan. A flatbed with a transparency attachment is probably fine as well. But even my Epson Perfection V700 doesn't come close to the images produced by my dedicated film scanner.

If you want "one-and-done" true archival scans that are suitable for publication (or other unforseen uses in the future), don't skimp on scanning equipment. No matter what path you choose, it all takes time and has a steep learning curve so it's wise to invest your time in getting the best results the first time, so you only have to do it once.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/19 11:45 by trainjunkie.

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