Scanner advice? Considering NIKON Super COOLSCAN 5000 ED

  • Hi!

    I have scores (hundreds?) of rolls of mostly fuji and kodacolor negatives (as well as some black and white negs) that I would like to scan in. Research online seems to keep pointing me to the Nikon Coolscan 5000, but I am put off by the $1,100 price tag.

    Any experience with this negative scanner? Other negative scanners? Do you say "Go ahead and get it, you won't regret it?" or "NO! Don't get it, you'll regret it!" (?)

    Thanks! -Karl
  • Re: Scanner advice? Considering NIKON Super COOLSCAN 5000 ED
    From what I've read it is a great scanner, I have the 4000ED which preceded it and the quality of the scans is excellent. What follows are my thoughts on the 4000ED; as I haven't used the 5000ED.

    The 4000ED has a couple of issues IMO; firstly the SF200 batch slide scanner seems incapable of scanning slides straight, the automatic feed process always seems to result in a marginal (and varying) tilt to the scans. The SF200 is also very prone to jamming.

    The 35mm negative strip loader is somewhat fiddly and not very well put together IMO. Single manual loading of mounted slides is excellent though.

    The only other drawback is speed; with multisampling on it can take ~10mins just to scan a single slide. That drops to around a minute and a half if you don't do multisampling. Multisampling takes multiple scans of the same image to boost the signal to noise ratio; in the highlights it doesn't usually gain you much, but in shadow areas it does seem to improve image quality.

    Might be worth looking for a used 4000ED if the cost of the 5000 is a little too high.
  • Re: Scanner advice? Considering NIKON Super COOLSCAN 5000 ED
    Hi Adrian!

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I did end up getting the 5000 ED scanner. So far it seems to work fine.

    For slides and color negs it works great. I've been using it a bit for some portraits posted on TL.

    I'm selective in what I am scanning in, so I don't need the batch scanner, nor is speed too much of a concern for me. I haven't tried multisampling yet, but will do so. I'm still learning how to use this hard/software effectively. I did find the strip negative feeder sometimes picky, but eventually got it to read each of the scans I wanted.

    The only tough one to scan so far was this: I wanted to scan in a neg from the first photo I ever shot (honestly, for sentimental reasons), however, it was on instamatic film from the 1970s. Not wanting to purchase a special size negative holder for this ($$$), I put the negative frame in a 35mm slide holder, scanned in the top and then bottom halves and stitched the two scans together. That also is on TL.

    As warned, it does not scan in my B&W negs well as the digital ice has to be turned off, and it picks up every small scratch and dust particle on the neg.

    All said however, it does do a great job of scanning in color slides and negatives.

    Thanks again for the tips!

    -Karl