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[BKARTS] RE-Slide scanners



Regarding slide and film scanners, I have used dedicated Nikon Coolscan 4000 ED film and slide scanner for several years, but then recently experiences using a few flatbed scanners at digital labs at area universities. Last summer, I tried a Canon CanoScan 8800F. It is similar to the Epson models in that it comes with plastic frames for mounting various formats of film or negatives, and the black backing in the lid pops out, revealing a back light. I was really impressed by the resulting quality of the images.

On the other hand, I have been very frustrated with even recent Microtek scanners, even though the quality is much improved over older models, it's still a long way off from the the Nikon and Canon. Then I've had hit-and-miss (more often a miss) experiences with the EPSON Perfection 3170. The latter often cropped the edges of the image, despite my telling the software to not do so. Perhaps it's a software glitch, and there may be a GIMP software that would perform better with that model. I did find that the Epson manual was not very detailed or helpful.

I used an recent Intel-chip iMac with the Canon, and a slightly older PC with the Epson. I definitely found the Canon software for Mac a lot easier to use and far more flexible than the Epson software for the PC. I forget the highest resolution possible for the Canon, but I think it was 4800.

I would be curious to hear if anyone has purchased or used the Hammacher Schlemmer slide scanner, and especially how that would compare with the nikon Coolscan images. The main reason to spring for a dedicated film scanner is that using the digital ice software, scratches can effectively be removed. I had fairly good luck using it, even with a couple of VERY old color slides from the 1950s, although out of focus, the image was still a very big improvement over the original slide. I'm not sure if the HS scanner would have such a feature, but the price is very reasonable. I'm not sure if it's any measure to go by, but both Nikon and Canon do make great cameras, and that may be why their scanners are good too.

Jake Benson

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