Most Helpful First | Newest First
417 of 418 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peak of quality for home and corporate scanning,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)I love my Nikon digital SLR. But I also know its limitations - at 6 megapixels, it isn't quite up to some of the fine print work that I want to do, and it certainly isn't up to billboards and other big ad work.
For the time being at least, old fashioned film still provides the ultimate in quality. Here, in the Nikon Coolscan, you have a scanner to match the best that 35mm film can offer. Well, almost. A top end Kodak lab machine will take you just a little bit further - but the price to own one is beyond the reach of most mortals.
In terms of technical specs, this scanner turns in images which are 4000 dpi, which equates to 5500 pixels across the 35mm format. This exceeds the true resolution of almost any digital camera currently on the market (well, ok - Kodak again do something in the silly-money zone). Note that this is the scanner's optical resolution - loads of flat-bed scanners will offer you really any resolution you want, but that would be interpolated, therefore adding no more data. What's more, the Nikon turns this in at a very respectable 14 bits per channel, which is 2 bits, and therefore 4x, more than their digital SLRs. 24 bit colour, which is commonly referred to as 'true colour' is just 8 bits per channel. If you are a photographer, you will notice the difference. You'll also notice the difference once you start playing around with the image in Photoshop.
The technical specifications, though, don't really do this equipment justice. By scanning directly from 35mm negative or transparency, you are acquiring far more data than you ever could if you scanned a print. This is partly because the image has only been through two lenses - your camera's lens and the scanner's lens - instead of three for a print - the camera, the enlarger, and the scanner. It's also because light is passing directly through the image, rather than merely being reflected off it. Furthermore, the Nikon lens in the Coolscan is seriously high quality.
I used the Coolscan for about two years in a professional capacity. I was working for one of the main arts bodies in the UK. We used it for print and advertising, and got consistently excellent results. When I left, I bought for myself a cheaper negative scanner by another manufacturer which boasted similar technical specifications. It was a total disappointment - so bad that I stopped using it after a month and bought a digital camera instead.
The Coolscan is still three times the price of some of the cheaper negative-scanning alternatives, and seven times the price of a cheap flatbed scanner. If you are a casual photographer who wants to turn some of your negatives or slides into digital for use on the web or printing with an inkjet or colour laser, you will probably find that these cheaper alternatives are fine. On the other hand, if you are using the camera as part of your paid job, then you will regret for ever (as I did) paying money out for anything less than this.
There _are_ other options. Heidelberg make dual flat-bed/ transparency scanners which can achieve equivalent quality. But they tend to be about three times the price. A good choice if you have other quality scanning requirements, but expensive if you just want to scan 35mm film.
If you need medium format, then there really are no other choices at this price point - Nikon's multi-format equivalent is more than £2000. But then, if you are shooting with a Hasselblad, you've probably already got used to the idea that _everything_ costs £2000 or more. Again, the Heidelbergs can help you out, but not really for much less than this.
Back in the old days, we used to pay about five pounds an image to get things scanned to this quality. Back in the old, old days of drum scanners (some people still swear by them) we would have paid up to two hundred pounds to get things scanned at this quality.
So, love your digital SLR - but, if you really want the max, get out your old Nikon, Pentax or Olympus, shoot some film, and put it through this scanner. You won't be disappointed.
139 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect equipment to digitise and archive your old films,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)In digital camera terms, this scanner is equivalent to 24 Megapixels. Not only that, but the quality of the scan is something to seen to be believed. A previous reviewer believed that a high end Kodak lab could give you the same/better scans. I think that this scanner, after a little practice selecting the right settings, will give you better scans than that. I speak from experience of previously working as a Kodak & Fuji lab technician. The film scanners found in most high street photo labs only scan at around max 8.25Mp. I have seen this scanner used when extra detail was required.
This scanner is equipped with ICE4. It means basically that it uses a fourth CCD (in addition to the usual R,G,B CCDs) which scans the very surface of the film itself. Any data returning from the 4th CCD is subtracted from the other three- efficiently removing most dust and scratches. This scanner is equipped with what is now the fourth generation of ICE. The newer three generations enhance the scanned image to restore faded colour, grain and poor exposure. Nothing that you can't now fix with Photoshop CS/CS2 ('Hue & Saturation', 'Reduce Noise', 'Shadows & Highlights'). And for those of you with large collections of old transparencies now is the time to blow the dust off, and archive them digitally.
At max resolution, 14 bits per channel, TIFF format, you can expect to produce 150Mb files! You will need lots of storage space, and about 3 minutes to scan each image.
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 35mm film scanner I have used,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)I have tried a number of scanners and in each case been disappointed with the results. My cheap Epson flatbed had lots of detail but the images were fuzzy, not sharp. My Epson V700 was a wonderful scanner for my Xpan and Medium format slides but again wasn't all that sharp and I'm sure had a bit of noise reduction going on to aid sharpness. This bothered me because had I wanted noise reduction and sharpening artifacts I would have bought a digital camera!
The Nikon Coolscan V ED is in a different league. It drags every last bit of sharpness out of my slides and negatives at 4000dpi. I reduce the resultant scans to 7x5 print size at 300DPI for printing and the resultant images are very very good. So good in fact that my second hand £10 Olympus MJU 35mm makes better pictures than my 10 megapixel Sony R1.
People say that scanning is a solution to a dead technology (i.e. film) but it isn't. If you want a small camera then the digital offerings all have small sensors and lots of sharpening and noise reduction. I'm sure technology will catch up but for me today in 2007 there isn't a pocketable digital camera around which can do shallow depth of field and produce images as good as from a cheap film compact.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I wanted from a scanner... and more,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)I have a large collection of (mostly) 35mm transparencies. Now, having gone digital, I wanted to scan the slides. I'm a perfectionist... and worried that the scans wouldn't look as good as the originals. Well, they don't... they look better! It's great to be able to make minor crops, rotations, colour tweaks, etc (and restore colour from some slightly faded slides).
The Nikon scanner is very simple: there's just an on/off switch. Everything else is controlled from the computer. Everything just works, and I'm gobsmacked at the way the ICE technology gets rid of dust and scratches. My worries were unfounded; it's a terrific piece of kit...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renew your faith in film,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)Compared to the very best flatbed scanner this is a quantum leap. It produces results that are making me loose faith in digital cameras. I have dug out my old leica and have gone back to B&W. What an awesome bit of equipment. Be aware that this is the budget version of the 5000 series which have multi pass scanning for even better quality. This does not have it, but it is good enough for me. Fabulous!!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)I got this scanner because I wanted to start using B&W 35mm film again, after a ten year break. It's really the only film dedicated scanner on the market within an affordable price range for an amateur/semi professional.
Some people reported that it was very slow, and yes, it's not the fastest, but the wait is worth it. I don't feel that speed is an issue at all - let's face it, if you're using film, you've accepted that things won't be instant. I also compare the process with the amount of time it took to print a photograph in the darkroom - this is lightening fast!
The ICE technology works brilliantly on colour slides/negatives - however, it does not work with B&W (this has been noted elsewhere). You just need to make sure your negatives are clean.
Regarding, set up and ease of use - no problem. I really recommend this scanner - I've been very impressed with the results.
40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware: scanner does not work well with Photoshop,
This review is from: Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi ) (Accessory)Hi - I have a Mac (OSX) and Photoshop CS and the plug-in which comes with the Nikon scanner keeps causing the Nikon Scan plug-in software to crash and you lose scans. It also causes Photoshop to crash occasionally.
Apparently the latest version of Nikon Scan (4.0.2) fixes problems but the plug-in for photoshop is not yet at the latest level and there's no date for any update.
Beware! Run the Nikon Scan software standalone if you buy this. Otherwise excellent scanner.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Out of stock