Graeme and Heidi Henderson
I have scanned over 45000 slides in the last 10 years both for the purposes
of publishing and archiving. These thoughts are based on my experiences.
For scanning of 1000s of slides I used the Nikon Coolscan 4000 (with the
loader). You can load upwards of 50 slides in one go and set and forget. The
only thing to watch out for is that the slide mounts do not catch and cause
a jam - it's no big deal if you do - just a pain in the neck. The Coolscan
also comes with other loaders to scan film etc. I have used two of these and
the only problem I have had is that one of them needed a replacement
motherboard after it had scanned over 50000 slides (It had scanned a few
before I got it). The other one has been fine.
For publishing I have used the Epson V700 Photo and it also is brilliant.
The quality is slightly better (you only see it if you look for it).
The difference is that the Coolscan has an autoloader (I think it's a extra
bit to buy) and it will do 50 odd slides with no interference and it will
auto save them. The Epson is a flatbed scanner and will only do 12 at a time
and is slower (because the quality is better)
When scanning - no matter what - always use the highest possible resolution
- for slides I have used 300dpi at 1300% - this will give you a file of
about 80MB but you are after the highest possible quality - you can always
make smaller ones from the original scan but you cannot go the other way.
For speed my choice is the Nikon Coolscan if you are prepared to slightly
compromise quality. The Epson provides a slightly better quality but is
slower. For both I have used the software provided with the scanner.
When scanning I have always used the option about cleaning/improving etc the
scan - It takes longer to scan but provided a much better result in a lot
quicker time than you could do it manually in Photoshop.
With the cleanup options on and scanning at the dpi that I have said above
the Epson scans 12 slides in about 30 mins - the Nikon scans 50 slides in
about 100 mins. Basically the Nikon allows you to start it off before you
go to bed and it will do 50 slides before you wake up the next morning. The
Epson will only do 12.
The Epson scanner is about (if my memory serves me) about $500-700 AUD. The
Nikon is at least $1500AUD.
I have both scanners and use both.
Ultimately the decision as to which one you buy is down to how many slides
you have and how much time you have available.
Not part of the conversation but if anyone wants a comment of films types
(Ectachrome, Kodachrome, Fuji, Ansachrome) or scanning of documents I can
provide that as well.
Hope this has been of help.