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Re: filmscanners: which scanner for slides ?
In terms of taking 35mm film frames and scanning for "snapshot" size and
8 x10"'s any of the scanners you mentioned will do the trick.
In the under $400 US price range, the Minolta Dual Dimage II and Canon
FS 2710 are similar. The Canon has SCSI interface, the Minolta USB.
I have heard one report that the Minolta shows dust more easily than the
Canon, but also it is sharper and has better shadow detail.
Some reports of early failures a re showing up also, but I'm not clear
what to make of this yet. (I guess get a good warranty, or go to a good
For about the same price you can get the Acer 2740 which has digital
ICE, which removes or reduces dust and surface defects, which can be a
help if you have poorly stored images, or a dusty environment, but if
you are only enlarging to 8 x 10, it is less of a problem. Less
expensive still is the Acer Scanwit 2720 which doesn't have this
feature. (The Acers are SCSI)
The Nikons are more expensive. I'm not sure they are worth it for the
use you have in mind, or even otherwise. Although they might have
somewhat better color rendition, and be a bit faster, is it worth double
the price? The Nikons have not shown to be any better in terms of
reliability, service, software stability, or any other factor which
would make me feel more compelled to them. They do tend to have a
shallower depth of field, so if you have mounted slides which tend to be
very peaked or negs with a lot of curve in the film, you may be
disappointed. If you have flat film, you might get a bit extra
resolution from it.
The questions you need to ask is:
1) Am I more likely to be scanning slides of negs (consider Vuescan, a
3rd party software package for $40 USB (downloadable, and a full free
demo to test), which might even out this issue, since most of the slide
scanner in this group are supported)
2) Are my images typically "normal"? By this I mean do they fall into
typical exposure ranges. Film which is several f-stops too dark or
light might benefit from multiscanning and other aspects of the
hardware. For instance, the way the Acer's deal with exposure a little
differently than others and are less forgiving of exposure problems.
3) Are my films damaged with fungus, fingerprints, scratches or dust?
If so, consider either the Acer 2740 or the Nikon.
The question is whether the Nikon is worth an additional $400 US to get
this. You might find the Nikon at a lower cost (the LS-30) now that the
new versions are out. Or maybe consider used, if you feel confident in
the reliability of the one you are getting.
> I have many color slides that I want to scan and make prints.
> Most of the prints will be 4x6 or 5x7 with an occasional 8x10.
> The scanner that falls in my price range of $400+ is the Minolta
> Scan Dual, but a friend of mine recommended a Nikon Coolscan,
> but the prices of the Nikon scanners seem to start at $800.
> Recently, I have seen messages about the Canon FS2710 and the
> Acer is also in this price range.
> Photography is my hobby and I have slides going back many years.
> I also take slides when I travel.
> What are your suggestions for a scanner to meet my needs?