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Old December 1st, 2010, 11:57 AM   #1
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needed: Pro slide scanner like Microtek ArtixScan 1800f (discont'd)

Hello,
I am looking for advice. I need a professional quality, flatbed/slide scanner for a project to scan ~1,000 35mm slides. (Note: after archiving these images, some will be brought into ProShow and evenutally into Canopus Edius for inclusion in a video DVD)

I am working from an equipment recommendation for the Microtek ArtixScan 1800f (now Discontinued). Specs follow: Welcome to Microtek

The superior feature of the 1800f is that it scans slides without the intervening glass (the glass plate sits above the slide carrier). The 1800f is difficult to find used. In any case, I have had zero success finding a used model.


Does anyone have a lead on an ArtixScan1800f? Alternatively, Could someone please suggest a comparable product that is currently being manufactured?

Thank you.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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While it's not a flatbed ---which I have never had much luck with for film scanning --- the newspaper I retired from always bought Nikon film scanners. The current, Super Coolscan has a holder for mounted transparencies, as well as a number of other formats, you might want to look at it, some info here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...tialSearch=yes
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Old December 1st, 2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Hi, Claudia...............

Don't have anything as recent as the 1800f, but I do have two, much older 4000t's, which you can still get drivers for (well, they're listed on the Microtek web site, at any rate) and I believe, Silverfast scanning software (you'd need to check with Microtek).

The pain is they require SCSI cards to drive them (very simple one's tho'), and I may have a couple of them lying around somewhere.

To the best of my knowledge both systems are complete and functional, tho' I haven't used them for a very, very long time.

It would be nice to find them a new home if they'd do the job.

Enquire with Microtek and see if they'll support them and have suitable drivers and software for your system.

Regards,


CS
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Old December 1st, 2010, 02:45 PM   #4
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Scitex Eversmart series

A heavy duty scanner that should make short work of your project, and still available as a refurb. Downside is Mac only, SCSI interface.
Creo / Scitex Scanners | CTP | Refurbished Scanners

They use pin registered slide holders to gang up to 40 slides per bed on auto pilot. Not the easiest software to use, but great results once you get over the curve.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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cont'd: Needed—pro slide scanner like Microtek Artixscan 1800f

Thank you for your replies! It took a while to explore the implications of your comments—I will reply inline to your specifics. (I believe that's the better way of following a thread? or...)

Anyway, I do have a general follow-up question, still relating to Microtek. I had heard that the quality of subsequent Artixscan models like the M1 had come down quite a bit from that of the Artiscan 1800f. Is that generally thought to be true?
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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re Scitex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Silla View Post
A heavy duty scanner that should make short work of your project, and still available as a refurb. Downside is Mac only, SCSI interface.
Creo / Scitex Scanners | CTP | Refurbished Scanners

They use pin registered slide holders to gang up to 40 slides per bed on auto pilot. Not the easiest software to use, but great results once you get over the curve.
I like the idea of refurbished gear (major cost savings). I didn't call to find out details, however, because you commented on the Mac OS. My studio is PC only—mostly a cost consideration, since I used Macs at school and am familiar with the interface.

Also, with high res scanning I'd want to stick with the higher transfer rate of a USB-2 connection.

Still, thank you for introducing me to genesis-equipment.com
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 03:34 PM   #7
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re: SCSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Don't have anything as recent as the 1800f, but I do have two, much older 4000t's, which you can still get drivers for (well, they're listed on the Microtek web site, at any rate) and I believe, Silverfast scanning software (you'd need to check with Microtek).

The pain is they require SCSI cards to drive them (very simple one's tho'), and I may have a couple of them lying around somewhere.

To the best of my knowledge both systems are complete and functional, tho' I haven't used them for a very, very long time.

It would be nice to find them a new home if they'd do the job.

Enquire with Microtek and see if they'll support them and have suitable drivers and software for your system.

Regards,


CS
Hey Chris,
Thanks for your reply. I'd venture to say your equipment is still in good shape and has had a history of being well care for (a huge consideration!)

However, I'm thinking that the SCSI connection would make the transfer process slower than I'd like.

Thank you for your suggestion, in any case.

-Claudia
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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re: Nikon Super Coolscan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
While it's not a flatbed ---which I have never had much luck with for film scanning --- the newspaper I retired from always bought Nikon film scanners. The current, Super Coolscan has a holder for mounted transparencies, as well as a number of other formats, you might want to look at it, some info here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...tialSearch=yes
Hey there!

Thanks for that suggestion. It was very interesting reading the multitude of comments from CoolScan 9000 users.

Comments were uniformly good about the resolution and quality of the scans, in that it has a wide dynamic range that helps bring out details. A couple mentioned a "banding" issue? I'll have to think about the fact that the batch mode allows only 5 slides at a time—which is not a problem if your main goal is quality, but may be an issue if you have a lot of volume to get through. Lot's of things to consider!

Thank you again.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:52 PM   #9
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I use a nikon coolscan for slides or negs..the quality out of flatbeds never worked for me. of course since I have been shooting digital since 2003 I havent had much use for the scanner, but it works great.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:03 PM   #10
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Er, Claudia...........

Rather than re - inventing the wheel here just for the sake of 1,000 slides, wouldn't it be an easier, safer and perhaps cheaper option to find a closish company that could whack them through a high speed scanning system for you?

Gotta be one about somewhere and the industrial jobs can transfer about 30 a second from memory, at any resolution you like.

Might be worth investigating.

Asking the right question in the right forum here on DVinfo would be a good place to start.

Just a thought.


CS
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 09:09 PM   #11
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Hi Chris,

To clarify: I'm the owner of a small digital transfer business (Claudyday.com) and I'm looking to purchase a fixed asset.

I can see, however, that my original post, citing this project, may have led you to your erroneous conclusion about my purpose for visiting this forum.

If I have the correct scanning equipment, I can expand my footprint in Marin, CA. I currently work almost exclusively with the digital transfer of 8mm film and VHS tape.

No worries.

Thanks again,
C
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:22 PM   #12
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OK, Claudia...................

No harm done, but you can see how easy it is to to create a misconception in a readers mind.

Now that we're singing from the same hymn book, if not exactly the same page, how big a footprint can you see the slide/ negative scanning business being in, say, a years time, and what sort of budget have you set aside for this expansion of your business?

I take it (please correct me if I'm wrong) that you have a request to transfer these slides from a prospective client?

The more info we have, the better we can work with you to achieve a workable solution.

There's a lot of very bright, experienced, talented and exceptionally knowledgable people on this site, give 'em the data, they can crunch it.

If two minds are better than one, how about 30,000?

I ain't exactly a slouch either, as it happens.


CS
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 01:15 AM   #13
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Flatbed scanners, regardless of resolution, can't get the sharpness and dynamic range of a good film scanner such as the Nikon Coolscan.

So I'd recommend getting a proper film scanner.

Flatbed scans tend to exhibit "bleeding" or "flare" in which highlights will bleed into adjacent darker areas.

My own background: I brought the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (daily newspaper) from film to digital when "digital prepress" was still in the development stages in the early 1990s. So I learned, understood and controlled every detail of the process from photo all the way to press, and then into digital archives.

Along the way I got to see the results of some of the best equipment around, and there was never a flatbed scanner that could come close to matching the quality of a good film scanner.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 04:28 AM   #14
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I will have to put in another nod for the Nikon route. A company I used to work for tested just about every modestly priced scanner available and for slides nothing beat the quality of the Nikon. I think they have about 10 of them running rather continuously along with another 10 of the huge Microtek flatbeds for prints.
Saw you made a comment on the batch scan being limited to 5 and you might want to check that. With the autofeeder, I think it's more like 50.
One note though is the auto feeder can get jammed if your not careful adjusting for the different types of slides.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:34 PM   #15
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Nikon

Thank you. Your individual and group experience is much appreciated. I value this forum and I tend to "drop in" when I need to research a specific item.

From these and other posts I see that the Nikon devices are well regarded. I do see that a separate loading device is needed to process a batch of slides.

Here's my concern: I have a colleague that has a couple of the Nikon 5000 machines and had to stop using the loader as it would malfunction and mash slides into the side of the scanner instead of the scanning slot. Destroying the original media is a huge risk to my business.

I see material in various stages of decomp <smile> I can either deal with their sensitive media, or turn business away. That's been my experience with 8mm film. Now, slides may come to me in better condition (newer tech) but the transparency can have a multitude of mounts, right?—cardboard of various thicknesses, plastic, etc.—and this from a single client. It's been noted by Robert that jams happen with loaders, if they are not carefully adjusted. Am I likely to get that adjustment correct each time??

I suppose with the Nikon one still has the option of using the 5-slot carrier for riskier slides. However, I can really only afford to spend say US$900—below the asking price for most Nikon scanners. I do have a prospective client (1000 slides), and the potential for one more (with perhaps 700 slides), but the slide-transfer market is limited (!) as folks shift to digital photography. It might be another year before I get another client for 35mm slide transfers. So, my cost/benefit analysis says that I have to reign-in my greed for gadgets.

So, Dean, with a flatbed scanner, just how likely are "bleeds or flares" likely to occur? Is it because of the intervening glass in most flatbed models? Are some flatbed models less prone to this? How about with the Epson Perfection v700? I

Thanks to you all for your thoughts,
CE
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