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392 of 395 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
First of all, let me say I am a neophyte when it comes to scanning. My mother passed away recently and I wanted to go through my father's 20,000 slides and scan the best ones before they, as many before them, disappeared into the hands of one of my 7 other siblings never to be found again.

After culling my father's slides I ended up with about 1000 I wanted to scan. After culling my own slides I ended up with another 250 slides. Additionally, I had about 250 slides from my grandfather slides And after that I decided to go through my color negative collection and scan the best of those as well. A daunting project! But honestly well worth the effort.

Most of my father's slides are Kodachrome. Much has been written about the inability of this scanner to scan Kodachrome slides and said about ICE4 not working with Kodachrome. Well, I have some good news The ICE4 does work extremely well for the most part. However, with Kodachrome slides it does produce minor artifacts in about 5 percent of the slides. I scanned with ICE (not ICE4) always on and then rescanned if I encountered unacceptable artifacts. I did notice that the scanner ICE feature was more likely to be stumped by old Kodachrome slides where subjects were wearing shirts with stripes.

The GEM ROC and DEE (the other stalwarts of the ICE4 other than ICE itself) work on Kodachrome slides as well, but I found that the results were unpredictable and that I could achieve better results myself in Photoshop far more quickly. The GEM ROC and DEE features simply took too long and slowed down the scanning unacceptably. The results, for me, were not worth the additional scanning time. So I never used these features. But the "enhance" feature on the scanner I used nearly 100% of the time with great results - much better than the GEM ROC and DEE features.

The scanner is fast and does produce wonderful wonderful detailed scans, easily demonstrating the grain in the transparancies at 3000 and 4000 dpi. The Kodachrome slides were a challenge to the Dynamic Range of the scanner, but I believe that most of the detail in the shadows that is there was extracted. With dark slides I used the VERY useful gain feature turning it all the way up to 2 in the really dark slides. Unfortunately, Kodachrome, with all of its many attributes, does have substantial downsides including a very narrow exposure latitude and shadow detail is simply lacking. I think the scanner accurately reproduced the information including the colors on the Kodachrome slides, with perhaps a slight bluish cast noticed in some cases.

It wasn't until I was finished scanning all of the culled slides that I undertook to scan my select color negatives. And this scanner really came into its own scanning color negatives. Don't even TRY to scan color negatives without ICE because the results are unbelievably bad. Even pristine negatives have scratches and dust that magically are erased by the ICE feature. What a godsend. The scanned color negatives were just beautiful with very accurate color rendition. But immediately I noticed much more grain in the color negatives (Royal Gold and Fuji Superia Gold) than in the scanned slides.

One note unrelated to the scanner itself. Until you've used a digital scanner to scan your color negatives you can't begin to realize how far superior Kodachrome, Provia, and Ektachrome slides are to color negatives insofar as capturing detail. Even the best color negatives have much more grain that Kodachrome. And the difference in color negatives is substantial too.

The included Nikon software worked fantastic for me. I downloaded a copy of VueScan which according to many reviews is superior to the Nikon software and found that for me the Nikon software was easier to work with and produced superior results.

The software did cause my computer to crash occasionally which was an aggravation, but a minor one when considered against its many attributes.

Setup Summary: I scanned at a 8 bit color depth (to reduce file size to 55MB and because I could not see a difference between 8 and 16 bit depth in the old slides) and 4000 pixels per inch with the scan enhancer turned on and the Digital ICE turned on. I did not use GEM ROC and DEE because of inconsistent results. I turned up the gain as necessary for dark slides and turned it down for light slides. Gain adjustments were only necessary on about 15 - 20% of the slides. The only two variables that I used once I was set up and running were gain adjustment and type of film or slide. All other adjustments were made in PS IF necessary. The scan at these settings took 90 seconds.

Setting up the Nikon Scan window was a little tricky too. I placed the tool palette in the far upper right corner of the window with the scan window placed under it to the right. The image window occupied the largest portion space to the left.

I can recommend this scanner without reservation. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment.
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222 of 223 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2004
I am using this product almost exclusively for slide scanning, so my comments only apply to that aspect of this product.
If you are like me and wondering whether you should suffer through using a consumer level slide scanner or fork out the dough for this one, then the quality this produces when scanning dark slides should be enough to convince you alone. And that's just the beginning. I've used consumer level scanners before and no amount of tweaking or photoshop'ing can match the quality the Coolscan 5000 produces. For professionals, this is of course a no brainer, but for semi-professional folks like me, this is a major investment, and I needed some convincing that it would be worth it. I am now convinced.
Don't put too much stock into the scan times (and feed times for the sf-210 auto feeder). These times are without any Digital ICE, auto exposure, auto focus, etc. However, I have found if you do not use these features, you are wasting your time. After much tweaking to get all the settings such that the final result looked just like the original slide, I am looking at about 1 minute and 30 seconds per slide using the sf-210 (AMD 2.2 Ghz 1GB Ram, scanning at 2000 dpi)
I have found that without tweaking, you get a bluish hue (although a little less so for Kodachrome slides). I have turned red up +20 and blue down +20 (green at 0) and to me, this seems to give the best results (ymmv).
Use the digital ice features!!! They are simply amazing. The dust and scratch removal is phenomenal. The grain removal is also wonderful - and it keeps the picture sharp much more so than using a software filter like those found in Photoshop. Personally, I set the Digital ROC (color restoration and correction) to 0 because it is too unpredictable.
Lastly, use a bright, high quality LCD monitor! You would be amazed at the difference this can make when doing color matching, especially on dark pictures. I was astonished to see the difference.
When you take the above into consideration, this scanner is superb. Plan on spending a few hours getting your settings just right, but after that, sit back and enjoy. I've done 8x10 prints of my slides (scanned at 2000 dpi) that are just beautiful. It is near impossible to match the luminance and beauty of a projected slide, but the Coolscan 5000 does a darn good job.
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163 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2004
I've been doing this for some time and have Nikon gear top to bottom. I have the slide feeder and the negative adapter that lets you feed full strips into it. Both work well 90% of the time. I get mis-feeds on the slides from time to time.

You will get a bluish hue on your negatives. I have tried several films and they all yield the same problem. Expect to take some time in Photoshop to correct this problem. I am taking the advice of a poster to alter my color settings to compensate.

Here is the biggest issue with this scanner. PROPERLY exposed slides scan dark. This is with Fuji 50/100/400 and Kodak. This is a known issue and you will see dozens of posts all over about this problem. Flat and dark scans that need to have the analog gain pumped up to compensate. This throws off GEM and ROC and makes the software unusable. It also washes out detail and increases grain. I contacted Nikon and they stated that Fuji has a 4th layer of emulsion that impedes scans. This is not true for slides, there is no 4th layer. End conclusion, there is a problem with the scanner design. Nikon has failed to give a reason why this is occurring other then to point the finger at someone else. If it was just my problem, I would say it was something on my end, but there are dozens of people stating the same thing on many different photo boards.

ROC and GEM are "OK". I would scan clean unless there is an obvious problem with the neg/pos that needs to be addressed. Any time you alter grain or the physical layer of the film you are altering original quality. See what you have first before changing setting across the board.

If you have any questions about this, my AOL-AIM is above as my Amazon username. This would include Nikon if the finally have a reason WHY there are issues. Overall, it's a good scanner. I would buy it again, but at least I would know what to expect and not expect it all as advertised.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2007
I was skeptical that a scanner could ever reproduce what I shot on high quality slide film (ie, Provia 100F). I sold my film camera to buy a Professional Nikon DSLR and now I'm considering buying a Nikon film body again but still keeping my DSLR. The reason being is that slide film is still way better than digital and the Super CoolScan 5000 Ed makes the transition from slide to digital come true.

Your scans will actually represent what you recorded on your slides if you take the following steps. Set the resolution to 4000dpi, Digital ICE to fine, Multi Sample to 16x and Pixel Data Size to 16. It will take some time to sample a slide and your file size will be huge but if you bought expensive slide film because you take pride in your work then this is the way to go. I don't use the other scanning options other than an occasional Digital DEE set to about 10 or so to bring out highlights or shadow detail. Everything else is unpredictable and the scan takes longer. I save everything as NEF files and use Nikon Capture 4 and photoshop to tweak things. Saving as NEF gives me a true slide reproduction from which I can work from (ie, make TIFFs/JPEGs, smaller files and customize my slides without lost of the original scan). It's true these NEF files will not be recognized by Nikon Capture 4 as NEF files but recognized as a regular file.

To save time scanning, you could reduce the resolution to 2000dpi, Digital ICE set to normal, Multi Sample to 4x and Pixel Data Size to 8. These settings will produce a suitable scan that you'll be proud of.

I, too, had a steep learning curve with this scanner. I played with everything and had several hangups with this software. I read every review I could find and read every page of the manual that comes on the disk rather than the book because the disk is far more indepth. As for the software hangups, I did the following. First made sure nothing was running in my computer's background, next went into my firewall and stopped all internet activity incoming and outgoing and lastly went into the Nikon scan software and reset everything to factory defaults. It hasn't hungup once since then.

I hope this helps the frustrated users out there and for those who are thinking about buying a 5000. I do hope this helps you make up your mind. It's a bit pricey but you bought a good camera, you bought expensive slide film, put a lot of time and pride in your photography so this scanner is natural match and won't disappoint.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2007
I've owned this scanner for about 18 months now, and also have the slide and roll feeders. I've scanned about 12,000 images during that time, both slides and negatives.

The good news is, that for well-exposed negatives or slides, this scanner is fast and does a very high quality job. The bad news is that the software is buggy, and Nikon's tech support is non-existent. There are still no 64-bit drivers.

I'm running XP-Pro on an AMD x2 4600+ ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe with 2 GB memory and around a TB of SATA disk. While scanning, one of the two CPUs is totally consumed, but this is probably because of the polled USB driver. There are 3 software errors that keep occurring. First is the well-known Nikon Scan has encountered an error and must close - sorry for trashing your data. This malfunction occurs about every 10-40 frames. It simply requires a restart of the application. It usually happens just after or during a preview setup, so the work loss is minimal, but annoying. Nikon support ignores all reports to their support site of this particular problem.

The second problem is that the scanner software simply freezes. This usually happens in multiscan mode. To recover from this requires that the scanner be power cycled and the software needs to be killed with the task manager. Nikon support has also ignored this bug report.

The third problem is that when a slide jams in the feeder, the application loses communication with the scanner and must be restarted. Not too bad, since I had to manually clear the jam, but really an indication of the poor quality of the software error handling.

The software is incomplete with the slide scanner, in that it doesn't allow a preview scan for each slide like it does for the roll/strip feeder. That is basically a software issue, although the sloppy handling and positioning of the $500 slide feeder is also in play, in that it is probably impossible to get a complete alignment of the second feed with the first. (It actually misses a bit with the strip feeder as well, although not enough to matter.

The slide feeder is a bit of a kludge. It will require some modification to get it to work reliably enough to walk away from, but after a bit of tinkering, cutting and installing a modified pressure plate, it now can feed slides that are in good condition well enough that it seldom jams.

Another problem I have is with the hardware specification - it claims a Dmax of 4.8, which is just the specification of the 16-bit A/D converter attached to the sensor. But the sensor has nowhere near that much dynamic range, so the specification is downright misleading. Because of that, this scanner continues the history of scanners having great difficulty with dense slides. While Dee helps some, the problem of the limited dynamic range of the sensor becomes readily apparent. The amount of smear across high contrast boundaries is intolerable when scanning some very nice Velvia or even Provia images. If you shoot slides for scanning, consider over-exposing by 1/2 stop or so if the subject can tolerate that.

As mentioned earlier, the multi-scan setting does not seem to work very well, due to the software crashing.

Scan image Enhancement is a totally useless piece of software. The ICE works well for dust removal, but may give some image deterioration on some Kodachromes, although most work out okay. ROC works quite well for faded images, such as pre-85 Ektachromes and older negatives. Occasional Kodachromes are also restored. But there doesn't seem to be any difference between the setting from 1-4 that I have been able to detect. And you'll get bizarre results if ROC is one and the n\image hasn't faded.
GEM is okay for grain reduction, but like most such programs it loses detail fast, so us it sparingly. Faster negatives need it, and some of the older or faster slides films also, but if you can get away without it, then don't turn it on.

Negative scanning is very good, with the colors either well-balanced or easy to correct (Reala, for example, needs some manual setting to get right). But the negatives are grainy compared to slides. So you either get dynamic range problems or grain problems. Pick your favorite imperfection. I find negatives a breeze to scan, but the ultimate quality is not quite as good as a good slide scan, provided the slide is not too dense.

So Nikon gets only three stars for this. The idea is good, but the lack of dynamic range and software problems, coupled with Nikon tech support's utter incompetence or non responsiveness turn this into a mediocre product. Unfortunately, there is nothing much better at a reasonable price. Drum or pseudo-drum scanners may be better (I wouldn't count on it, though), but I don't have 10k to invest.

You'll get as good an image quality from a comparably priced 10MP digital SLR, so unless you have a lot of old stuff to scan, this is not the way to enter the digital age at this point in time. D80, D200 and comparable Canon or Fuji DSLRs give images subjectively as good or better than the scanned images from this scanner and slide film.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 15, 2005
Ok, if you've been thinking about this scanner or just doing a bit of research stop right now and buy this scanner. I am a die hard film fan for a number of reasons a few of those I'll go into in a minute. Whether you are still shooting film and want the convenience of printing your own photos or you have 6,000 slides and negs that have been sitting in your attic waiting for you to scan them in, this is the scanner for you.

I have most of my images scanned into my computer already. I got into scanning my film in and printing my own stuff in 2002. I bought the Canon FS2720U film scanner but since I bought the Nikon 5000ED I have a new found obsession with scanning in my photos and I am re-scanning all my old photos with this scanner.

This scanner picks up details in the shadows like I've never seen. The colors are spot on and the sharpness is brilliant. I use Provia 100F which is arguably the best film ever made and this is the only scanner that can capture Provia's amazing grain and true to life tones.

If you are thinking about going digital but are still undecided this scanner should make that decision a lot easier. Why go digital when there is a scanner like this out there? You can buy the best film camera ever made the Canon EOS 1V, a great L lens and use a film like Provia 100F with this scanner and get resutls that only the best digital camera's can match. The only camera digital camera on earth that can equal that combination is the Canon EOS 1DS Mark II and for $7,500 wouldn't you rather wait a few years and shoot with the above combo until then? Well that's what I was struggling with for months until I found this scanner.

I haven't used the slide adaptor to batch scan so I can't comment on that. The speed of the Nikon 5000ED is just fine. I have it at the highest settings for everything, highest for resolution, highest for ICE (brilliant by the way) and highest for multi pass and I get an image in about 3 minutes or less. Who cares! You get a 130 megabyte file that looks just like the slide you put into it and you only have to do that once.

Buy this scanner, you won't be sorry.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2004
The previous generation (CS IV and CS 4000) were hard to top, but Nikon did it yet again. Scans are smooth and gorgeous, color accuracy (provided your monitor is calibrated) is unrivaled and the updated ICE4 including DEE are a blessing. In fact the scans are so good that I have started to prefer CS5000 scans from well exposed Fuji Provia 100F or Astia 100F slides than images from a 6MP DSLR. Hard to believe but thats true.
Did I mention scanning speed ? I timed a 4000 DPI scan with digital ICE turned off, on a P4 2.6Ghz with 1 GB ram and USB2. It took 17 seconds from begining to end (excluding autofocus and auto exposure). Thats right. Actually three seconds faster than Nikon's claim of 20 sec. Beat that Minolta.
IMO the next step up can only be a $50K HowTek drum scanner ;)
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2004
I am glad I waited to purchase this scanner; it's an updated version with Digital Ice 4, and for A LOT less than the previous model.
I also purchased the automated Slide feeder with this, and it is nothing short of a miracle! The Digital ROC and Digital ICE is unbelievable with old slides, particularly Kodachromes. There are plenty of customizable enhancement settings to keep me busy for a long time.
I use this for business; this scanner will pay for itself with one bulk slide scanning order.
Love it, love it!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2008
Best scanner for the money
Fastest high resolution film scanner currently on the market (as of 2008)
Allows you to use your old 35mm as a 19+MP camera
Digital ICE and other corrective extras are great on most images
Works with C-41 process B&W negs

Fastest is still slow, especially since ICE is usually necessary and slows the process down
Does not work with regular B&W negs
Has problems giving proper tone and shadows on some slides, mostly Kodachrome

Conclusion: Good or bad, it's about the best you can get if you need to convert your old negs and slides and don't have thousands of dollars to get something better.

This is my second Nikon scanner. I used to own the LS2000 which was excruciatingly slow and tedious to use. The results were great, yes, but the length of time it took to scan was too long for me. I also really didn't have the hard drive space for storing the huge files. Back then you didn't have hundreds of gigs at your disposal.

I purchased the 5000 because I needed the highest possible resolution and quality within a reasonable price range. If you want better you're probably looking at a drum scanner that costs a whole lot more.

Thankfully, the 5000 is considered one of the faster 35mm scanners you can get. But if you're new to film scanners, plan on waiting. The best to expect is about 30 seconds without any use of ICE or other corrections to the image. In my experience, ICE is always necessary which means the estimated times given by Nikon (under 30 seconds) are overly optimistic at best. I scanned fresh negatives after being developed and they still required ICE. The scanner just picks up every single detail - which is both good and bad.

I use an Intel Mac and overall everything works fine. Ditto what others have said about Nikon's software which is indeed buggy. It's crashed a few times on my computer. However, it's always up and running fine after I restart it (the program, not the computer). Have not tried VueScan yet, but it's something I'm looking into.

I wasted several hours when I first got the scanner trying to find the ideal setting for my work - negatives and slides that go back more than 25 years. They have dust on them and some of them have minor scratches. With that in mind, I strongly recommend the following settings to anyone in a similar situation:

Use ICE on every scan. Start with normal setting at first and go up to "fine" if the image still has flaws.
Enable "post processing" and put ROC at zero (don't typically need it) and GEM at maximum (for grain) for negs. In my experience no more than level 1 for grain is necessary for slides and you might not even need it at all. Negs, however, must have it unless you want a grainy image.

These settings have worked with the majority of my negs and slides.

EDIT: After doing several hundred negs/slides I've discovered that some do need additional help. Digital cameras tend to have highly saturated images and 35mm looks flat in comparison. ROC can boost the colors if they're flat. (If they're already vibrant it will distort them.) I've also encountered a few images that needed DEE (for shadows), but these were images that were inherently flawed to begin with. Keep in mind that the more options you choose (ICE, ROC, GEM and DEE) the longer the scan takes. Check all four and you're looking at a couple of minutes.

A major plus and two major minuses to keep in mind:

This scanner WILL work great with C-41 based B&W film. Because it reads it as color the ICE function works just like it does with color. I was extremely thankful for that.

The scanner's ICE function will not work with regular B&W film. Unfortunately, B&W film is extremely prone to scratching and major flaws that show up when they're scanned. I found major scanning services online that actually refuse to deal with B&W negs because there's so much post-scanning (Photoshop) work involved to make the image look good. Why some company hasn't come up with a solution for this is baffling given the popularity and abundance of B&W film, especially by pros and semi-pros. In any case, I've tried to scan my B&W negs and the end result is horrible. I'm looking at a couple hours of work per image on Photoshop.

The scanner also has a hard time with Kodachrome slides. I've tried several and the scanner does a rather poor job and recreating the true colors of the image, especially in the shadows. Overall, it tends to severely darken these images in my experience. I'm still researching to see if there's a setting fix for this within the software.

This scanner will turn your 35mm camera into the equivalent of a 19+MP camera. The basic setting 8 bit depth scans are about 60MB (tiff, not jpeg) and almost 120MB when you go to 16 bit. This isn't that helpful to anyone who just wants an 8X10, but it's extremely important if you're trying to do commercial work. Online stock photo agencies, for example, want 50+MB files.

This scanner will allow you to keep using 35mm for now. If you can afford a Nikon D300 or better than definitely make that leap and never look back. But if you need this scanner anyway to upgrade your old negs and slides, this will allow you to use that older equipment for a bit longer. I know I have an old 35mm 1:1 macro lens that I still enjoy using and now I can with the help of this scanner.

The two other scanners I contemplated were the less expensive Nikon CoolScan V and Epson Perfection V700 and 750. I chose the 5000 over the V because it was faster - very important given how many scans I need to do. And the Epson became a non-choice after reading about how much trouble those models have with focusing. If you want to spend less and don't have many negs or slides to scan then get the Nikon V. The far more expensive Nikon 9000 is only worth it if you have medium format film. Otherwise there's no reason to pay more for that model.
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117 of 137 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2004
We purchased a Super Coolscan 5000 ED with SF-210 slide feeders, hoping to scan my parents' thousands of Kodak slides. The Super Coolscan worked flawlessly on single slides, but the SF-210 slide feeder simply could not scan more than 2 slides without jamming.

The instruction manual does say that the feeder basically works only with Fuji compatible slide mounts, and warns of problems with Kodak and other mounts - but it's buried in the middle of the manual and you don't find out until you've purchased the producdt. I have been unable to find those restrictions mentioned anywhere inthe literature. At nearly $400 per feeder, I would expect it to work - or at least have the sales literature mention its limitations.

I complained to Nikon, but never even received an email response. I will never buy a Nikon product again.
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