Expert Slide and Photo Scanning Since 2002
4000 ppi Scanning and Premium Editing
About Our Company
Expert Slide and Photo Scanning Since 2002
4000 ppi Scanning and Premium Editing
You can spend a lot of money on a very good film scanner such as a Nikon CoolScan 9000 ($7,000) or a Nikon CoolScan 5000. (Believe me, you do not want one of those cheapo slide scanners. Absolutely junk. Do NOT do this to your descendants. They will wonder why you used such a bad camera to take your pictures and not know it was not your camera's fault but that you tried to save a few dollars on transferring your slides to digital.) You can spend a lot of time scanning your slides one at a time which may take you from 4-6 minutes per scan depending on the resolution you want to scan at. (The only way to do this "fast" is to purchase multiple scanners and have a computer for each one. Then you have people going from scanner to scanner putting in new slides and keeping track of all the scans.) You can purchase a photo editing program, we use Photoshop and you can get it for $239.38 per year and spend your time learning how to enhance your photos to try to get them looking closer to what they looked like when the photos were taken. But, you will never catch up to the multiple years of experience that our Photoshop Editors have. You can also purchase a program that you can use to create DVD slide shows, if that is your desire. To do any of this, you need a very fast computer so make sure you have the newest and fastest processor, motherboard, RAM and hard drives that you can afford.
We had a phone call, this afternoon, from a "scanning company" in Canada that wanted to know what scanning equipment we used. He said he had a job he was working on that had 4000 slides and he was having jam-ups with his scanner and it was all going very slowly and said that he couldn't get his images to look as good as we are able to. We compared equipment and found that we were using similar machines. I told him that I knew right off why he couldn't match our results. It is not because of our equipment because anyone can purchase our equipment with the right amount of money. And, with enough trial and error you might be able to get your settings correct but, it will take you years of practice and an artists eye to be able to match our Photoshop experts work. That is the real key to our beautiful results, not our equipment. So, you might be able to do the physical work yourself but you will not end up with the same results as we will, because, well, we are just better at this than you are. And to top it all off, unlike our competitors, we don't charge you anything extra for doing this Photoshop work for you on every scan. We know you are comparing prices. Make sure you tack the Photoshop work onto our competitor's pricing and you will see what you can save by using our services.
Are you going to be happy with your unedited scans?
When you are all done with your project, you will still have your expensive scanner, your photo editing program, your DVD slide show creation program, you will have spent a great deal of your time and you will have images that are not near as good as what we will digitize for you, if you use our service.
The question should not be "can you do it yourself" but "why do you want to do it yourself?" The only reason we can see is that you are trying to save yourself some money but, as you can see from all the things you have to purchase in order to save yourself some money, you really are not saving money and you will be spending an inordinate amount of time, as well as money, to try to save money. Our prices are very reasonable when you consider all that we do for our low prices. We even give you a free Full Production DVD slide show of all your scans. If you had 1,000 slides, it would only cost you, at 39 cents per slide, $390 to get them all scanned. Then, if you did not want your slides back, because our scans were so much better and you would no longer have to store them, it would be probably less than $10 to ship your disks to you, with tracking. Getting your slides back is entirely up to you.
The Best Way To Do It
The best way to get your slides, photos and films digitized is to use our digital experts to scan your slides for you, enhance your, now scanned, images in Photoshop and create a beautiful HD quality, widescreen if you want it, slide show of all your family memories. Digitizing them with our slide, photo and film scanning service means you will be preserving them from any further deterioration.
Free Demo Scans Of Your Slides Or Photos
In order to show you the quality of our work and so you can see what your slides will look like blown up to the size of your big screen TV, we offer to scan ten of your slides or photos, make a full production DVD slide show and send it all back to you free of charge.
One star is not for how Nikon products perform once they work properly, it is a measure of the lack of product defects (quality) and the extra costs incurred by the customer to get Nikon scanner products to work properly.
I purchased a CoolScan-IV. When I received it, it was defective out of the box. I contacted Nikon technical support and they told me to exchange it for a new scanner. The new 12-Bit CoolScan-IV worked perfectly. When I was ready to upgrade to 16-Bits, I purchased a CoolScan-5000 and gave my CoolScan-IV away. What a mistake!
This "upgrade" scanner was a total piece of junk. The images were noisy. I immediately contacted Nikon technical support about the problem. After some back and forth, they told me there was nothing wrong with the scanner; I was the problem. I recently found an archive copy of an under-scanned photo that I scanned on the old CoolScan-IV. I compared the images. The CoolScan-IV produced a very good image. The CoolScan-5000 was horrible. Without spending hundreds of dollars to pay Nikon Service to correct Nikon's initial quality defects, I am stuck with a piece of junk.
NikonScan. NikonScan is the scanning software that comes with the Nikon scanners. When it works, NikonScan works acceptably; however, it locks up repeatedly requiring closing the program and reopening it. Earlier versions worked much better in this regard to locking up.
Bottom line, Nikon quality has deteriorated to become very poor. I just described four Nikon product quality problems (initially defective products). There is a fifth: Nikon does not stand behind errors that their technical service personnel make.
Each item described above had additional out of pocket cost or lost time associated with it. I know the scanners can perform exceptionally well once they are working to spec. I would recommend a Nikon scanner only if you are willing to unnecessarily pay out a lot of extra money and waste a lot of time correcting initial Nikon product quality defects and incompetent technical service advice.
One would expect that a company developing professional scanners would have the pride to develop software matching in quality. But you would be greatly disappointed to discover that this grand heavy hardware comes with poor software and therefore only amounts to a mediocre product not worth the money. The software (Nikon Scan) is buggy, leaky and crashes after about the second or third scan of a negative strip. I am running the latest version of Windows XP, with all the patches, and basically have to stop every thing else from running on my 320Ghz, 2GB new PC. This buys me just another single strip before it either freezes, forcing me to kill the application, or it silently crashes. I don't even want to go into the usability and documentation. Enough said. Extremely disappointing and not worth the money.
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.
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.
I have used the 5000 ED for the past week and my computer (running XP home edition) keeps freezing up after scanning 2 - 25 slides, forcing me to perform a cold reboot. I have sent a request to Nikon, but haven't heard a word. If only I could return this unreliable piece of hardware.
I am estimating around four hours to process fifty slides at 3600dpi.
The first one I recieved only worked for 5 minutes. I sent it back and am still waiting for the second unit to arrive. I am hoping it will not have the same short lifespan. The 3 in 1 did appear to function as I expected, for the short time before it died. I'm reserving my recommendation and opinion of this product until after the second one arrives and I can give it an actual functional test.
Does not work well with all photos. You will get a reflection of the cavity of the scanner in the center of your glossy and semi-gloss pictures. Also all pictures do not fit in the supplied frames. You will use a lot of tape and cropping and good luck getting a picture out of that sealed cavity as it does not not open! I will try to return it but I doubt Adorama will take it back.
My father-in-law has lots and lots of slides. We thought this would be a good product to help him transfer all the slides to DVD's but the color reproduction from the slides is very, very, poor and distorted. I will be returning this product for a refund.
Plugged USB power cable in trying several options, but unit would not turn on. Returned for refund
It did not turn on. It was such a cheap looking and feeling piece of junk that I asked for my money back.
My $90 5 year old Epson Flatbed Scanner provides a higher resolution slide scan than this thing does. It fails to properly find the image area on the slide about half the time, resulting in many cumbersome re-scans.I scanned about 150 slides that I compared to the scans from the old flatbed. The old flatbed, not designed for slides, wins hands down.
This product is JUNK! I have one- It would not install on VIsta 64bit Dell I7 920 system, not on Gateway Vista 64 bit laptop, not on Lenovo 32 bit Vista business laptop, after many many hours (days) of messing with old P4-3.0 system with Vista 32 bit business Ihad ti working for a moment, then it would not recognize the 'camera' when I booted up the next time, and after many install-uninstall attempts - is a useless plastic paper weight today -- I might as well hadspent the money on the lottery chances for satisfaction were better. Manufacturer says will not run on 64 bit Vista, but two machines were 32 bit and still no success, asked about 64 bit drivers-- was like asking to get blood from a rock- In summary they subtly implied I got screwed for buying it.
This was one big disappointment. It's Mac drivers(?) are not worth loading. Mechanical it isn't. Jams all the time until it breaks. This should not be on the market, please do not purchase it...don't even think about it! You would be much better off buying a single scan Nikon. This is just inferior in every possible way. JUST DON'T DO IT!