Nowhere is my ethos of “Cheaply or Properly” more apt than with 35mm slides, medium format slides and strip film, particularly if you have any Kodakchrome film / slides in your archive. Digitising an old photographic image to the highest standards can be a painfully slow process if you want the best images, on my usual highest settings I can transfer about 60-80 slides in a 10 hour day. Of course, I can knock the quality down and get through 100+ slides, but the quality would inevitably suffer and I do not want you to be disappointed.
The digital image that can be retrieved from a slide or strip can be truly superb, as good as it can get in terms of pictorial quality so to skimp on quality at this point would be a real shame.
At best quality each image is scanned extremely slowly with each slide taking about 10-12 minutes. With Digital ICE Profesional and 16x scanning engaged the images will be as good as they possibly can be.
16x scanning means that the slide is scanned 16 times and each scan is interpolated to reduce noise, interference and inaccuracies. Most scanners can only do 1x which means “What you see is what you get” warts and all. The 9000ED will negate so many of these errors.
Nikon Super Coolscan Following on my general trend of only using the best possible equipment I have invested in a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000ED and the Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED, which are the last great slide and image scanners than Nikon ever made. Both machines have won many awards for image quality.
Most machines can only “Scan” the image, the 9000ED can “Preview” before scanning and small changes to the settings can be made to make the image look as good as it can. If this is done before capture any changes you might make in Photoshop will be easier and the final outcome will be vastly superior. The Coolscan 9000ED is the only machine in the world with the ability to use Digital ICE Professional with a specific setting for Kodakchrome slides, so if you have any Kodakchrome slides in your collection the 9000ED will get the very best from them, see the “Digital Ice” section for further details.
At highest quality - you have a choice of 8bit or 16bit capture - 16Bit per colour channel means that the scanner can differentiate 65.536 hues of each of the three primary colours red, green and blue. It really is that good.