View Full Version : Nikon coolscan IV: how much and how good?
A friend of mine and I are about to go Dutch on a film scanner. He's just found someone willing to sell a Nikon Coolscan IV. The seller has this to say about the item:
"I have a Coolscan IV that has been used seldom and hasnít even been
turned on in the past two years.
It was in excellent working condition when last turned on, and I believe
that I have all the original parts, cables, etc. that came with it.
Would need to dig through some boxes."
My questions are: How good is a Coolscan IV? (does anyone with one care to commen?)
How much should one spend for a Coolscan IV?
I scan all my negs (of all kinds) with a Coolscan IV (2900dpi). You can see the results in my gallery. I enjoy the ICE (dust removal), ROC (aged color adjustment) and GEM (grain control) functions and use them frequently with good results. Make sure you get the software and documentation that came with the scanner - though I believe I had to get an online upgrade (free) from Nikon by calling their help # included in the documentation in order to get everything to work with XP.
A new Coolscan V (4000dpi) sells for $550 from B&H which may be good ruler to help decide how much to spend on a used Coolscan IV.
Hi Ron. Had mine for a few years now, like it a lot though it's not the fastest kid on the block when you up the dpi, or kick in roc, gem and or ice, though to be honest I only shoot B&W so I don't really have a problem there. Took me a while to get use to the OEM interface, found it a little bitty, ok now though. With Nikon 3 it's a little noisy, Nikon 4 (free down load) a little better, Viewscan changes the sound it makes altogether when scanning, seems softer, with Silverfast it's a tad quieter, more even in tone. Itís sharp, real sharp; only I wish I didn't have to shut it down (interface) after importing in to PhotoShop, real pain:bang: I've seen them on ebay for around £250-350 .00 Read somewhere that it leans towards T-Max/XP2 type films rather than the old silver stuff; can't say I've noticed anything to back that up. For a dedicated 35mm scanner I think It's still holds its own, providing you're not in a rush. The SA-1 film strip holder accepts APS too, only if you put 35mm through it you have nasty rubber rollers in/on the path of your negs:eek: I took mine out. I have an old HP Photosmart which I like, it's simple, reasonably quick but sadly, nowhere near as sharp (fixed focus I believe so no way to alter it) only use it for viewing now as it's quicker/easier than the Nikon. Have thought about an Plustek OpticFilm 7200 ? I tried one, real good for the price.
All the best,
I have its bigger brother - the Super Coolscan 4000. All it really adds is a bit more speed and the ability to use a bulk slide feeder. As long as you can use a strip feeder for negs or slides ((I'm not sure it supports it), go for it...
If it's used in really good condition, probably around $425-$450 is fair.
I paid $430 USD about 2+ years ago for a perfect condition one. I would not pay more than $375 or so now. With certain negatives (not super-fine landscape ones), the 2900 dpi is more than enough. There are very few occaisions when I wished I had a bit more. Very few.
You should not get anything on your negatives with the auto-feeder. It's designed to be opened up and cleaned, so one should do so.
Thank you for your responses. I have one more question. How does the fact that the Coolscan IV is 12 bit A/D conversion scanner and its 3.6 dynamic range affect its performance in terms of quality?
Hi Ron. It doesn't really; well, unless you're scanning slides and want a print 30x30. Lots of folks jump up and down about Dmax and stuff and while it has it's place you have to consider the market it was designed for, though having said that, I think it would hold it own with some of the more expensive (hyped) stuff out there. To quote Alan. "the 2900 dpi is more than enough. There are very few occaisions when I wished I had a bit more. Very few." Just shows you what the 1V is capable of. And as Terao points out "I have its bigger brother - the Super Coolscan 4000. All it really adds is a bit more speed and the ability to use a bulk slide feeder. As long as you can use a strip feeder for negs or slides ((I'm not sure it supports it), go for it..." A recommendation in its self. I have no regrets buying mine, just wish it was faster, but then, when I see the results, I stop moaning. I did think about selling mine once as I wanted to combine MF and 35mm, but then I sat down one evening and produced a print for a friend to use on her photographic course, went out and bought a Canon flat bed the next day for 120 work. Yes, it's that good!
All the best.
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