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View Full Version : Costco vs. Nikon Coolscan IV ED


healyzh
09-10-2010, 12:52
I've had my Mom's Coolscan IV on loan for quite some time now. I have never used it for more than a couple tests, as I didn't like the Nikon scanner software, and preferred the Epson software. Anyway as I was recently forced to get Vuescan thanks to the age of my Epson scanners and a computer upgrade, I decided to try scanning some Ektar 100 negatives last night. I haven't been happy with the results I've been getting lately from Costco, and wanted to see what I could do myself.

Costco:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/4975444651_b2a378b028.jpg

Nikon Coolscan IV ED using Vuescan and scanning as a digital Negative and converting to a positive in Photoshop CS5.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4092/4975449431_b9bd96a258.jpg

Needless to say, I'll be using this scanner with Vuescan a lot more!

remegius
09-10-2010, 13:05
Needless to say, I'll be using this scanner with Vuescan a lot more![/quote]


Why? It is almost impossible on the web to accurately comment on the differences in resolution. As far as color is concerned a little work in CS5 with white balance could have probably made both images look identical.

Cheers...

Rem

EyeofSearle
09-10-2010, 13:15
Just from my experience with the Coolscan and Costco in the past, the Coolscan is much better. Much more detail and much more noise control. You also get a much larger file to work with.

For posting on the web, it's not that big of a deal. But, if you intend the make prints, it can be a big difference and worth the time and effort.

NaChase
09-10-2010, 13:25
Thou shalt not besmirch the name of that most holy of wholesale establishments. But yes, the Coolscan results do look better.

historicist
09-10-2010, 13:34
Out of interest, why scan as a negative and convert to positive in photoshop?

healyzh
09-10-2010, 14:37
Why? It is almost impossible on the web to accurately comment on the differences in resolution. As far as color is concerned a little work in CS5 with white balance could have probably made both images look identical.

The Costco scan and prints are pretty badly blown out, a lot of detail was probably gone. Rather irritating when you consider I paid them for the prints and the scans. I might be able to fix it in Photoshop, but then why should I.

I was actually thinking when I posted this, that I need to check on the size of the two scans.

healyzh
09-10-2010, 14:45
Out of interest, why scan as a negative and convert to positive in photoshop?

Honestly, that's a good question, and I don't have a good answer! As I'm just learning VueScan I probably need to find an option to not get a negative in the scan to digital negative. OTOH, I've found mention of doing that and running it through another companies plugin is the best way to get accurate colours.

I've been rather frustrated with the erratic results I've been getting from Kodak Ektar 100 in 35mm, and I think that it is mainly down to using Costco for my developing. I'm starting to think about taking the film to the "Pro Lab" I use for film Costco can't handle.

I've been pretty happy with the results from having them do Kodak Portra 400NC, but my next test will be to see what I can get out of some of those negatives scanning them myself.

I'm sure none of this is news to a lot of people here, but figure it might help some.

keepright
09-11-2010, 17:37
Honestly, that's a good question, and I don't have a good answer! As I'm just learning VueScan I probably need to find an option to not get a negative in the scan to digital negative. OTOH, I've found mention of doing that and running it through another companies plugin is the best way to get accurate colours.

For what it's worth, I use the .tiff DNG format from vuescan, and it renders as a positive. If I save it as a .dng format DNG, it comes across as a negative.

I'm with you on this whole process. I used to get a low- or mid-res scan from the lab, and then rescan images that I really wanted bigger, but found that it took almost as much time as just scanning them all myself. After many, many rolls of Ektar, I think I've finally beaten the software and hardware into submission. I tell you what worked if I knew what it was… :bang:

ashrafazlan
09-11-2010, 18:01
I've found that scanning in negatives as positives (especially with tri-x) and inverting it later using photoshop produces files with much softer grain (not much, but it's there)

not_in_good_order
09-11-2010, 18:37
Costco's high resolution scans are good for price, but, as you have found out, they are not very good compared to the output of a decent dedicated film scanner. I used Costco for quite a while before buying a Coolscan 5000ED. The Costco scans were often good enough, but I love the increase in quality I get from my own scans, especially since I have so much more control over the process.

not_in_good_order
09-11-2010, 18:41
The Costco scan and prints are pretty badly blown out, a lot of detail was probably gone. Rather irritating when you consider I paid them for the prints and the scans. I might be able to fix it in Photoshop, but then why should I.

I was actually thinking when I posted this, that I need to check on the size of the two scans.

Having worked with Costco's blown out scans before in Lightroom, you really can't restore all of the lost detail. It is both a limitation of their automated scanning process and a limitation of working with jpeg files. If you make that coolscan output to tiff, you will be a much happier person when you go to make even minor adjustments in post.