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Old Jul 10, 2006, 10:28 AM   #1
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I'm about to start the mammoth task of digitizing my collection of 11,000 35mm slides with a Nikon Supercoolscan 5000ED and SF210 Slide Feeder - fortunately the slides are all in plastic mounts so hopefully the feeder will behave!?

As I'm relatively new to scanning I'd appreciate any advice on the best general purpose settings to get high quality, detailed, clean scans for archive purposes, printing, web publishing, etc.

To make the most of my images I intend to scan at full 4000 dpi resolution despite the enormous storage implications. I will probably set ICE to "On Normal", but what about ROC, GEM, DEE and other features? What settings should I use considering that they will blindly get applied to every slide I scan?

Any advice from anyone experienced with batch scanning with this setup would be greatly appreciated.

PS Once completed I need to recoup some of my costs by selling the scanner, so this is a one shot affair!
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Old Jul 23, 2006, 3:00 AM   #2
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Well I've had the Nikon 5000ED scanner just over a week now and have dived straight in and scanned over 1300 slides already using the SF210 Slide Feeder - just 10,000 to go!

Results have generally been excellent. I've used the following settings for all my scans and things seem to be working pretty well with clean consistent results.

I'm not a scanning expert and have had little time with this scanner despite the number of scans so far, so would welcome any further suggestions

ICE: ON - Normal - huge time saving from this. Even if the slide is dusty it removes most of the need for touching up later.

ROC: OFF - None of my slides need color restoration and it did weird things to the colors of some slides.

GEM: ON - Level 3 (default) - I know some people prefer to remove grain in post processing, but for me this method works well, little detail lost and wonderful smooth low grain backgrounds and skies.

DEE: ON - Shadow Adjustment 50, Highlight Adjustment 1, Threshold 190 (These are default settings). I like this feature it really does pull extra detail from the shadow areas without making a mess of brightness in the rest of the scene.

SIE: OFF - Didn't seem suitable for general scanning, strange things happened to many slides.

Everything else is OFF or Default, though I have been thinking of experimenting with a little sharpening as the images are very slightly soft and definitely benefit from sharpening in PhotoShop.

I've been putting batches of 50 into the SF210 and so far have had no jams, though 4 times the scanner has failed to feed a slide, stopping the process mid track. A little annoying if you've left a batch of 50 to run overnight. All my slides are the slim plastic mounts that come from factory processing by Kodak or Fuji. I never mix slides of different types of thicknesses and adjust the slide gate very carefully. It looks like plastic slides scan pretty reliably with the feeder so I suspect those who report jamming problems may be using cardboard or other slide types. Itwould be helpful if anyone posting problems with Jams could mention some details ofthe slide mounts used.

With these settings (at 4000dpi and 16bit color depth) each scan takes around 5 minutes so a batch of 50 runs for just over 4 hours. Turn off GEM and it's a lot quicker at around 2-3 minutes per slide.

Overall I'm very very pleased with this scanner!!

Now just need to figure out how the cheaply back up a TerraByte of images!!
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 10:53 AM   #3
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Just saw your post from last July and I was wondering how your project came out? I'm about to embark on a similar project with the same scanner & feeder and I was wondering if you tried to physically clean any of your slides before scanning or did you let the scanner software work its magic? Can you apply software settings that will address spots and images on some slides but won't overly process the others (those without spots and scratches)? Also, how much storage space on your harddrive did your 11,000 slides take up? I've got about 2500 slides and I would also like to scan at 4000 dpi.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 12:25 AM   #4
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Just back from vacation, so sorry to take a while to get back to you.

Running through your questions:


I did not clean my slides first. Dust buster aerosol cans are had to get here in Malaysia and it would have been time consuming and expensive. However, based in the US with better access to low cost cleaning materials and with fewer slides I'd recommend trying to remove the worst of the dust if you can:

- you will remove the risk of losing detail around the dust specs
- scans will befractionally faster,
- the ICE software isn't perfect and doesn't always remove everything

Having said that my slides were fairly dusty but detail seemed to be well preserved. I was extremely impressed with the results, especiallycompared to my old LS1000 scanner which seemed to find specs of dust that I couldn't remove with an air can and couldn't even see when projecting!

I'm not aware of settings that will allow "clean" slides to be less heavily processed than scratched or dusty ones. However, I'm not sure it's an issue as the ICE software works by finding the dust & scratches with an infrared image and then only applying processing where it finds something. However, I never tried "with and without" comparisons as I found the general level of detail to be excellent.

Note that turning up the GEM settings WILL remove detail. Removing grain afterwards with PhotoShop or other tools would probably be better if you have the patience as you can match the level of removal to the amount of grain and detail in the original. Your slides will also scan faster.


At full resolution with no JPEG compression reckon on around 110 to 120MB per image. I had to buy four 320GB hard drives and a raid controller. I'm still figuring out how to back it all up at a reasonable price!

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