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Digital ICE Professional vs Digital ICE 4

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Old 06-12-2010, 05:23 PM
stlsailor stlsailor is offline
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Digital ICE Professional vs Digital ICE 4

I hope that this is the best forum for this question. If not, please redirect me.

I have narrowed my choice of film scanners down to the Nikon 5000 ED or the 9000 ED. There are several reasons I’d like the 5000 better – smaller size, bulk slide scanning, lower price, faster scanning. However, while there are differences of opinion, http://www.filmscanner.info/en/Kodachrome.html seems to make a good case that only Digital Ice Professional can do a really good job on Kodachrome film, and it only comes on the 9000. Wikipedia (FWIW) repeats the claim that only the Nikon 9000 ED “is capable of scanning Kodachrome slides reliably dust- and scratch-free without additional software.”

Some sites have suggested, though, that Kodachrome formulation changed over time and that Digital ICE 4 can do a fine on Kodachrome film at least since the late 1970’s, though probably not earlier. The comments don’t specify, though, whether they were looking only at exposure, or whether they considered lost detail.

I have a lot of slides to scan, and the majority are Kodachrome (some Ektachrome, some negatives as well). So getting good Kodachrome scans is important, though so is speed.

Does anyone have experience to verify or dispute the claim in the url above that Digital ICE Professional is substantially better on Kodachrome than Digital ICE 4, and (2) whether the time frame in which the Kodachrome was shot makes any difference?


Dale
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:14 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: Digital ICE Professional vs Digital ICE 4

I own both the Nikons and after scanning many thousands of slides, am comfortable scanning Kodachromes with the 5000.

The difference isn't one you're going to easily see, and only happens occasionally, where the ICE on the 5000 "cleans up" some very small bit of actual image detail. In my experience, this is rare and has little to do with the vintage of the chromes. I've done many from the early '50s without trouble.

For absolute certainty, yes, the 9000 is the one to use, but it's much more labour intensive to run trays of just 5 slides at a time, plus it scans slower as well.

Actually, your problem may not be which of the two to use, but where you're going to find one. I'm sure you're aware that Nikon no longer makes them. I recently picked up a couple of back-up 5000s and a 9000 and had to do some arm wrestling over at ebay to get them. Two were BNIB and cost a quite a premium, so good luck with that.

(edit) I might add that I use VueScan on the Nikons (SF on my Epsons). Hamrick's ICE implementation at the medium setting, works well on either the 5000 or 9000.

Last edited by Southbay; 06-12-2010 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:38 PM
stlsailor stlsailor is offline
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Re: Digital ICE Professional vs Digital ICE 4

Quote:
I ...am comfortable scanning Kodachromes with the 5000. The difference ...only happens occasionally.

For absolute certainty, yes, the 9000 is the one to use
I understand you to be saying that you are comfortable scanning Kodahcromes with the 5000, yet if you had a lot of them to do you'd clearly choose the 9000 despite the fact that it is slower and more labor intensive. Do I understand that correctly? If so, I'd assume the reason is for those times when the 9000 works better scanning Kodachromes? I want to clarify because I want good scans, but speed and labor intensity are considerations.

Quote:
Actually, your problem may not be which of the two to use, but where you're going to find one...Two were BNIB and cost a quite a premium, so good luck with that.
Yes. I've only found them on eBay and a 5000 with a SF-210 feeder costs almost the same as a 9000, both far too expensive. But one of these seems to be the best option so far as I can tell.

Quote:
(edit) I might add that I use VueScan on the Nikons (SF on my Epsons). Hamrick's ICE implementation at the medium setting, works well on either the 5000 or 9000.
Why VueScan versus the Nikon software? Is it because of its calibration capability or the ability to color manage or something else? Does VueScan on the 9000 take advantage of ICE Professional on the 9000?

Thanks very much for sharing your experience!

Dale
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:30 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: Digital ICE Professional vs Digital ICE 4

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Originally Posted by stlsailor View Post
I understand you to be saying that you are comfortable scanning Kodahcromes with the 5000, yet if you had a lot of them to do you'd clearly choose the 9000 despite the fact that it is slower and more labor intensive. Do I understand that correctly?

...a 5000 with a SF-210 feeder costs almost the same as a 9000, both far too expensive. But one of these seems to be the best option so far as I can tell.

Why VueScan versus the Nikon software?

Dale,

1. No, quite the opposite. Because I scan A LOT of slides, I choose the speed and efficiency of the 5000 over the 9000. For me, the rare glitch in the 5000's ICE performance is not a deciding factor. I do this professionally, and like others who do, we use the 5000 for slides and 35mm negs.

The 9000 is primarily used for MF, 110, 126, 127 etc.

2. Google the SF-210, you'll find there are a couple of mods that help ensure consistent feeding of most "normal" slides – shorten the feed spring, angle the pressure plate with a wood dowel. It's not all smooth sailing and unless they're all perfectly mounted cardboard chromes, you'll still be feeding a few by hand.

3. VueScan vs Nikon Scan? Couple of reasons: Nikon hadn't upgraded their SW for years, and now it's finito. VueScan is being constantly enhanced. VS ICE works as well or better than the Nikon implementation. And at 3200%, I prefer the the way VS lays down the pixels. To the best of my knowledge, VS extracts all the Pro ICE performance of the 9000. That said, I still fire up Nikon Scan once in a while simply to clear some particularly nasty feeder jams, because it allows you to "nudge" a stuck slide till it's free.

Bottom line, if you scanned all your slides with the 5000 and again with the 9000, then viewed each batch individually, you won't see any difference. View each slide side-by-side and every 100 slides or so, you "may" catch a flag pole way off in the distance that doesn't have a brass ball on top of it.

It's your call, but for my money, scanning a great number of slides with the 9000, is a PITA. And those plastic clips on the slide tray aren't the most durable things you've ever seen, either.

YMMV. PM me if you like.
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