Re: Recommendations on Slide/film scanners
There are a few key things to consider:
1. Dynamic Range - is a key specification often not marketed by inferior scanners, represents the scanners ability to register info from deep shadows (a key weakness of most scanners). Any value > 3.6 is good. Any value of 4.0 or greater is considered excellent. I think the best you can achieve is somewhere around 4.2
2. Bit Depth of the A/D converter - you should be able to get 14 bits. Some newer units can achieve up to 16 bits. I would not go lower than 13.
3. Number of optical elements on the scan head. I would recommend 4000 which will scan a 35mm slide to approx 4000 x 6000 px allowing for a good size output to print (300 ppi).
4. Digital ICE (or its equivalent) s/w is critical. Older slides often develop pinholes in the emulsion over time. Digital ICE scans detects them and clones them out on the fly, saving you hours and hours of retouching time.
5. OS compatibility. Make sure the drivers are compatible with your OS. Nikon stopped selling its excellent line of Coolscan scanners and does not support Win 7 with a driver. You can get one from 3rd party but need to shell out another $100.