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The end of film ?

Well, the end of film scanning, at least.

in Photography , Friday, May 29, 2009

The end of film ? Well, not exactly, but it appears that Nikon has discontinued the Coolscan 5000 film scanner, leaving only the 9000. The 9000 scan scan up to 6x9 format, but has a nasty reputation for inserting horizontal, scratch-like lines in scans, a flaw which has never been fixed and probably never will be. The 9000 surely cannot now be long for this world, anyway.

My 8 year old Minolta Multi Scan Pro is still working well (touches wood) but if it ever decides to throw a cog, well, I’m screwed. The only quality film scanners on the market now, at least new, are the mind-numbling expensive Hassledblad/Imacon Flextights, starting at 10,000 (currency irrelevant). There are a few low end units around - Plustek, maybe Microtek, but that’s it. End of story for quality desktop scanning.

Flatbed scanners, even the top rated ones like the Epson V750, don’t deliver anything like the real resolution or dynamic range.

There must be a large enough market for a specialist manufacturer (Cosina, maybe ?) to produce a quality 6x9 film scanner at a price below $3000 - even by taking over Nikon’s production tools. Here’s hoping. And praying that the famous Minolta build quality lives on.