slide scanners

Bob Allen rlallen at FULLERTON.EDU
Sun Oct 27 12:06:06 CST 2002

Without going into tedious detail, comparison of the Nikon and Canon 
slide scanners reveals that Nikon's scanners are better at resolving 
detail in the shadows. I say this even though I am a diehard Canon EOS 
user and owner of four Canon EOS camera bodies and several lenses. 
Reviews such as those at and will prove helpful.

Instead of the Nikon Super CoolScan 8000, consider the Nikon Super 
CoolScan 4000. Quality is identical and price is much less for the 4000 
(I paid about $1600 US for mine at The 8000 
is intended primarily for those who need to scan large-format slides 
and negatives. If you use 35mm photographic equipment, then the 4000 is 
what you need.

The Nikon models transmit data over FireWire (designated as IEEE1394), 
a faster transfer than the USB used by Canon. Both are built into 
modern Macintosh computers. Of course, if your computer doesn't have 
either of these interfaces, you'll need to install a card if one is 
made for your computer. Look into those made by Orange Micro or Belkin 
(avoid anything made by Ratoc).

-Bob Allen

On Sunday, October 27, 2002, at 10:21  AM, Heike Vibrans wrote:

> Dear taxacomers,
> some time ago I asked for advice on slide scanners for a
> massive slide-scanning project. There were a good number
> of responses, both on- and offlist. In the end I decided
> ask for Nikons Super Coolscan 8000 ED, which has a rather
> steep price (about 1700 US dollars here in Mexico) but
> apparently many satisfied customers. The associated
> software is supposed to be particularly good.
> However, recently I have been told that the Canon CanoScan
> FS-4000US "does practically the same as the Nikon
> Coolscan", but at a third of the price. The announced
> resolution is the same for both scanners (4000 dpi), but
> the technical specifications show some differences:  in
> the light source, for example (cold cathode mercury
> fluorescent lamp in Canon, and a LED-Array in Nikon), but
> of which I do not know the advantages and disadvantages of
> these. The data transfer is over different interfaces (USB
> in Canon, IEEE1394, whatever that is, in Nikon) The Nikon
> takes more formats (microscope slides, for example); that
> is not so relevant for my present work, though it may be
> in the future. The Canon is much smaller and lighter and
> comes with a "light" Photoshop version, which Nikon lacks.
> Does anybody have comparative experience with these
> mashines?
> Thanks.
> Heike V.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dra. Heike Vibrans L.
> Laboratorio de Etnobotánica
> Especialidad de Botánica
> Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agrícolas
> km 35.5 carr. México-Texcoco
> 53230 Montecillo
> Estado de México, Mexico
> Tel. +52 (595) 95 20 200 Ext. 1335 (directo), 1331
> (secretaria), 1330 (dirección)
> Fax. +52 (595) 95 20 247
> Correo electrónico: heike at (trabajo)
> heikev at (casa)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob L. Allen
bugbob at

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