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Nikon Coolscan IV ED Slide Scanner
Generic Name: Film Scanner
Manufacturer: Nikon Model: Coolscan IV ED Model Years: 2003
Weight: 3 kg Cost: $1000 CDN

Objectives: I was looking for a slide scanner that would do as good a job as taking them to a commercial scanning service. I had previously been taking my slides to Custom Color labs after each trip and then waiting 3 days to get the scans. The scans I was getting from Custom Color labs were of acceptable quality, and only cost $1.00 each, but the turn around time of 3 days was an undesirable delay. Also I wanted to avoid the overhead of having to pick out which slides I intended to use, making a note of them, and then waiting 3 days to get the scans back. It would be much simpler to simply pick up the slide I wanted while I was writing the article, and scan it. Another use I envisioned was to be able to quickly copy a few slides from other people on trips I had been on. The economic justification of buying my own slide scanner was mostly based on the huge savings of time. Once I understood why I wanted one, I went to the camera store and searched the web. I was overwhelmed with all sorts of specifictions. So I boiled it down to one main question: how would the results of having my own slide scanner compare with the results I had been getting from a typical commercial scan? I searched the web for product reviews. I repeately had long discussions with the people at the camera store. However, I could not get an answer to this simple question. The problem is that most camera stores are not going to bother setting up the equipment and doing a bunch of tests, and neither is anyone going to do all this effort on a free website. I was willing to pay for a good product review, but Consumer Reports only tested flatbed scanners. So in the end I made a deal with Lens and Shutter that I'd buy the unit and test for myself the results, and I could return it in a few days in perfect condition if it really wasn't better than the commercial scans.

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