Slide scan/copy with Nikon Z7

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I have a lot of old slides from my film days. I have a very good scanner Nikon Super Coolscan 500 ED. I used it a lot in the past but now I will have to get a third-party software to operate it. Nikon discontinued its production sometime ago and does not support software anymore, but does support its hardware repair, since this scanner continues to be a very high-demand device to this day. So I cannot use this scanner right now, but I tried my copying with the Z7. I do have some bellows to do the copying.

My question: I wonder, since the Z7 has such a high resolution, if using the Z7 will yield better results than this real 35mm scanner... Nikon Coolscan has 4000 dpi resolution. The slide film is about 24 x 36mm, so the resolution is about 4000 x 6000. So just a simple comparison, the Z7 has more resolution than that. But the scanner has some more features, such as x4 and x8 sampling... I do not know exactly what it is doing, but probably trying to get more detail from the shadow are of the transparency. My slides are 95% Kodacrome 25. I like to extract every bit of detail from my slides.
 
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Butlerkid

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FWIW.....I scanned all my slides 4-5 years ago using the Cool Scan 4000. Th s/w had long since been discontinued, but I was still able to use Nikon Scan to scan the slides. Did you try using the scanner? If people are still using the scanner and getting it repaired, they must be using software of some sort.
 
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I know there are a third-party software (endorsed by Nikon) to use my Nikon scanner. I have not used that yet....
But just wondering if the Z7 will do a better job (or at least as good a job) by just using the slide copying setup since as far as the resolution numbers are concerned, the Z7 is above the Nikon scanner's DPI number...
 
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VueScan is the best scanning software for a film scanner these days. I have a Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 and VueScan works well with it.

As for using a DSLR, Nikon makes an adapter for the Nikkor 60mm Macro lens called an ES-2 that helps do just what you propose – scan film. There are also a number of articles on the internet written about using DSLRs to scan film. It works and very well. I plan to try this myself as I feel it would save enormous time and perhaps yield better results compared to a film scanner.
 
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I recently used the Z7, 60mm f/2.8 micro AF-D, a SB700 and the ES-2 to copy 1100 slides. If you have the AF-S version, you’ll save time with autofocus. I mounted the Z7 on my tripod at my desk, the SB700 on a table top tripod directly in front of the ES-2 and connected with cable. Be sure to set your white balance for flash and be mindful of the slide’s orientation (I found a slide with writing on a shirt to figure out which way). Setting the exposure and flash takes a couple tries but once you’re going, you move through them pretty quick.

This one of my mom and her sister and brother is from Easter 1965. My mom is on the left.

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Thank you, guys, for all the information and suggestions. Very helpful.

I do have my slide-copying setup I am using right now with the Nikon Z7. I am using my old Topcon macro lens 58mm. After some test, I am deciding to use f/11. Generally they come out pretty good and usable for casual copy. But in a more strict comparison, I am just curious which yield a better result. The Coolscan takes 20-40 seconds per slide, the Z7 is just a click.

Again, I cannot use my Nikon scanner right now until I get some software, but I have some old scans from this scanner, and the original Kodachrome transparency. So I did a copy of the same slide with my Z7 and compared the results. The difference is very subtle... It appears to me that the Nikon scan yields a better resolution and extracts more detail from the slide in spite of the 4000 DPI. Maybe it is because the Nikon scan has a much more stable focusing mechanism than my slide-copying setup... During my Z7 test, I noticed that the center of the slide is sharper at f/8, but the edge area is sharper if I use f/11. Obviously we are talking about the conflict between the depth and diffraction...
 

Butlerkid

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Most slides are not flat, the surface of the slide (not the cardboard mount) usually curves just a wee bit. The Nikon CoolScan makes multiple passes, gives it the opportunity to get more and more detail out of the slide. As you say, with the slide-copying set up, you just get one click.
 
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I recently used my 60mm f2.8/ES-1 setup to scan slides with some success. For difficult slides I tried varying (bracketing) the flash output. When opened in ACR I was able to run the HDR function and produce satisfactory results.

DG
 
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I recently used the Z7, 60mm f/2.8 micro AF-D, a SB700 and the ES-2 to copy 1100 slides. If you have the AF-S version, you’ll save time with autofocus. I mounted the Z7 on my tripod at my desk, the SB700 on a table top tripod directly in front of the ES-2 and connected with cable. Be sure to set your white balance for flash and be mindful of the slide’s orientation (I found a slide with writing on a shirt to figure out which way). Setting the exposure and flash takes a couple tries but once you’re going, you move through them pretty quick.

This one of my mom and her sister and brother is from Easter 1965. My mom is on the left.
How do you find it does with respect to film grain? I find scanning film at 4000 dpi brings in film grain even with noise reduction enabled.
 
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My experience is possibly the same as Tony's. Here are some examples which I will allow to speak for themselves.

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So, in the Nikon Coolscan or other high-end scanners, we are talking about multiple scans/passes for the purpose of focus accuracy as well as possibly to obtain more dynamic range. It is like doing multiple slide-copy shootings by myself for one picture, several shots for "focus stacking" and several more shots for "HDR"... wow, if the Nikon scanner can do all that for me for 20 seconds, it may be worth it.
 
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