OT: Can anyone help me with my computer questions?

Nov 15, 2000
Hi everybody,

Sorry for the OT post,but I need some help from the computer experts around here. And if there are any photographer/digital experts, even better. Here's my question:

I want to buy an Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED, which is a very high end/high res. scanner, that I will use to scan my 35mm slides into the computer. Then I will use Adobe Photoshop if needed to Adjust the colors etc. to get a print that comes as close as possible to my original slide. OK. Now my actual question is this: If I scan in my slides with this wonder scanner, fix them up with photoshop, and put them on CD, will a digital printing place be able to simply print my work with a minimum of adjustment(to get optimum results), or am I better off buying my own photo-printer----keeping in mind these prints must be exhibition grade, and be printed on paper that will last a long time (decade(s)). WHEW! That was a long one!:eek:

If anyone knows of a good forum where I could pose this question, I would appreciate the link:)

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions:D :cool:

What's this have to do with khukuris? Well, I'll finally be able to post some pics of my blades/cutting things up. PLUS I'll finally be able to send Terry Sisco some Jpegs for his website of the sheath he made for my 18" AK!:D :cool: :D
Rob, check the Digital Camera Resource Page which I have found to be an excellent source of information on digital cameras and related information. I am sure that you will find the necessary information here. :) This may be of benefit for other forumites as well.
you should be just fine, Mauibob... Most reputable printers (like a Kinkos, for example) should have resoursces to handle what youre looking to do, and your images should come out fine... Easier than setting type by hand, like I've had to do in the past...
If I was going to do this (which I am eventually), I would purchase one of Epson's photo printers. I have a friend that is a professional photographer, here in town. He has a digital camera and one of the Epson's, and prints all of his own pics. I looked at some samples, and there is no way that you can tell that these didn't just come from a photo processing plant. I would highly recommend this path. I can get the model number for the printer, I just don't have it on hand. I was TRULY impressed with the quality, plus he uses it for weddings, etc, so you know that it HAS to be good.


This is actually right down my alley :D (i.e. I've been doing this for the last four years as a living). The short answer is... Yes! However, if you are just going to be printing out images at 10x15" or smaller, I would pass on the Nikon for a couple of reasons...

First, you don't need the super-high resolution to go real big anymore.

Second, you'll save yourself a bunch of money (more on that in a moment).

Third (I know, I said just a couple), the higher resolution scanners have a very bad habit of accentuating the grain structure in film scans... Don't know why, they just do. I have a Polaroid 4000 (same basic quality as the Nikon) and it really makes the grain stand out... down right butt ugly sometimes. Now it probably won't be as bad with slides, but it is still an issue.

Also, don't fall for the Digital ICE scratch removal technology marketing bull. It can do its job, but what it really does is soften up your image. It will also slow down your scans considerably. I keep mine turned off. It is easier to go in with the clone tool and fix spots/scratches.

Now, I have seen many many recommendations for the Canon 2710 scanners and the Minolta Dimage scanners. These scanners for some reason don't have the grain issue. They are a little slower (unless you compare times with a multi-sampling scan in the higher end models... those take FOREVER to do). All you really need is something to get you to a 5x7 @ 300dpi for most uses (although I used to scan in at 8x12 @300 just for GPs). If you are going to submit for publication, they'll most likely want your negative to drum scan...

The Canon and Minolta can be had for under $700 last time I checked. The Nikon is around $2000 I think.

Next... printing.

Find the local Walmart and have them print your scans. No kidding. The WalMart stores use the Fuji Frontier 370 digital mini labs to print on. It is absolutely the BEST technology on the market for printing images right now. They use Fuji Crystal Archive paper, which is rated at 75 years (don't display in direct sun). They can print up to 10"x15" prints from a 4x6 300dpi image. The machine does all the enlarging digitally and does an EXCELLENT job of it.

Ok... I hope I've done my part. If you have any questions, holler.

I just typed out a HUGE reply to everyone who helped me, and the damn thing told me I had to many smilies and had to go back. AND WHEN I DID IT HAD ERASED MY REPLY:mad: :mad:

I will reply again in awhile(once the urge to drive a 20"AK through the GO**AMNED computer passes), but for now thank you very much for all the help:D :cool: :D
Kinda makes me wonder if I need my head examined for even considering getting into the digital/computer side of photography:confused:

But I guess its either that or get left behind....

anyway, I'll summarize what my other reply said(in case it erases this one, in which case I'll be offline untill I can buy a new monitor;))


I forgot you were a photographer also! What type of photography do you specialize in? I will probably be making large prints up to 16x20" in the future, so the high res might be needed(?). Also, I shoot mostly Fuji Velvia (50 ISO) so hopefully grain won't be too much of an issue. I read several glowing reviews today of the new Nikon scanner that claimed that there is little if any, loss of image sharpness due to grain reduction, thanks to some program that the scanner has. Of course I always wonder who writes those articles and how much Nikon/Canon etc. pays them-LOL!
I will definetely check out the Wal-mart printing from CD! It would b nice to run into a good deal for a change!


Thanks also for advice. I would like to get that model # of the Epson printer if its not too much trouble.


Thanks also! I will check out that web site ASAP!

Thanks for the Kinkos tip, I will run down that lead as well!

Ok, I better stop now before it erases this one too!

I apologize... I messed up. My report on the Hi res Nikon scanner was for the one BEFORE the model you were looking at :( . I acutally found a current review of your model which gave a great report. If there is a problem, it won't take too long for them to fix it I guess...

For 16x20" prints, the high res probably would be better. At least you should get better software to handle all the color correction stuff. If you want, I can find you a couple of good digital printers that can handle your prints for you.

That is one thing to consider too. IF you are going to make prints from a digital file, why not just send the negative in for printing? Most labs are having a problem with consistant color balancing as they are making the changeover from analog to digital printing. They usually don't have much problems with color from film/slide, since they've been doing it for years. But really, the big labs are just starting out with the digital output. It might be something to consider unless you want to make the digital jump :)

I am shooting with two different Kodak DCS cameras. The DCS 520 for wedding and editorial stuff, and the DCS 560 for studio/portrait stuff. My output ranges from 8x10 and smaller from a Fuji Pictography 3500 photo printer (on sale right now for $6,100), to 16x20" B&W Peizography prints from an Epson 3000, to prints from the local WalMart when I'm out of paper for my Fuji printer.

Here is the kicker for the digital world. When I ordered the 560 in July last year, it was $23,900. I got the camera one month later and recieved an e-mail the next day advising me that Kodak had dropped the price by $9000.00 (no chance of a refund... long story). THEN, this March, Kodak releases the DCS 760, its replacement and the price drops again to $6995 (list). Almost a $17,000 price drop in less than a year... But that is the brave new world that is digital technology.

Anyway, contact me if you need any info.


Alan, you do it like me it looks like -- always buy at the highest possible price. Ah well, we keep the economy going at least.
One of these days I am going to find something electronic at it's lowest price... but then they'll probably relase a new and improved version 5x better for $100 less :)

Such is the cross we bear in the new digital world...

Oh, I almost forgot...

Rob, use a brick, NOT the AK. Although probably not as satisfying, there is much less of an electric shock hazard :D

Alan, I didn't lay out as much as you but you might get some solace by knowing you are not alone. This computer system with attachments that I paid $3000 for is probably worth $300 today. Now that's depreciation -- about 50% per year.
I'm sorry I can't offer any technical help here, perhaps a little solace will suffice :)
I saved that to my hard drive and emailed it to everyone I know. Now if I can only convince the cat I'm not having an epileptic seizure....

Ahhhhhh. That DID make me feel better! I still would like to see someone do it with an 20" AK. Hey wait a minute, I have a dud monitor and keyboard sitting in my closet...All I need is someone with a digital video camera and...:D
You know I think I remember somebody chopping their computer to pieces with a khukuri but I can't recall which guy or which khukuri. All I remember thinking was, "that must really sooth the soul and how much fun it would be."

If Berk passes by this thread he can find the post. I can't.

I've been stung some many times in the last six years that I am almost numb anymore. That is a good thing, because that $17,000 drop in the Kodak camera would have put me in the hospital in 1995 :)

I have adopted (and so have many pro photographers who pioneered the digital realm) the philosophy that if you need it, can make money with it, then buy it. NEVER second guess the purchase if the product makes money for you. That has kept me out of the padded room so far :)