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OK - here's my torture test images that I've been using. These are not atypical for me since I did do a lot of climbing and mountaineering BC (before children).
Here's the CS5000ED scan:
Here's the image using the D700 + 55/3.5 micro + light table:
As you can see it appears that the scanned slide seems to have more dynamic range as the highlights are not blown (see the snow on the ridge) and the shadows have less noise and more color to them (see my friends red-ish jacket). Now I used digital ROC on these images in NikonScan, so it's recovered some of the shadow detail already.
One issue with the Nikon Scanner is that is suffers from flare - see my knee sticking up at the bottom of the frame (I'm in yellow) - it should be black as it is in the D700 image. I have seen this in many of my slide scans and have read that this is a characteristic of the 5000ED - it's not always there, but it can and will occur in extreme circumstances (black dog in white snow kind of images). The D700 + 55/3.5 micro seems to not show any kind of flare in the same situations. I've scanned some other slides that have this same issue with the CS5000ED, but the D700 + 55/3.5 micro does not (all else being equal).
The D700 shows much less color in the shadows and has some slightly blown highlights. Note the upper right corner going to black much earlier than in the slide scan.
This bothers me - is this just a pure DR issue or could it be the color balance of my light table light source?
I've been thinking of getting a D7000 to replace my D300 and it is supposed to have approximately 1.5 stops better DR at base iso according to DXO if I remember correctly - does anyone think it may do a better job at this task?
Also, assuming the same final image size, the D7K would have a bit more resolution and is getting close to the CoolScan5000ED. At 100% viewing you can see a bit more detail in the scanned slide than with the D700, but it's only viewable at 100%.
Assuming 1:1 reproduction and full imaging of the slide, D700 has 3,020 ppi while the 5000ED advertises 4,000 ppi, - 33% more than the D700. At full image size, the D7K has 3,477 ppi.
OK - I invite your thoughts - I will try a different light source or perhaps take away the built-in diffuser of the PS-6 slide copying adapter (it seems a ever so slight bit on the yellow side to me - perhaps to offset the slightly blue tint from flashes).
EDITED to correct math mistakes!
Edited on Aug 23, 2011 at 06:47 PM · View previous versions