I have some experience with film scanners.
Basicly there are 2 kinds of semi-professional scanners:
- Film scanners
- Flat-bed scanners.
I’ve tried both. A year ago I borrowed from a friend a Nikon
Coolscan film scanner.
This scanner was for 35mm film only, slides, negatives and mounted
dias. It worked very well, and I recommend it if you are sure that
you will never need to scan larger format than 35mm. It has a high
resolution; my Black/White negs made up to 65 MB files, and the
density was superb. But the scanning was slow. Nikon makes other
scanners, much faster, but at a cost.
Then, for a week ago, I purchased a flad-bed scanner, Epson
Perfection 4990, because I have a lot of medium format films to be
scanned. Epson had recently launched two new flat-beds, V 700 and V750
professional, so the 4990’s price became more human, and I decided
for it. This Flat-Bed scans all film-formats up to 8"x10", and
reflective photos too.
Even if I have only scanned 6x6 and 6x7 B/W negs, I feel competent
to say that this scanner is absolutely a beauty for quality scans, and
I don’t really need anything more.
Well, if you have a lot of heavily underexposed dias, you might want
to go for the Nikon Coolscan. But the Epson 4990 is quite adequate for
me, although I aim at making digital files large enough for prints
for exhibitions, and I’m a fanatic about quality.
Other considerations: Epson is much cheaper than Nikon, and a bit
faster than the cheapest Coolscans.
Hope that this will help,