I finally acquired a second hand Nikon Coolscan V a couple of months ago. I had dithered about buying one of these for a year or three, and while I dithered Nikon discontinued them. Brilliant! I can’t quite understand their reasoning because I would have thought that there are a lot of people like me – who for many years worked with analog equipment – who have accumulated drawers full of Transparencies and Negatives and are now wanting to breathe new digital life into their back catalogues.
Scanning is time consuming and the processing more so. Some of my Transparencies go back more that 40 years and I’m learning that you really do need to look after your old media. The first one I scanned (one of my favourites) took 2 hours work – dealing with dust and minute scratches. Aaargh!
I have three B&W images of early morning light over the Mont Blanc massif for you all today. Two are scanned from Kodachrome transparencies and one is an original digital image. But which is which – can you guess? Answers later in the post – no cheating!
The first image is of the Plateau du Trient on the long descent to Praz de Fort in the Val Ferret – a valley on the NE side of the Mont Blanc Massif.
Half an hour earlier we had climbed up to and crossed the Col superieur du Tour, seen in this second image.
And for the non-mountaineers, a welcome sight confirming that you don’t necessarily have to climb high to get the occasional magical sight. This is early morning light funneling through the gaps between the Chamonix Aiguilles – projecting stunning Crepuscular Rays into the sky overhead. Image taken from the safety of the valley floor!
So – which are the scanned ones? Images One and Three are the scanned ones. They are the grainier ones – perhaps not surprising – but especially in the final image the grain in the rays I think rather detracts from the subtleties of the pale blues that I see in the original colour Transparency. It may be my processing – I am on another learning curve. If anyone reading this has experience of using a Coolscan and has some useful tips for the best settings on the scanner then do please get in touch or leave a comment.
I you’re a UK resident and want anything Nikon, including Coolscans, check out Grays of Westminster in London. A highly regarded flagship Nikon dealer especially in second hand stock. I recommend them.
If you liked this, you might also like a previous post: ‘The Chamonix Aiguilles“