Nikon 5000 and 9000 Series Film Scanners
For quite some time the Nikon 5000 and Nikon 9000 series film scanners have been
considered the industry standard with regards to the scanning of film.
Because I currently own and use both I feel that I am qualified to write about
Physically, the Nikon 5000 and 9000 appear quite different. The
foot print of the Nikon 5000 when standing upright is about 1/4 that of the
Nikon 9000. When the slide feeder is inserted, the 5000 is required to lay
on its side. When this happens the footprint is about 3/4 that of the
9000. From a connection point of view to your computer, the 5000 requires
a standard USB 2.0 connection whereas the 9000 requires a IEEE 1394 Firewire
connection (interface card is provided). Many newer PC's and laptops now
come standard with these connection ports as well.
Nikon 5000 and 9000 scanners are capable of scanning at densities of up to 4000
DPI. The actual scanning
is done via a 3964-pixel line CCD (actually two lines in the 5000 and three
lines on the 9000 models). The ED in their name indicates their is ED-type glass
in the scanning mechanism. ED glass is used by Nikon to insure that colours all
focus at the same point. It should also be pointed out that both scanners
fully employ Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE4 technology which now
includes Digital ROC, Digital GEM, and Digital DEE in addition to Digital ICE.
By now you are probably asking yourself the following
question: If both of these devices are so technically the same, why are they so
different? What you must understand is that 5000 and 9000, as with
their 4000 and 8000 predecessors, were designed with 2 separate purposes in
mind. The Nikon 5000 is dedicated to scanning 35mm film formats only while
the 9000, with the proper trays, is much more flexible and can handle not only
35mm film but also up to 6x9cm medium format and medical slides as well.
Does this mean that the Nikon 9000 is not suitable for scanning 35mm type film.
Not at all. It just means that the 5000, as it is specifically designed to
do so, can scan 35mm type film at a slightly higher rate of speed than that of
the Nikon 9000.
Another thing that makes them so different is the price. The 5000
typically sells for about $1300 for the base unit while the 9000 can be found
for about $2000. The additional 50 slide holder for the 5000, the SF-210,
usually goes for about $350-$400 and is a must have if you are scanning lots of
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
About the Author: Stephen Cornfield is a photographer who has several years experience photographing weddings, sporting and informal events. His company, Photo Field Imaging,
www.photofieldimaging.com, also provides photo editing, restoration and scanning services for all types of photographs, film and slides.