Dirty scans Nikon 5000ED

Just wondering anyone had 5000 ED before?
I got one from eBay recently, and now testing it with Vuescan. These are the photos I got back:

You can see there are many scratches and some white marks on it. I cleaned my negatives throughly before putting them into the scanner, the infrared cleaning option is also enabled in Vuescan. What are these marks? Is it having a dirty-mirror syndrome? If it is a dirty-mirror syndrome then shouldn’t the marks appears on the same location?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

I would suggest taking one of them and scan it twice, turning it through 180 degrees for the second time without cleaning it in between, so it’s upside down in effect, emulsion still facing the same way. Then compare at 1:1 on Lightroom, rotate the second scan to match of course. I think you’ll find that these are on the slide.

Significant dust on a mirror will degrade the image but it won’t be sharp on the resulting scan.

Thanks Harry,

I tested and it looks like it is the scratches on the film. However, the mark is nearly invisible on my Epson V850.

Is all Nikon scanner like this? I would say my film is relatively clean compared to some other labs that I’ve used. If you don’t use strong light, you can’t even see the scratches.

I hope someone who owns one will come in to say what they think but the Epson V850 is widely reported as having around 2300 ppi of actual measurable resolution whereas the Coolscan 5000ED is an excellent scanner and measures 3900 ppi, very close to the specified resolution and a ‘sensational’ result according to filmscanner.info. The Nikon Coolscans are also renowned for having an unforgiving light source that will reveal grain and dust though.

On the other hand it could also be a question of a setting in the software and I’m afraid that I can’t advise on that because I haven’t used one.

Harry’s response underneath is right: The 5000ED is unforgiving with scratches that are nearly invisible to the eye.
I own one and used it with the original Nikon software (Nikon Scan) : the only reason I keep a Windows XP PC .
I didn’t know it was possible to use it with other softwares.

I am in parallel scanning pics with the Valoi system, using a nikon Z7II and a Nikkor 50mm/macro.I find that Lightroom makes a better use of the Valoi system than of the Nikon Scan results.

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I have a Coolscan 5000ED and would concur with Harry; the scanner picks up the tiniest scratches and blemishes on both sides and negatives. I’ve switched to a camera based process using a Nikon D800 and Skier copy box and so far I am very happy with the results.

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Infrared cleaning in Vuescan is crude to say the least. The size and shape of these blemishes certainly looks like something lodged on the film, to my eyes water stains from the development process.

The “small” coolscans(35mm only) use a condensed illumination which emphasizes grain and perceived sharpness, limits the effect of glare in the taking optics deteriorating your image, but unfortunately also emphasizes dust and scratches. How much of a difference this makes compared to diffuse illumination, cannot be overstated.

While you will probably have somewhat better experience using the Digital ICE built into nikon scan, you may also consider having Vuescan output the infrared image separately and then use the “content aware fill” in photoshop to heal affected areas.

I concur with @Harry and @Condo . It also looks to me like marks on the film (dust, scratches, or possibly fungus) that would be blurred by the Epson. In my experience the Epson is really only able to get around 2000dpi at best and can’t resolve at grain-level.

Try Vuescan’s “heavy” dust removal setting. Did you also scan emulsion side down (which is opposite to the Epson)?

You can actually run Nikon Scan on Windows 10/11 if Vuescan is installed - on my machine the Vuescan driver fools the Nikon software into recognising my 5000ED scanner. Otherwise check out this link for using Nikon Scan on Windows 7 and higher:

Getting your Nikon Coolscan to work on W7 x64

Nikon Scan’s Digital ICE/ROC/GEM is amazingly good. AFAIK you can do linear scans in Nikon Scan as well, but I haven’t personally tested it in combination with NLP (I find Vuescan + baked-in dust removal more reliable).

Do you know by any chance if it’s possible to use Nikon 5000ED from a Mac (Ventura 13+) and what software to use?

@yunhiao.jiang I did a test on your behalf with my 5000ED and Vuescan 9.8.17 (Windows 11 2H22). Files were scanned at 4000dpi and saved as 48-bit RGB TIFF, then cropped and saved at 24-bit JPEG. The source is a very old Kodacolor X negative from the 1970s.

DR none
No dust removal applied

DR light
Infrared clean ‘Light’

DR medium
Infrared clean ‘Medium’

DR heavy
Infrared clean ‘Heavy’

It occurred to me that perhaps you aren’t seeing any dust removal because your Vuescan settings could be incorrect for Negative Lab Pro linear scans. Make sure you are scanning to:

Output tab:
Raw file: ticked
Raw file type: ‘48 bit RGB’
Raw output with: ‘Save’
Raw DNG format: ticked

It’s VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO USE 64-BIT RGBI otherwise the infrared channel dust detection will not be applied to the RGB channels that Negative Lab Pro works on.

Edit: Looking back at your original post - it does appear that Vuescan dust removal has attempted a partial correction of spots on your film scan. I suspect (but can’t be 100% sure) that there’s nothing wrong with your 5000ED, and that it’s just picking up film imperfections. All you can really do from here is fire up Photoshop and start dabbing with the clone/heal tools, which is normal workflow for most people anyway.