Found a Nikon Coolscan 5000ed for extremely cheap.
Using a 2015 MBP and wondering if Silverfast would be the way to go. That’s what I’m most familiar with from my Microtek days.
Currently trying to dial in a very diy DSLR system that I also have a ton of questions about and finding answers here but figure this Nikon would be for my favorite selects as I imagine it’s very slow. I’ve got over 500 rolls that I’ve been trying to tackle for years.
I owned a 4000ED which I eventually sold because I went to camera based scanning. The 5000ED is a newer version. The 4000ED is a fine 35mm scanner. I would say if you got a good deal go for it. Then I would take some of the money you save and have it cleaned, lubricated and adjusted by Frank Phillips who is a Nikon scanner repairman/guru. These scanners typically have very dirty mirrors and also benefit from lubrication. It only costs $120 including return shipping and you end up with a scanner that works like new. It also helps if you buy the automatic negative feeder which will speed up things quite a bit. It iss simple to modify it so that it scans a whole uncut roll at a time. Frank can do it for you or you can find how to do it on YouTube. Here is Frank’s website (I have no financial or other tie to him, he just does a great job for a fair price): http://nikonscanners.com/
You may find this very complete review helpful: https://www.filmscanner.info/en/NikonSuperCoolscan5000ED.html
Regarding the scanner software. If your plan is to use NLP then Vuescan is a cheaper option than Silverfast and you get lifetime free updates as well as it works for all scanners. To use NLP you need to produce a specific type of linear file which can be done by either software, so I think Vuescan is the better choice. Good luck!
I had a 5000ED, which did an excellent job, but slow and unless you get the autofeed adapter, a long process of using switching film strips in the film holders, etc. I’d say if you are going to use a scanner for 35mm, that would give the best quality of any scanner available. I replaced with a 9000ED, also great quality, but again slow. Sold that and switched to “DSLR” scanning. One concern is that the scanners are no longer supported and repairs likely unavailable (there is one man who is still doing 9000ED repairs). If you want a dedicated scanner and cost is good, go for it.
I also used Silverfast, which does a very good job, but expensive. I have v8 AI on my Epson V850, just got email from them that upgrade to V9 now out and my upgrade cost is about $320! Nice features, but not worth that cost to me.