Nikon ES-2 - Scannable Area

Hi there

I find scanning negatives with a light table & tripod to be quite fiddly to get even focus, so I’m now looking at buying a Nikon ES-2 to hopefully make it a bit easier.

Nikon note that some of the photo is not scannable when using the ES-2 but I’m unclear as to what that means in practice. How much of the photo would you lose?

Also, if you’ve tried both methods, did you find the ES-2 easier for consistent focus?

Appreciate any insights.



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Hmm… not sure, haven’t used an ES-2. I believe @JohnMacLean is using an ES-2, so maybe he can provide some insight on scannable area?

Hi Stephen and Nate,

Maybe what you’re referring to is using a 60mm macro with a crop sensor? I have both the ES-1 and ES-2, with a Canon 5D Mark IV and EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact-Macro. I recently got a Nikon PB-6 and PS-6. I haven’t done enough with that setup yet to compare, other than to say it’s very rigid compared to both the ES models that are a bit squirrelly. This video will show you that Lining up the film is the most time-consuming part. You’ll also see how the ES-2 masks the film strip, not revealing any film rebate. If you want to shoot negs and include that, the ES-1 will let you slip a bare strip between the pressure clips. I mostly have slides to shoot, and I haven’t really gotten to the negs yet. It’s all become a side project that I wish I had more time for. I hope that helps somewhat.

Thanks John & Nate,

From the video, it does look like you lose a very small part of the image. Also, it’s possibly not ideal not to have the rebate when it comes to setting white balance prior to using Negative Lab Pro?


I scan with an ES-2. It crops the image only by the tiniest amount. It’s really not a problem in practice. There are a lot of good reviews on it out there, the only thing I will add is that it excels with uncut film rolls. I just put the first six frames in, shoot them, then unclamp the film holder and move it down the filmstrip by six more frames. I can shoot a roll of 36 in about 10 minutes. I use a tripod to keep the film up off the floor while it’s dangling out of either side of the ES-2.

Overall I find it much faster than using a light table and less fiddly, especially since it’s an autofocus lens (60mm af-s macro). With bright light the AF is fast and snappy. I do use mirror lockup and a 1s exposure delay just to be safe for any vibrations.

I used to do both drum scanner and a flatbed as well, and I find this the best mothod I’ve ever used. 36mp scans of 35mm film are surprisingly close to 24mp drum scans. I think if I got a D850 I could get to parity with drum.

Thanks very much Adam

Luckily I am using this Nikon ES-2, and I really found it best, I am using this from last year and I am very satisfied from it, but you also have many choices as well, I saw many new models on Black Friday sale at Reecoupons, if you are confused to buy it then you can go on other options as well.