Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scanning my brains out


When Windows 7 was released, those of us who upgraded found ourselves shifting from a 32-bit operating system to a 64-bit operating system.

Most of our software could handle the change, but some of it could not. That was the case with the driver for my Nikon Coolscan IV ED negative/transparency scanner. And Nikon, apparently trying to force Coolscan IV users to buy a new scanner, declined to write a 64-bit driver for it.

There were various workarounds, including upgrading to Windows 7 Professional which has an XP Mode which creates a virtual machine running 32-bit Windows XP. I bought it and was able to install the last version of Nikon View and had my scanner back. For awhile, anyway, until it got wonky and stopped working.

Some serious Nikon geek, not affiliated with the company, wrote a 64-bit driver for Nikon View, but I never could get it to work.

Finally, a few weeks ago I did what I should have done a long long time ago.

I went to and bought the $80 professional edition of their VueScan, which works with my scanner and about 100 other brands and models.

I absolutely love it and wonder why I was so hung up on Nikon’s software, which is really lame by comparison.

I got out my black & white negatives from the September, 1969 crash of an Allegheny Airlines DC-9 southeast of Indianapolis and decided to scan all of the images. Thanks to VueScan’s batch scanning feature, I was able to make high-res scans of 106 images in a little under 90 minutes. That would have been an all-day job with Nikon View.

VueScan will also run my Canon flatbed scanner, but I prefer to use the Canon software. For the time being, at least.

To say that I love ViewScan is a serious understatement. It’s given me back my photo archive. Like the photo above – Leonard Case and his family, owners and operators of the Cherry Hut in Beulah, Mich. I shot the photo for a travel story I wrote for The Indianapolis Star in 2001.

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