slide scanner

Oct 5th, 2005, 11:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 30
slide scanner

Okay, at the risk of being beat with thorny acacia branches or pelted with balls of digested grass, I am seeking suggestions as to scanner for digitizing the hundreds and hundreds of slides we have accummulated over the year. Know it isn't Board related but have come to greatly value thoughts of various posters. Any thoughts? And, if this thread goes to the bottom real fast I will understand why.
Igoustay is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,056
Heavens to Murgatroid, we can't let it sink...

I bought a slide scanner on e-Bay for around US $100 a couple of years ago and never regretted it. It does a much, much better job than flat-screen scanners that have slide templates, etc., a couple of which I had tried over the years. I just looked, and there are a couple of them (PrimeFilm) currently advertised for $90-100.

What I discovered is that once you've spent the (many) hours scanning your transparencies, you probably have a friend or relative that also has boxes and boxes of slides that they'd like to archive, so just lend the machine to them. Or, rent it to them...

Worth the investment in money and time, I can attest. BTW, you'll also need some pretty good imaging software (Photoshop or the ilk) to manipulate the images, plus some film cleaner and a camel hair brush to get the gunk off older slides.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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It's true that a dedicated film scanner is usually better than a flatbed model, especially for serious amateur and semi-pro use. It depends on how much you want to spend. I have a CanoScan FS2710 which does an excellent job. I would be better off with the FS4000 model, but at the time of purchase I couldn't afford it. Then almost by accident my wife and I purchased an Epson Perfection 4870 Photo flatbed which has proved to be as good as the CanoScan. I had sworn off flatbeds for slides years ago, and we were actually looking for an ordinary flatbed to copy prints and documents. Now I use both the CanoScan and the Epson. The latter has one big advantage. The CanoScan does just one preview image at a time, whereas the flatbed can give me a preview of 24 slides at a time if they are in film strips and eight if they are in mounts, speeding up the job just a little. I do all my archival scans at 4000 dpi, so each one takes a few minutes. Most of the images shown at the slideshow link I posted a few weeks back were done with the Epson.
afrigalah is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 646
Thanks to both Gardyloo and Afrigalah for responses. I am at home now and using home screen name. Picked up more than a few pointers from both of you. Thanks again.
rsnyder is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 04:04 PM
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Before I moved to digital photograpy, I was using a slide scanner to digitize my slides. If you really have hundreds and hundreds you want to scan, you might want to consider a service rather than doing it yourself.

Slide scanning can be a very time consuming process, and you need to do a bit of prep work to get them ready for scanning. I've spent many an hour cloning out dust spots on my scans. The big negative for getting someone else to do your scanning is that it's very expensive - usually more than the cost of the film scanner if you have large numbers of frames to scan. It's simply a trade off of time and effort vs. $$$.

I would suggest that the first thing you do is go through your slides and edit ruthlessly.

If you have the time and inclination (or perhaps teenage children you can impress into slave labor), then scanning your slides can be a fairly straightforward process. As noted, slide scanners can be had relatively cheap on eBay - $100-200. The first thing you want to do is figure out how big a file you need. The worst thing to do is scan a slide at a low quality, and then have to scan it again when you need something better. It's better to scan once at the best level of quality you need. If it's just for the web, then you can scan at a low quality and very quickly. But, if you ever wanted to blow up a shot to 16x20", then you're going to need a much bigger file.

When evaluating film scanners, figure how big a file you can get out of them and if it'll serve your needs.

Other things to look out for is how fast the scanners are at scanning, and how well they handle dust. You'll want to get some canned air and perhaps some special brushes to clean up the slides before you scan.
lifelist is offline  

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