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Converting Slides to Digital

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #1458
    Morningbreath
    Participant

    Just curious, what , if anything do you guys use to convert your slides to digital format? I was quoted around $500 for a nikon machine that will do that today, and thought it was a little steep. I had been paying Ritz to do it, but at $.75/slide plus a disk fee, it is getting kind of expensive.

    #19593
    schnee
    Participant

    I have a discontinued Minolta dedicated slide scanner that does a pretty decent job, if I take the time to do it correctly. It can resolve the dye clouds of the film emulsion, which seems to me to be getting about as much detail as needed. If the Nikon has an infrared channel (in addition to the RGB), you will then be able to minimize scratches and other physical defects on the slide, which is nice. The feature is usually called Digital ICE or something like that.

    Scanning correctly can be time consuming – it can take 15 to 30 minutes to scan one (1!) slide when I pull out all the stops. And then there is post-processing, which takes even more time. Scanning tends to cause the image to go soft – a bit of edge sharpening helps significantly.

    I can expand on this if you’d like.

    #19594
    soosh
    Participant

    I’ve got a Nikon slide scanner that I picked up at a state surplus sale for next to nothing.

    One thing about buying slide scanners – they seem to have held their value fairly well, so I would imagine that you could recoup nearly all your purchase price if you buy one to scan all your slides and then sell it on ebay.

    #19595
    Choc-Ful-A
    Participant

    Just curious, what , if anything do you guys use to convert your slides to digital format? I was quoted around $500 for a nikon machine that will do that today, and thought it was a little steep. I had been paying Ritz to do it, but at $.75/slide plus a disk fee, it is getting kind of expensive.

    Many of the flatbed scanners (mostly USB connections so they are easy to use) come with slide and negative holders so you can scan slides as well as paper. So they have two light sources, one on the bottom for scanning reflectively and one on the top for illuminating “scan through” media. I picked up a Canon model for about $120 which is pretty decent. The software is a little clunky but I’m happy with the results.

    #19596
    sleeping
    Participant

    There is an order of magnitude of difference between even a very good flatbed scanner and a dedicated film scanner in terms of quality for high resolution images. I have both, and while the nominal resolutions are similar, the amount of actual information extracted by the film scanner is significantly greater.

    On the other hand, if you don’t require really high quality high-res output a flatbed with a large film area can be a lot more convenient in terms of being able to scan batches, which is a distinct advantage if you’re talking about large amounts of film.

    The cheapest option for dedicated film scanning is usually an older SCSI model, they can be had for much less than USB/Firewire models, but you generally need a free slot for a PCI card. Vuescan (http://www.hamrick.com/) can operate all kinds of older scanners on modern operating systems, and it’s a pretty decent program.

    #19597
    soosh
    Participant

    while I use and love my flatbed epson for medium-format 6×6, it is true madness to try and use it for 35mm. Once I got a dedicated slide scanner, the jump in time saved and frustration avoided, not to mention quality scans, leaped by multitudes.

    #19598
    orionid
    Participant

    I’ve got one of the Epson perfection combos. It’s a flatbed at heart, but comes with a jig for slides and an automated 35mm loader, and I love it for what I do. It was cheap, easy to use (as long as you remember to remove the white background from thelid before using the film loader), and give decent results. My biggest complaint is the inability of the AI to find the edges on a really dark shot.

    #19599
    soosh
    Participant

    I’ve got an epson perfection 4180, but it doesn’t have anything automated. And yeah, that white background thing, god help you if you misplace that and want to scan a document.

    #19600
    orionid
    Participant

    I can’t tell you exactly which one I’ve got, it’s somewhere in a wooden crate halfway between Hawaii and Albany, NY. They tell me I might see it by thanksgiving. But 5160 does come to mind. (though it could be because a friend and I were talking about 4160 carburetors all night).

    Never misplaced the white background, but definately spent the better part of an hour cursing at windows, reinstalling drivers, checking cables, etc from not removing it, because instead of giving a nice sensible error message like “Hey, R-tard, your white background is still installed” it just kept saying “Unable to initialize scanner”

    #19601
    Morningbreath
    Participant

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I already have a scanner, so I am going to try a slide tray first, and if that is not to my liking I am going to move on to something more expensive.

    #19602
    Debug
    Participant
    #19603
    stupido
    Participant

    I use an older Acer Scanwit 2720 for print film and an occasional slide. One thing as previous posted, scanning is time consuming. Hence I have paid when I have color film developed for the scanning even though I have a scanner. I typically only use the scanner for B&W film I develop.

    #19604
    LeicaLens
    Participant

    I recently bought a Canon MP990 that has everything with bells. I got it to scan film negatives into my computer, but it can also do slides, though I haven’t tried it with them yet.
    Things I have scanned in seem pretty good, better than my old scanner, a Canon MP770 (IIRC).

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