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Old Nov 8, 2003, 10:46 PM   #1
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Default Converting 35mm Color Slides to Digital Format

Is there technology available yet to convert 35mm Color Slides to Digital Format to store on CD? If not, is there a likelihood it may be coming someday?
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 12:26 AM   #2
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Default Slide Scanners

NIkon, Canon, Minolta, etc. make dedicated slide scanners that convert negatives and slides into digital files. They cost about $500 to $1000 and beyond. Some flatbed scanners come with slide attachments but their quality is poor compared to the dedicated slide scanner. Try an internet search for "slide scanner" or visit manufacturer's sites.

Most photofinishers can burn your slides onto a CD if you don't have a computer with CD burner.
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 7:37 AM   #3
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I own the HP Photosmart S20 scanner. It scans slides, photos up to 5X7, and film strips. It is easy to use and produces excellent products. Check out Ebay and they should run about $180 or less. I also have an Epson flat bed scanner that came with a slide attachment but have never used it.
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 7:58 AM   #4
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I also own an HP Flatbed Scanner. Mine is an older model (Scanjet 5370c), with lower optical resolution (1200 dpi) than some of the newer ones.

I paid around $299.00 for it when it was first introduced. Here it is:


It came with templates for slides, film, etc. I've even used it for scanning CT Film (much larger images). It's got a 5" x 5" light attachment (which shines a light down through the film, slides or transparencies, so that the scanner's sensors can read the film (without reflections you'd get from a bottom lit scanner - since it turns off the internal scanner lamp, when using the external one). The above link doesn't show a photo of this lamp, but it's the "Active Tranparency Adapter" mentioned the specs.

It works quite well (despite that it's an older model, with lower resolution). With mine, you'd be limited somewhat (as to the size you'd be able to print your slide images), since it's optical resolution is lower.

But, you can find newer models, that are higher resolution (at very good prices -- mine is probably just about worthless now -- the newer models are so much better, with 2400 or 4800 dpi optical resolution, versus mine which is 1200 dpi).

Of course, the best and fastest way is with a dedicated slide/film scanner (but these are quite expensive).

BTW, Steve has some reviews of scanners here:


Most of them are "dated", but you may find one of these at a good price on Ebay. He doesn't review any of the HP's -- but he does review another popular model from Epson -- the Epson Perfection 2450:


These aren't as fast as dedicted film/slide scanners, but they're much more versatile (since you can use them for scanning anything), and you can find them at much lower prices, too.
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 9:53 AM   #5
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Actually the flatbeds are getting pretty good at scanning film and slides. Example: http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/int...200/page_7.htm The Epson 3200 in the review is a little pricey. If your standards arenít quite that high you can get acceptable scans from an Epson 1670 Photo scanner - $116 from Newegg with free shipping. The Epson 3170 has the same 3200PPI optical resolution of the 3200 and is less than $200 online. 3200PPI optical is currently the highest you can get in a flatbed without going to a multi-magabuck commercial unit.

The dedicated photo scanners have limitations unless you get a more expensive model. You have to feed them slides one at a time unless you get a good model with a slide feeder attachment. Film grain is accentuated because of the concentrated light source. Scratches and dust are a problem without IR scratch and dust removal, and you are up to a minimum of $600 to get that.

My old Photosmart scanner does a decent job if I use a clean makeup brush and a shot of air before each scan. But it is only appropriate for digitizing the occasional image. As careful as I can be dust still manages to get onto the negatives and the old slides seem to have dust and crap that doesnít blow off. And shots taken with aASA400 film have unacceptable grain. I can clean them up in Neat Image and Photoshop, but it just isnít appropriate for converting a large collection to digital.

I have been looking at the Canon 9900 flatbed to digitize my large film library. It is about the same price as the Epson 3200. The scans arenít quite as good and it isnít nearly as fast. But it has Digital Ice and scans twice as many slides or negatives at once. I donít care that much about the speed as the time is involved in setting everything up. The one drawback is that it doesnít come with an advanced driver like Silverfast, and Ed Hamrickís VueScan wonít work with it. I already have VueScan for the Photosmart, which has an unbelievably primitive TWAIN driver for a film scanner.
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 5:24 PM   #6
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if you value any of your film based images and wish to scan, adjust, and print them and require the quality you originally got when shooting them i suggest staying away from flat bed types. though thay work generally well on images in the larger realm to get the detail and color depth out of a slide or a negative would require a scanner more dedicated to the task. nikon, canon and minolta all make dedicated slide/filmstrip scanners that deliver unbelivable resolution with very wide dynamic range of around 4.2 where the best flatbeds do about 3.9 and are fairly clumsy to use in comparision.

i still shoot B&W on film and use my slide scanner to input the image into my computer.

i own a 3200 FB and a nikon CS4000ED SS. both do their respective jobs very well.

when scanning a slide on a 4000ED a general output of 1 image is about 55MB at 4000dpi uninterpolated.

the question is how much do you value all your work previous to the advent of the digital age. i've got a little over 10000 slides alone not including negs and B&W taken over almost a 27 yr period. unfortunately i did lose a few hundred along the way.

i won't give anymore up to the great black hole.

http://www.pbase.com/image/5244202 1976 vintage

http://www.pbase.com/image/22296019 1982 vintage

http://www.pbase.com/image/21935432 1990 vintage

above are a few low rez images off a good slide scanner
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 5:41 PM   #7
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I did some research once into slide scanning. Apparently the colorimetry of the lamp is very important and the colour depth and dynamic range (which many digicams lack) . In the end, my conclusion was the NiKon 4000 series (which I think is what sjms is saying) and a pc with lots of horsepower would be the biz. Then I bought a digicam. But I'd still consider that a decent SLR and the res. of that scanner should be better than the average digicam. VOX
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 9:45 PM   #8
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Default 35mm Slide Conversions

My search was a total success, thanks all. I went from no hope to now having the burden of making choices! How Un-Ameriacn! I am going to check out the Epson 3200 and the Nikon 4000. I have about 4000 slides to do, so the process may be a long one, but judging by the enthuisam in the answers I received, I think all will understand the slides are of enough sentimantal value to me that I want to get high grade equipment so I can turn them into a screen saver where I can view them regularly. Thanks again all. Any more tips, send away, I'm pumped. Hey, I kinda like this site...
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Old Nov 9, 2003, 10:38 PM   #9
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If you are looking for a dedicated slide scanner don't overlook the minolta dimage 5400 scanner. Its 5400dpi scans rival the output that used to come from drum scanners. 35mm only.

I have the 2400dpi HP s20c, and now the epson 3170.
If you are thinking of the epson 3200, also look at the 3170 it is basically the same scanner without firewire(usb2.0 only) and silverfast, at half the cost.

3170/3200/3200pro specs:
3200dpi, 3.4 dmax, 48bit, can scan 4 mounted slides, 2 strips of 6 unmounted images, or 1 medium format depending on the carrier you use.

Another recent thread on the same scanner.
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Old Nov 10, 2003, 3:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sjms
the question is how much do you value all your work previous to the advent of the digital age. i've got a little over 10000 slides alone not including negs and B&W taken over almost a 27 yr period. unfortunately i did lose a few hundred along the way.
Many of us have similar backlogs, and I have a Scanwit filmscanner with which I 'went digital' before getting my first digicam. I cannot see myself putting in the time & effort to scan anything but my very best negs & slides, twiddle them and save the roughly 3600x2400 pixel images.

For all the other snapshot memories there are rough & ready, low quality alternatives. I have camcorder 'filmed' thousands of slides onto Video8 and VHS tape, complete with commentary. If I had a digital camcorder I'd be doing the same, and the material would in principle be transferrable to new media in future. In a darkroom I projected a bright image on to a 12x10" card, and had the camcorder on a tripod above the projector's optical axis.

There is no reason why one shouldn't do the same with a digicam to get a quick digital copy of one's colour slides, one flashcardful at a time, and dump them on to CD. The quality will be poor compared with the original, but at least it's safely digitised (provided you transfer the lot to the next new storage medium now & again). This will keep you quiet for many hours, but fewer hours than a filmscanner would consume.
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