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Old Dec 20, 2005, 4:19 AM   #1
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Hi folks. I'm planning to convert my 35 mm slide collection (and negatives) into digital photos and would like to know if there is any best way to do that. I bought a little gadget that I can screw to the end of my oly evolt 300 that snaps a nice digital photo of the slide, but it's tedious work and I would like to copy a few thaousand slides. I'm wondering about buying a photo scanner. I've seen a few inexpensive models (HP 4890, epson perfection 4590 and others of that genre) as well as the more expensive (and probably beyond my price range) professional lab scanners. I'm asking for your feedback here...Would you recommend the inexpensive scanners? I'm not doing this as a business, I'm simply digitizing my slides so I can show them on a tv or computer monitor, maybe print a few out--if I needed an actual print for an art contest or something like that I'd probably send in the slideto a real photo lab. do the scanners provide acceptable image quality? Is the photographic method I described above the "gold standard" of image duplication? Anyone have any thoughts on this topic, please let me know. Thanks for your help, Mike Clarke:?
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Old Dec 20, 2005, 5:38 AM   #2
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I would expect scanning all your slides to be a tedious business just as photographing them is. I would expect the end results to be better than photographing the slides. A scanner is designed to do that job and the software that comes with the scanner should helpyou get the best out of your slides by adjusting the histogram before you scan. My personal experience of photographing slides has been one of disapointment. I always struggled to get consistent lighting that reproduced the colours of the slide accurately. I have a cheap Acer 2720s scanner that is far superior to a photgraphic slide copier. Newer scanners with a resolution of 4000 DPi should give higer resolution than your camera. Also a scanner scans Red Green and Blue at every pixel a camera doesn't do this is records either Red Green or Blue at each point and averages the values.
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 10:24 PM   #3
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One of these might do. Read the reviews and see what you think of the slide and film reproduction. His results were better with either of these flatbeds than with his dedicated Nikon 1000 dedicated film scanner but not as good as his Nikon 4000. Some film scanners come with slide feeders, but you can usually do only one film strip at a time.
http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/int...0/Page%201.htm
or
http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/int...50F/page_1.htm

If you are only scanning slides and not film you will get better results with a film scanner and with a slide feeder it will be at least as convenient. I wouldn't suggest feeding them individually. I have a film scanner that feeds slides individually and it is totally impractical for scanning a large collection. Look through the reviews and see if you can find something with 4000PPI and a slide feeder for a decent price: http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN1.HTM


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Old Dec 22, 2005, 9:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Still wondering if any of you believe that a digital camera photograph taken through the promaster slide copier (its a tube with a slide holder and light source and a lens to help focus) would yield a better image than a scanner? Any feedback? Thanks to all! MIke
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Old Jan 8, 2006, 6:42 PM   #5
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Likewise I have several hundred [if not more] slides that I want to store on my computer and in turn DVD. I have a Canon flatbed that permits copying slides but the results are barely acceptable. Doing a little research into dedicated film strip/35mm slides I came up with several choices.
  1. Nikon CoolScan V ED [$500-$600] [/*]
  2. Konica Minolta DiMage Dual IV [$500-$600] [/*]
  3. Pacific Imaging Electronics PrimeFilm 3650U$265[/*]
I decided on the 3650U only because I could order on-line from Costco. I can return within 6 mos for a full refund. If I don't find it acceptable I will spring for the Nikon. The 3650U comes with Digital Ice, Gem & Roc software. Figure on 10 minutes to do each slide. That includes a prescan, adjustments, full scan and adjustments in Adobe Elements 2.0+ [supplied]. So far I plan on keeping this scanner. The onlyproblem to date is the lack of a manual focus provision. A few slides were out of focus. The more expensive units have auto and manual focus capabilities. The only problem to date is that a few slides weren't as sharp as the original. There is no manual focus on this scanner whereas the more expensive units have it. I have several very old film rolls that my Dad took between 1930 & 1936. I can do a prescan but the results of a full scanare terrible. Can't even tell what the subject matter is. P.I.E.s tech support couldn't help for they didn't include in their software provisions for scanning film that is over 75 yrs. old. Consequently I do a prescan, print scrn key then paste it into Adobe. It works well enough government work. Not great but acceptable. Well that's my scanning story.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 12:36 AM   #6
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How does Nikon coolscan V and Konika Minolta 5400 II compare in scanning performace? they both are about the same price. Coolscan v scans only one slide at a time while KM 5400 does 4 slides at a time. It seems that 5400 will be 4 times faster in getting scanning jobs done.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 8:14 AM   #7
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Let's be clear. Scanning slides is somehow very slow even with appropriate slide feeder cartridge. The problem is that with a slide feeder (50 on the SF200/210 on Nikon 4000/5000 slide scanners) for or a large slide holder (like the 12 on the high definition Canon 9950 flatbed scanner) you can put them in and let the job be done alone until the next serie.
This means expecting with dust removal on minutes per slide with best defintions, you can expect three hours or more for 50 slides on a better than average new computer with extended memory, mass storage, fast CPU.
Without dust removal and convenient and well enough definition, on must expect at least one minute per slide, that makes one hour for 50 slides.
If you want to make it by hand with a converter for your digital camera, you wont be free for anything else but every slide will take seconds, so the 50 will take few minutes for the same job as the hour long average quality scans.

Another way is to get an USB2 digital camera or software managing twain output and take pictures from an automatic slide projector (I expect you already have) where you would program the feeder at the same rate that your digital captures. This will be a lot faster and convenient. I have already done this for my many thousand of slides. Everything is on DVD now.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 12:12 PM   #8
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Well I have an advantage with the slow process of scanning slides. Since I am retired time doesn't mean a whole lot. While each slide is scanned I'm taken back in time to better days when my wife was still living. I am also a moderator on a couple of fishing sites which requires some attention. When I hear the scanner release then I pop back to work on restoration and pop in another slide. Just to sit and wait for each slide to be processed would drive me nuts. It is sort of like watching paint dry.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 11:37 AM   #9
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Short of higher end lab scanners for 5k+ the only system I know of with a slide feeder is Nikon 4000/5000 ED scanner (around 1K) with an SF210 (don't get the SF200 - it jams a lot, instead of just a little as the SF210). I have the 5000 with an SF210. I recently scanned around 1000 slide over the course of a couple of months of evenings and weekends. Without the feeder I would still be there.

This scanned is at 4000dpi and produces a 16bit color channel, and has ICE and ROC and DEE in the hardware and software. Scans take around a minute each without DEE/ROC, and 2-3 minutes each with DEE/ROC/GEM.

So it takes about 20 seconds to blow the dust off of each slide and load it - say 15 minutes to load up the feeder to maximum capacity (I don't usually do that, putting just one roll in at a time so I can catalog them) and then 50 -150 minutes to scan them, during which, if all goes well, you don't have to be at the machine.

The files are around 120 MBytes when saved as Tiffs. This is on a Windows XP 3.0GHz/2GB memory with SATA disks and USB2.0. Anything in the path that is slower will increase the scan times, especially of the software processes, which are DEE/GEM and ROC.

These are approximately 20 MPixel images with a very good dynamic range. Will beat the pants off of a digital camera photagraph of the slide. Slide have a large dynamic range, and the DEE processing really helps with most of them. The drawback to using the Nikon slide feeder is that that software engineers were too lazy to figure out how to do a preview scan to allow individual settings for each slide, so the scan parameters need to be a compromise when batch mode is used. But Photoshop or Elements has enough tools to fix up the scans in post processing if you need/want to. You'll need a recent version to handle the 16-bit color channels.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 4:08 PM   #10
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Originally I was going to spring for either the Canon or Nikon scanner. About $6 bills. However, the unit that I have will scan above 3600 dpi [custom setting] @16 bit etc. But I decided that I would rather have another good piece of glass so I opted for the Canon 300mm F/4 IS USM lens. Glad I did.
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