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Old Jul 11, 2010, 3:25 AM   #1
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Default Digitizing

I have been digitizing (to PC) old family slides and trying to sharpen them with software such as Gimp and digiKam (Linux). Disappointingly, I am not impressed with the results and only very slight improvements are noticeable to the naked eye. Am I wasting my time? Mammoth task, I have thousands!

If original photos are out of focus, is refocusing possible using software? I've tried with digiKam but makes no difference that I can see.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Here is one of the worst ones. Is it possible to wash off the marks on his face?
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Old Jul 11, 2010, 5:20 AM   #2
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Hey there,
a couple of questions...

#1 - is this a 100% crop or the whole image downsized for forum use?

#2 - is this the raw scan or did you already postprocess?

#3 - what do you want to do with the scanned photos? Make prints? Do slide-shows on your computer monitor? Show on TV (via USB stick, DVD or else)? What I am asking here is the desired target size...

As for your question:
- refocus is possible to some extend, but don't expect wonders
- automatic processing should be your bread and butter if you got thousands... do the "hand-made" (non-automatic) postprocessing only for the "special" ones
- yes, you can clone out the marks in his face... but if they were there in that scenery I wouldn't go for such cosmetic changes to be honest

Postprocessing starts with the image in the best available resolution/quality, so it would be nice if you could link your image in full size or in case you need an email address to send to I can PM you mine. Starting with you small image can show some basic improvements, but is not the real stuff

Kind regards,
Th.
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Old Jul 11, 2010, 7:44 AM   #3
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A quick fix try with noise reduction, curves, size reduction, healing tool and sharpening. It might be interesting to see how this prints.
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Old Jul 11, 2010, 10:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thkn777 View Post
Hey there,
a couple of questions...

#1 - is this a 100% crop or the whole image downsized for forum use?

#2 - is this the raw scan or did you already postprocess?

#3 - what do you want to do with the scanned photos? Make prints? Do slide-shows on your computer monitor? Show on TV (via USB stick, DVD or else)? What I am asking here is the desired target size...

As for your question:
- refocus is possible to some extend, but don't expect wonders
- automatic processing should be your bread and butter if you got thousands... do the "hand-made" (non-automatic) postprocessing only for the "special" ones
- yes, you can clone out the marks in his face... but if they were there in that scenery I wouldn't go for such cosmetic changes to be honest

Postprocessing starts with the image in the best available resolution/quality, so it would be nice if you could link your image in full size or in case you need an email address to send to I can PM you mine. Starting with you small image can show some basic improvements, but is not the real stuff

Kind regards,
Th.
Ultimately, I want all the slides stored on my PC and then burn DVDs for the family. The slides were not scanned, they were projected on screen and photographed with a Sony W350 and transferred to PC and slightly cropped. A slide scanner, I'm sure, would do a better job but I am just enjoying playing with what I've got at hand.

I'll try again (perhaps the lens on the projector needed adjusting) and come back.

Come to think of it, the facial marks could be dirt on the slide, I'll check.

Many thanks for your input and offer.
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Old Jul 11, 2010, 10:26 AM   #5
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A quick fix try with noise reduction, curves, size reduction, healing tool and sharpening. It might be interesting to see how this prints.
Definitely an improvement, much sharper. Thanks. I am not printing at the moment.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 4:08 AM   #6
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Posted elsewhere, apologies...

I have spent the last few days doing some serious research and visiting shops picking brains and have reached the conclusion that there is nothing out there that will scan my slides: Kodachrome 126 slides, 26.5x26.5mm viewable in 50x50mm (2x2") mounts. Furthermore, the cost to have them digitized by a professional is prohibitive.

Although it's a mammoth job, I have been experimenting and can get the best results, would you believe it, using a simple battery operated transparency viewer and macroing (does the verb exist?) with a Sony W350 digi camera. Very slow process but sharper images than using the slide projector, see sample below. Not really the way to go for digitizing 1000s of slides but what else? I'll just have to be very selective and take my time.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 4:43 AM   #7
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Here is another example using the slide viewer which compared to the one in my OP is IMO an improvement(?)
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 3:46 AM   #8
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Default Slide copier

If there's no commercial copier available for your slides, you could make one, ...
on one forum I used to visit regularly, a guy made two boxes where one slid into the other (see attached prototype), I later refined on the idea and made one of my own to fit an Canon A95 P&S ... I copied 2 shoeboxes full of slides, some of which were deteriorating badly, with this arrangement. I can tell you copying with this was much faster than a flatbed scanner, I could copy 36 slides in about 20 minutes. With mine (picture attached) with camera set at 3X optical zoom I could just get a full frame picture, and results were excellent, far better than the scanner produced, I will attach a sample.
If you need further info just ask. ... Jack.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 4:00 AM   #9
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What a great idea Jack! Will it work with a Sony W350? I'll try it. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 5:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riki101 View Post
What a great idea Jack! Will it work with a Sony W350? I'll try it. Thanks for sharing.
Hi, Glad you like the idea, and I can't see why it wouldn't work with your Sony, in fact with a good lens on the DSLR results could possibly be better.
With the wooden box prototype a point and shoot was used, and I think the macro setting was switched on, and the the distance set by sliding boxes in and out, I never tried this one myself.
My own setup used a +10 dioptre supplementary lens, a good quality 2 element job by Hoya as I said with full optical zoom I could just with fill the frame with 3X optical zoom. camera was set to normal ( no macro setting).
You could probably calculate the distance needed, but I just mounted a backlit slide in a slotted block of wood, and juggled the distance so that I had good focus, and a full frame image, when looking at the display on the back of the camera, from that I could work out the length of tube needed allowing for the supplementary lens and any mounting rings. The tube BTW is a piece of TV aerial mounting mast 2" diameter, and sprayed matt black inside to cut out any light reflection.
You could work along those lines, and arrange mounting on the lens filter ring to suit the lens used. It's really all cut & try for each individal camera/lens
If you need further gen don't hesitate to ask, and I'll certainly be interested in any results. Good luck ... Jack.

PS. I should have added ... In use just point it at a neutral sky, bright grey conditions are probably best but not too critical. ... J.

Last edited by jachol; Jul 16, 2010 at 5:51 AM. Reason: Add info
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