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Thread: Better Slide Scanning options ??

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Better Slide Scanning options ??

    I'm messing around with trying to preserve some history

    got a little slide scanner, around a $100 model off Amazon,...and am totally dissatified with the process so far.

    It's pretty easy, but this little ION brand model seems to convert to SD card digital terribly
    with poor focus, all kinds of editing required to make any kind of exposure accuracy,...arrghh

    Are there better options out there ??

    Here's just one, I worked on a bit,..they come out of the scanner looking much worse than this
    but the slides are crystal clear and full of good color,...

    This is from about '82, and taken with a good camera,...is it possible the slide quality, when compared to digital these days, is just not there ?? Like we're spoiled these days ?

    I'd be okay with the focus transferring over well,...is it just part of the process of scanning to digital,..that loses accurate sharpness ?


    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Kodiak, Not really knowing if there is a better scanner out there I'm guessing there is. I had some slides made into digital a while back from some shop that I assume had better than a $100 unit. To be honest I wasn't very happy with the images I got back either. Besides I think you have to lose something off the top or side in the photo for size diff don't you?
    Looking back on my old slides that I thought where good shots I now wonder the same, has my judgement of what is good changed. Digital does make the colors more bright, but taking 35mm film and scan to digital almost made me think the photo was not near as good as I remember.
    Than fire up the old film projector to see that it really was better. Only to see all the dust specks and hairs that you forgot about that are in the projector and hard to remove, while looking at a slide show on one of moms bed sheets for a screen. Ya I think our shots are better now than ever with HD.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    I'm messing around with trying to preserve some history

    got a little slide scanner, around a $100 model off Amazon,...and am totally dissatified with the process so far.

    It's pretty easy, but this little ION brand model seems to convert to SD card digital terribly
    with poor focus, all kinds of editing required to make any kind of exposure accuracy,...arrghh

    Are there better options out there ??

    Here's just one, I worked on a bit,..they come out of the scanner looking much worse than this
    but the slides are crystal clear and full of good color,...

    This is from about '82, and taken with a good camera,...is it possible the slide quality, when compared to digital these days, is just not there ?? Like we're spoiled these days ?

    I'd be okay with the focus transferring over well,...is it just part of the process of scanning to digital,..that loses accurate sharpness ?


    Kodiak
    A couple yrs ago I wanted to transfer a large collection of 35mm slides into digital format and store in my Mac.. the first scanner I bought (cheap) would only work on Windows PC's.. I have a realatively new Mac... The people at the Mac store sold Canon scanners, so I bought a Canon 4400F scanner.. it only does 4 slides at a time, but I was relatively pleased with the results. However, it is a long drawn out process because first scan would show dust and dog hairs (?) and ??? on the slide.. so you'd back up, clean the slide as best you could and rescan it.. Some of the software that comes with the Canon scanner let me edit the picts a little, clean up the red-eye, adjust the lighting, etc... Still there were a lot of my slides that no amount of editing was going to help.. but as you say.. they were history, so I keep them.. The best part is once they are all scanned into the Mac. I can pick out what I want, burn a DVD, and show the grandkids what kind of shenanigans their Dad was up to when he was their age..!

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    You get what you pay for.... I always had good luck with the Minolta Dimage scanners, and I know the Nikons are even better....
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    No, KR, there is nothing wrong with the quality of your slides. A good quality SLR with good glass and good film still produces better quality, higher resolution photographs than digital technology. Digital provides convenience in image manipulation and sharing, but that is where the "being spoiled" ends. I was in the same boat (so to speak) as you a couple years ago, and did alot of research into this...

    Sadly, the market for high quality slide scanners was always small and only continued getting smaller as digital photography rapidly gained in popularity. Nikon and one or two others made very good quality slide scanners up until 5 or 8 years ago, but no longer. Those Nikon scanners are now in very high demand, are very hard to come by, and fetch prices 4 or 5 times their original retail of around $1K to $1.5K IIRC. While no one currently manufactures a slide scanner of the same quality, there are one or two flatbed scanners that will do a halfway reasonable job, but you're still gonna have to pay in the neighborhood of $1K. It's a very very sad state of affairs. The only alternative is to find a commercial 'lab' (someone who owns one of those older high quality scanners) and pay them to do your scanning for you. There are a few out there.

    Whatever you choose, do plenty of research first. And whatever you do, take good care of those venerable slides!
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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    The only alternative is to find a commercial 'lab' (someone who owns one of those older high quality scanners) and pay them to do your scanning for you. There are a few out there.
    Ding Ding Ding! Yeah, commercial drum scans simply can't be beat by any home equipment, they don't cost much, and can be done by mail. HUGE file sizes, up to 500MB, are possible for incredible detail.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,
    I had heard about Commercial Scanning as an option, so am setting aside the Best of the Best to send off to the Pros,

    as for the thousands of others, I may spring a bit more bucks for a higher quality model of DIY Scanner
    not up for the $1000 model, at this point, maybe a couple ?

    any suggestions of Brand and Model for something better than what I have, at $100, would be appreciated

    It is amazing to look at these slides, the quality that is obvious,..and the Memories are Priceless
    but I want to use them in Blog posts and other online stuff, as "story telling starters"

    so really want to find a way to get them of a higher quality, without having to send them all off

    One more question, does anyone know if Castletons, in Anch is in this business,...??
    they used to be a Top of the Line Photo Developer
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    For high-quality processing in ANC, try Keller's.... a real easy solution for you might be as simple as a light box and digital camera; super low tech, but it would probably work.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    a real easy solution for you might be as simple as a light box and digital camera; super low tech, but it would probably work.
    Thanks for the tip on Kellers,...but what's the story on the light box,...tell me more
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Thanks for the tip on Kellers,...but what's the story on the light box,...tell me more
    http://www.johnamon.com/2010/08/how-...h-dslr-camera/
    http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/20...-your-archive/
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    A dedicated film scanner-Nikon has some good ones-is the way to go. But there are a few flatbed scanners that also do a good job for film and other scans. For example, I have a now older Epson Perfection V-700 Photo scanner I can use to scan 10 slides (maybe 12) at once. I can also used it for medium-size film, 35mm film, and photos on paper. However the key for good scans is the software. Instead of using the software that came with the scanner, I use VueScan Pro. This software allows you to set-up the scanner to scan as I need, to adjust the scan color, remove dust if you want, and so forth. But what I usually do is to carefully remove any visual dust from the slides or film before scanning, save the image to DNG format, and then work on it using CS5. With CS5 I adjust color and contrast, remove film noise, scratches, dust, etc.

    The problem is that it can be a time-consuming project, and relatively expensive. The scanner cost around $500.00 when I bought it, and it was a mid priced unit back then. Epson now has newer V700 series versions that cost about the same and more than the one I have. If you don't have the time to do the work yourself, I would let somebody do the work. It could be a lot cheaper that way, and not as boring to spending hours and hours working on the slides or film. What takes me 30 minutes to do probably takes 5 minutes at a lab

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    I'm getting ready to start a slide scanning project I have wanted to do for years now, and finally gathered all the necessary quality components for it:
    A Nikon slide scanner found on eBay, a copy of Vuescan software and a Mac desktop with enough memory.

    Has anyone used Vuescan to scan slides?
    If so, would you be interested to help me familiarize myself with Vuescan and get me started with the first slides?
    I would like to have quality, high res. digital scans of my slides and for that, a good command of the software is a key component of the process.

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