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Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)

Tootler 16 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM
Bernard 16 Mar 10 - 07:31 PM
Bernard 16 Mar 10 - 07:34 PM
Bernard 16 Mar 10 - 07:38 PM
Tangledwood 16 Mar 10 - 08:06 PM
Roughyed 16 Mar 10 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Sam Hudson 16 Mar 10 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Sam Hudson 16 Mar 10 - 09:28 PM
Will Fly 17 Mar 10 - 04:44 AM
Sooz 17 Mar 10 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 17 Mar 10 - 06:15 AM
Newport Boy 17 Mar 10 - 06:40 AM
Tootler 18 Mar 10 - 10:23 AM
ichMael 18 Mar 10 - 01:32 PM
Newport Boy 18 Mar 10 - 02:25 PM
Tootler 18 Mar 10 - 04:12 PM
Newport Boy 18 Mar 10 - 06:22 PM
Tootler 18 Mar 10 - 08:27 PM
Edthefolkie 18 Mar 10 - 08:32 PM
cobber 18 Mar 10 - 11:38 PM
Tootler 19 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 10 - 07:20 PM
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Subject: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM

I have a fair number of 35mm slides in my loft which I would like to get scanned in so I can view them on my computer.

I did a quick check and it seems there are a number of firms in the UK that offer a slide digitising service with prices typically being in the range 30 - 50p per slide.

Has anyone had this done with their slides and can they recommend anyone who has done a good job for them at a reasonable price.

TIA


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:31 PM

It would be cheaper to get your own 'scanner'. I have a Veho USB device that is really a digital camera in a box with a tray for the slides.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but gives good results - with the usual caveat that a poor quality slide won't get any better by being digitised!

If you're near enough to me, you could borrow mine...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:34 PM

This one is similar to mine, but a newer model... and cheaper than the 80-odd squid I paid for mine a couple or so years ago!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:38 PM

Just another thought... it's surprising how the digital age has made us more critical about the quality of photographs. My father grumbled that the 'scanned' slides were a bit fuzzy, so we got the old slide viewer out, which proved that the original slides weren't really that good, and the digital images gave a faithful reproduction of the fuzziness!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Tangledwood
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:06 PM

When you say you have "a fair number" it would depend on just how many this is which way to go. It wouldn't take a large number of slides to make it worth getting your own scanner, assuming that you don't already have a flatbed scanner that is slide capable.

The advantage of having a digital image is that some imperfections on slides can be adjusted. For example, dull colours brightened or contrast adjusted, and dust specks or scratches repaired.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Roughyed
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:58 PM

I can thoroughly recommend having your own slide scanner along with some decent photo editing software. I have an Epson photo scanner which was very inexpensive but has over a period scanned my entire collection of old slides prints and negatives. The photo software can clean up images, restore them correct exposures, you can crop them - the possibilities are endless and you will have a much better result that suits you than if you sent them off to be done en masse. It takes time but unless you are in a hurry it's time well spent


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: GUEST,Sam Hudson
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 09:13 PM

I converted all my slides last year. I projected them onto a white wall. Set my digital camera on the tripod, used remote contril lead and shot them from the projected image. The results were excellent. I have hundreds of slides belonging to my family, this way was the cheapest and I suffered no quality loss.

Xox
Sam


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: GUEST,Sam Hudson
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 09:28 PM

Here is another method a friend just gave me.


You will need a digital camera with a Macro/Magnifying Glass setting, and preferably with at least a 6 Megapixel resolution. Also, a light table is best to illuminate the transparency.

Place the transparency on the light table, and, using the Macro setting, carefully frame the image and photograph it.

If a reflection of your camera appears on the image, get a black framing card with an opening the size of the image on the transparency. The framing card is generally available at photo supply stores. Place the framing card over the transparency and the camera's reflection will disappear.


Continue this process for all of your transparencies, and transfer the images from your camera to your computer. Now, using photo manipulation software such as Photoshop, you can color correct, crop, rotate, and adjust the images as you wish. It's a good idea to label each photo for categorization and archiving and save them as .jpg files. As .jpg images they will take up less memory to store plus the .jpg standard will be with us for a long time.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 04:44 AM

Could I just add my ten penn'orth to the previous posts and say that you can get a decent scanner for around £60-£80 these days and most will cope with slide negatives and positives. It's a bit fiddly at first but, after you've done a few, it's not too irksome. At 50p a slide - worst case from your quote - £60 buys you more than 120 slides because you get to keep the scanner!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Sooz
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 04:53 AM

We bought a scanner (Veho £35 on Ebay) just after Christmas and Mike has scanned hundreds of slides very methodically. He is not normally that patient! Bernard is right about the quality though - they are certainly not of the standard we get from our cameras now.
The scanner may now find its way back to Ebay.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 06:15 AM

The scanner linked above has a 5 megapixel resolution, which is not very much at all. Great to look at the image on a computer screen but not much use for much else. It is worth thinking about what you want to do with your scans/hegatives and go for the highest resolution you can afford.

There are loads of websites like this one that give an overview of available scanners. If you have a lot of slides/negatives it's a big job to do and you may as well do it well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 06:40 AM

I've gone for a 2-stage process. I started with my Epson 2480 Photo flatbed scanner, but it was slow and fiddly - 2 slides at a time and it took nearly 2 minutes for the whole process. The results were excellent.

I've now bought an Ion scanner (£54.99 from Maplin) which does a rapid scan of 4 slides in about 15 seconds. Transfer of 12 scans to disc takes about 2 minutes, so the total time for 12 slides is about 4 minutes. Quality is adequate on well-exposed slides, but abysmal on seriously under- or over-exposed slides.

I've scanned just over 1000 slides in the past 4 days - 2 sessions of less than an hour a day, I can now identify the very small number which I want to scan at high quality. BTW, a lot of my slides are half-frame and examining them without magnification is difficult. I have another 3000-odd to do!

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for the comments. The prices that people are suggesting for slide scanners is making me think again. I did not feel the cost of buying a dedicated scanner would be worthwhile and also I was not sure if I wanted to devote the time, but it sounds as if they are also fairly quick.

A 5 MPx scanner would probably be fine as I am not expecting to produce quality prints, rather mainly be able to display them on the computer or on a digital photo frame.

As for touching up or image enhancement. I see some come with software for that purpose, but it is not a lot of use as I am on Linux. I do have the Gimp image manipulation programme on my computer, though, which will almost certainly do the job should I need it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: ichMael
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 01:32 PM

From the U.S. ---

Companies that do scanning/digitizing may use low resolution settings, but on your own scanner you can scan down to the size of the nubbly silver emulsion, if you want.

Over the years I've scanned slides, photos, negatives, tintypes, newspaper clippings, military medals, diplomas, birth certificates, death certificates, and so on and so on. Used a cheap Epson flatbed scanner and the software that came with it.

It's worth the time to learn to scan.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 02:25 PM

Tootler - a WARNING!

The small, quick slide and neg scanners of the type shown in Bernard's link 16 Mar 07:34pm will not work in Linux. I've had 3 different makes on my computer - they all came with ArcSoft Impression software for Windows, and as far as I can tell they will not operate without it.

I use mainly Linux, but I still have a WinXp dual boot, which is how I've done my scanning. I'm no whizz on Linux, but I've tried the scanners with no luck.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 04:12 PM

Ah Newport Boy, you anticipated the question I was going to ask. Thank you.

I had a quick look on line for scanners and I noticed that the lower end ones at least, nearly all came with their own drivers and it seemed they were for Windoze only. Even Mac did not seem to be supported and they usually do better than Linux in this respect.

Neither of the ones mentioned above came with particularly good user reviews on the sites I checked. The failing seemed to be uneven image quality of the scanned image. It will be interesting to hear from those who have these scanners what their experience is. I think that I will need to pay more than £50 - £60 for something a little better quality.

I also have a WinXP dual boot, so I would still be able to use one if I chose to buy one.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 06:22 PM

My first post said 'Quality is adequate on well-exposed slides, but abysmal on seriously under- or over-exposed slides.

If you like to PM me with your email, I'll send you a few typical samples.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 08:27 PM

Thanks for the offer NB, but I think, on the whole I would rather spend a few extra quid on a better quality scanner.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 08:32 PM

As someone else said, careful with commercial scans because some firms scan at fairly lo-res unless you pay a fortune. Insist on a drum scanner if you're paying! Before I went digital I had several Fujichrome films processed complete with CDs at nearly £20 a pop, and the scans on the CDs were truly diabolical. Kodak Photo CDs were even worse AND loaded piles of crapware onto the PC without asking.

I suspect the inexpensive scanners mentioned use a sensor chip and lens - effectively a cheapo digital camera rather than a scanner per se. This would account for the "variable" quality!

I've used an Epson 3170 flatbed for this for some time now. Results are pretty acceptable but never quite razor sharp as when the slides were projected with a Leitz lens. I reckon this is because the scanning head is set to focus more or less on the scanner bed, and the slides are still in their mounts, so focus is a few thou out. I can live with it - it's fiddly enough scanning slides without removing the mounts, and you can't sensibly do that with Kodachrome/Ektachrome card mounts anyway.

I tend to do pretty straight scans at 2400 or 3600 dpi, 4 slides at a time, go off for a cuppa while the scanner whines away, then titivate the scans in Picasa or Photoshop.

A friend has a Nikon Coolscan and the results are excellent but secondhand 5000EDs go on Ebay for £800 and the multi-slide attachment for another £60. I think I'll carry on with the balancing act between marginal focus and over sharpening for a while yet.

Oh well, off to get the daffodils onto my last Kodachrome film before Dwaynes of Kansas (last K/chrome processor in the world) pull the plug!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: cobber
Date: 18 Mar 10 - 11:38 PM

I took hundreds of slides of Australian wildflowers and bought a cheap scanner this year. It takes a bit of getting used to with slides to get the colours to look as vibrant as a slide but I expect part of that is that it was a cheap one to try the idea ($35 Australian). It doesn't have any problems with negatives and we have had some great times looking back on old family photos that were lost long ago but still had the negs. Go for it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for all the advice everyone, some very useful stuff here.

Unfortunately, I won't be doing anything for a while. The tax office made a mistake on my tax code - someone stuck an extra zero on the income from some part time work I did last year! As a result my February pension was substantially down. I have sorted out the immediate problem but it has left a hole in my finances for the time being. It should get sorted eventually, but not anytime soon, I suspect.

Meantime, I have the thread on the tracer so I can look back at it when I need to.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitising 35mm slides (UK)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 07:20 PM

I've got a fair number of negatives from larger older formats, including a pile from my parents back in the 30s, and I'd love to be able to scan them - without having to spend enormous sums of money.

Any suggestions?


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