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Old 04-26-2006, 12:51 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Digitizing slides

There is a great discussion on digitizing slides on Macintouch. It touches on problems, solutions, problems with common solutions, and tips for producing high-quality scans, all in a meandering thread.

Some of the interesting points:
  • No matter how you do it, digitizing large numbers of slides is slow work.
  • Slides vary in color stability; Kodachrome are longest lasting, Fuji and Ektachrome less so.
  • You may be able to find a decent slide scanner on eBay for $300 or so.
  • The better part of valor may be to send your slides to a service, paying less than a buck a slide for high-res scans on a CD.
  • Kodak Photo CD suppliers still exist; that could be the best value in slide scanning.
  • Some flat scanners with transparency adapters do a pretty good job.
  • A lot of the contributors recommend the Nikon CoolScan in various configurations.
Well worth reading if the subject interests you — it is basically platform-agnostic, so you Windows folks need not avoid it because it is on a Mac site.

   
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:22 PM   #2
Howard White
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I have scanned about 300 slides since November, first with an HP desktop scanner which ceased to work, now with an Epson Perfection 3490. You have to load manually for (or six, more or less) at a time.
Scans quite nicely at 300 dpi and I had one scan published in a national magazine (which won't be identified here but is not porno :-) )
The Epson software is quite capable and has some correction capacities, but since I'm post-processing most images in Photoshop, I'm not using the bells and whistles. I've also scanned reflective copy with good results but haven't tried the Epson OCR component.
The Silverfast scanner software is highly-regarded by some I've talked to, but it's not available for this particular low-end (~$100) scanner.
(One slide I scanned yesterday is of Charles deGaulle poking through the "moonroof" of a limo and waving at the crowd in Munich. Dates from roughly 1962.)
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard White
I have scanned about 300 slides since November, first with an HP desktop scanner which ceased to work, now with an Epson Perfection 3490. You have to load manually for (or six, more or less) at a time.
Scans quite nicely at 300 dpi . . .

(One slide I scanned yesterday is of Charles deGaulle poking through the "moonroof" of a limo and waving at the crowd in Munich. Dates from roughly 1962.)
Very cool! Do you have many like that?

I have had several Epsons, one of which came with the transparency adaptor cover, which fits my current model, the 1640. But with no scanner have I got results I can figure out how to fix. They have many color shifts, and most look washed out.

But I am a lousy example, as I really resist dealing with color correcting. That is what the Scitex guy is for! <g>

   
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
Very cool! Do you have many like that?
Like what? Only deGaulle slide I know of. Next project might be to start looking at my father's huge collection of slides, which include some from WWII in the Pacific.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
I really resist dealing with color correcting. That is what the Scitex guy is for! <g>
Please be reminded that this Scitex guy was the text guy, as in Atex -> Scitex interfaces at Time Inc. and elsewhere. I'm struggling with Photoshop, but as with all else I do, bullheadedly pressing on with mixed results.

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Old 04-27-2006, 08:21 AM   #5
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Like what? Only deGaulle slide I know of. Next project might be to start looking at my father's huge collection of slides, which include some from WWII in the Pacific.
I meant pictures of historic figures in general, or historic events, or famous locales — like that. You may come up with some in your father’s collection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard White
Please be reminded that this Scitex guy was the text guy, as in Atex -> Scitex interfaces at Time Inc. and elsewhere. I'm struggling with Photoshop, but as with all else I do, bullheadedly pressing on with mixed results.
Of course. Bit of nostalgia. Are there any “Scitex guys” anymore? Haven’t heard of any in a long time.

Speaking of text and Atex, do you remember the short-lived but lovely typesetting/layout program eventually called Renaissance that began at Atex and died (at Kodak?)? It had so many wonderful features, including the ability to define the space character (discarding the one in the font), and then set ranges on that.

Of course it failed. All the good software fails, somehow.

   
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:21 PM   #6
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kt: The better part of valor may be to send your slides to a service, paying less than a buck a slide for high-res scans on a CD.
You will probably have to have at least 100 slides to get that price...before I bought my slide scanner, I had about 200 slides scanned--ordered via a local shop but it was a Kodak service scan--and I think it ran me about $275-ish. The biggest difficulty about sending your slides out to be scanned is getting over the fear that your slides will be lost in the mail...'-}}

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