Converting Old Slides - OT

Discussion in 'Photography' started by B-Worthey, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. B-Worthey

    B-Worthey Guest

    Maybe not too off topic, but I have a question about converting old slides
    that I have. I've talked to different camera/photography shops about doing
    them and I know they can convert these digitially for me, but it can be
    quite expensive. I had an attachment/adapter with my scanner that I bought
    that was to be used with negatives and possibly slides as well. Does anyone
    know if this can be done? I basically want to serve two functions by doing
    this. I want to convert all the slides to a digital format so that I can
    have copies/prints of them. I will not be all to keep all of them as other
    most of them will be passed to other family members. Also, I want to
    produce prints from the slides themselves. I'm just wondering if I can do
    this myself.

    Thanks for the info.

    B-Worthey, Jan 30, 2007
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  2. B-Worthey

    jeremy Guest

    The short answer is that you really must buy a film scanner to do the job
    right. Adapters on flatbed scanners just don't yield the kind of results
    you're seeking.

    jeremy, Jan 30, 2007
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  3. Absolutely can be done. I'm about 3000 into maybe 8000 total to go thru.
    It is tedious no matter how you do it. If you only have a few hundred it
    won't be bad at all, depending on the scanner. I scan 4 slides at a time
    at a minimum of 600dpi. Strictly flat bed scan without any fancy slide
    attachments. I go in spurts where I spend a lot of time at my desk
    surrounded by various computers, stereo components, scanners, monitors
    etc. Easy to get into a rhythm scanning.

    Quality is in the eye of the beholder. My old eyes can detect very very
    little problem with any of my 30 year old slides. My goal is to archive
    them and have them so they show decent if I want to print (4x6 or 5x7)
    or use as screensaver pics. Occassionally a pic will jump out and I'll
    back up and re-scan it at a much higher resolution so I can work it more

    Sure, you will see some of the flaws from age. You may see dust specks
    all over the sky pictures. Some of this can be headed off by blowing or
    brushing or whatever prior to scanning. You may see a bit of
    discoloration depending on what film got used. Most of mine are HS
    Ektachrome and seem to have held up well color wise. Store bought
    slides, in my experience, are toast after only a few years.

    If you have any access to scanning ability of any kind. Scan some and
    see how they look to you. Check Walmart and places like that. Expensive
    is a pocketbook factor. 25 cents each may be expensive to some but a
    fabulous bargain to others.

    Start with what you now have available and see if that satisfies your
    need. Go from there. Good luck.

    Now I'm off to digitize all those 30 year old reel to reels and 50 years
    worth of vinyl I've collected and 15 years worth of VHS of the kids.

    Doug Chadduck, Jan 30, 2007
  4. B-Worthey

    Surfer! Guest

    It somewhat depends on what make & model your flatbed scanner is, and
    also what quality of result you are looking for. So, what is your
    scanner and what maximum size are you wanting to print at?
    Surfer!, Jan 30, 2007
  5. B-Worthey

    jeremy Guest

    I think he needs a film scanner if he really wants to get acceptable
    results--and even consumer film scanners, with their CCDs, don't hold a
    candle to real drum scanners. But they do represent a reasonable compromise
    for those of us that can't afford $25/scan.

    It would be a pity to do all that work with a flatbed, only to realize that
    the results were inferior. I'd recommend that he take a couple of test
    slides and have them scanned at high resolution at a local camera store, and
    then he can scan them on his flatbed and compare the results. It would be
    better to determine which option is acceptable, right at the outset.

    I played around with scanning slides on my HP flatbed, and the results don't
    even approach those that I got once I bought a real film scanner.
    jeremy, Jan 30, 2007
  6. B-Worthey

    Surfer! Guest

    My understanding is that the best flatbed scanners (the ones that
    include D-ICE) do quite a good job - maybe not up to my Nikon, but more
    than good enough for most people. However my own feelings are that only
    the very indiscriminate (or those who only have Kodachrome to scan) will
    be happy with non-D-ICE scans.

    Modern flat-bed scanners can certainly compete with my Nikon on ppi, and
    I get results that are usually good enough for photo club competition
    entries at 2,000 ppi. Won best colour print at the last one with a
    slide scanned like that! Of course if I was cropping to a small part of
    the slide I'd scan at 4,000 dpi, but my approach is to batch-scan the
    whole set at 2,000dpi, look through and work on any I feel are
    promising, and rescan if necessary (scan needs a little more or less
    exposure, or more ppi). Of course I am systematic about the file names
    so I always know where to find the original slide!
    Surfer!, Jan 30, 2007
  7. B-Worthey

    ray Guest

    Certainly you can. Quality may be an issue. Refer to similar threads
    already in this group.
    ray, Jan 30, 2007
  8. B-Worthey

    Marvin Guest

    I've scanned old slides with an inexpensive Epson flat-bed
    scanner. The files are good enough for prints to 8X10. A
    dedicated scanner would have made it possible to make even
    larger prints, but the original poster didn't say that he
    needed to do that.
    Marvin, Jan 30, 2007
  9. B-Worthey

    jeremy Guest

    If this will be the only time he will digitize his film he probably wants
    higher quality. My only experiences with trying to scan 35mm film on a
    flatbed scanner were awful.

    It all comes down to determining how much quality is acceptable.
    Personally, I'd go with the film scanner because I put a lot of work into my
    frames, not to mention used excellent equipment, and I want to get results
    that look professional.

    Just my 2-cents'
    jeremy, Jan 30, 2007
  10. B-Worthey

    B-Worthey Guest

    I have an EPSON 3170. And I'm really only looking to print mainly 4X6
    prints. There may be some that I would want to print some up to an 8X10,
    but not a lot of these.

    B-Worthey, Jan 30, 2007
  11. B-Worthey

    B-Worthey Guest

    But if you are scanning for slides at a time, doesn't that create a file of
    basically one image of four slides? How do you edit/print an individual
    slide if you have four scanned in? Maybe I'm not unerstanding that process.

    B-Worthey, Jan 30, 2007
  12. B-Worthey

    Joel Guest

    You can always print to 4x6 then re-scan the 4x6 for 8x10 etc..
    Joel, Jan 30, 2007
  13. They scan into a program, on my other computer and I forget the name
    right now, where you can then cut them down to 4 each and label and save
    them individually. I also may do quick exposure adjustments at this
    time. Here is also where I take the opportunity to look at each picture
    for a few seconds, as I'm working, and see if I want to copy it into a
    file where I might want to edit it more. I was from the volume school of
    picture taking. Take tons of shots and hope a few come out really nice.
    A lot of times even the poor shots will have memories attached and there
    are times I smile a lot as I scan and process. Good stormy day cold
    winter project.

    Have never used any of the uptown slide scanning attachments but can't
    believe they are much less tedious in the overall scheme of things.

    Pick a box of slides and jump in and try every method you can. Editing
    software can make a lot of difference and involves a lot of what works
    for you more so than what works for others.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Doug Chadduck, Jan 30, 2007
  14. B-Worthey

    Surfer! Guest

    Mine was when I used a 5yo 1200dpi scanner - but new flatbeds all do a
    much better resolution, even the bargain basement ones.
    Which has already been said...
    Surfer!, Jan 31, 2007
  15. B-Worthey

    Surfer! Guest

    Almost any scanner will work to get something you can print at 6x4 - you
    will be looking for a minimum image resolution of 1800x1200 which will
    allow you to print at 300dpi. A 35mm negative is approximately 1.5 x 1
    inch so scanning at 2,000dpi will be fine - your scanner looks to do up
    to 6400dpi. A 10x8 print will need a 3000 x 2400 image, and again
    (unless my maths is wrong) your scanner can do that.

    What you will lose out on is Digital-ICE which is wonderful at removing
    dust specks & scratches automatically, and that the software from (some)
    dedicated film scanners will probably get more detail out of the image.

    However your scanner looks to be able to scan a whole strip of film at a
    go, and slides 4 at a time (unless the film/slide adapter is an extra
    you don't have - no idea on that one) so I'd suggest that since you have
    the scanner and you know what you want, you give it a go. If it's
    adequate for most negatives / slides you could get the really important
    ones you are not happy with done professionally.

    BTW make sure you can relate your scanned image back to the negative.
    Hopefully each film still has all it's negatives together, if so put
    them into a proper envelope and label it clearly. Name your scanned
    images after the envelope and frame number. Also carefully clean each
    strip before you scan. Very carefully, canned air and maybe a blower
    brush, so you don't damage it.
    Surfer!, Jan 31, 2007
  16. B-Worthey

    Surfer! Guest

    The quality will go downhill doing that. The more steps in the process
    the worse it gets, like photocopying a photocopy does. Scanning the
    negative at the right resolution for 10x8 is far and away the best way
    to do it.
    Surfer!, Jan 31, 2007
  17. B-Worthey

    Joel Guest

    I don't see how the quality will be lower when

    1. You scan to whatever resolution to get the best quality at 4x6. IOW, you
    can scan for 8x12 but print 4x6 for better quality

    2. And 4x6 is larger than the negative, and it's at its top quality then you
    should be able to get a better scan for larger print.

    And unlike re-saving image file which may lose quality, here we are
    looking at re-scan a larger size with much better quality, then there is no
    reason why you can't get a better scan from better original.
    Joel, Jan 31, 2007
  18. B-Worthey

    Surfer! Guest

    Every time you convert or scan, some quality is lost. Also every time
    you print quality can be lost. So, scanning, printing, scanning the
    print and printing again won't give as good a result as scanning (once)
    and printing.
    Scanning is not a digital process - it's an analogue to digital process,
    hence the potential for losing quality.
    Surfer!, Jan 31, 2007
  19. B-Worthey

    Joel Guest

    I don't think you get the idea so I will stop here for good.
    Joel, Jan 31, 2007
  20. B-Worthey

    Marvin Guest

    My Epson scanner came with a slide holder that accomodates
    up to four slides at a time. The software detects the
    slides in a pre-scan, then scans and makes a separate file
    for each one.
    Marvin, Jan 31, 2007
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