Looking for slide scanner £100ish

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by ff, May 30, 2004.

  1. ff

    ff Guest

    I'm looking to digitize some slides onto my computer for hopefully
    around £100.

    So far the only real option seems to be the jessops PRIMEFILM FILM
    SCANNER 1800U for £99. I have read several reviews that have said it's
    not as good as the much more expensive minolta and nikon ones but OK
    for the price and gives acceptable results.

    All the photo's are from basic cameras taken in 60's and 70's, nothing
    particularly spectacular quality, so I am hoping a basic result will
    do OK. It will just be nice to be able to share them around as

    Anyone know if the primefilm is OK. Are there other things I should be
    looking at. I have had trouble finding many flatbeds with transparency
    adaptors apart from a trust one which gets lousy reviews.

    The alternative is to project the slides and try to take a digital
    phot of each one which would be quick but I'm hoping this way will
    give better results. Or are the results at this pricepoint too crummy
    to bother with?

    Any thoughts very welcome.
    ff, May 30, 2004
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  2. I had one of the earlier versions of this scanner at work and it was dire.
    The results were bareley acceptable.
    In particualr everything looked dark and muddy.
    Contrast was very poor.

    It could have been operator error.

    The new one may be better, but before you commit have you thought about some
    sort of
    slide copier add on for a digital camera (if you have one).

    I have seen these sort of things advertised and it might give at least
    similar results but more cheaply.

    Gordon Hudson, May 30, 2004
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  3. ff

    Eddie B. Guest

    I've got one, bought from Jessops for GBP150 - now they are cheaper. You get
    what you pay for. With the right photo, the results are fantastic. I've
    blown stuff up to A3, on an HP1220C using proper HP photo paper, and it is
    hard to tell that you are not looking at a real photo (of course, provided
    you stand 2 ft away!). I've equally had results which are grainy, with out
    of gamut colours, appalling lack of contrast, etc etc etc. It is USB 1, so
    slow, and I've had one of the psu units pack up. They are about GBP20 to

    If my Primefilm scanner packed up, I would get another.

    The 1800 dpi resolution equates to 2432x1704 pixels, which is about 4 MPix,
    but, the result is not as good as a 4 MPix digital photo because you have a
    soft focus, and all the dust that you left on the neg or slide you are
    scanning. Frankly, the soft focus is not much of an issue with portraiture,
    but it is with landscapes which have fine detail in the distance. I'm
    scanning slides to make Powerpoint presentations, and the Primefilm is more
    than I require (about 1 MPix is enough). You can scan negatives or slides.

    Eddie B
    Eddie B., May 30, 2004
  4. I had forgotten about the dust!

    Even worse when it was under a glass mount.

    Gordon Hudson, May 30, 2004
  5. ff

    John Guest

    Happy with mine too. Can be a bit tedious but a great tool for PC archiving
    old slides and negs.



    John, May 30, 2004
  6. ff

    D.R. Guest

    I bought a 2nd hand HP Photosmart S20. It scans
    my negs and slides at 2400dpi. Most negs it will
    scan well. Dust is a problem though, but nothing
    the clone brush in PS/PSP won't fix. I got mine
    for about US$50.
    D.R., May 30, 2004
  7. ff

    stewy Guest

    I bought the 1800U a couple of years back to scan my entire neg and slide
    collection and have been very pleased with the result - pictures were a bit
    'muddy' at the beginning but a bit of tweaking with the control settings
    considerably improved this. I think you'll find scans to be very satisfying
    and after-work with the Unsharp mask will improve things more - this is the
    one and only drawback - some after-scan work is necessary, but then again,
    it won't be every neg.
    You'll probably get a copy of Photoshop 5LE thrown in for free too.
    stewy, Jun 1, 2004
  8. ff

    ff Guest

    Thanks for all your comments which were very helpfull. Here is my

    Before posting I tried placing a slide on a flatbed scanner (cheap
    umax) which achieved no picture. Shining a neon light on top while on
    a flatbed had little effect. And building shiny white paper prism
    shaped pyramids to reflect the scanners light back down onto the slide
    which acheived something just about recognisable if your squinted and
    used you imagination a bit. But nothing remotely useable.

    Since posting, inspired partly by the suggestion to look at add ons
    for a digital camera I have looked at devices like
    http://www.dcresource.com/SlideCopier/index.html and tried to immitate
    the princibles. I have tried holding a slide up against the light,
    backed by a translucent piece of tupperware plastic, and zooming in
    with a macro lense which achieved a picture ok for emailing though not

    I then found our slide projector actually has a proper little light
    box behind a hatch at the back and placed a slide on that and zoomed
    in with the macro and actually achieved an ok result. It is not as
    sharp as the original and the colour is perhaps a little off but not
    bad for general use. Feel faintly foolish for not thinking of
    something so simple before. When I have tried holding a slide up to
    the light before the camera just shot right through it. Decent backing
    is clearly the trick.

    My mother, a more decisive consumer than I, marched into Jessops when
    she was in town yesterday and purchased one of the primefilm scanner
    1800u for £99 with 30 days approval. The results were better than
    with the macro lense but not as much you might assume. Unfortunatly we
    then discovered that our slides are not a standard 35mm by 24mm but
    37mm by 37mm square. This problem had not occured to us and means the
    scanner chopped off a chunk of slide. So we sent it back... Comments
    suggest that with more time to play around with it I would have
    achieved better yet results. As it was the slides looked a bit washed
    out but more detailed. The dust did become very obvious.

    We also now have a neat jessops slide viewer which is a little light
    box behind a magnifying glass which works quite well. Tried useing the
    digital camera on it and achieved much warmer colour but not quite as
    good detail as just using a plain lighbox.

    So in brief
    Flatbed scanner with no attatchment pretty useless
    Camera with macro lense (fuji 602) actually not bad, adequate.
    £99 film scanner best yet but not by a huge margin.

    And I am open to suggestions on scanning non standard size slides. For
    the moment I will just do a macro lense shot of each but it would be
    nice to do it properly. Are flatbeds more versitile? I may wait a year
    or too and try and pick up the new epson with "ice" for dust cheap.

    Thanks for all thoughts, very helpfull.
    ff, Jun 2, 2004
  9. ff

    ff Guest

    ff, Jun 4, 2004
  10. ff

    stewy Guest

    Go for a flatbed with a proper light source built into the lid - I have an
    Epson GT8200UF - the quality is not as good as film scanner, but it will
    take any size neg up to 6x6cm in a holder and perhaps up to 8cm wide on the
    glass plate.
    stewy, Jun 5, 2004
  11. ff

    FredG Guest

    How about the Epson Perfection 1670 Photo Scanner for £75.00 from
    FredG, Jun 23, 2004
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