Slide/negative preparation for scanning (Minolta 5400)

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by Brian Stirling, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. I just got the Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 and completed a first
    pass scan of all my slides and the negatives (film strips from my
    prints.) I also printed out the thumbnails of all these prints on my
    Canon S900 requiring about 60 pages of Epson Photo paper.

    I scanned everything at 1350dpi using the Batch Scan Utility and could
    not find a way to set the output to JPEG so I wound up with about
    10GB's of files each of about 6.5MB in BMP format. I did nothing to
    clean or prepare the slides and only wiped down the negatives with
    lens paper. I have some odd looking slides that look really grainy,
    but most of the negatives were in bad shape with some of them stuck
    together so badly they pulled the emulsion off when separated. I
    should point out the some of my pictures go back almost 30 years and
    that most of my slides were Kodachrome.

    OK, so I plan on re-scanning some of my slides and negatives but would
    appreciate any advise on the best way to clean or otherwise prepare
    them for scanning bearing in mind that I have the Minolta 5400 and
    that most of my slides are Kodachrome.


    1. Can they be demounted and would that be desirable? (It might be
    easier to clean if demounted.)

    2. What cleaning method should I use?

    3. Any pointers for Kodachrome with the 5400?


    1. What cleaning method should I use?

    2. Any pointers for negatives with the 5400?

    Lastly, although I no longer have a 35mm film camera (gave my Minolta
    Maxxum 7000 to my niece) and have been shooting digital for about 5
    years (current kit includes a Nikon D100 with about 7 lenses), I may
    pick up another film camera soon. My reasoning here is that since I
    have the 5400 I now have the tools to do high quality scans of any
    future 35mm film work. I currently leaning towards the Nikon F100 but
    am not at the point I'm ready to layout the money. The thing is --
    although I love the D100 it does have 3 limitations versus 25mm film:
    lower resolution, less useful at the wide angle end, and lower dynamic
    range. Of the 3 the most important to me is the dynamic range. I
    suspect that within 5-8 years a good digital will have surpassed film
    in all these areas including dynamic range. In the mean time I think
    an F100 would supplement the D100 giving me a second body that would
    be particularly useful at wide angle, and again, having the 5400 will
    permit me to transfer any new film to digital at about 40MP equivalent
    (from the 5400 although I doubt I could expect a true 40MP resolution
    due to limitations of the film an steadiness of the camera/tripod).

    OK, if I do get the F100 and resume film photography I do have some
    questions about the best way to go about it. I do mostly landscape
    photography but would like to try my hand at wildlife work as well.
    Also, since I plan to transfer all the film to digital for editing in
    Photoshop (still using 7) I would appreciate any advise on the best
    way to do this from a quality and cost standpoint.

    1. What type of slide film is recommended (Velvia?)

    2. Where should I have it developed?

    3. Can I have them developed as strips of 4-6 instead of mounted and
    if so is it recommended?

    4. What should I use to store the strips/slides? (My current slide
    storage consists of a bunch of 140 slide Kodak Carousel trays.)

    5. What price can I expect to pay for slide development? How much if
    not mounted?


    Brian Stirling, Nov 14, 2003
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  2. Hi,
    I use slide film for almost all of my photos. Generally I use Kodak Elite
    100, E100G or E200 slide film. Photography has been my; hobby for about 45
    years and I have a collection of around 6000 slides, some dating back to
    1959. The older slides are Kodacrome and they are still in excellent
    condition. I store the slides in archival boxes. These boxes are sold by
    Light Impressions. Each box holds 600 slides (cardboard mount). Each box
    is made up of six smaller trays and each tray contains 4 bins. Each bin
    holds 25 slides and has a tab to identify the bin (or slide number) number.
    I use to use the Kodak Carousel trays to store the slides but it takes to
    much room (and the carousels are expensive) store them all. You can reach
    Light Impressions at:
    Good luck, Norm.
    Norman & Nancy Perry, Nov 14, 2003
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  3. Thanks Norm,

    Brian Stirling, Nov 14, 2003
  4. I shoot mostly Chromes, with some Color Neg's here and there.
    I use to mount them, but havent in a while. Although I develope my own chromes, I now cut them in
    strips of 6 and store them in 'Clearfile' archival storage sheets. I find the x6 strips are easier
    to handle, view and store, and If I need to project then I cut and mount. Also I can batch scan 6
    instead of 4 mounted slides this way.

    You can request mounted or unmounted when you have your film developed. Just specify what you want.

    Martin Riddle, Nov 14, 2003
  5. What's needed to develop color slides? How much $?

    Is there any cost advantage to unmounted slides given that this should
    reduce the workload of the development house?


    Brian Stirling, Nov 15, 2003
  6. Unmounted slides might be less expensive, but I don't think you'd see that if you use film mailers.
    You can get Color negative developed with out prints, for about $2.50/36. ( maybe even free if the
    girl behind the counter is cute and not bright;) ) Either one, you can specify the cut length.

    To Develope Chromes E6, you need, at minimum, a daylight tank, a water bath of some sort, access to
    running temperature controlled water(with a place to work), a changing room, the chemistry, and good
    thermometers are a must. Chromes need to be developed at 100f/38c, That's what the water bath is
    for. Some use Styrofoam coolers, or Tupper ware containers. Also some add a fish tank heater, to
    assist in keeping a stable temp.

    However, if you don't shoot say 12 rolls in a six month period then it doesn't pay. The chemistry
    once opened only lasts 6 month under ideal conditions. And the mixed portions only last 2 weeks.
    Typically I mix enough for my day light tank (333ml), from the 1L kit. This can develop 4 rolls of
    36 exp. (or 12 rolls/liter for the kit). The kit(3-bath) is about $32 with shipping.
    I usually make sure I have 4 rolls to develope.

    Total cost to start, is say $80-100. Depending what you have. After that its the cost of the
    Kodak Film mailers cost $4.5/36exp, and the cost for diy is $32/432exp or $2.66/36. Or for the start
    up, 100/432 ($8.33/36) ( I didnt include shipping for the film mailers cause its $5.00 at B&H!, so
    youll have to figure in your shipping. Locally there $8)

    There is also a trial and error learning curve, so the first 2-3 films should be test films.
    I also found there are inconsistencies in film density with chemistry that is close to the end of
    its expiration period. Film test strips, or makeshift IT8 test rolls are a must. It is definitely
    only for those that go thru film at a good clip.

    Martin Riddle, Nov 15, 2003
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