Old 07-22-2009, 04:49 AM   #1
Darryl Rule
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Default Slides to Digital

I am looking to finally start getting some of my slides over to disc and was hoping to get some suggestions on places people have used to have their's done. Would I be better off trying to buy my own slide scanner? If so, which ones have people purchased? I have a lot of good stuff on slides and I am really looking forward to getting them to digital. Thanks!

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Old 07-22-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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Hi Daryl - I have numerous slide and neg scans in the database all of which were scanned using an HP Photosmart S20.

That model is now a long time obsolete and most here (from what I've seen) rate the Nikon Coolscan range.

One thing I learnt early on when scanning was that the film you originally shot on makes a big difference in how easy it is to get good results. I got good results from Fujifilm 100 and Kodak Ektachrome 200. Scanning Kodachrome 64 could be tricky and although my shots on cheaper Agfa film look fine on a projector they were (in the main) way too grainy when scanned.

Almost inevitably you will need some noise reduction software such as Noise Ninja or NeatImage

Good luck
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
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Whether you invest in your own scanner or get somebody else to do it largely depends on the size of your collection, how much of it you want scanned and whether you have the time or inclination to do it yourself; it is a very time consuming past-time.

As Steve points out, the Nikon Coolscan is excellent (I have a V ED) and will do 35mm slides and negatives - it also has an excellent scratch removal feature (ICE) which will save hours of cloning out blemishes. Even if you clean the slides thoroughly, it is surprising how many marks will remain. He is also correct in that varying film types produce different results and you will need a noise reduction program, even on the less grainy films. "Neat Image" is free if you only need to treat files up to 1024 x 1024, but needs to be purchased if you want to do larger file sizes.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:15 AM   #4
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Great, thanks for the info! I am still doing some research before deciding how to attack this project, so if anyone else has any input, please feel free. I'd love to hear it!

Darryl
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:26 AM   #5
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You certainly get what you pay for and I have a Nikon SuperCoolScan 5000ED. It has been fantastic for backing up my best slide images.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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My last 3 uploads were from a Nikon 5000ED Scanner. Beautiful, yet pricey!
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:28 AM   #7
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Pricey, but if it works well I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:02 AM   #8
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Double check that you can get Vista drivers, if you use that OS.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
Dennis A. Livesey
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35mm film scanning is an art unto itself.

I've had a Nikon V ED for a year and have been satisfied with it's results. Some scans have been terrific. Others disappointing. (Often highlights halo) I'm sorry to say, I don't know how to fix the problems. The images also sometimes look grainy and blocky: if I only had a $30,000 drum scanner and knew how to use it)

Big learning curve; lots of time needed per slide. (At least for me)

Some people swear by ICE. Some swear at it. (They say it softens) My results are inconclusive as of now.

Great pleasure in seeing my old stuff, some not seen in years.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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The Konica Minolta Dimage series where a nice, inexpensive, alternative, which did not last through Sony's purchase of the brand, but can be bought used on eBay. I think that they are often going for more than they did new, but they're still a bargain at those prices.

I've done all my scanning on a Minolta Dimage III and been very happy. I still used it today when I shoot slides, to capture digital versions of them.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:56 PM   #11
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the Nikon Coolscan is excellent..
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:54 PM   #12
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A long time photographer whose work speaks for itself has recommended to me VueScan to go with the Nikon Coolscan.
I just may have to since my photography computer is a Mac Intel and Nikon Scan 4 software is incompatible.
I get a few scans then Scan 4 hangs.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:33 PM   #13
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I'll be getting the Coolscan 5000ED as well, just can't force myself to pony up the dough for it right now.

Steve, the few slide shots I have in the DB were scanned on a HP Photosmart S20 as well. I liked it, and it did a good job for the money, but someone broke it on me (never found out who) and that was it for my scanning.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:17 PM   #14
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Mike, if you mean dough for VueScan, I hear you. VueScan's $80 and doofy GUI are a turn off to me.

I have spent so much time learning Nikon Scan 4, I have considered just using my old Mac which is more compatible.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
Mike, if you mean dough for VueScan, I hear you. VueScan's $80 and doofy GUI are a turn off to me.

I have spent so much time learning Nikon Scan 4, I have considered just using my old Mac which is more compatible.
No, I mean the $1400CDN for the scanner is a turn off! That is a almost a couple mortgage payments
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lock4244 View Post
No, I mean the $1400CDN for the scanner is a turn off! That is a almost a couple mortgage payments
Got it.

The irony is that Nikon has stopped making these things yet there is still a market.

eBay maybe?

Or the 4000 ED like I have, no auto load, but the same guts. About $650 I got it on ebay about a year ago.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:29 PM   #17
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There's always the Steve Crise method --

Image © Steve Crise
PhotoID: 293717
Photograph © Steve Crise


Wonder how it would work with a lower end Canon DSLR.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:35 PM   #18
Dennis A. Livesey
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As another mentioned, I just read about the DSLR method of copying a slide.
Interesting that is provides an RP acceptance level. However, I think this image is contrasty and grainy. Worth exploring though.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
Got it.

The irony is that Nikon has stopped making these things yet there is still a market.

eBay maybe?

Or the 4000 ED like I have, no auto load, but the same guts. About $650 I got it on ebay about a year ago.
I can still get one new here in Toronto... maybe old stock?
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:28 AM   #20
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There is a member here who tapes a bedsheet to their wall, projects the slides on the sheet, and takes a picture with his digital camera. I suggest avoiding this method.

I've had some good results with a Minolta Dimage 5400 II, but it also has some occasional quality issues. The scanner itself is poorly constructed, and wears out after 20,000 scans. I'm on the second one and currently looking for a third. I really should look for something better, but I don't know what.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:33 PM   #21
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I use a Nikon Coolscan....and it works well. It was noted earlier that scanning is an art in itself. Man, that is SO true!! Like getting to Carnegie Hall, it takes practice, practice, practice.

Just for fun, I used my digital camera to photograph a projected image of some of my slides (on a white wall). There's a fair amount of detail loss in the process, but a few of the shots were decent enough that I had them accepted on RP. But---that's a poor substitute for a scanned image.

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Old 12-25-2009, 12:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
35mm film scanning is an art unto itself...Often the highlights halo (and) I'm sorry to say, I don't know how to fix the problems.
Well, it turns out the halo in highlights issue was due to the Nikon Scan 4 ROC and GEM processing. Sooo, if I turn those off, no halo! Yaaay!

I haven't done any scanning in a while; I do so only when the mood hits me.

Also the Nikon Scan 4 gets indigestion on my Mac Intel. It can do 50 scans or stop at 2.

So I'm going to hook it up to my circa 2000 PPC Mac Cube and see how that goes.

I COULD just get Vuescan and the compatibility problem would go away but I taking a stand, I gonna be tight-fisted on this issue!
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:05 PM   #23
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Default Slides to Digital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Rule View Post
I am looking to finally start getting some of my slides over to disc and was hoping to get some suggestions on places people have used to have their's done. Would I be better off trying to buy my own slide scanner? If so, which ones have people purchased? I have a lot of good stuff on slides and I am really looking forward to getting them to digital. Thanks!

Darryl
I'm in the same boat and use a Nikon Coolscan IV film scanner to digitize my slides. It IS time consuming! The slide must be perfectly clean and there is a post-processing routine in the software to get the colors right.

Ron Flannery comments:
"I use a Nikon Coolscan....and it works well. It was noted earlier that scanning is an art in itself. Man, that is SO true!! Like getting to Carnegie Hall, it takes practice, practice, practice."

You can take his comments "to the bank;" FWIW, I fully agree with Ron. Don't let that scare you off, just realize getting each shot scanned and converted is a serious investiture of time and effort.

Using the highest resolution, you end up with a 60MB'is .tif file which, when you convert it to a .jpg, will bring you processor to its knees.

Below is a shot I took with on 35MM Fuji Provia and scanned using the technique above. One issue is remembering to replicate the point of focus. F'instance, when taking the shot, the cameras point of focus was on the 3rd yellow step marker. However, I lost sight of that when setting up the scan and "told" the scanner to set focus on the NS Horse.

You end up with compromised sharpness in the entire composition. Its not "bad," just cold be a lot better.

Another reason to take notes or, go into the field with a cheap-o voice recorder.


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