• This topic has 23 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Rich_s.
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  • Slide scanning
  • Rich_s
    Full Member

    Got some old 35mm slides from my folks that I really ought to get around to digitising. As a little project I thought I’d get my eldest to do the donkey work – probably 300-500 slides in total so a day’s work for him.

    But what to use? Looking at the Digitnow 5.1mp ones on amazon for about £60. Maybe Veho at around £80? Maybe pickup a used flatbed scanner on Facebook for £20 or so?

    These slides haven’t seen the light of day for decades so I’m not necessarily after A1 quality. All the send-off services seem very busy and are going to be c.£80+ anyway (and several weeks lead time) so kinda thinking #1 child might earn a bit of cash for doing it for me.

    Anyway, any advice welcome? If anybody has a scanner I’m happy to discuss renting it / buying it from you. Seems to be the sort of thing people buy, use once and stash away!

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    Can it really be done in a day?  I’ve got an Epson V550 which does a lovely job but still takes a couple of minutes per slide without the time taken to brush dust off and work out what they are.  80quid for a few hundred seems a bargain

    Slides are amazing though so it might be worth the effort.  They seem to keep colour brilliantly

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I’ve got a Veho which I paid far too much money for that I always planned to do some scanning with and then move on. Several years ago. VH4? Maybe.

    Honestly, I can’t say as I’m blown away. It works but it’s ultimately a cheap scanner and the source isn’t that great so it’s a double whammy.

    As an alternative I spoke with a local independent photo place to see what they could do and they gave me two options which were either “no” or “my arse hurts”. If there’s a better option, I’m watching with interest.

    Jerome
    Full Member

    I have just bought a £30 one from Lidl. They had one in my local Lidl two days ago. Worth a try I figured at that price .

    jimw
    Free Member

    Having digitised all of our family slides using a Nikon coolscan 4000, I would suggest that to even do the initial scanning of 300 slides will be many, many hours of work and then post scan cataloguing and filing (if you are ever going to want to get to particular slides quickly) adds yet more time. However it is well worth doing and all the family now have copies on DVD-ROM

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    He’s 10. He’ll be happy being drip-fed £50 worth of Robux over a few days ;o)

    Not looking to spend megabucks here – these slides haven’t seen daylight in my lifetime and I think the folks will be happy with viewing them on an ipad. In fact, I think they’ve forgotten about them and I suspect there’s more interest from my sister and me due to our grandparents being in some of the shots. One thing we do have in lockdown is time spare for scanning and I suspect I could teach him some photo manipulation at the same time.

    The Lidl option sounds good – I shall despatch the wife on a hunting expedition forthwith.

    Still open to options if anyone has some kit kicking about.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    Get a viewer and sort through them first. There are probably some gems in there but lot will be filler, especially if either parent was a wannabe landscape photographer.

    Then with the remainder decide if you really want a 10 year to be the one to preserve them forever. That said if there is a much reduced set, then the 10 year old could have several attempts.

    finishthat
    Full Member

    Best approached in 2 steps, cheap Veho or similar – these are not scanners they are self contained macro cameras of very variable quality, what they are good at is being reasonably rapid once you get the hang of them, they will get you the catalog of the slides and something to look at , having kept the slides carefully in order etc then the special ones can be sent off for better scanning.
    A flatbed is far too slow, as is a dedicated scanner once you try to get better results, just too slow.
    The diy fast with quality needs a full frame dslr with either a macro lens that does 1:1 and slide holder , or a slide duplicator attachment that used to be sold to duplicate slides on .. film.
    Full frame dslr used to be very expensive now they are relatively affordable second hand , duplicators are around £35 and usually need a T2 mount adaptor for the dslr.

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    Gosh, a few more ideas there. I have a 60D so it’s worth me looking at a slide duplicator extension; if I have the right sort of lens.

    There are also some quite tidy solutions for smartphones. Basically just a small lightbox with a mount – feels a bit “wrong” somehow for £30 but I’m wondering whether the sensors on new phones are probably going to be better than that in a cheapo slide scanner.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Following with interest – MrsMC has just picked up a couple of big boxes of slides from her parents that she wants to digitize for them.

    MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    Rich I have one you can borrow if you want, its a couple of years old but seems to work well.
    Scanned about 250 so far, will also do negatives from print film

    Oh and Dmorts is correct I had 264 boxes of slides to filter out! Got it down to 6 boxes as its only the ones of people that are important in the end

    bob_summers
    Full Member

    I shoot a lot of film, or did before lockdown, and have a couple of scanners- v800 flatbed, and a plustek that scans singles.
    Keep an eye out for a used flatbed with adapter so you can scan batches of 24. Download vuescan or similar to handle the automation.
    As dmorts & mrovershoot said, most will be rubbish but with memory being cheap, and auto scanning, doing all of them might not take much longer than going through them with a loupe! *
    I tend to batch scan at a reasonable resolution on the flatbed then if (if!) there are any keepers they get cleaned and put through the plustek. The Epson does single scans fine too of course.
    A while back I did a colleague’s family slides the same way, hundreds of 60s Kodachromes in batches of 24 that went up to a shared Dropbox. It wasn’t a lot of work really, you load an adapter while it’s scanning then change over, took a wet Sunday afternoon to do the lot. I said if there were any that warranted cleaning up and a proper scan and post editing (ten mins each at a conservative guess) I’d do it but they were fine as is to view on an iPad. The scratches and fluff probably added to it tbh.

    *also, when I was scanning those 60s slides I noticed a load of what appeared to be tourist shot from around Tussaudes in London. Probably would’ve skipped them if it’d been for me, but only on looking over them later did we notice it’s a cool photojournalism sequence capturing the moments after a lorry overturned on Marylebone Road outside the eye hospital! While everyone was rushing to help, Grandpa was clicking away on his M2!

    nbt
    Full Member

    Another one here who picked up an Aldi scanner to do this job. Mrs NBT scanned her grandfather’s slides, doing a few each day over several weeks. Not the best quality but more than good enough for circulating among family to bring back pleasant memories – we’re not talking archival prints on giclée, just viewing on a laptop or iPad. If you are near Marple and want to borrow the scanner then DM me

    dougiedogg
    Free Member

    Not sure if this helps but I use a sony A6000 (APSC camera) with a macro lens, to photograph negatives, backlit with a white screen on my phone. Then I use a program called negative lab pro to convert to positive.

    In your case you can get cheap slide holders, backlight the slide with a phone screen and photograph the slide and crop in, even without a macro lens, another phone camera would do. Good thing about slides is that there is no conversion needed and if you have editing software you can do simple tweaks

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    Thanks everyone. I’m going to go with @MrOvershoot and try out his scanner. Will post up how that goes, and then if any of the slides are worth going biggerer I’ll jury rig up my SLR and use a white phone screen as a light box.

    My family aren’t photographers by any stretch of the imagination – we would get our 110 film developed every year just before our summer holiday and repeat for the next year… There are, I think, seven pictures of me before the age of 10; two of those were taken by a newspaper and two were taken in school. The rest are of marginal quality.

    The ones I have on slides seem to pre-date me so it’s really an exercise in trying to jog dad’s memory of people and places before he descends further into dementia.

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I got a A3 back light screen and told my parents to fire through them with a magnifying glass to pick which ones they wanted. Alot of them my dad’s dad’s weren’t that interesting as context was lost.

    Makes your job alot easier. Then do something with them like a photo book so you actually use them.

    tomtomthepipersson
    Full Member

    My first job after graduating was at a big design agency – scanning thousands of transparencies for a big department store’s first e-commerce site.

    A3 scanner with a multi-transparency adapter, batch process them in photoshop (to crop out & save) then on another Mac go through each one and colour correct, edit out dust/scratches, etc etc. Then automated export at different sizes each evening.

    Took me bloody weeks.

    timbog160
    Full Member

    Oh man – I used to be obsessed with slides – I must have 5000+ to digitise at some point. I will need to view and be selective though as there will be a lot of crap there.

    I even have loads of prepaid fujilab envelopes I never got round to using ☹️. I have a film SLR, digital SLR, and even a Toyo 4×5 slide camera. I rarely use anything other than my iPhone now!!

    timbog160
    Full Member

    But oh man Velvia 50 – has anything else ever come close… 😍

    BigJohn
    Full Member

    I know what I’m about to say is heresy, but:
    My dad had loads of slides. He also had a projector, screen, digital camera and tripod.
    He put the slides in the projector and when he found one he wanted to keep he took a picture of the on-screen image with the camera.
    They worked out pretty well. Even the ones that were back to front could be turned round in “post”.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    You need to find a nice 1990s Linotype drum scanner – that’ll do the job! 🙂

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I know what I’m about to say is heresy, but:
    My dad had loads of slides. He also had a projector, screen, digital camera and tripod.
    He put the slides in the projector and when he found one he wanted to keep he took a picture of the on-screen image with the camera.
    They worked out pretty well. Even the ones that were back to front could be turned round in “post”.

    I think the problem is the slides generally out live the projector or, atleast, the bulb.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    But oh man Velvia 50 – has anything else ever come close…

    Flubble…

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    So, #1 son has been beavering away scanning a couple of hundred slides using MrOvershoot’s slide scanner. Bless him, he only wanted 900 robux by way of payment (a tenner) some we’ve had a chat about how much time he’s spent and what it’s worth!

    Anyway, I can confirm that my family take worse photos than Stevie Wonder. I have found more photos of me than I’ve ever seen before, and loads of my grandad whom I never really knew. So it’s been a worthwhile experience and I’ll not be bothering to scan any more in at higher quality!

    Thanks to all for advice and guidance.

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