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RogerS

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I've got a hundred or so slides that I'd like to scan in. Thought I'd get something off eBay and a Nikon Coolscan caught my eye. Current bid price seemed reasonable and so I thought I'd have a punt only to find it leaping up into the stratosphere pricewise. This thought was followed by another telling me that as I know diddly squat about thee perhaps I'd better seek advice!

So, any recommendations, chaps? What sort of thing should I be looking for? Can they be hired?
 

Frank S

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The scanner I have is the Epson Perfection 3590 PHOTO. In the lid there is a 35 mm Auto Film Loader. I don`t know if this will help you, but check it out.
F.
 

devonwoody

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Roger, there are numerous printer/scanners that will do slide copying and prices start at £35 plus.

I have got a Canon scanner and if you wish I can copy one hundred slides for you, just pay the postage. Let me know.
 

RogerS

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Thanks, dw, but I fear that I have a few more than 100 having had another look in the box!

What sort of resolution is sensible to go for and how many bits for colour? Not a professional but still appreciate decent quality.
 

devonwoody

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If you have no intention of printing from the slides and only intend to use your computer and monitor, 300 is good enough for me. Otherwise skies the limit.

(Pity about refusing my offer, I though Roger would have some good ones.)

Check out your local photography club, someone would help you out.
 

Gerard Scanlan

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I too have and can recommend the Epson Perfection 3590. It is not just the scanner but the software that is important for the ease of use and quality. Perhaps worth mentioning I was a professional photograph for ten years and unlike many people in the field I insisted on getting the best value for money equipment for the least outlay. The Epson scanners are certainly not the cheapest but they do the job properly which always works out cheaper in the end.
 

RogerM

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I've got an Epson Perfection V500 and it's "the mutt's". Not only is it a great flat bed scanner, it copies 4 slides simultaneously or 2 strips of film, inc negatives - both 35mm and full frame. Resolution is fantastic - up to 6400 dpi. I scanned most of my slide archive at around 1200 dpi on the basis that it would only ever be done once, and this was more than adequate. I found that if I scanned both a colour print and it's negative, I got a better image from the scanned negative than even the original print.

They are not cheap - about £160 at the moment, but it's a fabulous piece of kit and the only scanner you'll ever need. Something to watch out for is that on some of the cheaper scanners the speed at which it'll scan film is very slow, and if you have hundreds of slides that have to be scanned individually you'll lose the will to live. Also the contrast range may be insufficient to illuminate darker slide images. No such problem with the V500 tho'.
 

bugbear

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RogerM":3366iflk said:
I found that if I scanned both a colour print and it's negative, I got a better image from the scanned negative than even the original print.
Of course! The "original print" was made from the negative. It could only, in an ideal world, have the same quality. But since photo paper has less resolution and dynamic range than photo neg - negs are the way.

For similar reasons some really high end art photos used to be done on medium format slides - that way you're showing your audience "the original".

BugBear
 

RogerM

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bugbear":3cwff8nf said:
RogerM":3cwff8nf said:
I found that if I scanned both a colour print and it's negative, I got a better image from the scanned negative than even the original print.
Of course! The "original print" was made from the negative. It could only, in an ideal world, have the same quality. But since photo paper has less resolution and dynamic range than photo neg - negs are the way.

For similar reasons some really high end art photos used to be done on medium format slides - that way you're showing your audience "the original".

BugBear
It doesn't always follow though does it. Just because the negative is the original, and therefore will show better definition, contrast etc than a copy/print, it doesn't always mean that a scanner will be able to deliver that higher quality. I had a cheap scanner about 12 years ago and it couldn't cope with dense slides or negatives. With that one I had to get slides printed to get a decent image, and then I could scan it. The V500 copes with dense slides and negatives very well, to the extent that the scanned image is invariably better than the print.
 

bugbear

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RogerM":1f7y6d0k said:
bugbear":1f7y6d0k said:
RogerM":1f7y6d0k said:
I found that if I scanned both a colour print and it's negative, I got a better image from the scanned negative than even the original print.
Of course! The "original print" was made from the negative. It could only, in an ideal world, have the same quality. But since photo paper has less resolution and dynamic range than photo neg - negs are the way.

For similar reasons some really high end art photos used to be done on medium format slides - that way you're showing your audience "the original".

BugBear
It doesn't always follow though does it. Just because the negative is the original, and therefore will show better definition, contrast etc than a copy/print, it doesn't always mean that a scanner will be able to deliver that higher quality. I had a cheap scanner about 12 years ago and it couldn't cope with dense slides or negatives. With that one I had to get slides printed to get a decent image, and then I could scan it. The V500 copes with dense slides and negatives very well, to the extent that the scanned image is invariably better than the print.
Absolutely - I was assuming a scanner capable of extracting the detail that is there.

BugBear
 

AndyT

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For anyone reading this thinking 'so cheap scanners are no good but proper ones can cost more than I want to spend' - there is another way. Go up into the loft and find your old slide projector. Clean the dust and dirt out of the innards. Load up your slides and project them onto a white wall, while reminiscing at length about the good old days. Using your digital camera and a tripod, take a photo of each one!
Crop out the edges and save in your usual way.

It's not going to satisfy a professional photographer, but if you just have a few sentimentally valuable images from an old Instamatic, it's an easy way to make them accessible again. It was good enough for me!

Depending on your projector, you may be able to improvise a way of projecting uncut negatives the same way. Flipping the colours back is a single step in most photo editing software.
 

brianhabby

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I have an old Minolta film scanner as well as an Epson Perfection (can't remember the model No.) and my experience was that while the flatbed does a reasonable job, I always got sharper results from the dedicated film scanner - it is made for the job after all.

Not sure about the quality of some of the current range of film scanners but I know the Nikon Coolscans are fetching some very high prices at the moment.

regards

Brian Hall
 

Jensmith

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I've used a Nikon Coolscan (borrowed) and they were very good. They were also very expensive in their day so guess not a lot has changed.
Proper slide scanner do give better results than flat beds. I did have problems with dust though so you need to watch for that. Even after careful storage and handling and using a air puffer I still got the odd photos where there was lots of little black spots in the sky...

You could probably get a company to do it for you if you have a look online. Might be cheaper than buying a decent scanner and they should do a good job of them for you.

I got some slides (positives) rather than negative print film made into Cibachrome prints directly off the positive. Now that gives an impressive result!! Not cheap though.
 

imageel

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I would seriously advise against using a scanner for either colour or bw negs, they take far too long to process and the quality is very often poor. Far better if you have a half decent digital camera and a flash is to photograph them preferably with a macro lens. I made a light box out of some ply with an aperture in the top for the neg, and a 45 deg sloping side with white card on it to bounce the flash and mounted the camera on a tripod facing the neg.
By doing this I can focus at full frame on a neg and so get a 'scan' at my full camera resolution (12Mp), which can easily out resolve most negatives (you can magnify them and all you see is film grain)
I used this to process literally a bin bag of negatives I inherited when clearing out my mothers house...
A good indication of the slowness of neg scanners is the fact that on eBay you will see numerous ones for sale 'used once only' by people faced with scanning a large number of slides/negs and whom become quickly disillusioned with the time taken to scan even just one roll of film,
Cheers
Ed
 

RogerM

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It may sound as though I'm a salesman for the Epson V500, but I'm just a very satisfied owner. I think you'd have to upgrade to something like the Nikon Coolscan to get a better result. I didn't find that it was particularly slow unless trying for an insanely high dpi, and the ability to scan 4 slides at a time (or 12 x 35mm negatives in 2 strips of 6) is a real bonus. I haven't tried taking a photo of a print using my camera, but as I already get a better result from a scanned negative than is available in the original print I don't see me going down that route.
 

Jensmith

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Agreed. Unless you're scanning at a ridiculous resolution (which you don't need) they don't take that long and you can do 4-6 at a time like Roger says so it's not too much faff. I think a scan will be better quality personally.
 

brianhabby

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Ed,

Your idea sounds interesting but I would wonder about getting sufficiently even lighting using the setup you describe. It would be interesting to see some results.

As for people selling their scanners on eBay, I do know that a lot of people will buy a film scanner new, scan their slides & negs and then sell the scanner on eBay because they no longer have any use for it.

This is a good plan as your overall costs are much lower given that you get at least some of your money back when you re-sell it.

regards

Brian
 

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