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Revisiting Slides, Best Way To Go  
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7459 posts, RR: 60
Posted (10 years 9 months 2 hours ago) and read 5092 times:
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So I searched the current threads here and came up empty, so perhaps I am starting a conversation on what is becoming an archaic art.

Now that we've moved, I'm going through all my old stuff and went through all my negatives. I have so many I'd love to share.

85% are photo negatives and maybe 15% are true color slides ( I never really fancied color slide shooting. No offense.)

I have so many of great quality, a lot of railroad shots, less aviation shots. I took a few to the local photographer and had some great 8x10s made and threw them up in my office. They came out great.

My question is, I am considering getting a slide scanner. Any thoughts, comments or concerns on these? Do any come recommended? Is it worth having?

Being someone who only started with digital photography a year ago, I have a load of good stuff but its all on negatives. And I don't know where to start.

Would it be better (and does such a service exist?) that I could send the negatives somewhere and have them put on a disc for me? (The fee to have them scanned in one time might be comparable to buying a scanner, but hey, its be nice to have it done.) (come to think of it, does kinkos offersuch a service?)

And, once I have them on a disc, would I then be able to view what the photos would look like exposed and touch them up?

I look forward to your sage advice.

thanks in advance, mirrodie

Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAeroWeanie From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1612 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months ago) and read 5059 times:
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I wouldn't send the negatives away for scanning. I find that it is very important to clean each slide or negative thoroughly before scanning. I doubt the commercial places do this. Further, there is a lot of individual adjustment that must be made at scanning time to get a good scan of a slide or negative.

I use a Nikon CoolScan III, along with the copy of Photoshop 5LE that came with it. Even with all this, I have to do a lot clean up (removing dust spots, adjusting colors, etc.) using a copy of Photoshop 7 at work, before they are ready for submission to airliners.net.

User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1700 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5038 times:

You know, I'm kind of in the same boat right now too. After 5 years of faithful service that my HP PhotoSmart S20 gave me, it went tits up a couple of weeks ago. Now I'm faced with the same dilemma...buy a new slide scanner or have someone else do it?

The slide scanner I want is around $1000, but with only 30 boxes of slides waiting to be scanned I can't justify buying it at the moment. I went to the "dark side" (went digital) earlier this year, so after these 30 boxes are scanned I see myself as only needing a slide scanner rarely to occasionally.

The way I see it there are three options:

(1) Suck it up and spend some big dough on a new slide scanner.
(2) Pay a commercial service to do the scanning for me.
(3) Pay a friend to scan them for me which should be cheaper than #2 above.

Buying a new slide scanner would solve pretty much all of my issues, but that would wipe out a very large chunk of my 2005-2006 winter photography season budget. I wouldn't be able to travel at all outside Colorado for the next year if I did this.

There are services that will scan your slides and film starting around $0.29 per slide. It looks like everyone is using a Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED to do this. Just Google for "film scanning" or "slide scanning" to find these businesses on the web. Many offer to do some free, sample scans. I plan on sending 2 slides each to 2 different companies today and see how they do (I'll make sure they are slides that I won't cry over if they get lost or not returned). For me this would be the cheapest option though I hate not being able to control the scanning process.

I haven't found anyone I know that has anything above the HP PhotoSmart S20. There is a guy in Denver that buys a lot of slides from me and I think he's got a high-end Nikon slide scanning. I've been trying to get a hold of him today to see if he'll cut me a deal on scanning services.  Smile

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineKereru From New Zealand, joined Jun 2003, 873 posts, RR: 40
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

Why not try a second hand Nikon Coolpix 990 with slide / negative adaptor. Worked okay for mine and they should be really cheap now in the US.

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Photo © Colin Hunter
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Photo © Colin Hunter

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Photo © Colin Hunter
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Photo © Colin Hunter


Good things take Time.
User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2825 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5010 times:

Get a minolta 5400 II scanner! BEst 35mm scanner on the market! That's the one i shall get if i stick with 35mm!


5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offline113312 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4981 times:

A comment regarding the example pics in Colins reply. Although he is a screener, some of these example scans would probably be rejected if uploaded today. Sharpness, color correction, and a near digitally clean image are essential. Most of these issues can be addressed with Photoshop or Paintshop Pro and taking the time to retouch each flaw in a blown up image on the computer screen.

I have compared notes with Bob Garrard, Frank Duarte Jr, and Mick Bajcar and each of us average 30 minutes or more processing a single image for upload.

If you can afford the best scanner, get it. Many are available through eBay. You can also get a PrimeFilm scanner which isn't too expensive and can do an acceptable job if you have good slides to work with.

Generally, old Ektachromes are marginal. Kodachrome 64 and 25 should turn out great.


User currently offlineGVerbeeck From Belgium, joined Mar 2005, 245 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4962 times:

Hi guys,

all my shots on A.net are done with a Minolta DiMage 5400 scanner. The quality of output is very good at 5400dpi and my shots only need a minimal workflow (resizing and one or two passes of USM, sometimes a little levels adjust)... shouldn't take more than 10 minutes per shot. I can certainly recommend this unit for slidescanning.

Who says it's becoming an archaic art...  Wink


User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5519 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4903 times:

Gio - are your recent shots slides?

I'm heading to europe soon and plan on shooting some slides, looks like I'll have to pick up a scanner soon, my S20 crapped out a long time ago. I found a microtek for $450ish that seemed to have decent reviews. I'll just have to wait and see....

User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3680 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4896 times:
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Go for the a Coolscan model, absolutely the finest consumer scanner on the market.

All of Peter's slides are scanned with it (Coolscan 4), and yes recent slides have no problem getting accepted either.

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Photo © Peter de Groot

Some of the golden oldies, that I think are of brilliant quality.

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Photo © Peter de Groot

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Photo © Peter de Groot


Alderman Exit
User currently offlineAbirdA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 306 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4892 times:

Nikon makes excellent dedicated film scanners. I have never seen better results scanning from negative or positive film than when I used the Nikon Super CoolScan 4000 (unprofessional name, but still a workhorse with (IMO) unmatched quality. It will get you incredible scans that produce files well upwards of ten megapixels. I'm sure other companies include it as well but Nikon has an excellent (and optional) implementation of Digital ROC and Digital GEM which, together, get rid of most of the grain present in the film and restore and augment color. The results are often nearly as flawless as what comes out of today's high end digital SLRs. I don't know what dedicated film scanners Nikon has in their lineup now, but they are undoubtedly even better than the 4000.

In terms of out-sourcing the scanning, that usually becomes cost prohibitive with all but the smallest of collections. And nothing will match the results that come of putting your own time and love into the equation.

I whole-heartedly reccoment going for your own scanner. It will probably be rewarding for you.

User currently offlineGVerbeeck From Belgium, joined Mar 2005, 245 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4825 times:


yes, all scans, done with the Minolta, bar one or two shots of my early uploads which were done with a flatbed scanner ...ahh the times  Wink.


User currently offlineAlberto Riva From United States of America, joined May 2002, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4807 times:

The fairly inexpensive (US$ 230 from Amazon) Minolta Dimage Scan Dual IV does an excellent job with color negs and a pretty decent job with slides. For somebody who does not have a huge slide collection to scan, it's a good way to go. Not going to plug my shots, but some of my slides on A.net were scanned with it... the latest five uploads, accessible from my profile. Those are recent acceptances from 2005, so when starting with a properly exposed slide the Dual IV can be up to A.net standards.

User currently offlineBo__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4791 times:

I also use an HP S20 photo scanner and it hasn't crapped out just yet but it is in the brink of. The Print scanning/calibration is no longer working so I get at times messed up results for all my scans. Thesedays I don't bother because of the outrageous issues. Quality output of the scanner is limited, especially for negatives. It takes alot of work and time to polish up the scanned image to that of a Digital level acceptable to a site like this, both I am lacking thesedays.

Nikon and Minolta are good for film/slide scanning.
I also hear that some flatbed scanner with the adapters can produce some decent to nice results. Epson, in particular for much cheaper cost.

Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
User currently offlineRivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4775 times:


I have a Nikon Coolscan III, and whilst it does produce excellent results from most slide (and negative) films, Kodachrome is a really big problem because of the unique construction of the film, and images come out with very heavy blue bias, which is often difficult to correct (as the other colour layers are reduced). This certainly applies to Kodachrome film shot around 20(!) years ago, I cannot say if it is still a problem with current Kodachrome. My favourite film is Agfachrome, although I haven't used it for a couple of years as I have lately just been taking negatives, and indeed am not even sure if it is still available!

PhiL P

I travel, therefore I am.
User currently offlineChrisM001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 73 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4764 times:

I have recently scanned a load of my older pics using an Epson Perfection 3200 Photo. I couldn't justify getting a dedicated slide scanner, this Epson is a standard flatbed scanner with a hood that can take slides or negatives, very pleased with the results (I even learnt a lot about photoshop when editting them!!)

A couple of examples below (I know, blatant plug!!):

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Photo © Chris Muir
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Photo © Chris Muir

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Photo © Chris Muir
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Photo © Chris Muir

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