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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to embark on a project getting all of my dad's old slide into digital format.


A lot of options exist for this, everything from attachments to Flat Bed scanners, to dedicated $2000 Nikon products.


Does anyone have any experience with these products or links to any current reviews.


I will probably pick one up, keep it for a couple of months for the project, and then dump it on e-bay. So if I can get say 60% of what I paid for the product, I have a budget of maybe up to $700 for the scanner.
 

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I've tried a number of different flatbed scanners with 'slide' attachments and never gotten a satisfactory result. I ended up buying a Nikon CoolScan IV about 18 months ago. The result are okay, though no where near as good as when I send them out to a professional scanning outfit.


Though I am usually wanting slides scanned for commercial purposes so my definition of acceptible may vary from yours.


- Rick
 

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I have a Nikon LS-2000. Works great, you gotta know how to optimize the program settings for best results, however.


Vern Dias
 

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It depends on what kind of quality you want.


For absolute best quality you'll want a dedicated side scanner. There are several available for under $400.00.


I'm assuming you want to scan 35mm slides. I use the Epson 2450 flatbed scanner and I get respectable results, they are not fabulous but good enough for my purposes. If your slides are of the medium format nature, then the 2450 is definately the way to go.


If you want I can send you an example.


mg
 

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I've got a Canon D660U scanner, which has a transparency scanner built in (basically a second cold cathode light in the lid, and a 35mm film holder). TBH it's total crap. As a scanner it's fine, but it can't do transparencies to save its life. Comes out extremely grainy.


I presume dedicated tranparency scanners are better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As I research the options the Canon FS4000 looks like a posibility, anyone try that one? It is $700 from a couple of places, and looks like it should have a good resale value on e-bay when I am done with it.
 

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Scott,


Depending on the number of slides you need scanned vs. your budget, I would recommend looking into having them scanned at a pro photo lab. Good film scanning can be a complex process, not the least least of which is a very high quality dedicated film scanner. A good reputable pro photo/imaging lab has this down to a science, with scanners professionally calibrated to the type of film being scanned and techs with lots of experience to back it all up.


I don't doubt that you can handle it yourself, but it sounds like you're trying to preserve something of value to you, but depending on the level of archival quality you want from the slides, this may get you more for your money than buying a low to medium quality consumer scanner.


As for cost - most private labs will also work further with you on price if the turnaround time isn't critical. This is a slow time of year for many of them, and idle equipment/techs wastes money. The lab I used to work at gave substantial discounts at times for extended turnaround jobs. I would suggest going in person and speaking with the owner about your particular situation, budget and needs.


Prior to my current career path, I spent many years in the pro imaging industry in one form or another and still have some contacts who I stay in touch with. If you'd like, I can check into some recommended labs in your area - e-mail or PM if you'd like.


-Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mike, what would you estimate the price. I would say we have around 4 to 6 thousand slides. We also have some 8 mm movies that we will want to convert, so maybe would could negotiate a package deal.
 

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Wow, 4-6 thousand.... ouch. I was planning on doing the same. Time is a hugh problem - figure 1-2 minute per slide (scan and color correct) minimum. I have gotten good results with a high quality flat bed and transparency adapter - not pro but excellent consumer use.


You'll need a 2 week vacation for that project - if you do it maybe we can work out a deal where you do mine! :)


Mike
 

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the time factor is a big one--i saw one review that said the highest quality scan for the fs4000 takes 2 minutes per slide, and 3 minutes per slide using the image correction software (to get rid of scratches/imperfection in the slides).


i bought a regular scanner myself with a negative scanning attachment with the intention of scanning all of my negatives (a couple thousand pictures or so). i probably only got about 20% of the way through before i realized i'd rather be doing something else.


so definitely take into account the time when deciding whether or not to scan it all in yourself.


bob
 

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I've been using a Minolta Dimage for over a year... It is possible to get some great print results with such scanner, but I would not consider it a viable archiving solution as it is too slow (a few minutes per slide if you want to get the best gamma, remove dust, etc.).


One option you may want to consider is to have a pro lab do some lower resolution scans (good for visualisation on your computer) for a reasonable price and refer to the originals when you want to do prints, etc.
 

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Well, one thing to take into account with the time factor is that a lab set up to do high volumes of 35mm slides will have scanner(s) which can autoload a mounted slide. This is not the perfect scenario, since there's no way to ensure you're getting the full, unobstructed frame or that the film is laying perfectly flat, but it really depends on how much quality you're trying to achieve - very good results can be obtained in the mount and the cost difference may make it worth it.


Price will depend on a number of factors, including things like what I just mentioned above, resolution, post-scan processing (scratch removal, cleanup, etc). It's obviously less expensive if they can batch scan/process the files vs. taking the time to scan and correct each one, but like I said, in a properly set-up and calibrated environment, the batch scanning can yield excellent results.


These are all options that you should discuss with your local lab. I am no longer directly in the imaging business, so I can't offer you any specific pricing or details. It sounds like you are interested in at least getting some information, though, so I will e-mail a contact of mine and ask for recommendations on labs in the Atlanta area.


-Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Mike,


If you have contacts in the Detroit area, that would be great. The slides are my dad's and he live up there. If I end up doing to work myself, I will do it in Atlanta.
 

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I would definitely consider the nikon coolscan 4000 for two reasons.


1. Batch feeder

You can put in 50 slides at a time


2. Digital ice

It removes dust and scratches automatically


I can get scans about 95% as good as a drum scan from a pro lab (huge cost) and use it for all my photography.


The coolscan IV is cheaper (lower res, don't think the feeder works)
 

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Scott,


I heard back from my contact, and unfortunately he doesn't have any direct contacts in either Atlanta or Detroit. He offered to take a look at the project himself, but he's here in Rhode Island. Other than that, he recommended talking to the owner of any good reputable lab to work out pricing, turnaround, etc.


-Mike
 

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Well just to chime in, I went through the same dilema about 18months ago. Looked at lots of scanners, services and software. Ended up with a Polaroid SprintScan4000 and Silverfast Ai software. Took some steep learning curves but the end results were impressive and I really like the scanner now that I know how to use it. The newer version, the 4000+ is USB and firewire and a little better image depth, same 4000dpi resolution. Great support from Polaroid and the professional grade software is included along with Polaroid's in house software. Silverfast is pretty expensive to purchase separately.


James
 

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Hello There


I,ve used the Minolta Dimage (very slow) and now use the HP S20 photo-smart scanner, faster scan times and more convenient to use.


The HP has a resolution of (only) 2400dpi.

If you intend to produce prints larger than 11x14 then a scanner with a higher dpi would be desirable. If you are simply looking to produce a photo album for display on a computer monitor, then 2400dpi is enough.


Time is always a major factor when scanning, a batch scanner would be nice but the cost may be an issue.


With the HPS20, shove a mounted slide in the front, it pre-scans and gives you the opportunity to alter various settings if you wish, select final scan and away you go. The scanner does it's thing and spits out the slide, ready for the next one.


My original intention was to scan and index all of my slides and negs and burn to CD (now DVD).


I spend about 2 hours per sitting and can scan about 80 to 90 slides per session or around 120 to 140 negatives (in strips).


The HP software is incredibly easy to use to get the images onto your HD, you can spend more time altering/enhancing either before the final scan or afterward with a more specialized photo editing package.


The HP S20 is easy to setup and use, inexpensive, will even scan small prints.
 
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