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rally
04-30-2007, 05:53 AM
I have a few thousand 35mm slides and was wondering what others might have done in terms of digitizing their own cellulose memories.

I have an Olympus OM series slide duplicator I bought 20 years ago and only ever used for two rolls of film.

My presumption is if I use my old duplicator (with OM to 4/3 adapter) :
1. the dynamic range will suffer if take a photo vs scanning - (how much ?)
2. the issue of image proportions 4/3 vs 35mm size difference, meaning I either crop my image (no thank you) or I end up with a black band or 2 that needs a lot of PP (which I guess could be done in a batch).
3. the problem of IQ loss doing this under less than ideal conditions (any technical information available ?)

The other option is using a bureau service, but for a non commercial purpose the cost might be too high at present.

Of course I could cull a lot of them at the same time and that would be the logical thing to do, but that will take a lot of time and then I will have a heart and mind battle to deal with !

All thoughts, experiences and ideas gratefully accepted.

Thanks

Rally

PS - Maybe I need to go one step further and convert all my colour negs as well - Oh my gosh . . . and my B&W negs back to the mid 70's ?
More issues there no doubt.

olddigiman
04-30-2007, 09:34 AM
A couple problems with using a slide duplicator (I've done this with my E-500 and ZD 35mm. Dynamic range is an issue, as you mentioned. Another problem is slide alignment, the slide holder allows some wiggle room, so slides can be a little skewed, it's hard to tell through the viewfinder.

Good news is that you can capture in RAW and tweak later.

I found that I could get about the same ultimate quality from the DSLR or scanning with a Canon 8400F (flatbed scanner with slide attachement). Both of these alternatives are inferior to what you will get with a dedicated scanner.

For the number of slides you have, your best bet is to pick up a dedicated scanner on eBay, do your scanning, and then resell the scanner.

rally
04-30-2007, 04:24 PM
olddigiman,

Thanks for the suggestion - its probably a worthwhile investment.

Not having any experience with dedicated slide scanners, do you have any suggestions of what would be ideal here - maybe a list of them with any major pros and cons.
Ideally I would not want to have to any PP on them as a rule, maybe just tidy up some of the better ones.

Rally

dutch2
05-03-2007, 12:06 AM
After trying various ones, I have found the Nikon film scanners to give me the best (excellent) results. The software is very good and although I purchased other scan software I have gone back to the Nikon software as the easiest to use with perfect results. I have the ED8000 because I have medium format slides and negs as well, but the older 35mm types which I used to have gave perfect results. When I look at scans I made 8 years ago with a Nikon scanner, they are excellent and allow easily making very large prints.

James Pilcher
05-06-2007, 07:23 AM
After trying various ones, I have found the Nikon film scanners to give me the best (excellent) results. The software is very good and although I purchased other scan software I have gone back to the Nikon software as the easiest to use with perfect results. I have the ED8000 because I have medium format slides and negs as well, but the older 35mm types which I used to have gave perfect results. When I look at scans I made 8 years ago with a Nikon scanner, they are excellent and allow easily making very large prints.

I have a Minolta Dimage Dual Scan III that provides very nice results, but the bundled Windows software is an abomination. It scans at about 2800 dpi, which yields the equivalent of a 11.5Mp sensor. You can probably find one of those for less than $200 on ebay. Silverfast would be my software recommendation. Be sure the scanner comes with both the slide and negative carriers.

The latest round of Nikon scanners operate at 4000 dpi, which yields the equivalent of a 21Mp sensor. The Nikon 5000 is supposed to be superb, especially with the most current bundled software. I think it runs about $1100 USD new. As one other person mentioned, buy it, use it, sell it. That way you can consider it a long-term rental instead of a hefty investment.

sokol
05-12-2007, 12:05 AM
I haven't got slides but heaps of negatives which are even more difficult to scan in high quality, but even with slides you will have to invest heavily into scan equipment to get really good results

for me, this wouldn't be an option; I did consider a couple of times having my best negatives scanned and digitized by a professional [a real professional, mind, not the negative scanning they do in the "photo supermarket" next door ;-)] but was yet to lazy to do so; if you select, say, only every tenth or twentieth shot of your selection, then the costs of doing so wouldn't be that high


(but of course if you have got the money to spare, it's always nice to be able to do the scanning yourself - I certainly would like to, because you may change the settings for the scan several times so as to get the optimal output)

matthew
05-12-2007, 08:38 AM
I inherited my mothers collection of slides from the late 60's to mid-70's, and after looking at my options, decided to buy a Nikon Coolscan V. It's cheaper than sending the 600+ slides out to a scanning service, and gives me full control. This is the "amateur" version of the 5000; it has 12 bit depth instead of 14, and no batch feeder. It does an excellent job. (Not that I particularly know what I'm doing, but the learning curve hasn't been that steep so far.)

Doing a scan takes about four or five minutes, including blowing dust off of the print, previewing, adjusting capture options, scanning, and saving the file. Saving them as 16 bit Tiff files results in 110-120MB per file. (Varies depending on how closely I've cropped the image in the mount.) Because these were my mother's slides, they're all important and deserve the full treatment; this is a project that's going to take a while.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y275/robertsonphoto/001-APR69-SM.jpg

I have a print of the photo above that's about 12" by 8", and while its not the sharpest, I can still recognize my eldest brother in the back seat, and read the signs off in the distance. Not bad for a snapshot that's 38 years old.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y275/robertsonphoto/004-firstlunarlanding-SEP69.jpg

One challenge that I've faced is trying to get the scan to look like the slide. This one is pretty close. Ironically, computer screens are an excellent way to view slides, for the same reason that they don't faithfully reproduce the look of prints. You may want to tailor how you scan the slides to match how you expect to use them, but this is something I don't know enough about myself.

lkemilai
06-06-2007, 05:32 AM
I battle with the same problem as Rally... a slide duplicator and a bunch of slides in the closet and wondering if the obvious next step is really worth it ;)

Isn't the dynamic range dependent on the brightness of the backlighting used in the course that brighter is better?

Also, shouldn't a small aperture be used so the whole slide is in focus in the case that it isn't quite straight in the holder?

Larry

goldcrown
06-18-2007, 10:24 PM
While optical copying with a camera may not be ideal according to the consensus here, I just posted a photo of my new setup on this list, q.v. Early results look promising, so far.