Scanning 35 mm slides on the cheap!

I've got hundreds of old slides, some of which I would like to play about with if only I could get them onto the pc. I dont fancy paying loadsamoney for a light box thingy - how easy would it be to make my own, maybe incorporating my new LED torch (birthday present), which has a blinding light?
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I saw a design a few years ago which used just two mirrors fastened by tape at right angles and placed over the slide on the bed of an ordinary scanner. I'm sure if you google around, the plans will still be out there.
--
Lawrence



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On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 20:34:08 +0100, "Lawrence Milbourn"

Don't bother - built one - useless except as an interesting experiment.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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On 17 Sep 2004, Peter Parry wrote

Agreed. I have an little HP scanner accessory which does the same thing -- a sort of prism which reflects the light from the flat-bed scanner upwards and then back down through the slide. As you might imagine, the results are pretty poor since the slide is being both top- and bottom-lit at the same time.
If a true slide scanner isn't affordable, though, you can get standard scanners with a light in the lid to "downlight" one or two slides at a time; the software turns off the bottom-scanning light. I've tried one of these -- a Canon 3200F -- and it works pretty well.
It's not as good as a dedicated slide scanner, of course, but the results are really quite acceptable.
--
Cheers,
Harvey
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Useless as an experiment or as a scanner?
My attempt was useless as both!
mike
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On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 20:34:08 +0100, "Lawrence Milbourn"

What kind of results would one achieve by projecting the slides on to the best quality screen possible, then photographing the pictures with a digital camera? The quality might not be as high as the original slides, but for quick persual in a web-based album, they might be better than nothing. I, too, took hundreds of slides years ago, and the last time I enquired at Jessops, a slide scanner was around 150.
MM
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with
a
incorporating my

A cheap solution would be to buy a normal scanner that has a slide/negative accessory with it - Epson for example have them on several models. The downside is the slide scanning resolution would only be as good as the scanner resolution - which would not give very high quality due to the small size of slide. That is the reason why dedicated slide scanners are so expensive - you get what you pay for. It is not worth trying to make a light box with your LED torch because the colour temperature would be wrong (not pure white) and you also need to ensure the light is evenly spread over the whole slide - needs a more diffused light source.
Dave
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Whilst not having the resolution of a dedicated film scanner, a flatbed such as the Epson 1670 has an optical resolution of 1600 x 3200 dpi. Not *quite* sure what that means - but even at 1600 dpi, it would give an image of about 2250 x 1500 pixels from a 36mm x 24mm slide - putting it in the same ballpark as a 3 - 4 MegaPixel digital camera.
--
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Set Square
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wrote:

Problem with scanners is that they are designed for sheets of paper and the slide scanning is almost without exception mediocre. I've tried the 1670 and would suggest it's performance on slides is very significantly inferior to the results obtained by a 1M pixel camera with a good lens.
If you want decent results you really need a slide scanner and, if the slides are old one, with integral Digital ICE
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Peter Parry.
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Peter Parry wrote:

Depends on what you use. Some of the top end film scanners used for comecial repro are actually flatbed, although we are talking >10,000 quid here ;-)
For the ones that have transparency scanning added as an afterthought I would however agree, the results ara a bit disapointing.

The 1690 Pro does actually give quite acceptable results, but does lack ICE.

A friend recently bought a Epson Perfection 4870 Photo Scanner, which has an optical resolution of 4800 X 9600 Dpi. More importantly it has a DMax of 3.8 which matches and in some cases exceeeds that of the top end Nikon film scanners. It also has ICE. This makes a decent job of 35mm originals.
--
Cheers,

John.

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Another solution to get slides into digital format is to re-photograph them, with a suitable back-lighter, with a digital camera. However, I do not know if such devices are available, although they were made for pentaxes and similar SLR film cameras. Providing the camera has close enough focus, it should be possible to make one. I recently had some 4 by 3 inch glass plate negatives done this way, with good results, although this with a Nikon digital camera. I also have an Epson 1670 scanner, which came with a 35mm slide and neg. attachment, good for the money - 80.

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On 19 Sep 2004, StephenC wrote

I had slide-duping tubes like that years ago (Minolta), but never got very good results -- second-generation images were being produced from a lens which was inferior to the original, and there was a *lot* of image loss and distortion.
Logic tells me that whilst digital is probably better, one would probably be dogged with the same problem: that is, if the lens on the camera you're using isn't superior to the one which took the original slide, you're on a losing curve, and you'll probably get better digital information from a scanner than by using a camera to do the digitising.

I have similar kit -- a Canon 3200F with a slide-scannig lamp in the lid -- and it works pretty well. The results aren't professional level, but this field is a "pays money/takes choice" thing: the only way to get if truly *good* quality slide scans is to use a dedicated slide scanner (or pay a commercial firm to do it with professional kit).
--
Cheers,
Harvey
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That's the crunch part isn't it

--
geoff

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Another solution to get slides into digital format is to re-photograph them, with a suitable back-lighter, with a digital camera. However, I do not know if such devices are available, although they were made for pentaxes and similar SLR film cameras. Providing the camera has close enough focus, it should be possible to make one. I recently had some 4 by 3 inch glass plate negatives done this way, with good results, although this with a Nikon digital camera. I also have an Epson 1670 scanner, which came with a 35mm slide and neg. attachment, good for the money - 80.

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snip

http://www.mav-magazine.com/Apr2000/page17.html
Or Google on slide copier.
There's a lot of different simple ways of achieving this. The main problem, as someone else pointed out, is the sheer time and tedium of doing the job
-- Paul Mc Cann
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wrote:

Hi,
Flatbed scanners that can scan film have a backlight and a deeper carriage, in those respects they are no different from dedicated film scanners.

I've had reasonable results scanning negatives with a Canoscan 5000F, here's a sample of the Eiffel Tower:
http://www.smileypete.dsl.pipex.com/Scan0001b.jpg (1.8Mb)
I would say that viewing on a 1280x1024 screen captures all the available detail, putting it about 1.3Mp.
Here's another one of the Champs Elysee:
http://www.smileypete.dsl.pipex.com/Scan00011b.jpg (1.6Mb)
This time if you zoom in on the lights at the end of the street, then look at the image at 1280x1024, the screen doesn't represent all the detail fully.
This detail is better represented at 1900x1200, so I'd put it at 2Mp, and expect it can give pretty good enlargements up to 12" x 8".

If you just want to print off some reasonable enlargements I would say that a film capable flatbed scanner will do.
If you want to digitally archive or create very good enlargments from slides then a good dedicated film scanner is required.
One thing I've found is that the 5000F doesn't cope too well with flash pictures where areas are over exposed, I'm going to get some tinted film to reduce the light output to see if that helps.
If you just want reasonable enlargements with the occasional top quality one, one way to go is to do the former with a flatbed scanner and send the slides away for the latter.
cheers, Pete.
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wrote:

Hi,
Flatbed scanners that can scan film have a backlight and a deeper carriage, in those respects they are no different from dedicated film scanners.

I've had reasonable results scanning negatives with a Canoscan 5000F, here's a sample of the Eiffel Tower:
http://www.smileypete.dsl.pipex.com/Scan0001b.jpg (1.8Mb)
I would say that viewing on a 1280x1024 screen captures all the available detail, putting it about 1.3Mp.
Here's another one of the Champs Elysee:
http://www.smileypete.dsl.pipex.com/Scan00011b.jpg (1.6Mb)
This time if you zoom in on the lights at the end of the street, then look at the image at 1280x1024, the screen doesn't represent all the detail fully.
This detail is better represented at 1900x1200, so I'd put it at 2Mp, and expect it can give pretty good enlargements up to 12" x 8".

If you just want to print off some reasonable enlargements I would say that a film capable flatbed scanner will do.
If you want to digitally archive or create very good enlargments from slides then a good dedicated film scanner is required.
One thing I've found is that the 5000F doesn't cope too well with flash pictures where areas are over exposed, I'm going to get some tinted film to reduce the light output to see if that helps.
If you just want reasonable enlargements with the occasional top quality one, one way to go is to do the former with a flatbed scanner and send the slides away for the latter.
cheers, Pete.
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Hi All,
I've just found this NG... the subject is exactly what I am after.
I have about 3000 35mm slides, mostly kodachrome 25/64, ektachrome, cibachrome and lately Fuji Provia. I would like to scan the lot, to a standard which fully preserves the quality.
In 1999 I bought, for about 600, a Canon FS2710 slide scanner. This is 2700dpi which in theory should give fantastic results compared to any digital camera - but it doesn't. The uncompressed file format from it (e.g. a BMP) is the right size for the res, about 25MB. But saving it to a Jpeg yields an 800k file - much too small and comparable to a 2 megapixel camera. However if I scan direct into say Photoshop (and then I get a 25MB file in there), save the file in PS at the highest quality Jpeg setting it offers, and compare the resulting ~ 3MB file (on screen, max zoom) with the 800k one which came straight from the scanner's software, I can't see any difference. BOTH are pretty naff.
It is as if the scanner compressed to a jpeg on the transfer to the PC! Even if going straight to an application.
The scanner went back to Canon very recently who charged me 150 for replacing the scanner unit but nothing has changed.
The scanner had always been used for scanning low quality product pics for a business website so its quality was never tested on outdoor pics.
Most of my pics are landscapes and similar. Some of the pics are here
www.peter2000.co.uk/aviation/crete/crete.html
where those with the 'click to see a larger pic' option are scanned slides. The colours are way off! The rest were taken with a Casio Z4 (4 megapixel) which is a tiny camera but is basically better than the 2700dpi Canon scanner!
The other thing is colour management. The scanned image is very dark. I have to do (in PS)
Assign Colour Profile (choose the Canon 2710 profile) Convert to Colour Profile (as above)
and that makes the image a lot better. But I don't see why these steps should be necessary - the scanner software should just return the "right" colour... Any colour management should be available for the display device.
The software was developed before Windows 2000 which is what I am running under, but it does the same under NT4.
Whatever is actually wrong with it, it is clear that this scanner won't do for scanning slides which one might then want to dispose of afterwards.
I've read some reviews of scanners and Nikon do one for about 3000 which is way too much. I contacted a lot of scanning bureaus and they want a min of 50p a slide and one wanted 10 a slide, for scanning them in oil, apparently!
A friend has another 3000 slides and we could put them all together...
I suppose what I want is two things:
1. a scanner which is really excellent and which I can rent for a month or so
2. a scanner which is a lot better than the 1999 Canon...
I would really appreciate any suggestions...
Peter. -- Return address is invalid to help stop junk mail. E-mail replies to snipped-for-privacy@peter2000XY.co.uk but remove the X and the Y. Please do NOT copy usenet posts to email - it is NOT necessary.
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On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 17:31:23 +0100, Peter

Err, which one?

[snipped saga of poor transparency scanners]

It seems early scanners weren't much good at colour matching. I got bitten by that with both a Canon LS-20 (Colorscan II) and a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi II. Neither produce acceptable scans from colour film and I am still looking for a solution.
Computer Shopper Oct 04 (issue 200) has an interesting review of scanners. The Mustek BearPaw 4800TA Pro II at £60 inc VAT was highly rated for FILM scanning although it is basically an A4 flatbed. It will take 2 strips of 6 by 35mm.
"It's an A4 2,400x4,800dpi flatbed scanner that produces high-quality results from photos, negatives and slides and costs much less than we'd expect for such results."
"2,400x4,800dpi optical resolution, 48-bit colour depth, USB Hi-Speed interface, transparency adaptor. Part code 98-155-00010"
The review is at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/shopper/reviews/62107/bearpaw-4800ta-pro-ii.html . I'm not sure if you need to subscribe to view it (I have).
I am coming to the conclusion that to get good results from my scanners I need to buy some colour calibration targets and colour matching software - not a cheap option, and as you say, the damn things should do it as sold anyway.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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wrote:

I have just scanned an image from a 15 year old Kodak Gold 100 negative, using the Minolta Dimage Scan Dual 2, it is straight from the scanner, except for a slight correction for a green cast, and was scanned using the Minolta software. The original bmp file size was 26MB, but it has been saved as a jpg on 'High quality' (8), giving an uploaded file size of 1.6MB The image is on the following link, (can you recognise the face), but it needs saving, and opening in an image programme to view properly.
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gavin.gillespie/Lawrence/images/sammy.jpg
This would give a 12" x 8" print at 300 pixels/inch, which is not bad from a full frame 35mm negative, or 18" x 12" at 200 pixels/inch.
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