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Scanning vs. Digital Camera for Copying Slides, Negatives and Prints

 
 
RH Horn
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      3rd May 2004
I am interested inconverting all my slides, negatives and prints to
digital images. I have a family heritage or legacy I want to leave to
my children.

I was thinking once my pictures were converted I could burn a CD or
DVD with family talking about the pictures, ad music and menu to allow
my family to search the family photo album. This way I could burn
copies instead of passing the photo album around.

A friend of mine has a flatbed scanner but it seems to take him
forever for scanning wand to move over the slide, negative or print.
He just recently bought a device called ShotCopy when seems to work
great! Just drop it in and click. He usese his own digital camera
which macro focus. The ShotCopy he bougth can be found at
http://www.shotcopy.com

I've been watching digital cameras and they seem to be getting much
better going from 1 to 8 mega pixels (and I've heard there are some
out there that go to 13 mega pixels.

My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
with a scanned image? Are there any other pitfalls I should be aware
of if I choose to use a digital camera to copy my slides, negatives
and prints instead of a scanner?

Thanks for your help,

Roberto
 
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Jim
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      3rd May 2004

"RH Horn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
> with a scanned image?

None. I regularly get about 12 Megapixels with my Coolscan IV ED, and it
only provides 2900 dpi.

By the way, if you should decide to store the images on a CD, don't for a
moment think that these devices are as archival as film.

Jim


 
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Mac McDougald
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Posts: n/a
 
      3rd May 2004
In article <S4ylc.23914$(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed) says...
>
> "RH Horn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >
> > My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
> > with a scanned image?

> None. I regularly get about 12 Megapixels with my Coolscan IV ED, and it
> only provides 2900 dpi.


11.2 MP max, to be exact, but who's counting

Mac
 
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Joe Rooney
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      4th May 2004

"Mac McDougald" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> In article <S4ylc.23914$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> (E-Mail Removed) says...
> >
> > "RH Horn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > >
> > > My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
> > > with a scanned image?

> > None. I regularly get about 12 Megapixels with my Coolscan IV ED, and

it
> > only provides 2900 dpi.

>
> 11.2 MP max, to be exact, but who's counting
>
> Mac


I recall reading about a slide adapter for the Nikon 990 which made for a
small package, but I tried and tried with my Olympus 3040 to get as close to
no avail.

I finally got a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual II at B&H for a price, at the time,
rivaled what they were going for on ebay. I recently scanned a bunch of
Vietnam Kodachromes for a friend and it made 30meg tiffs.

It doesn't do dark slides very well, but I firgured if I ran across the
mother of all slides, I'd have it scanned professionally.

Joe
Santa Clara, California


 
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bmoag
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      4th May 2004
Theoretically there is no reason a slide duplicating attachment for a film
slr should not work with a digital slr. Theoretically this would be a lot
faster than any film or flat bed scanner. Realistically the quality will not
be as good as with a dedicated scanner but probably very good indeed.


 
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Raphael Bustin
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Posts: n/a
 
      4th May 2004
On Mon, 03 May 2004 20:38:10 GMT, "Jim" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>"RH Horn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
>> with a scanned image?

>None. I regularly get about 12 Megapixels with my Coolscan IV ED, and it
>only provides 2900 dpi.
>
>By the way, if you should decide to store the images on a CD, don't for a
>moment think that these devices are as archival as film.



A "decent" 35 film scanner needn't set you back
more than a few hundred $ and will probably do
a better job than the digicam approach. That's
my guess, anyway.

6 million pixels works out to around 2000 dpi
"equivalent" for scanning a 35 mm frame.
That's OK but easy to beat with any dedicated
film scanner.

A 4000 dpi film scanner is will give 20 million
"real" RGB pixels, as opposed to the digicam
which gives 6 million RGB pixels from 1.5
million RGBG groups.

If you go the digicam and slide-copying route, I would
be very interested in seeing your results, however, or
even posting them on my site of "scan samples."


rafe b.
http://www.terrapinphoto.com
scan samples
http://www.terrapinphoto.com/jmdavis
 
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Dennis Lee Bieber
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      4th May 2004
On 3 May 2004 12:10:11 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (RH Horn) declaimed
the following in soc.genealogy.computing:


> My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
> with a scanned image? Are there any other pitfalls I should be aware


Meaningless question.

What size is the hypothetical scanned image? 8x10, 4x6?
What resolution is the scanner running at?
What is the end use of the image? Screen, photo-grade printer?

For example, a 4x6 scanned at 600DPI can be reset to 300DPI
(with no interpolation "resampling") to produce a photo-grade 8x12
print.

That same 4x6, scanned at 300DPI, will be too big to view on
even the highest resolution monitor (it would be 1200x1800 pixels).

This also gives you a hint of digi-cam needs -- to get the
effect of scanning that 4x6 at 300DPI, using a digi-cam, will require a
camera with over 1200x1800 pixels (you'll want an edge margin for
trimming). Call it a 2.5Mpixel camera. To do that 4x6 @600DPI will
require closer to a 9Mpixel camera.

> of if I choose to use a digital camera to copy my slides, negatives
> and prints instead of a scanner?


Forget macro mode (and forget wide-angle too) -- it will add
distortion (macro mode on common digi-cams is 2-8 inches. The best
results for copying will occur using the telephoto and stepping back
from the image. The less the difference between lens-to-image-center vs
lens-to-image-corner the flatter the image will appear. Have you ever
seen those images of a dog sniffing at a camera lens, and how the nose
looks really huge while the ears are small... Using macro/wide-angle to
get close to a photo will do the same thing -- the corners, which are
further away from the lens, will look smaller relative to the center of
the image.

--
> ============================================================== <
> (E-Mail Removed) | Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber KD6MOG <
> (E-Mail Removed) | Bestiaria Support Staff <
> ============================================================== <
> Home Page: <http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/> <
> Overflow Page: <http://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/> <

 
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Gene E. Bloch
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Posts: n/a
 
      4th May 2004
Dennis Lee Bieber <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> On 3 May 2004 12:10:11 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (RH Horn)
> declaimed the following in soc.genealogy.computing:
>
>

<SNIP items not relating to my verbose comments below :-) >

> Forget macro mode (and forget wide-angle too) -- it will add
> distortion (macro mode on common digi-cams is 2-8 inches. The best
> results for copying will occur using the telephoto and stepping
> back from the image. The less the difference between
> lens-to-image-center vs lens-to-image-corner the flatter the image
> will appear. Have you ever seen those images of a dog sniffing at
> a camera lens, and how the nose looks really huge while the ears
> are small... Using macro/wide-angle to get close to a photo will
> do the same thing -- the corners, which are further away from the
> lens, will look smaller relative to the center of the image.


That is in fact a function of the lens design, not the perspective
effect.

As long any given off-axis angle to a point on the object translates
to the identical (or exactly proportional) off-axis angle to a point
on the image regardless of where the point is, there will be no
distortion. For instance, an object point 22 degrees off axis should
give an image point 22*A degrees off axis, and an object point 39
degrees off axis should give an image point 39*A degrees off axis,
where A is a constant for a given lens. "A" would be 1.0 for a
normal lens, greater than 1.0 for a true telephoto, less than 1.0
for a retrofocus wide angle lens, and depending on focal length for
a zoom. An example of what I mean is the fisheye lens, which is
purposely designed to have this distortion in an extreme amount, so
that A is not constant, but diminishes the farther from the optical
axis you go.

What you described is in fact an effect of the change of perspective
with change in image distance, and happens when imaging three-
dimensional objects. It is not dependent on lens design, but on
plain old geometry.

Designing a zoom lens to have this rectilinear property at all focal
lengths, and any lens to have it at all distances, is not easy, even
in this day of computer-aided design. In fact, it's *very*
difficult...

Another problem is curvature of field, which tends to be worse at
closer distances. This is a change of focal length with the off-axis
angle, and its main result is that the corners of a flat object will
be out of focus when the center is OK, and vice versa. There are
cameras whose film carriers are curved to deal with this. The
original Minox spy camera and astronomers' original Schmidt
telescopes (not the modern Schmidt-Cassegrains such as Celestron)
come to mind.

In any case, I definitely agree that stepping farther back from a
flat object and using longer focal lengths to compensate will
normally produce better results :0)

BTW, expensive copy lenses are fixed-focal-length lenses which are
designed to have (among other good things) no rectilinear distortion
and no curvature of field. They are also typically of relatively
long focal length and relatively small aperture, such as f:8, which
simplifies the design problems.

HTH,
Gino



> --
> > ============================================================== <
> > (E-Mail Removed) | Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber KD6MOG <
> > (E-Mail Removed) | Bestiaria Support Staff <
> > ============================================================== <
> > Home Page: <http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/> <
> > Overflow Page: <http://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/> <

>




--
Gene E. Bloch (Gino) phone 650.966.8481
Call me letters find me at domain blochg whose dot is com

 
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David Chien
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      4th May 2004
Any of the Nikon CoolPix series that swivel (eg. older 9xx series, newer
5xxx series) that have the slide copier adapter will do.

eg. http://www.goldendolphin.com/weblog/CP5700/CP5700.htm

Other slide copiers:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/happenstance.html

http://www.dcresource.com/SlideCopier/index.html

http://www.ephotozine.com/equipment/...fm?test_id=124

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/specialt...forsomoca.html

http://www.bugeyedigital.com/product...ome-96msv.html

----

You can find many other examples online -- basically, even a 2MP digital
camera does a good enough job for most screen & 4x6" reprint purposes
that you don't have to worry about the resolution, etc.

Naturally, the closer you get towards 8MP and higher, the better your
digital camera snapshots, but other than that, you do get far faster
speed of captures vs. scanning.
 
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Roger Halstead
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      4th May 2004
On 3 May 2004 12:10:11 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (RH Horn) wrote:

>I am interested inconverting all my slides, negatives and prints to
>digital images. I have a family heritage or legacy I want to leave to
>my children.
>

There are quite a few who are now doing that, including myself.
I've started a page on this subject, but have a ways to go. I really
haven't addressed the issues of using a camera/copy stand/slide
duplicator yet, but I'm planning on doing so.
http://www.rogerhalstead.com/scanning.htm is the start.
It currently should help any one considering this as a project as to
how to start.

I'll offer some information, but you are going to have to make your
own decision and selection. For one, you haven't provided near enough
information for any one to answer the questions directly.

>I was thinking once my pictures were converted I could burn a CD or
>DVD with family talking about the pictures, ad music and menu to allow


This works if you don't have a lot of old family photos. In my case I
have tens of thousands of slides and half again as many negatives.
Then I have two very large boxes of prints dating back to a few
tintypes as well as what is often referred to as "petrified cardboard"
prints. I'm guessing I may have a bit over a 100 pounds in old
prints.

>my family to search the family photo album. This way I could burn
>copies instead of passing the photo album around.


If you are thinking of something on this order you want to make
*MULTIPLE* copies to pass around and keep at least TWO
in separate, safe places. CDs and DVDs are easily damaged and passing
them around much is almost a guarantee they will get trashed sooner or
later.

>
>A friend of mine has a flatbed scanner but it seems to take him
>forever for scanning wand to move over the slide, negative or print.
>He just recently bought a device called ShotCopy when seems to work
>great! Just drop it in and click. He usese his own digital camera
>which macro focus. The ShotCopy he bougth can be found at
>http://www.shotcopy.com


In my own opinion this would be a waste of time. He's making very
low resolution copies of slides on a digicam which would be low
resolution for even a computer screen. A "slide duplicator" probably
cost little more and would do a much better job.

There are a number of devices used for copying slides and old
photographs with varying degrees of success.

To do it justice you really need a camera and copy stand.
For slides there are "slide duplicators" that fit cameras that take
interchangeable lenses and do a good job.
However the first question you need to ask, is just what kind of
resolution do you want or need in the finished product?
Do you want something good enough to make 8 X 10s, or are you just
interested in images good enough to display on a computer screen?
This one is 1280 X 1024 which for a full height image is going to be
close to a 1.6 megapixel image and allows no room for error. In a few
years I'd expect to see twice that resolution so with a good setup I'd
want at least twice the resolution, or an absolute minimum of 3.2
megapixels for images just to display on a screen.

IF OTOH you want images good enough to make prints up to 8 X 10 that
means at 300 dpi for the print you should be thinking of a minimum of
2400 X 3000 for a 7.2 mega pixel sensor. Actually you can get by
quite nicely using a 5 megapixel camera.

Remember too that 35mm slides are 1 by 1 1/2 inches which is a
different aspect ratio that any digital cameras with which I am
familiar.

Copy stands in the hands of an experienced photographer do very well,
but again it depends on what you want for the finished product.
One thing I do want to point out and that is you will not come near
the resolution of the original slide with most digital cameras. OTOH
that may not be your goal.

>
>I've been watching digital cameras and they seem to be getting much
>better going from 1 to 8 mega pixels (and I've heard there are some
>out there that go to 13 mega pixels.


IF you are talking high resolution you are talking a lot more than a
simple Point and shoot (P&S) camera. You are talking money from both
the camera and computer standpoint. Large, high resolution images
take up a lot of space on hard drives and when put on CDs or DVDs.

>
>My question is, what digital camera should I buy that would equate
>with a scanned image? Are there any other pitfalls I should be aware
>of if I choose to use a digital camera to copy my slides, negatives
>and prints instead of a scanner?


This is kinda, sorta, an open ended question, but I can understand
asking in this fashion. It's just that to properly answer it will
take a lot of space.

First, comparing cameras to scanned images. "It's very difficult to
do". Scanners come in a wide variety of resolutions (dots per inch or
dpi) and a considerable range of costs.

Most of today's flat bed scanners will scan 2400 dpi. In general that
is a useless resolution as it's rare to find something to scan in a
flat bed that has that kind of detail.

For example, if you scan a 4 X 5 inch print at 2400 dpi that is 9600
by 12,000, or 115,200,000 (115 megapixels) and would take several
hundred megabytes of Hard drive space at an 8 bit color depth. That
is roughly 4 or 5 images on a CD. You will find few people who could
afford a camera that could do that.

So, from that approach you can not find a practical equivalent camera,
BUT you don't need that kind of resolution even for large prints.

Again, without knowing your goal as far as the final product it is
almost impossible to answer in specific terms, but "in general you
don't need to scan over 300 dpi on a flat bed. That makes a 4 X 5
1200 by 1500 pixels or about the same as a high resolution screen
display. Don't expect to scan a small image at high resolution and
then create a high quality enlargement. Physics just doesn't work that
way.

I have seen a number of flat beds that come with a film strip adapter.
My HP 5470c has one, but I've yet to see one I cared for. I use a
Nikon LS 5000 ED scanner, but it is a tad more than most want to spend
of scanning the "old family slides". It's also 4000 dpi which results
in a TIFF of about 64 megs for each image. I have a bulk feeder for
slides and it took me 6 weeks to get most of the slides scanned in
which take up well over 100 Gig. That is approximately 25 DVDs.

When it comes to using a copy stand you need to get it all properly
aligned, the camera precisely leveled and the old photos aligned
precisely at right angles to the camera lens axis. Although the
process works very well you need a way to position the old prints
properly, two and preferably four photo floods to light the old prints
and a good size piece of non reflective glass to cover them. The glass
holds the photos flat and helps to eliminate reflections from the
room.

Although your friend's flat bed may seem slow, setting up and using a
copy stand can make it look blazingly fast.

Using my flat bed I can copy about 4 prints a minute. The LS 5000 ED
will do a slide including preview in about 20 seconds although I
figure about 30 seconds. Then any post processing adds to that, but
it does a fantastic job of "fixing" old, faded slides.

There is a wide variety of dedicated slide and film strip scanners.
The prices vary from cheap to pretty steep. The quality also varies.
HOWEVER Unless you are aiming for the ultimate in resolution and want
to archive the most information available in the images you really
don't need the best on the market.

You can purchase a very nice flat bed large enough to do legal
documents and even a half way decent job on slides with resolutions on
the order of 2400 dpi for a few hundred dollars. Say $200 to $300
USD

In the same price range you can purchase a very nice dedicated slide
and film scanner.

Look over the scanners and then look up the reviews on them and spend
some time in the scanner news groups to see what people think of these
scanners.

There are some pros and cons. For one, regardless how it looks,
*overall* scanning will be faster. OTOH although slower you can
combine the functions and have a very nice digital camera for the same
money.

Myself, I much prefer the scanners when doing this kind of work. If
very many slides and photos are involved it can be a long, tedious
process that will require a lot of dedication to finish.
In my case I figure I have at least another 6 months of scanning in
negatives now that I have the slides scanned and then maybe as a
kinda, sorta, SWAG another 3 months to do the old photos on the flat
bed. Overall I'm looking at something on the order of a years project
and I've been spending close to 3 hours a day on it and I have good,
fast equipment.

Good Luck and best wishes.

Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com

>
>Thanks for your help,
>
>Roberto


 
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