Slide Scanner Recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ian, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    864
    I've got a lot of old photos to convert to digital over the coming months and I wondered if anyone here had experience with slide scanners? I imagine they're all pretty good in terms of image quality, but given the number of slides I've got to scan, some sort of automation would be helpful.

    Has anyone here used a slide scanner before and have any tips or suggestions that may be useful? I guess a slide scanner that works without a PC would be useful (i.e. copies to SD card), as that would save a lot of time.
     
    Ian, Jul 10, 2018
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Ian

    V_R ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Likes Received:
    1,351
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    I had hundreds of slides that I had to scan and archive, mostly it was 120 medium format film slides that he had made and some 35mm slides that my late Grandfather had of my mum, the family and all sorts of other stuff, F1 from the 50's and 60's for example!

    I did a bit of research of my options, even as far as having someone do it for me, but that was silly money.

    I ended up getting an Epson V550 flatbed scanner off eBay. The image quality is far better than one of those little units you can find on Amazon etc as they just take a photo of the slide, usually resulting in a poorer, lower res image. Where as the V550 can scan at a much higher res. Obviously I had to find a nice balance between scan time, file size and image quality.

    If your interested you can borrow it. I've done what I need for now and should probably put it back on the bay.

    Vid's...



     
    V_R, Jul 10, 2018
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    864
    Thanks @V_R, that's really helpful! We've got to do a similar thing with old family slides on Becky's side, but I know my parents also have a box of 1000's of them that may be useful to convert.

    How long did it take for you to scan slides, is it a particularly time consuming process per slide? Or is it easy enough to bash them out?

    We're visiting Becky's grandmother in not too long, so we'll likely pick up the slides then and I'll be able to see what size/format they're in. I'll also find out what format my dad has. I think we'll have 1000's in total, so I want something that's pretty zippy :lol:!

    That's a kind offer about letting us borrow it - however I suspect if we're tackling that number it'll be a long term project at that rate we scan them. However, if it looks like it'll be a good fit (once I've got hold of the slides and checked them), then do let me know if you're about to list it on eBay and I might buy it direct if it works out :thumb:.
     
    Ian, Jul 11, 2018
    #3
  4. Ian

    V_R ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Likes Received:
    1,351
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    Its not too bad once you get into the swing of it, its the actual scanning time that takes the time - the higher the quality the longer it takes. But once you've got your settings dialled in and are happy with the results you can get into quite a good workflow. I was just doing it while I was doing other things.

    I would say prep is everything, like making sure there isn't any dust on the scanner or negatives as it will just look crap on the final scan and you will spend much longer trying to remove it via PS!

    My Granddad had quite a few, not sure on exact numbers but it must have been 500+. I did it over a couple of months, a few here and there, or a chunk when you get on it.

    I'll post a couple of examples later, after the game obviously, give you an idea.
     
    V_R, Jul 11, 2018
    #4
    Ian likes this.
  5. Ian

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Greenwich
    I've scanned slides with my Epson 4490 scanner (it's probably about 10 years old now) and the quality is excellent but the process is very time consuming.

    It wouldn't suit the amount of conversion you have to do.

    I'm aware there are now scanners that speed the process a great deal but I have no knowledge of them. Have you looked at any devices for the task? And if so which?
     
    floppybootstomp, Jul 13, 2018
    #5
  6. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    864
    Thanks @floppybootstomp - it's the time factor that concerns me, as it sounds like this will take me weeks of full time work. Ironically all of the people I'll be scanning these from are all retired and have plenty of time, grumble grumble :lol:. There's no way they'd scan these though, so it'll be a team effort between me and Bex to get it done.

    The ones I was focusing on were the little stand-alone ones from Amazon, there are lots similar to this one:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Veho-Smartfix-Megapixel-Negatives-Compatible/dp/B072KKDL3N/

    However, after what V_R said, it sounds like going for a proper scanner is the way to go. I'd rather do it properly, once, as it won't be possible to re-do it in 20 years.

    What I may need to do is be selective with the slides I scan, as I imagine 50% aren't worth keeping. That's 39732 days of work saved ;).
     
    Ian, Jul 13, 2018
    #6
  7. Ian

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Greenwich
    Ian, the one you selected looks good, had some good reviews, might go for one of those myself, I've been considering something that does the job faster.

    I can remember asking on this forum about the cheaper scanners and whether they were any good but it was pointed out to me the quality wasn't very good as they just take a photo of the negative/slide rather than actually scanning it.
     
    floppybootstomp, Jul 13, 2018
    #7
    Ian likes this.
  8. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    864
    Thanks @floppybootstomp. I'm getting the slides in a few weeks hopefully, so once I've had a look at the size and quality of them, I'll make the jump and get something :).
     
    Ian, Jul 14, 2018
    #8
  9. Ian

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Greenwich
    I bought that Veho negative scanner, it arrived Friday and I've scanned about 400 negatives so far, mostly 35mm.

    In short, I'm pleased with it, scanning is easy and very quick. The quality is good but not as flexible as using my Epson scanner. I've put a couple of 35mm scans below dating from around 1996 (taken with a cheapo camera) to give an idea plus some snaps of the scanner itself.

    I also bought a new 32Gb fast SD card for my Sony camera and used the old 16Gb SD card that was in that for the scanner.

    Battery took 4 hours to charge initially and subsequent top up charges have only taken about 15 minutes after a scanning session. I've connected the scanner to my computer and the Sony Camera software takes care of the image transfer, opening by default on connection. But of course the SD card can be taken out and placed in a holder for transfer of images.

    I did scan a few 110 size negatives from around 1977 taken with a Kodak Instamatic and the quality wasn't very good but I don't suppose the quality of the original negative was that clever to start with.

    Verdict: Well worth 80 quid.

    Coupla scans:

    PICT0095.JPG

    PICT0110.JPG

    The scanner:
    001_800.jpg

    002_800.jpg

    003_800.jpg

    004_800.jpg
     
    floppybootstomp, Aug 12, 2018
    #9
    Becky and Ian like this.
  10. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    864
    Thanks for the info and example photos @floppybootstomp - the quality is better than I'd expected from one of the mini scanners! Does it do everything on-board? i.e. do you just scan all of the slides direct to the unit (no PC connection), then it saves them all as JPGs on the SD card?

    I think we may be lucky and another relative is going to scan all of the slides from Becky's grandparents - I'm going to pass the recommendations from this thread on to them, as it looks like both types are good options (depending on how much time they have and quality levels).
     
    Ian, Aug 13, 2018
    #10
  11. Ian

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Greenwich
    How I go about the scanning process is thus: First I identify the neg strips are up the right way and round the right way so as not to get upside down and mirror images then lay them out ready for scanning - this stage takes the longest though I've found that most batches of negs are all the same way round.

    Then I place each strip in the holder, the square holes at the edge of each strip align with lugs on the holder. As the film doesn't always get loaded into the camera to exactly the same aperture then I may have to align where the images join on the neg strip with the vertical bar on the holder (see picture). This takes seconds.

    Then the holder with negs is pushed into the scanner until the first image lines up square with the viewing screen. This nearly always coincides to where the holder will click to a stop within the scanner though sometimes manual adjustment sliding is necessary. Push a button, 2 or 3 seconds and it's scanned to a *.jpg image on the SD card. Push the holder along until next image is aligned then press button again. And so on.

    Once a few have been carried out the process becomes kind of automatic, it's really very simple.

    As I mentioned, only disadvantage is lack of adjustment, with my Epson flatbed scanner I can at least adjust the resolution. And if I need to adjust any I have an old copy of Photoshop CS5.
     
    floppybootstomp, Aug 13, 2018
    #11
    Ian likes this.
  12. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Likes Received:
    864
    Nice and easy! Thanks @floppybootstomp - these both look like good options, depending on the quality level we're after.
     
    Ian, Aug 13, 2018
    #12
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.