Slide Scanner Recommendations?

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

  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    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
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  2. Ian

    V_R ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Moderator

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    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
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  3. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    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
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  4. Ian

    V_R ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Moderator

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    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
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  5. Ian

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    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 at 4:12 PM
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  6. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    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 at 5:04 PM
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  7. Ian

    floppybootstomp sugar 'n spikes Moderator

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    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 at 6:08 PM
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  8. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    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 at 3:56 PM
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