Looking for a 35mm slide scanner...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rudini, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. rudini macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I was handed down my grandfathers old 35mm slide collection, you know, the one you need a projector and a carousel for... Well there are about 8000 of these things, and i was wondering if there are any recommendations for a good-quality scanner.

    I don't need anything super fast or super expensive, i just want my effort/time investment not to go to waste and get some decent quality conversions out of it!

    Thank you in advance, any help would be greatly appreciated!

    -rudy
     
  2. betomax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #2
    I'm interested in an answer, too

    Costco has the PrimeFilm 3600u &3650u slide/film scanners for sale. Looks like the 3650u is a few years old, and the 3600u is much older. Is this a niche which doesn't get much in the way of new tech development?
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    The industry "standard" is the Nikon Coolscan 5000. This is the unit that everyone who has a lot of film to scan uses. They cost about $1k
    http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/ProductDetail.page?pid=9238

    But be warned. This is a HUGE job. Every slide needs to be cleaned at least with a blast of canned air, but some with a camel hair brush, scanned and then you absolutly have to put it into Photoshop and do some hand work or at least look and varify that none is required. If you can do one slide in five minutes you are working at a good speed. Don't expect that you can beat that pace. Many slides WILL need to have some dust and scratches removed using Photoshop. The scanner's automatic exposure and color balance is never perfect. Most take about 3 minutes of work to be passable and more to be perfect.

    The scanner users Kodak "ICE" to remove dust and scratches. Whatever scanner y get make sure it has this. Kodak licenses ICE to all the scanner makers. It works well to remove 80% of the junk.

    For about $2,000 you can hire this job out and be done with it or you can spend $1,000 for a scanner and 400 to 500 hours of your time.

    One place that can do the work in scancafe.com They have good quality control. You can get the slides scanned at 3,000 DPI JPG for cheap or for about double the price you can have them scanned to 4,000 DPI TIFF files.

    If these slides are very high quality (good equipment, technique and fine grain film) and you want to edit them then 4,000 dpi tiffs are best but if you just want to look at them JPG will do fine.

    I'm working on a scanning project also and I've decided by time is worth more then $1 per hour so I've outsourced the scanning. But I still have to tag each image with meta data and load it into Aperture. You really can't get around this last part. If you don't tag each image then 8,000 image files with names like IMG03245.TIF will just be useless to you. I have been sending between 1,000 and 1,500 images out each month because that is all the time I have for entering the metadata tags
     
  4. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #4
    I have the Nikon Coolscan 5000. It's a fine machine, producing good scans. But I scan my old transparencies when I have a particular use for them (particularly uploading to a stock picture library), which means I scan a batch or two every month. That's a manageable task. The thought of scanning 8,000 trannies does NOT appeal. It would take for ever. :-(

    If you've inherited this collection, what use do you have for them? If you want to create a sort of family archive, I'd suggest you pick the best 100 images and scan them (or get them scanned by somebody else).
     
  5. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #5
    I was wondering about this too - looks like some of the Canon flatbeds have slide/negative attachments built into the cover and I was thinking of getting one of those...

    I have a regular Canon flatbed scanner and it's really nice as far as images scanned from prints.
     
  6. filmweaver macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #6
    Use a Camera

    Why couldn't you use a camera set up with a slide holder, macro lens, artificial light source?
    I have thought about this myself but never tried it, at least not yet.
    Has anyone else tried this setup?
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    To all of you who have suggested a cheap flat bed scanner or just re-shooting with a macro lens. Don't.

    First off film is NOT flat so the macro lens will never have perfect focus all over the frame. Also very few people have an SLR good enough to capture all the image quality of a good slide. You need at least a 24MP full frame camera. And i mean "at least". Film has much higher resolution and dynamic range then any DSLR

    The flat bed scanner can do good work but yo need a very good high end scaner with "D Max" spec of about 4. And then you need some good third party scanning software that can drive the scanner to do "multi-scans". This is like doing "HDR" in the scanner.

    Next think about your TIME. You can't do 20 quality scans in an hour. More like 15 or less. What is your time worth? Would you work for $4 an hour or $6?

    If you are going to do all 8,000 slides figure it will take two months of full time (8 hour days, 5 days a week) If you are going to invest that much time whu skimp on the scanner hardware? Spend the money or you will be wasting hundreds of hours of your time.

    Next: Do you really need then ALL scanned? You might if the slides have already been edited and the "junk" tossed out. If all 8,000 are the "selects" then yes, scan them. But if only one in 10 slides is good. Then you have a much smaller job. Buy a good light table and a loupe, select the best 10% and send them off to be scanned.
     
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Chris is right, but i need to clarify - i thought it was recommended to not use compressed air b/c the chemicals in that air could get onto the slide and possibly ruin the film?
    Chris, can you shed some more light? I scan slides too and have been using a Hakuba air pump :)
     
  9. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #9
    I use the Nikon Coolscan V ED, and it's good. The biggest downside of it is that it is not compatible with Nikon's optional batch scanning unit, so slides need to be fed one at a time. Although from the many reviews I've read, the batch feed unit isn't very reliable anyway, so maybe this isn't such a big deal.
     
  10. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #10
    So, which one to get?
     
  11. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #11
    What experience are you basing this suggestion? Have you used a recent model flatbed scanner? The technology has improved signficantly over the last few years and a moderately-priced flatbed scanner such as the Epson v500 might be more than adequate for the OP's needs. It certainly has been for mine and has given me far better results than what I've received from any local mini-lab scans.
     
  12. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    i don't know about Chris, but I have the V700 which maybe slightly older than the V500, but it hands down sucks compared to my Nikon 5000 for slide scanning. Yes, a much cheaper model, but the scans were incredibly worse on the Epson. That may have changed with the 500, but I would guess against.
     
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    I have read many review of flatbed scanners for scanning slides and negatives. The problem is that most don't realize that half the battle is the software being used with the scanner. This includes the comment on the v700 by Epson. I have a v750, use Silverfast and get excellent results. Then again I and very careful on what I am doing. There are a few reviews of this scanner that do real comparisons to dedicated film scanners and it holds up quite nicely.

    The Nikon 5000 series film/slide scanner is a great scanner. It also offers additional parts to speed up work by "stacking" your slides so to speak but careful not to jam up the unit or you will be pulling your hair out.

    I don't own the 5000 series but have used it to help a friend out on a project. i own a rare item - Minolta Dimage Elite 5400. Since people like to compare - I'll put this scanner up against the 5000 any day to get same and better results. <grin> It rated better than Nikons offerings on virtually all pro reviews.

    Truth be said, V750 by Epson for general scanning should work if* you are careful and use a good software, The M1 by Microtek is so so but doable, and yes the Nikon 5000 is of all three the best of the bunch.

    Softwares to consider - AI Silverfast and Vuescan. The former costing major bucks but in some ways better than Vuescan.

    Just my two bits

    - Phrehdd
     
  14. atlanticza macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #14
    I bought a Canon flat scanner (CanoScan 8800F) for this purpose - maximum of 4 x 35mm mounted slides per scan and results are very good, but not for processing 8000 slides!

    Unless you really like scanning and have the time/patience, outsource the job - it'll be cheaper in the long term.
     
  15. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    atlanticza brings up the point of 8000 slides which I meant to discuss - you need due diligence to go through these slides prior to scanning. What I suggest to my clients is to start going through them and write subject titles on an envelope and then tuck each slide into the related envelope. number each slide within each envelope.

    This does 2 things:
    1. cuts down on the # of slides to be scanned b/c many slides are duplicates or very similar ie. a photo of a player catching a football while in the air and then the next photo is of the guy coming down with the ball - you really don't need 2 or the most popular one is of someone's facing looking one way and the next pic, their face is the other way.

    2. it's more organized and concise. Some folks' slides are meticulously organized, but others are just slammed back into carousels b/c kids have watched them in the past (or the adults aren't that careful :)

    So I'd do that first, then worry about how you'll scan them.

    Also, I can't remember if this was mentioned, but the DPI you scan at determines 2 things:
    1. obviously the quality of the scan..the higher the better
    2. the more DPI means a longer scan. 3000 DPI should do the trick or at a minimum 2000.

    Good luck,
    keebler
     
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    Really well stated!

    Also to consider - in organizing your transparancies/slides, its not a bad idea to separate out by film..thus kodachromes, ekta, agfa, fuji etc. When you go to scan, "like" images on "like" film are far easier to deal with.
     
  17. betomax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #17
    Thanks for the tips!

    You all have posted lots of insights I have not considered.

    I'm asking as the tech advisor for my father in law who plans on scanning his slide collection when he retires from work. My experience with Costco is that while a dedicated researcher can find better items and maybe better deals somewhere else, it can always be said that I've been happy with anything I've purchased there. With that, is the PrimeFilm 3650, which has Digital ICE 3 among others, not at all worth considering? I realize this task will take lots of time and is worth doing right. I just want to make certain that we have a realistic "buy-in" cost and that there are no surprises.
     
  18. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #18
    Another vote for the CanoScan 8800F. Better results than I had hoped for, but not for that amount of slides. The only downside is that it is not supported by VueScan, which I use for general scanning duties, so you will need Photoshop Elements at least just to capture images.

    The other low tech and cheaper solution is to buy a slide attachment for your DSLR and photograph your slides again in a good light. I had a go at this, but the Canon produced much better results.
     
  19. Malcolmu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    OH
    #19
    What I found

    I found your post strictly by accident as I rarely go to forums. I am thinking of converting my slides to digital. This past Christmas I was given a VuPOINT converter. This unit works on both Windows and Mac, IF, you the correct Microsoft program(s) on your Mac. I do not have.

    All I was finding were the flat bed scanners. I have a HP Scanjet 4600 Series digital flatbed scanner. I have been unable to get to scan. Also it scans only 1 slide at a time. So that is out.

    I found a unit similar to the VuPoint at http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/digital-conversion/b070/images/3484/. It is a ImageLab FS-5C05, 5 MegaPixel Slide and Negative Scanner.

    This unit is made by Imagelab. Their web site is: http://www.imagelab.us/ They have two units, but only the FS-5C05 is a available now. The FS-5T12 will be out later in 2009.

    The package contains the unit, power adapter, USB cable, 2 trays each for slides and negatives. Each trays hole 4 slides or negatives. This unit can be used on Macs and any other OS, A big plus is that YOU DONOT need to be connected to your computer. Images are stored on a SD card up to a 2MB card.

    I sent an email to the company, CustomerService@imagelab.us. I had a telephone call back with in 15 minutes answering my questions. I could not believe it.

    Yesterday I ordered this unit from Sears. http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_05294224000P?keyword=35+mm+slide+convert&sLevel=0 I decided on Sears over the other place, because it can be returned much easier if needed.
     
  20. jakfrost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #20
    Kodachrome scanning...

    Thanks to ChrisA!! I have been 'thinking 'bout' my years of slide photography, some of which was done with my lovely Maymia 6, and how I would ever approach the job, given the massive effort it would take to complete it.

    Now I am sorting slides this evening in preparation for shipping them off to "One place that can do the work is scancafe.com", these folks. It will cost me the price of the Nikon in the end but save me literally months/years of work.

    I can now put my time towards organizing instead of 'scanning'.

    Thanks for the info, as usual this forum is a wealth of good information.

    Jim
     
  21. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #21
    Depends on your desired quality. If only image for web site, then flat bed.

    If pro usage, need a pro scanner.

    Distortion from lens.
     
  22. filmweaver macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
  23. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #23
    I'm dubious about the quality of this scanner.

    It only has 16Mb built in memory and claims to scan photos at 5 megapixels. You do the maths. Either way, it says repeatedly on the website that it can take an SD card up to 2 megabytes (not gigabytes) and only has a USB1.1 interface. Hmm.
     

Share This Page