Slide digitizer recommendation

Techniques and equipment.

Moderator: Moderators

Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Phil Winkler » Feb 18, 2010 10:48 am

Any of you using a digitizer that you are fond of or unhappy with? I'm planning on embarking on this project soon and would appreciate any info you may have.
Phil Winkler
13627 FE
User avatar
Phil Winkler
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
Location: Wilmington, DE and Dewey Beach
NSS #: 13627FE
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Squirrel Girl » Feb 18, 2010 6:19 pm

I have an old Minolta that I never did use much. It was slow and a pain. Doug Medville put me on a better notion: pay Costco 29 cents/slide.
:egyptian:
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Phil Winkler » Feb 18, 2010 8:17 pm

Barbara, I've been doing that for a select group of slides, but I do have a whole bunch more to do.
(Man, I so want to say Barb since my best friend is called that.)
Phil Winkler
13627 FE
User avatar
Phil Winkler
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
Location: Wilmington, DE and Dewey Beach
NSS #: 13627FE
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby captnemo » Feb 18, 2010 8:39 pm

I have a canon canoscan8400f flat bed scanner with the light in the lid for scanning slides and negatives. It does 4 mounted slides at once, batch scans twelve negatives and even does medium format negatives.
It's also a very handy scanner for documents etc.
I've had it a couple years and have been very happy with it.http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=120&modelid=10242#ModelFeaturesAct
For faster results you could try one of these http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Copier-Dig ... B0017W7SHS
I tried one a while back but it wasn't made for the smaller sensor in digital cameras so I had problems with the crop factor but looks like these may correct for it?
User avatar
captnemo
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Jul 10, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: California
NSS #: 44985
Primary Grotto Affiliation: mother lode grotto
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Squirrel Girl » Feb 18, 2010 9:05 pm

Phil Winkler wrote:Barbara, I've been doing that for a select group of slides, but I do have a whole bunch more to do.
(Man, I so want to say Barb since my best friend is called that.)

I'm not your best friend????
:shrug:

I'd still use Costco. Wanna buy my Dimage Scan dual III AF-2840? I'd sell it real cheap!
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Bob Thrun » Feb 18, 2010 9:21 pm

There are many slide scanners. The low end, which goes for around $100, consists of a digital camera in a box with a slide holder. These do not have to be connected to a computer.

The next step up consists of flatbed scanners with a light in the lid. I have an Epson 4990. Epson claims 4800 x 4800 dpi optical resolution. This is actually the pixel size or stepping resolution. The true resolution is 1000 to 1200 dpi because the scanning spot covers several pixels. See tests by Oleg Novikov. The 4990 software has good color correction for faded slides.

The next step up consists of slide scanners. These suffer from the same spot size problem. Someone ran a test slide with sharp-edged black-white lines in a Nikon 5000 ED for me. Nikon claims "true optical resolution" of 4000 dpi. It is effectively only 2000 dpi.

If you value your time, you do not want to feed individual slides. Flatbed scanners can usually scan multiple slides in one pass. The 4990 will scan 8. There are two slide scanners with feeders. The Pacific Image 3650 (identical to Braun 4000) uses slide trays, like a projector. The Nikon 5000 ED has an optional stack loader available. I found reports of slides jamming for both these models.

Then there is the problem of dust. Digital ICE will hide dust spots, but it is better to remove the dust in the first place. Any suggestions for dusting thousands of slides?
Bob Thrun
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Jul 18, 2006 12:50 pm
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby harrym » Mar 2, 2010 4:01 am

I use the Nikon 5000 ED with the stack loader. I am very happy with it, especially after trying other scanners. Like Bob Thrun says, if you have a lot of slides to scan and you value your time, then get a quality scanner with an auto-loader. The Nikon 5000 ED with the autoloader will set you back about $1,500.

I pick up cans of compressed air from discount stores like Gabriels for about $1 each. I buy a million cans when I can find them that cheap. Taking great care, I blow each slide clear of dust before it is loaded into the stacker. My 35-year old slides are so old and dusty that I don't worry too much because I know they're going to need some work in Photoshop anyway.

The Nikon stacker jams, yes, but rarely if your slide mounts are in good condition. The problem is that you've got to push only one slide into the scanner from a stack of slides. There's an adjustable slot that permits only only slide to pass through at a time. If you adjust the slot too narrow, the slide can't pass through and it jams. If you adjust the slot too wide, more than one slide can get pushed through at once and it jams. Group together slide mounts of similar size and condition (i.e., thickness) and your stacker will run flawlessly.

My only real complaint with the Nikon 5000 ED slide scanner is that the slides don't feed squarely, they're always at a slight angle. I am consistently rotating the images 0.4 degrees counter-clockwise in Photoshop to level them.

I also have the negative scanner for the Nikon 5000 ED that works well, too.

If you want to see results, check out these photos from 30+ year old slides. All of these photos were originally scanned at 4,000 dpi at 8-bit depth, corrected and retouched in Photoshop, and then converted to 800 x 72 dpi for internet viewing. You can click on the images or captions to see the photo, then click on the photo again to see the original image at full size (800 pixels wide x 72 dpi).

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/434125/the-tragedy-of-the-1979-korean-mckinley-expedition.html

A more extensive collection of my photos can be found here. They're all slides scanned in the Nikon 5000 ED and processed in Photoshop.

http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.php?object_type=3&contributor_id=35019

Oh, yeah, if you're going to embark on scanning slides, you better get yourself one of those 500GB hard drives too. I want to say that my original scans off the Nikon are 150MB each. Handling so many gigabytes of data is also problematic if you don't have a clear plan about how you're going to manage the data in terms of handling and storing original scans, TIFF images, JPEG images, internet images, etc.
Harry Marinakis
NSS #42832 Life
IUS Commission on Volcanic Caves
NACD Full Cave Diver
Monongahela Grotto, West Virginia
User avatar
harrym
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 25, 2009 6:50 am
Location: Almost Heaven, West Virginia
Name: Harry Marinakis
NSS #: 42832 Life
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Monongahela Grotto
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 2, 2010 5:03 am

How about a accessory for your camera?

http://opteka.com/optekahighdefinitioni ... meras.aspx

That way I take advantage of the optics I've already paid for. All I need to do is get it "projected" to my camera. And it would be *fast* and convenient.
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Phil Winkler » Mar 2, 2010 10:43 am

Hey, Barbara,

I like that device. I hope there is one to fit my CoolPix. Even tho it's one at a time you can't beat the price. There is a local conversion service that charges $0.80/slide and up.

Thanks
Phil Winkler
13627 FE
User avatar
Phil Winkler
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
Location: Wilmington, DE and Dewey Beach
NSS #: 13627FE
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Dave Bunnell » Mar 2, 2010 12:14 pm

Folks,

I've done a lot of slide digitizing over the years, going through the first 3 models of Nikon film scanners and finally settling for many years on the Nikon Coolscan LS4000. The absolute key to getting the best slide scans is dynamic range, how much of the light to dark range you can capture. Copying slides is an inherently contrasty process, as anyone who ever did this with film knows. Back in the day when I did a lot of slide duping on film, you pretty much had to use the special low contrast duplicating film or you ended up with crap. The main differences between the various generations of film scanners I had was an improvement in dynamic range, and the addition of algorithms for removing dust, grain, and restoring color in faded images.

So, you can certainly use things like flatbed scanners to do your slides, but the advantage of a good, dedicated slide scanner is the greater dynamic range. With the Coolscan, you get a 16-bit scan, and can adjust it based on a pre-scan to get the best image. I also find that most film scans benefit from a little of the digital "GEM" treatment, which removes some of the grain. And the digital ICE, for removing dust is a great feature, but doesn't work well with Kodachrome.

I've also experimented with shooting slides with a digital camera. Using a DSLR and a bellows, with a slide holder, and a flatfield macro lens, I got pretty good results with my Nikon d70. But again, dynamic range was an issue and I quickly learned you pretty much need to shoot in 16-bit RAW mode to get good results. The device Barabara mentions above to screw on to your camera seems to be geared towards point and shoots, so unless you have one that does RAW images, I wouldn't bother. Cave slides are inherently contrasty and you need the extra dynamic range.

If anyone knows of such an attachment geared towards digital SLRs, I'd love to know about it. The bellows don't work real well because of the 1.5:1 ratio of the DSLR sensor to the 35mm...I have to back off from the slide to fill the frame. But if you have a full-frame DSLR these would work perfectly.
NSS News Editor
Dave Bunnell
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 10:19 pm
Location: Angels Camp, California
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby captnemo » Mar 2, 2010 2:26 pm

Hey- no one read my previous post? :) anyway I was talking about exactly what youre asking about Dave-
captnemo wrote:For faster results you could try one of these http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Copier-Dig ... B0017W7SHS
I tried one a while back but it wasn't made for the smaller sensor in digital cameras so I had problems with the crop factor but looks like these may correct for it?


they have them with canon, nikon, olympus and t-mounts if you look around. I just wonder about the crop factor after our previous experience so I'll wait to hear from someone else that's actually tried one.
User avatar
captnemo
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Jul 10, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: California
NSS #: 44985
Primary Grotto Affiliation: mother lode grotto
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 2, 2010 7:06 pm

captnemo wrote:Hey- no one read my previous post? :)

:doh:

Thanks for pointing out my stupidity! I deserved that! :big grin:

I'm kinda busy the next little while. If no one finds out how things go, I may look more detailedly into the lens attachment.
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby captnemo » Mar 3, 2010 4:11 pm

No prob, The one I had previously was designed with a t mount adapter for slr 35mm film cameras, combine the crop of the t-mount adapter and the size difference of my digital slr sensor from 35mm and we wound up with an unacceptable crop of too much of the original. It worked very well other than that though, so I would hope one designed for dslr's would be a good solution.
User avatar
captnemo
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Jul 10, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: California
NSS #: 44985
Primary Grotto Affiliation: mother lode grotto
  

Just saw this from Costco

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 19, 2010 7:15 pm

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... BoxScanner

However, it only got 2.5 out of 5 stars by the 35 reviews.
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Re: Slide digitizer recommendation

Postby photophill » Jun 26, 2010 7:34 pm

Gidday Phil from Phill.... "PhotoPhill"

I have a slide Microtek 35mm slide scanner and find the tonal range is not very wide. Consequently the results are pretty poor. Since I have a Kodak Carousel Slide projector, now collecting dust I realised the best and fastest technique to duplicate slides is using my Digital Nikon D90 DSLR with a 105mm Macro lens. I easily removed all the optics and bulb from the projector and just used the projector as a simple carrier of the slides plus it will quickly change each slide loaded into the magazine. This will allow high speed duplicating. Nice and simple!
I use a white LED light source reflected off a white card behind the slide mount. Then I just point the camera lens into the hole where the projector lens was originally mounted.
From the D90 I connected Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software feeding the data directly into my PC. The software can now completely control the cameras features plus I can see a live image on screen and have the opportunity to adjust the image density / exposure before taking a shot.
And shooting in RAW format the results were excellent! With RAW I can now correct the colour balance, sharpen and tweek the other levels to create a digital image that is generally radically improved from the original slides picture quality.
I use auto focus with no problems at all as every image was as sharp as the original. I am managing to shoot around one slide per minute on average and that's considerably faster than a slide scanner of reasonable quality. I can strongly recommend this technique for sure! The quality is amazing!
If you still want similar quality then be prepared to spend more than $4000 on a true professional scanner. However you will never have the advantage of using RAW format.
Check out this pic... :clap: :clap:

Image
photophill
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 26, 2010 6:59 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Auckland Speleo Group
  


Return to Photography and Videography Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users