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Thread: Slides to digital conversion.

  1. #1
    wmoore's Avatar
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    Slides to digital conversion.

    Hi

    I have about 250 slides that I would like to convert to digital. Can anybody in the UK recommend any places that will do this at a reasonable rate.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Hi Warrick,
    I cannot recommend any company that could do this for you, but have you considered doing it yourself?

    Here's a link to a unit I think will do what you want, hope this gives you another option to consider.

    Regards
    John

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Konig-USB-Ne...7&sr=8-3-fkmr1

  3. #3
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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Hello Warrick,

    I can't recommend anywhere myself but this subject has been discussed on the Wild About Britain website over the last six months or so.

    A link to the thread is here - http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/fo...s-digital.html

    Have a look at posts 11, 15 and 20, and 21 in particular.

    Though I can't give a personal recommendation for the scanning slides, many years ago I used Colab (mentioned in post 15) for processing colour negative film and printing and they were excellent.

    Dave

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    I can recommend also this scanner:

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/pl...r-review-12954

    I bought it a couple of years ago and I have used it with quite good results. It is not cheap, but if you have dozens of slide boxes of your "picture history" (as it is my case), the investment is worth.

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    I have tried both scanning and using a camera mounted slide duplicator. While the duplicator certainly is faster, getting the photos into digital form is not the major time consumer - I spent more time in Photoshop tweaking the image after capture - but that is of course something you can save for later.

    My slide duplicator is a zoom version which allows me to crop the shot. The backside of this is that you have to align the image by eye - and with a dark exposure, it is surprisingly hard to see where the edges are through the viewfinder (I assume the duplicator uses a small F number, which of course does not open up pre exposure).

    I have also been surprised to see how "bad" some images are which I was perfectly happy with at the time - pixelpeeping has certainly changed the way we view images..

    Lennart Elg, Sweden

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Consider http://www.scancafe.com/

    It's based in the U.S., which would make your shipping costs greater than for U.S. residents. However, their prices are so much lower than every other service I researched that the overall cost might not be any greater for you than your alternatives.

    I used their service to scan about 2500 slides and the quality was impeccable. One of the great features is that you can send all of the slides and decide after seeing the scans whether it's worth it to pay for all of them. You are obligated to pay only for at least 80% of the slides that are scanned. You decide which files are to be sent to you by culling scanned images online.

    Whatever you decide, best of luck!
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 31st December 2012 at 05:10 PM.

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    I have also been surprised to see how "bad" some images are which I was perfectly happy with at the time
    I'll certainly second that - especially the ones taken with Ektachrome 400.

    BTW I have a Nikon Coolscan 5000 which does give good if slow results. I believe they are no longer made, and second hand ones are an astonishing price on eBay - far more than I paid new.

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I did'nt know this company. They are not cheap, but they look pretty professional. Well thought the idea of filming the unpacking of the slides (to avoid later complains), weighting everything before and after processing....

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by joan View Post
    They are not cheap
    They're cheap compared to other competitors serving the U.S.

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Film scanners give excellent results and most use silver fast software (which is not fast) which uses an IR beam in the scanner to detect dirt and scratches and then try to cove them up. Some flatbed scanners try to do the same.
    The ion "scanners" use a cheap digital camera to photograph the slide, and I leave it to you to work out the distortions and other problems of a high resolution scan using these. Bear in mind a good slide is equivalent to at least a 20m pixel image.
    My experience has been:-
    Film scanner - good results but slow,
    Flatbed scanner - epson V70 ok for film but not slides, Canon 8400 excellent scans of film and slides and faster than my old film scanner.
    Film and flatbed scanners don't add optical distortion, but there can be problems with colour fringing at the junction of dark and light in the image - for example window frames.
    Using camera and macro lens - fast and good quality but slow to position slide for photography (must sort this out sometime). One needs a good diffused even lightsource behind the slide.

    In all cases one will need to clean the slide as dirt and other spots will shout at you in a way they never did when projected, so plenty of compressed air cleaner. The copy by camera seems to show dirts worse than scanners.

    If using a scanner 2400dpi is minimum I would use.

    Incidently Vuescan is excellent software to drive old scanners.

  11. #11
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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    I use an epson V700 for slides and it is significantly faster and superior to my older canon fs 2720 dedicated film scanner. I had several thousand slides and negatives to be scanned so the cost of getting them scanned commercially was prohibitive. (Provided I do not charge myself for my own time)

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmoore View Post
    I have about 250 slides that I would like to convert to digital. Can anybody in the UK recommend any places that will do this at a reasonable rate.
    A simple Google search found this UK based slide scanning service but I've no idea if that means they can be recommended or if their rates are reasonable. However, they do give an ordinary (i.e. non-premium rate) phone number so they might be worth a call. Especially as you say you only want to scan 250 slides I can't see it would be cost effective to invest in your own hardware for such a small number of scans.

    Ken

  13. #13

    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    You'd be better off doing them yourself. Use a decent flatbed scanner (much slower than a dedicated film scanner but far more robust and flexible, to judge by the reviews I've seen of the latter) and do all the processing on the computer, not on the scanner. This will obviously involve removing dust and scratches, straightening the picture out, and quite a lot of colour and exposure correction. That's my own experience after about 5,000 down, 8,000 to go. I wonder how many commercial scanning firms will give you 10-12 MP, which is the minimum in my opinion (it's been calculated that 35 mm film is equivalent to about 18 MP).

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by escoville View Post
    You'd be better off doing them yourself.
    I wouldn't be able to justify the cost of buying a scanner for only 250 slides, though I would consider renting one.

    I wonder how many commercial scanning firms will give you 10-12 MP, which is the minimum in my opinion
    The file size of ScanCafe's JPEGs scanned at their standard 3000 dpi are mostly 10-12MP. They also provide an optional resolution of 4000 dpi. They can also be scanned to TIFFs, which will be significantly larger.

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    You've obviously got a lot more slide scanning experience than me ("5000 down 8000 to go" but I have to disagree with you as follows
    Quote Originally Posted by escoville View Post
    You'd be better off doing them yourself.
    Since the original poster asked for recommendations for scanning services it's a fair bet he hasn't got suitable hardware of his own. He also stated he only wanted to scan about 250 slides. Where is the sense in investing in his own equipment for such a small and one off job?
    Quote Originally Posted by escoville View Post
    Use a decent flatbed scanner (much slower than a dedicated film scanner but far more robust and flexible, to judge by the reviews I've seen of the latter)
    Don't know what reviews you are referring to but unless they are for the really cheap /waste of money scanners (like the Koenig suggested in another post) then a dedicated slide scanner will give far better results than a flatbed. The slide scanner I use (a Nikon Coolscan V ED) generates 4000dpi 128Mb TIFF files (14bit per channel).
    Quote Originally Posted by escoville View Post
    and do all the processing on the computer, not on the scanner.
    No. Do 99% of the processing post-scan but let the scanner do the initial dust and scratch removal with Digital ICE (or equivalent).

    As for a commercial company not giving you a high res scan, that's something to check before you buy their service. Can't see any point in them not giving you the highest possible scan though. It's too much of a niche market, with customers that want high res.


    Ken

  16. #16
    wmoore's Avatar
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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    Thanks everyone for your ideas and help.

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    Re: Slides to digital conversion.

    You might try your local camera club...

    HTH

    Peter

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