slide scanners and/or services

To: L&L Knight <>
Subject: slide scanners and/or services
From: David Stowe <>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 21:17:00 +1100
There's alot more to it than resolution. A dedicated slide scanner like the Nikon will give a much better scan plus alot of them have dust removal software in them which can save alot of time. I tried to scan a whole bunch of transparencies on my mates Epson (might have been the 4870) a couple of years ago and gave up as the results were pretty ordinary. Nothing wrong with the file size, just couldn't get the tonal range etc.
As a photographer i am perhaps more picky than others though.
Make sure you test whichever model out before you buy it. Big waste of time buying a scanner and scanning a bunch of stuff only to find that the results are not what you were expecting and have to buy a more expensive one as well!


On 27/11/2007, at 5:31 PM, L&L Knight wrote:

I bought an Epson Perfection 4870 photo [flatbed scanner] years ago. It does all sorts of positives [including 120 mm format], negatives, photos, documents and can scan text. It can do 8 slides at a time [up to 1200 dpi] and cost about half the price of a Coolscan V.

Unless you intend to print A1 pictures, I'd ask why you'd want to buy a dedicated slide scanner.

Regards, Laurie.

On Tuesday, November 27, 2007, at 04:08  PM, Russell Woodford wrote:

Hi Peter

If you can afford to take that many slides to a professional lab it will be by far the easiest option and of course you'll get great results. However, the costs are quite high, and may be prohibitive for such a large number of slides. Other options include a slide scanning attachment for a flatbed scanner or a dedicated slide scanner (most of them will also do 35mm film).

I've used a Nikon Coolscan V (around $1200) - fortunately my school has one that I can take home occasionally. They produce outstanding quality but you have to be prepared to spend a bit of time getting the settings right for your images and for the output you want. If you are after high resolution digitals then make sure you have plenty of storage - at maximum resolution of 4000 pixels per inch I was generating TIFF images at around 66Mb! The main problem with this type of scanner is that you have to do each slide separately - again, the higher resolution scans take longer, and I'm not sure how many months you are planning to work on this > fulltime! I can't remember how long it took to scan at about 300dpi, but I don't think you would be able to "rush" them through at more than about 50 an hour, if that.

I haven't tried flatbed scanners for slides, but I guess you could scan several slides at once, and if so, get the job done in fewer years than with a dedicated slide scanner ...


Russell Woodford
Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia

On 27/11/2007, at 10:56 AM, Peteriw wrote:

Hi all
Slightly off-topic (but not entirely, as most of my slides are of birds) - I have close to 10,000 slides and was thinking of converting them to digital images. I've started investigating slide scanners but the thought of the amount of work involved is slightly offputting. Is there anyone who has used and is prepared to comment on a commercial slide scanning service? A simple google lists many australian-based services with vastly varying prices. Alternatively, is there anyone who has recently purchased a good quality slide scanner and can provide feedback?
Thanks in advance,

Peter Waanders
Waikerie, SA


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