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What is the most practical way to scan 35 mm slides for storage on a digital medium.

Posted on 2013-06-01
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Last Modified: 2013-06-03
I'm looking for some thoughts on the best way to digitize and store approximately 2000 35mm slides.  I've looked at scanners and some services.  In order to store a reasonably good image, what quality scan should be used?  I know that it is not the "norm" for EE to offer up vendor suggested products, but if someone knows of a scanner in the $200 range, it would be appreciated.  Would that priced product give me a good digitized image?
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Question by:tonyadam
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 250 total points
ID: 39213098
Hi Tony Adam,
I did some research on this a little while ago and decided that the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II film and negative scanner was a good choice:
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/scanners/film_negative_scanners/canoscan_9000f_mark_ii

Although the list price is $200, the street price is less, such as $177 at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-CanoScan-9000F-MKII-Scanner/dp/B00AGV7TQG/

I never went through with the purchase, but based on my due diligence at the time, I became confident that it would work for my photos, film, and negatives. However, I put the project on the back-burner, so I can't give it a ringing endorsement from an actual usage perspective. I'm very interested to see what the experts here at EE have to say. Regards, Joe
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nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 39213969
you can also have an external company do it for you
they have reasonable prices http://www.pixmonix.com/35mm-slide-scanning.php
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by:dbrunton
ID: 39214941
>>  Would that priced product give me a good digitized image?

Probably not.

You want a scanner that offers dust reduction, noise reduction as well as good scanning ability.  Anything in that price range won't cut it.

Ideally you also want batch scanning ability - you've got 2000 slides.  Most of those small ones only do one or say six at a time and require manual operation.

You could look at something like a Plustek

See http://www.amazon.com/Plustek-OpticFilm-8200-Slide-Scanner/dp/B009724JZY and http://plustek.com/usa/products/opticfilm-series/ for more information.

Note that many scanners claim high resolution of say 7000 or 6000 dpi.  Cut that figure in half for a more accurate figure.

For good scanner reviews use http://www.filmscanner.info/en/FilmscannerTestberichte.html
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39215018
> Would that priced product give me a good digitized image?

Some say yes, some say no. I suggest reading all of the customer reviews at Amazon (34 as of this moment):
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-CanoScan-9000F-MKII-Scanner/product-reviews/B00AGV7TQG/

Allowing for Canon's shills who give it a 5-star rating and Canon's competitors' shills who give it a 1-star rating, there's probably some truth in there. :)

As is often the case, customers' comments range from "This 9000F MKII has tremendous image quality" to "Poor quality scan". However, the person who posted the latter comment also posted this: "I have since received a replacement unit, which works beautifully! Turned out that my first unit was defective. These things do happen, so it's best to test out your unit ASAP."

In any case, read the reviews and make your own decision. The great thing about Amazon is that you have 30 days to return a product for a full refund.

The Amazon website says that this scanner has "superb quality" and will create "pin-sharp scans from edge-to-edge and bright, low-noise images."

If it doesn't, send it back! With hundreds of purchases from Amazon, I never had a case where they didn't do the right thing (just my personal experience, of course). Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39215422
probably the service will do a better job for a lower price..check it out
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Author Closing Comment

by:tonyadam
ID: 39216378
Thanks for the suggestions.  We're going to look into a service first and test it with about 100 slides.  If we also happen to go with hardware, I'll post something back on quality, ease of use etc.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39216444
Looking forward to your posts back here on your experiences. My "scan the old photos, slides, and negatives" project is still on the to-do list (even though on the back-burner), so I'm very interested to hear about your results, including cost, quality, and level of effort. Thanks much, Joe
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