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Slide Scanning

N9JIG

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Considering whether to use a scanning service or buy a decent slide scanner to scan 10-20 thousand 35mm slides, mostly of railroading in the 70's and 80's.

I am looking for a solution that would allow me to set in a group of slides and start the process and come back when that group is done.

I am looking at the Pacific Imaging PowerSlide X. I am a little hesitant as it uses a cartridge with individual slots, I would rather see one with a cartridge that holds a stack of slides that you do not have to insert individually. Having to load and unload cartridges like this is tedious...

The PowerSlide X advertises dust and color correction, has anyone had any experience with that?
 

bharvey2

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Mar 12, 2014
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I've done a fair share of slide scanning but have only used flatbed scanners with slide/negative decks in the lids. At best, I can scan two or three at once and separate them in editing. What I'd like to find is a way to scan formats other that 35mm. I'd be interested in hearing about people's experience with other options as well.
 

wa8pyr

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Considering whether to use a scanning service or buy a decent slide scanner to scan 10-20 thousand 35mm slides, mostly of railroading in the 70's and 80's.

I am looking for a solution that would allow me to set in a group of slides and start the process and come back when that group is done.

I am looking at the Pacific Imaging PowerSlide X. I am a little hesitant as it uses a cartridge with individual slots, I would rather see one with a cartridge that holds a stack of slides that you do not have to insert individually. Having to load and unload cartridges like this is tedious...

The PowerSlide X advertises dust and color correction, has anyone had any experience with that?
I'll be very interested in what you find out, as I have thousands of slides of my own to scan (also railroads, mostly in the 80s and 90s), and while my flatbed scanner does a good job it only does five slides at a time. My stuff from the 70s is mostly on B&W, primarily Tri-X but also a fair amount of Plus-X and Panatomic-X, as well as a smattering of Ilford and Agfa. I can scan that a page at a time and come up with a usable proof sheet.

Personally I'd rather get a machine and do it myself; 10,000 slides at .25 cents a pop through a service would cost $2500, far more than the cost of the gadget.

There was a Nikon Coolscan out several years ago which had a stackloader. If I recall correctly it would do 30+ at a time, which I think would be ideal; all of my slides are in archival storage pages in 3-ring binders, 36 slides to a page. Years ago I put together a complete database of all my slides and negatives, so one page at a time would work nicely in order to keep track.

FYI: How to scan a slide archive

And this: Pana-Vue 23MP 35mm Slide & Film Scanner

My major issue with scanning slides and negatives is the time element. It takes a lot longer than 30 seconds to get a really good scan worth working with. For my purposes, a fast scan to get a usable jpeg would be acceptable, as what I really need to do is get an image I can attach to the database; once I pick an image to use from that, I can go to the notebook, pull the desired slide and do a full scan.

I'd also be interested in seeing your photos; I've got some shots I made in the dispatcher offices for Conrail Columbus Division (Stella Court, Columbus), N&W Scioto Division (Portsmouth Depot) and Chessie Ohio Division (Parsons Yard, Columbus) showing the operator positions and model boards. Lots of interlocking towers, too. I figured they were disappearing quickly and shot whatever I could.

I've done a fair share of slide scanning but have only used flatbed scanners with slide/negative decks in the lids. At best, I can scan two or three at once and separate them in editing. What I'd like to find is a way to scan formats other that 35mm. I'd be interested in hearing about people's experience with other options as well.
My Epson flatbed scanner has slide/negative holders for various formats, including 35mm, 120 and 4x5. Works very nicely, I've scanned 35mm slides as well as 35mm and 120 negatives.
 
Last edited:

bharvey2

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Mar 12, 2014
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"My Epson flatbed scanner has slide/negative holders for various formats, including 35mm, 120 and 4x5. Works very nicely, I've scanned 35mm slides as well as 35mm and 120 negatives. "

Which model do you have? My latest scanner (purchased 7 years ago) is equipped only for 35mm negatives and slides. My wedding was photographed in medium format and I obtained the negatives for the photographer several years later. It'd be cool to be able to scan those as I don't believe they were all printed.
 

N9JIG

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I am starting to lean towards using a service. The ability to ship off a box and get the box back with a thumb drive of my images is tempting. It is a whole lot less work and I can spend my time on organizing the digital images rather than the physical media. A good slide scanner would cost close to $1000 anyway, and the hundreds of hours of time and effort needed would likely make it a no-go. I have been down that road before twice, going out and buying a slide scanner, external hard drive (SCSI for both in Round 1 to give it some perspective of when...) and starting to get it going only to get frustrated and bored.

On a rail list I subscribe to a member posted an article about using a slide projector with the lens removed and an DSLR with a macro lens pointed into the projector. Once you get the settings down you advance the slide and click the trigger on the camera. This intrigued me but a good slide projector plus trays is not cheap either although I already have the camera. I would have to build a rack for it.

With a service however one gets the grunt work done for them, just do your final sorting and maybe work over a few special images. I spent a couple hours and sorted my slides by year and boxed each year separatly. During the 80's and 90's before I switched to digital I tended to process my slide film long after it was exposed, I had a film box for my fridge that controlled the humidity. It was expensive to have them developed and I had to time that to correspond with available funds so the dates on the slides could be months after the frame was exposed. This makes further sorting pretty useless. As long as the service can identify the year I can send in the whole batch at once and get the lower price per slide, otherwise I may have to send in a year at a time and pay a bit extra.
 

wa8pyr

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Ohio
On a rail list I subscribe to a member posted an article about using a slide projector with the lens removed and an DSLR with a macro lens pointed into the projector. Once you get the settings down you advance the slide and click the trigger on the camera. This intrigued me but a good slide projector plus trays is not cheap either although I already have the camera. I would have to build a rack for it.
Ooooooooo. Where did you see this? I have several Carousel slide projectors and oodles of 80-slide trays (stay the heck away from those 120-slide monsters which jam if you look at them wrong). I could easily see myself creating a DIY slide scanner. . . .
 

wa8pyr

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Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
4,382
Location
Ohio
"My Epson flatbed scanner has slide/negative holders for various formats, including 35mm, 120 and 4x5. Works very nicely, I've scanned 35mm slides as well as 35mm and 120 negatives. "

Which model do you have? My latest scanner (purchased 7 years ago) is equipped only for 35mm negatives and slides. My wedding was photographed in medium format and I obtained the negatives for the photographer several years later. It'd be cool to be able to scan those as I don't believe they were all printed.
I don't remember offhand. Have to look.
 
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