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Converting picture slides to digital format
Old 02-22-2015, 08:03 PM   #1
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Converting picture slides to digital format

One of my next projects will be to convert some old family picture slides to digital format and was wondering if anyone has gone through this process and/or has any recommendations. Some of them are 60 years old. Have not counted but there are several hundred of them. Most of them are nothing really special so I won't be very picky about the quality. But some of them I may want to have professionally done, if the quality will turn out much better. I have some friends who have bought these products that will read a slide and automatically convert to a digital format on your computer. They said they worked fine. I imagine I need to pick a pixel size. Anything else I need to decide before proceeding?
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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First of all, don't use a flat bed scanner if you want quality. I do use my flat bed scanner for prints.

When I did this years ago I found a commercial service shop to do about 50 of my best slides at high quality. Google for some info about what constitutes high quality. Shop around in your area for the best prices. I found a lot of price variability.

There may be mail-in options but I would be nervous about sending my valuable slide off in the mail unless I had a very solid recommendation from someone I knew.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:16 PM   #3
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I did this with a HP scanner with a slide holder that sits on the glass.

You pick the resolution you want the final product ot be along with a target directory and a naming scheme.

Time consuming but not that difficult. Quality is actually very good.

BTW, did a few hindered slides this way.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:38 PM   #4
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Costco charges .29/slide to do this if you are looking for a solution that will save you the work.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:41 PM   #5
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If you have a digital camera with closeup zoom capability, you can backlight a slide and snap a photo of its transparency portion.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:23 PM   #6
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Try it at a very high resolution, see how it goes.
I have to do this also, and will first try one of those holders on a flat bed scanner set at max scan resolution.

When you scan with max resolution it takes a long time, but you only have to do it once. When you need a smaller image, like to email to someone, just copy and scale it down.

If you do "just good enough" quality, then you face the risk of it not being good enough after you have thrown out the original.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:49 PM   #7
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We took ours to Walgreens and they did a surprisingly good job!


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Old 02-22-2015, 11:04 PM   #8
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I did this several years ago (6+). I had several thousand Positives and an even greater number of Negatives -- some going back to the 1920's. It took me many months to complete the "project.".

If you are going to do-it-yourself, you will need (to do it right IMHO) a scanner the doesn't have glass between the film and the camera. I purchased this scanner (Yeah, I know, it is discontinued but I only wanted to show the picture/description of it).

It took a lot of work and much more time than I expected (or wanted) but in retrospect I glad I did it.
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