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Date: 09/13/21 11:52
Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: RRBMail

Just now I have an opportunity to present some of my RR slides, but they must be in digital format--quick what is a good, standard railfan quality slide scanner? Clarity is most important to me, and I don't need to scan movies? What else do I need to know before buying? Please name a brand and model? Thanks in advance! 



Date: 09/13/21 15:42
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: trainjunkie

DId you do a search? This has been discussed to death in many threads through the years. There are many things to consider other than the scanner brand and model, such as the learning curve. You might be better off sending them out to a service to be scanned if you only have a few of them to digitize.



Date: 09/13/21 16:06
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: RRBMail

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You might be better off sending them out to a service
> to be scanned if you only have a few of them to
> digitize.

Well I have about 50,000 slides so I need to DIY! Simplicity is a virtue for me. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/21 20:52 by RRBMail.



Date: 09/13/21 16:56
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: trainjunkie

Okay, well when you said "some of my slides", I assumed it was a handful. 56K scans is a huge committment of time and resources and many things have to be taken into account. You will need a fast, modern computer, lots of storage, a powerful image editing application, some kind of cataloging software, a scanner that can meet the objectives of the desired outcome, possible 3rd party scanning software, a good color-managed display, and lots of time to learn how to do it right. There is no "autopilot" system for this task.

If you want true archival quality scans, you won't get them from a flatbed with a transparency adapter or feature. You will need a specialized scanner. But again, that is one of the variables you need to consider and until you do, nobody can really answer your question. 

Do a search. It's been discussed ad nauseum.



Date: 09/13/21 22:01
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: DevalDragon

Does slide scanning equipment and technology not evolve? I can't imagine 5 and 10 year old information is still current.



Date: 09/13/21 22:28
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: walstib

I would consider selecting the best shots, and have them scanned professionally.

It’s a lot less hassle.

And I can’t imagine all 56,000 slides are worthy of the time and effort to scan.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/13/21 22:31
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: trainjunkie

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does slide scanning equipment and technology not
> evolve? I can't imagine 5 and 10 year old
> information is still current.

This has also been discussed previously. The short answer is that it has pretty much hit a plateau and, in fact, some of the best transparency scanners are now obsolete and only available in the resale market. There's plenty of information here that is only 2 to 3 years old that is as relevant now as it was when it was written.



Date: 09/14/21 02:12
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: bobwilcox

Start with your 100 best shots and have a service do the job.  Appraise the results and go from there.  I find Scan Cafe does a good job.

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots



Date: 09/14/21 07:41
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: RRBMail

Will someone please give me a couple of brand names and model numbers, I need to start this project for a magazine by end of week. I am very poor at reading anything technical because of dyslexia. Thanks in advance! :)



Date: 09/14/21 08:08
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: MirandaDepot

A quick check of recent reviews advocates the Kodak Scanza Digital Film & Slide Scanner, with second choice being Plustek OpticFilm 8200i. I have no experience to confirm recommendations, since my past experience manually scanning led me to outsourcing the painful task. Some other Kodak and Plustek scanner models are on the list. 

A local store may have slide scanning available as a service. ScanCafe would be a good resource for a large number of slides. 

I know that "I can do it better/faster/cheaper myself" is a common thought but some work is best left to others unless you have completely run out of things to do, which is unlikely. Since timing seems critical, try a store first to check the turnaround time. 





 



Date: 09/14/21 08:39
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: RRBMail

MirandaDepot Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A quick check of recent reviews advocates the
> Kodak Scanza Digital Film & Slide Scanner, with
> second choice being Plustek OpticFilm 8200i. I
> have no experience to confirm recommendations,
> since my past experience manually scanning led me
> to outsourcing the painful task. Some other Kodak
> and Plustek scanner models are on the list. 
>
> A local store may have slide scanning available as
> a service. ScanCafe would be a good resource for a
> large number of slides. 
>
> I know that "I can do it better/faster/cheaper
> myself" is a common thought but some work is best
> left to others unless you have completely run out
> of things to do, which is unlikely. Since timing
> seems critical, try a store first to check the
> turnaround time. 
>
Thank you very much for your advice, I can start there and go forward from there. I needed a starting place!
>
>
>  



Date: 09/14/21 11:51
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: ironmtn

Your starting place should also be to read the many, many posts on this site. And elsewhere. Do some searches and read. The many posts will give you many valuable  pointers, not just to scanner selection, but many ancillary points that you will come upon. They are not necessarily as dated and obsolete as has been expressed. I learned a great deal from them all, and they were tremendously helpful to me about a year ago. I am also scanning a large collection, though not nearly as large as yours.

One thing's for sure: however you do it: there are no quick shortcuts in this process. It seems to that you are seeking one. Do you homework, read, study, then proceed. You will be glad that you did. You may regret it if you do not.

MC



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/21 11:52 by ironmtn.



Date: 09/14/21 20:23
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: BRAtkinson

As I discovered with my own slides as well as 'family' slides from a couple of friends, there's far more than 'shove 'em in and push the button' to scanning slides.

1.  All slides have varying amounts of dust on them.  There's numerous ways to remove it, simply Google it and see what comes up.  I've tried a squeeze bulb/soft brush lens cleaning thing with OK results, but there's still a lot of dust left.  I've even dropped the slides into an empty Kodak carousel tray and tried blasting them with my compressor.  I used too much pressure and about 5% of the slides had the film moved.  Fortunately, I scanned them as is, then cropped 'em back level.
2.  'Fixing' the images takes far more time than scanning!  Figure 1-5 minutes PER SLIDE using your choice of photo editing software.  Unless you are already a Photoshop (full version) expert, stay away from it as it's got more controls and features than the space shuttles.  Although some products like Adobe Photoshop Elements has a 'dust & scratch' remover feature builtin, anything more than 1 pixel radius will noticeably degrade the image!
3.  Some image sharpening, color correction and lighting improvements are 'standard' fixes before attacking any other image issues.

As indicated by other respondents, pick your best 100 or so and have them commercially scanned.  Although my RR slides were carefully designated  'keepers' 30-50 years ago, sometimes I kept more than I should have.  I had the benefit of putting together a number of slide presentations through the years, so many of the slides were already good enough.  For slides in a presentation, I had to be brutal in deciding what to keep and what to dump.  Holding them up to my computer screen with mostly white on it makes choosing the keepers faster. 

If you decide to do scan more than a couple thousand slides, you can plan on spending MONTHS of 8-10 hr days, 7 days per week to get it done!



Date: 09/15/21 11:53
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: colehour

I have a Pacific Image Prime Film 7200 scanner that will scan 35 mm negatives and slides. It is no longer available, but similar models are.It works fine for my purposes. I do have some medium format film and slides and am contemplating buying an Epson V600. There have been good comments about this scanner. Of course, neither of these is automated and both require a certain amount of attention to get a good scan. If you want a scanned image that can produce an excellent print in a large format, you might be better off having Scan Cafe or other company do that. 

PS: I just checked out Scan Cafe -- you can get 500 slides scanned for 23 cents a slide, or about $115. The price goes down for larger quantities. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/21 12:08 by colehour.



Date: 09/15/21 16:38
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: NormSchultze

If you are a Nikon shooter, they make a holder for slide copying that works with an extension tube and macro lens.  



Date: 09/15/21 16:39
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: sixaxlecentury

Epson V600 or Plustek 8200I.  



Date: 09/16/21 09:33
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: jimB

I completely agree with BRAtkinson's post above. I have scanned a few thousand slides over a period of years and the post scan editing is key to getting a useful end result, and is much more time consuming than the actual scan.

I use a brush and compressed air to blow off dust, and still have to edit out dust after scanning. Colors, contrast, saturation, exposure, cropping, straightening, etc.is almost always need adjustment if you want the photos to be printable or look good when posted. I tried to use the scanning software's dust removal features, but it softens the image too much.

The good thing about scanning your collection is that I have found many slides where the subject justifes the time, and I can correct 30 or 40 year old issues on a photo (except focus!). Some photos that were in the cull box have become keepers when editied.  It can also be a good time to remember and revisit some old memories. It also makes me appreciate digital photography. I do agree with starting with a small number. If you haven't done the editing, before, expect a learning curve.

I use a Plustek 7600, Vuescan Pro scanning to a .tif, and Adobe Lightroom for editing.

Jim B



Date: 09/16/21 16:34
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: CPengineer

I have used an Epson V500 for years.  I just upgraded to a Plustek 8200i and I'm getting some great images out of it.  If you only have Kodachrome, the Epson will work fine.  The Plustek does a better job with other film types.  



Date: 09/16/21 17:42
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: heatermason

The advice available here is invaluable!

After reading the advice on this and other forums I started looking for the Epson V600 but instead was able to secure a used Epson V500 complete for $50 and have found it adequate for what I had to do.  Quantity of slides and ultimate use (archives/sharing here/etc.) should determine which direction you head, and do not discount the recommendation of using a professional service instead.

Everything said here about dealing with dust and post scan processing should be read and re-read.  What you need to do with the raw scans is easily as important as the hardware you settle on, and the amount of time needed is not being exaggerated.

Timothy

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/21 17:55 by heatermason.



Date: 09/17/21 07:53
Re: Quickly--Good Railfan Slide Scanner?
Author: Conch

heatermason Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The advice available here is invaluable!
>
> After reading the advice on this and other forums
> I started looking for the Epson V600 but instead
> was able to secure a used Epson V500 complete for
> $50 and have found it adequate for what I had to
> do.  Quantity of slides and ultimate use
> (archives/sharing here/etc.) should determine
> which direction you head, and do not discount the
> recommendation of using a professional service
> instead.
>
> Everything said here about dealing with dust and
> post scan processing should be read and re-read. 
> What you need to do with the raw scans is easily
> as important as the hardware you settle on, and
> the amount of time needed is not being
> exaggerated.
>
> Timothy
>
>  

All the comments above are worthwhile.  It really depends on your needs. For your purposes of quickly getting up and running,  You could look at a Canon 9000F or Epson V700 flatbeds.  Pretty easy to use and they get decent results.  I have the Canon for quick scans and a Nikon 9000 Coolscan which gives superb results, especially for publishing. but it's not cheap.  I also have used Epson scanners which give good enough results for a 'slide show'.  I'm sure some of the other brands listed are good but I have no experince with them.  Watch out if buying a used unit- if heavily used the bulb color output may be shifting, adding to post scanning woes. 

As others have noted, the real challenge can be in post scanning production. Figure on sharpening and spotting your images at a minimum.  And do start with some sharp, well exposed images.  The scanners can generally handle a wide range of quality, but salvaging them in a photo program can be an exasperating exercise, especially for the inexperienced (or in my case , the experienced) 

Good luck!  We hope to see your efforts over on the other sites.

Conch



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