Slide and negative scanner recommendations?

I am very aware that this forum has some very fine photographers on it. I hope someone could give me some advice. I have been asked to scan a large number of slides taken by my parents. Could someone recommend a decent scanner? I am prepared to not buy the cheapest as I have years of slides from my younger days, some of which that I would like digitised. 

Any recommendations?

many thanks

Original Post

Very few makers these days. I still have a Nikon slide and negative scanner - they can be found second hand - but Nikon stopped updating the software years ago, and you have to use third-party software (which is fine).

Reflecta still has some excellent models (some of which will take the traditional 35mm trays used in slide projectors - very handy if you want to scan large batches).

I am in the same situation and would welcome any further advice. I will have to look more closely but I think I would probably need to scan up to a thousand slides and had been thinking of using a commercial service in the UK. But perhaps I could do it myself if I could find a good scanner at a reasonable. Specific models, etc would be very helpful. Ones that could also scan negatives would be useful.

Clive

A friend of mine has scanned thousands of his slides. He's got a Reflecta (a German make) which can operate on its own if you use the slide tray. The raw files may need to be adjusted if you're going to print them, but the basic result is more than acceptable. There are several models - from around £1,500 to £2,000.

I obviously can't post the link... just google the name. Plustek also makes slide scanners - but I've been told they're not as good. Reflecta's software (Silverfast) is pretty much standard - and you can use it with other scanners (Nikon among others).

I've had good results scanning slides and negatives using my Epson Photo Perfection 2450 scanner. The results are very good - certainly good enough for all bar the most demanding professional work.  The best part of all was the very low cost (approx £30 s/h).  

Interesting, I'm in the same boat and probably have around 1000 also, all from the 50's 60's and 70's as my Dad was an avid photographer and there's lots of family stuff, would love to get them into some future proofed electronic format so I can safely archive them for future generations - jpegs presumably? With a large quantity speed and ease of use will be paramount and also not having to demount them, a lot are loaded in projector cartridges from his Zeiss Ikon projector (which still works) but many are still in the original yellow kodak boxes. I'll check out the suggestions above.

I have a Plustek 8100 which represents a cost-effective (sub £200) approach and creates good results, if perhaps requiring some hand-tweaking for best results.  I beilieve the 8200 has IR which offers dust-rejection but works on colour negatives only.

Phil

I bought an Epson V550 a couple of years ago for about £150, to digitise a load of old family photos and slides. The results were very good, although the quality of the photos weren't that good to start with. A little editing with DXO turned some good images into excellent images. Negatives seem to attract a lot of dust and the colour balance was a bit hit and miss.

The V550 has fixed focus, so not the best flatbed available. I think the V800 has variable focus, but quite a bit more expensive.

It all depends on what you want to do with your slides. If you're a keen photographer, if colour rendition, etc., matters to you, then you should get something a little bit better than a basic flatbed scanner or a £100 slide scanner, which will not give you the expected results.

Convenience is also very important - if you have thousands of slides to scan, you won't want to do it all manually, one slide at a time.

I use the outstanding Nikon Coolscan models (35mm and medium format).... as said above Nikon has stopped supporting them, but there is very good affordable third party software that works well.. I currently use Vuescan .. the difference with most flat beds is night and day... and the dynamic range is a lot greater than most flat beds., and offers transparency/negative focus control which is pretty essential on high res film scanning without the hassle of Newton rings .. I suspect heading more towards the quality of a drum scanner.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I use the outstanding Nikon Coolscan models (35mm and medium format)..as said above Nikon has stopped supporting them, but there is very good affordable third party software that works well.. I currently use Vuescan .. the difference with most flat beds is night and day... and the dynamic range is a lot greater than most flat beds., and offers transparency/negative focus control which is pretty essential on high res film scanning .. I suspect heading more towards the quality of a drum scanner.

Very well said. Silverfast is excellent too.

 

I have a Nikon Coolscan as well, to scan my many 100s of slides and negs, majority 35mm with some 6x6, but with no time to use it since I bought it (an online bargain I snapped up when I had the chance),, I lent it to my brother-in-law who is a professional photographer - and he said it is excellent, easy to use and giving good quality images from his own large accumulation of 35mm and 6x6 slides. It may not be till I retire that I will demand it back, by when my brother-in-law should have finished with it. 

Thank you for all your responses. The answer seems to be either a flatbed scanner or a dedicated slide/negative scanner with the difference in cost. The issue I have with flatbed scanners is that I don't really understand how you get the scan quality across an A4 area but that is just me, a general ignorance of technology and obviously the magic of the same. That said many of you have said they are certainly good enough for my purposes. I also note that many of the dedicated scanners are either very expensive by comparison or their software is no longer supported and you need to use Vuescan or similar.

I will ponder and thank you.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I use the outstanding Nikon Coolscan models (35mm and medium format).... as said above Nikon has stopped supporting them, but there is very good affordable third party software that works well.. I currently use Vuescan .. the difference with most flat beds is night and day... and the dynamic range is a lot greater than most flat beds., and offers transparency/negative focus control which is pretty essential on high res film scanning without the hassle of Newton rings .. I suspect heading more towards the quality of a drum scanner.

Simon, when you say 'night and day' do you mean between one flatbed and another? Which Coolscan model do you use?

lutyens posted:

Thank you for all your responses. The answer seems to be either a flatbed scanner or a dedicated slide/negative scanner with the difference in cost. The issue I have with flatbed scanners is that I don't really understand how you get the scan quality across an A4 area but that is just me, a general ignorance of technology and obviously the magic of the same. That said many of you have said they are certainly good enough for my purposes. I also note that many of the dedicated scanners are either very expensive by comparison or their software is no longer supported and you need to use Vuescan or similar.

I will ponder and thank you.

I haven’t looked at recent models, but at the time I got the coolpix flatbed scanners couldn’t reach anywhere near the same resolution. The resolution of course equivalent to that quoted in megapixels for digital cameras, and the higher the resolution the more you can enlarge them without seeing the dots, whether printed, on a screen or projected.

I also wonder about flatbed scanners and image density as you’re dealing with reflected light, maybe needing more correction, unless the scanner unusaually has a means of doing transmitted

lutyens posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I use the outstanding Nikon Coolscan models (35mm and medium format).... as said above Nikon has stopped supporting them, but there is very good affordable third party software that works well.. I currently use Vuescan .. the difference with most flat beds is night and day... and the dynamic range is a lot greater than most flat beds., and offers transparency/negative focus control which is pretty essential on high res film scanning without the hassle of Newton rings .. I suspect heading more towards the quality of a drum scanner.

Simon, when you say 'night and day' do you mean between one flatbed and another? Which Coolscan model do you use?

Hi I have used various Epson flat bed scanners with various attachments and back lit screens to lie over the transparency/negative.

i now use the Coolscan 4500 (mainly 645) and Coolscan 2000 (35mm).

My night and day reference is between dedicated film scanners and various flat bed scanners with film holders and back lighters... I typically like to print and present at A3 and for that I think you need quality and resolution... you want to be focussing on the film grain and use calibrated targets to get the best gamut. I couldn’t  justify a drum scanner, so the Coolscans were the best next thing in my opinion.

All my commercial film imaging has been scanned with the Coolscans.

Innocent Bystander posted:

I also wonder about flatbed scanners and image density as you’re dealing with reflected light, maybe needing more correction, unless the scanner unusaually has a means of doing transmitted

My scanner has a light in the lid.

I use a Nikon Coolscan as well - I've found it much easier/more consistent that a flatbed scanner, and I also use Vuescan for all my scanning - very easy to use and good features even in the basic software, better if you pay for the premium version. I'd suggest looking for a dedicated slide scanner from a good manufacturer secondhand - but checking the website for whatever software you decide to use to check it supports your chosen scanner. The Vuescan site has good info on this. Mind you, I also became quite choosy about the number of slides I scanned after the first day......it can be pretty time consuming....so I made sure I had a decent slide viewer by my desk as well.

Another vote for the coolscan, in particular the 5000, which I bought seven years ago for the princely sum of of £150, scanned around 1000 negatives and sold six weeks later for £750.00. Should have kept it after seeing today’s prices. 

And for those who moan that ripping CDs is a PITA, you’re in for a surprise. Trust me, you’ll never moan again!

 

This threads been going over for 24 hours. I can’t believe nobody’s pointed out that analogue is better than digital.

If you’ve got a collection of high quality 35mm slides it's well worth investing in a top notch projector. I’d recommend the Leica Prodovit P600IR with Colorplan Lens. It produces stunning images. (a lot larger than A3, no scanning or printing required).

If you use 35mm and 6x6, the Rollei P11 is a nice piece of kit.

 

fatcat posted:

This threads been going over for 24 hours. I can’t believe nobody’s pointed out that analogue is better than digital.

If you’ve got a collection of high quality 35mm slides it's well worth investing in a top notch projector. I’d recommend the Leica Prodovit P600IR with Colorplan Lens. It produces stunning images. (a lot larger than A3, no scanning or printing required).

If you use 35mm and 6x6, the Rollei P11 is a nice piece of kit.

 

I am tempted to agree, but only tempted! Without violins.....................my father took slide images over many years. As my mother is now in a care home, we have been recommended to create a memory book and to do that we need to digitise the slides. Hence the question. We could just print them but all the family have decided they want a copy of the chosen images! 

Richard, your image is very impressive. 

A flatbed scanner will cost around £175/250 new but a Coolscan will cost at least £800 and be second hand (which in itself isn't an issue so long as you can guarantee the quality of the purchase as always)

( And if i get the projector out again, my kids will just leave me too it.......!)

Lutyens, the Epson 2450 I used cost me £30 secondhand. Just make sure you get all the slide trays and holders as it makes things a bit easier with alignment. There are also more up to date versions (3300 etc..) as well as the V500/550 that Fatcat mentions. I'm sure there are better solutions than the 2450 (for more cash) but to my eyes it does a pretty good job for not much money and is easy to use.  I'm just saying that it may be all the scanner you need...

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