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#162214 - 02/15/12 11:21 AM Scanning old slides
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Long story short- after missing for 30 years, my ex-husband found a box of slides in a storage shed. It is like I struck a burried treasure! I could not be happier and I am now scanning literally hundreds of slides of my old climbing trips. It seems like some slides are nearly perfect and others have faded. And the fade is not uniform in colors so I cannot simply increase saturation to get colors back. What gives? Is it the film that was used? Or the processing. Some slides have the Kodak symbol on them, most are generic. I am scanning on 2400 dpi, high quality. It takes 5-6 minute to scan each slide. I have turned off all the "automatic" features, but have had to increase the "light" for some. On the darker slides, my scanner seems to think that a dark area near the edge of a slide is the end of the slide and cuts this part off. If you have done slide scanning, do you have any suggestions to get the best quailty possible? I use photoshop to clean up the files. I really love the photoshop feature that lets you get rid of a color tint by pointing on something in the photo that is supposed to be white. The simple "smart-fix" also works amazingly well.

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#162228 - 02/15/12 01:23 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Everybody needs a hobby! eek

Color film formulas vary in stability, with Kodachrome being the most archival (per the Library of Congress). The process lab's diligence with their craft and the freshness of their chemicals also have an impact, as does what the slides are stored in (acid-free cardboard box?) and how much heat and light they've been subjected to. As you've seen, it's not an even process, with certain colors being far more volatile.

I can't suggest much on your task--it's a fussy job. What you can do in Photoshop is to record actions of your post-processing steps. So, for example, if you have a box of slides that all need magenta added and modified curves, you can record the action once and apply it to all the other images needing similar treatment. Conceivably, you might be able to have individual actions for Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Agfachrome, Fujichrome, etc. In reality, you may need one for each box of slides.

Have fun with your "rainy day" project!

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#162235 - 02/15/12 03:21 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Rick_D]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
If negatives happen to be in envelopes with slides you could just take negs in and have digitalised! You may be able to with slides? I think Dad did that to allot of his. Dad always kept the negs sealed and put away out of light. I think he even used to say freezing the best ones presearved them best in airtight system. My wife would just through them out if I did that! I am no expert but I would think taken in and having digitalised might be worth it. Course, if you are enjoying yourself, what da hey!

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#162240 - 02/15/12 03:33 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Kent W]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Hi Kent,

Negatives would be stored with prints. Slides are direct-positive images on film that skip negs entirely (they're what folks used to project in the Kodak Carousel). BTW, your dad was smart about preserving his negs. Mostly they get destroyed from careless storage.

And you're right--both can be scanned to digital files commercially. Consumer slide-neg scanners are an endangered species, for some odd reason. I have an old one but don't know if the software will even install on a Win7 PC.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#162248 - 02/15/12 04:35 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Rick_D]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
My Cannon 4400F scanner has a setting for negatives but I have not tried it yet. Has anyone ever tried to just put the slide in a projector, project on a screen, then take a digital photo of the picture on the screen? I may try that. It certainly would be faster than scanning.


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#162255 - 02/15/12 05:17 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
There are outfits that will scan slides for you.

I recently went through an enormous slide collection dating from 1960 to 1980, selecting slides to have scanned. It was interesting to see what faded and what didn't. I've heard a lot about Ektachrome fading, but most of the Ektachrome slides looked just fine. Kodachrome--especially the ones from the 1960's--held up the best, though.

I still have a bunch of my own to work on! Fortunately my scanner--which has an attachment to scan slides--still works fine! I might just end up sending mine off to a commercial outfit, though!

It isn't that long ago that nearly everyone took slide photos and bored their friends/family half to death with slide shows! I was one of the perpetual offenders!



Edited by OregonMouse (02/15/12 05:19 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#162263 - 02/15/12 06:35 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Here's a two-part series on "scanning" film using a digicam.

Please note, they're not intended to frighten--really!

Part 1

Part 2

It's just the author is a perfectionist nerd (said with grudging affection).

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#162269 - 02/15/12 07:35 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: wandering_daisy]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
Long before I switched to a digital camera, I had already purchased a dedicated 4000dpi film scanner for my mountain of old slides.

6 yrs ago, after my grandfather and Grandmother both passed away I was "bequeathed" my Grandfathers entire slide collection dating pack into the 40's. Many of the Kodachromes are still immaculate. I was also given all of my fathers slides as well, and have become the families photo archivist.

I always wonder if all of our current digital camera photos will still be getting handed down 60-70 yrs from now....

_________________________
Want to see the Wind's ?

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#162297 - 02/16/12 09:10 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Swimswithtrout]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Thanks Rick, I guess that makes sense for some reason I could swear Pop got a set of negatives with his slides? But it has been a while, The mind is the second thing to go, I forgot what the first thing was! I dont think I ever took a roll of slide film. Pop loved it said you could get sharper images. I just thimk he liked to got out the old projector and put on a show!


Edited by Kent W (02/16/12 09:11 AM)

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#162302 - 02/16/12 11:13 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Kent W]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Thanks. Those two articles on scanning were useful. I'm glad to see that using 2400 dpi is minimally OK. My scanner goes much finer but it already takes 20 minutes to do 4 slildes at 2400. And the file size is an issue. No way could I pay $1 per slide - I am scanning several hundred! My only experience with sending slides out to be scanned was a disaster. Scans were terrible and my slides came back really dirty. I mostly want the slides for fun memories- few are really high quality photos to begin with. In fact, I my little camera in the 1960's was a Kodak Instamatic and the slides are those funny square ones. My skill as a photographer was pretty low level. Even with the Nikon I used later, I seldom got the light setting right. It appears that my bright idea of projecting the slide and taking a digital photo is not that great. I still may try it just for fun.

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#162311 - 02/16/12 12:29 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Kent W]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Hi Kent,

It's possible. There was once a place in Seattle (can't recall the name) that sold cine (movie) film loaded into 35mm cassettes, which you'd shoot, mail to them and receive negatives, prints and slides in return. The trifecta!

Perhaps dad was using them, or somebody similar?

As follow-up to slides vs. color negatives, slide film generally has better (more accurate) color response under the intended light but is more demanding of exposure (less latitude) and more contrasty than negative film. Color print film has a lot more leeway in exposure and color temperature.

The printing process covers a good deal of negative film exposure errors, while slides are strictly WYSIWYG. It's also trickier to print from slides, as you need either a direct-positive print by a custom lab (expensive) or an internegative, which means every print is third generation.

I suspect most custom labs do high rez scans and print digitally, today. The darkroom "wet side" is essentially kaput, other than B&W.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#162351 - 02/17/12 01:42 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Rick_D]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By Rick_D
Hi Kent,

It's possible. There was once a place in Seattle (can't recall the name) that sold cine (movie) film loaded into 35mm cassettes, which you'd shoot, mail to them and receive negatives, prints and slides in return. The trifecta!

Perhaps dad was using them, or somebody similar?




My grandfather used that for a while and sent me several rolls to try.

The film /slides lasted < 10 yrs before it completely "oranged" out. Worst POS photo investment I didn't have to pay for. It was utter crap !! Everything I shot on it is gone.
_________________________
Want to see the Wind's ?

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#162352 - 02/17/12 02:01 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: wandering_daisy]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
As far as archival longevity goes, this is a close crop of a Kodachrome slide of my father at the 1948 Memorial Day Parade when he was still in HS. He's the farthest left drummer. FWIW he passed away in '89.




_________________________
Want to see the Wind's ?

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#162354 - 02/17/12 02:15 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: wandering_daisy]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
This entire "slideshow" chronicling over 40 yrs of backpacking and climbing in the Wind's was shot on slide/film. Even today, a scanned slide contains more information than any handheld field camera can provide. I can go back back, re render and max out many times over, 1080p resolution on my near reference 55" HDTV so be sure to expand your screen out to the largest size it will support.

There are photo's here dating back to '72 and as recent as 2005.





Edited by Swimswithtrout (02/17/12 02:16 AM)
_________________________
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#162357 - 02/17/12 04:14 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Swimswithtrout]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
SWT:

Great pic, and that's something that they got a date-fix with the plate. I just wasn't aware that there were colors back then . . . I thought everything was in black and white.
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#162365 - 02/17/12 11:17 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Swimswithtrout]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I am scanning at an output resolution of 3100x2000. Most still do not look very sharp. I guess I just did not take very good pictures! I think it may be my computer screen. I have not tried to put them up on a HD television screen, because we do not have one. I am scanning mainly to archive ALL the slides. I may pick out a few of the best and take to a professional to scan.

Muy scanner has adjustments- such as lamp adjustment that make them look brighter on the preview. If I use this, do I lose data? Is it better to scan with no adjustments and then use Photoshop? My read of the news clip on scanning is that I should use the lamp adjustment otherwise the darker regions will bottom out and not record. But on the other hand, will the lamp overexpose the brights?

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#162369 - 02/17/12 12:10 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: kevonionia]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
IIUC only the very wealthy could afford color surroundings, while working stiffs had to make do in a black & white world. Henry Ford had a hand in this, I'm pretty sure. Ansel Adams and Edward Weston did their best to make the Monochromes (as they were nicknamed) feel better about their colorless existance, but at last the breakthrough work of the tireless Sherman and Williams finally brought color to the lower and growing middle classes, in tandem with the postwar GI Crayola Bill.

Most of this may be prefectly true.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By kevonionia
SWT:

Great pic, and that's something that they got a date-fix with the plate. I just wasn't aware that there were colors back then . . . I thought everything was in black and white.
_________________________
--Rick

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#162509 - 02/19/12 09:40 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Rick_D]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
SWT I told you before, Staggering, your footage is worthy of gold! Pictures often dont do justice, and it is more stagging to think that with the quality of your footage! Thanks for repesting, I forwarded this to my son! The shear magesty brings tears to my eyes!

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#162545 - 02/20/12 11:53 PM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Kent W]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By Kent W
SWT I told you before, Staggering, your footage is worthy of gold! Pictures often dont do justice, and it is more stagging to think that with the quality of your footage! Thanks for repesting, I forwarded this to my son! The shear magesty brings tears to my eyes!


Thank you !!

I've been slowly but surely updating all of my slideshows to a widescreen 1080p format. I saved the hardest for last, my Winds show. Resizing, adjusting ancient slide colors, etc took me 2 weeks for the Winds show.

In contrast, I was able to put out my much longer Beartooth show in only 3 days since it was already a cleaner digital source.

They may not look like much on a computer monitor streaming a Youtube Flash video, but playing the source file from a little USB jumpdrive on my new widescreen HDTV is "almost" as good as being there!
_________________________
Want to see the Wind's ?

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#164484 - 03/28/12 11:30 AM Re: Scanning old slides [Re: Rick_D]
vdeal Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 161
Loc: West Virginia
Yeah, that was a company known as Seattle Filmworks. I used the stuff for a while. Haven't had any problems with the archival quality but I do store my stuff in archival conditions pretty much. Dropped it because I wasn't satisfied with the quality.

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