I am probably in the same boat as many of you out there. I haveseveral thousand(+/-) railroad slides that currently reside in carousels. I don't even know if my projecter still works. It has not seen the light of day in many years (20+). What is the best way to scan onto my computer? I am running a quad core processor with Windows 7 and plenty of hard drive space. I have explored some of the less expensive slide scanners, less than $100, and most photo people tell me I won't be satisfied with the results.
So here I am asking for suggestions/recommendations for something suitable that will produce decent results.
Commercial scanning is not a cost effective option- besides I would rather not have my slides leave my posession.
Depends how "decent" is decent...
A flat bed scanner with transparency adapter will work and give okay results. For better results, you need a dedicated transparency scanner.
Lots of really good info and excellent reviews here: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/FilmscannerTestberichte.html
Also, Silverfast software for use with the scanner is really good. It allows multiple scans to be automatically overlaid which averages out the scanner "noise" and give a better results http://www.silverfast.com/
For really decent results, you'll have to spend $500+/- for a scanner.
I bought a cheap Reflecta 3600 (about $100) from Ebay from a fellow in Australia (the don't sell them in the US). Using it with the Silverfast software, I get results I am happy with. You can see some of the results here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49398450@N04/ and here www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=439
It's tedious work, though. First you scan the slide - takes about 5 min per slide. Then, you have to clean it up in Photoshop - straighten, crop, true up the colors, remove dust specs, scratches, etc, remove noise, sharpen. This takes 5 -10 minutes a slide.
-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/)
Unfortunately in recent years pro-sumer grade slide scanners have virtually disappeared from the U.S. market. I've not found the low end products to produce a satisfactory result.
If you are fortunate to live near the right city, some photo dealers rent higher quality film scanners. I was able to rent a Nikon with a semi-automatic feeder but it wasn't cheap (IIRC ~$60 per day). Another problem is that the scanner has been out of production for a while and may only have drivers for Win2K, XP or Vista.
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