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  #1  
Old 09-16-2006, 11:35 PM
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hedgemeister hedgemeister is offline
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Default KodaChrome vs. Digital

Twenty years ago I took gads of photos on a trip to Africa. Can anyone advise me on an affordable way to convert these slides into digital images?
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2006, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Depends on what you want to do with them really. If you want to post them online, then a good flatbed scanner with transparency adaptor would be fine - one of the Epson Perfection Photo range would be a good option.

If you want to print big, then you'll need a dedicated slide scanner. The Nikon SuperCoolscan range are good, but costly.

Unfortunately with scanners generally the quality increases with cost...

If you only have a few to scan, another option would be to take them to a lab and get them scanned - not cheap though.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Hi, Laura. I also have a huge backlog of film images, both 35mm and medium format (120). I have been using an Epson 1640SU flatbed scanner with a transparency adapter for several years to digitize medium format film images.

Recent improvements in focus, noise suppression, and dynamic range of flatbed scanners are making them practical even for high quality 35mm film scanning. I recently purchased an outstanding flatbed scanner, an Epson Perfection 4870. It is capable of batch scanning 35mm slides and doing amazing automatic dust and scratch removal (though supposedly this option does not always work for Kodachrome). I would say that the 3600dpi and 4800dpi scans of 35mm film from this scanner can be enlarged to 11"x14" with excellent results, and are certainly many times higher in resolution that would be required for TE posts. Best of all, the scanner is available as a "refurb" (good as new, with full warranty) direct from Epson US for only $200 shipped!:

http://http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=49679245

Canon and Microtec are also making worthy flatbed film scanners, but this is the best deal I know of for a professional quality unit. For your reference, I will post an Epson 4870 scan from 35mm Kodachrome to TE today, and then do a workshop to show the image quality at full resolution.

When you get a scanner, whether flatbed or dedicated, you will have so much fun resurrecting your film images! And then the whole TE community can enjoy them!

Cordially,
Don Eason
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2006, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Here is a little more information on the Epson Perfection 4870: a typically excellent review from photo-i.uk

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson%204870/page_1.htm

Don
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2006, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Take a look on ebay many high quality slide scanners available at reasonable cost. Ian
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2006, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Laura,
I would advice you to remain cautious about flatbed scanners for digitalizing of slides/ negatives - if you want your pictures to have good quality or you would like to make prints of them (via scanning in between) you should go for a dedicated film scanner... Nikon coolscan V could be a good choice (or Minolta film scanners secondhand as Minolta withdrew from this business)...

But if you don't have plenty of pictures to scan it might be better to have them scanned by someone else - despite the scanner cost you need to invest time (yes - it's time consuming) and some learning to get good scanning results...
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2006, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Adam, you are almost entirely correct in what you say. Caution is always in order. And you recommend some very good scanners, no question. But it is important to realize two things: 1) not everyone can afford or justify a top range dedicated film scanner; 2) while the best film scanners are better than the best flatbed scanners, it is also a fact that the best flatbed scanners are better than many film scanners. You say, or at least strongly imply, that only dedicated film scanners create "good quality" scans. This is no longer true. Your information is out of date, or your definition of good is uncommonly strict for many legitimate applications.

Perhaps Laura can afford a dedicated film scanner. Or perhaps Laura only needs a few scans and so can simply have someone else do them. A third possibility is that she has a number of slides to scan, she cannot afford the dedicated scanner, and she CAN justify spending $200 for a multipurpose flatbed scanner that does a surprisingly good job with film. In this case, it is a disservice to her to categorically recommend against any flatbed scanner.

Finally, let me add my voice to yours in stating that it does indeed take time and effort to learn the art of scanning. The upside is that, in the process, one learns a great deal about image capture that helps to make one a better field photographer as well.

Cordially,
Don
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2006, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Don,
What I wanted to make clear here is the potential danger of buying flatbed scanners for digitalization of slides etc. without a proper analysis of all + & -
This was not my intention however to contradict your words from above: I don't know Epson scanners (actually from this what I heard - out of the flatbed ones they seem to be the best for this purpose) but some time ago I had some unpleasant experiences with 2 different types of lower rank flatbed scanners and that's why my words may seem like being against them :)
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: KodaChrome vs. Digital

Thanks for the kind reply and clarification, Adam. I think between all of us we are giving Laura just the information she needs to solve her problem. That's what the TrekEarth community is all about!

Cordially,
Don
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