Tips and Tricks

Locked Scanning Slides

Looking for advice/opinion regarding the value in scanning slides and/or handwritten letters to turn into a compilation of a family’s summer trips. Don’t want to invest the time to be disappointed in the quality. Any thoughts on completing a test run to check the quality?

Posted by
mvukelich
Jul 26, 2007 5:15am PDT
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mvukelich
 

If you have some time, I suggest looking through books in the bookstore to see the success others have had scanning slides, letters, drawings, etc. for their books. Certainly digital photos are the most obvious items to add to a book, but Blurbarians are finding that these are just the beginning. And yes, we always recommend printing a proof book first if you intend to make more than one copy.

Posted by
kathybad
Jul 30, 2007 11:03am PDT
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kathybad
 

It will work as long as you scan with a decent scanner and pay attention to your DPI and color depth. For example, I use an Epson 4990 with film adapters to scan slides and negative film. They are scanned at 2400 to 4800 dpi at 48 bit color depth. Why so much when the printed word is 300 dpi to around 1200 dpi? Because I archive my scans and treat them as a raw image. I have the most digital information to work with in CS now and I can adjust them to whatever the project demands are in the future. My experience shows me that the old Kodachrome slides scan well but always need some work on the contrast (tends to be high) and color tint. Ektachrome scans better but does tend to show off the grain.

And yes, you can scan objects and include the scan in your book. But I find that my camera works better on objects and in some cases, better at digitizing a print. A 10 megapixel image of a printed picture is impressive assuming you shot it with a good light, copystand and quality lens.

There is an entire book written on scanning film and slides but it probably goes into much more detail than you want just for your trip pics. But it’s a fun read anyways.

A cheaper way is to go to http://www.scantips.com/ and start reading :)

Posted by
wybnormal
Jul 30, 2007 8:52pm PDT
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wybnormal
 

This may be somewhat off-point, but I have never been able to successfully scan slides.  Bought an expensive Nikon LS2000 and have used later models.  They all work excellent on negative film (much better resolution and focus than with flat-bed scanners – - despite high resolution, we’ve found that most flat bed scanners don’t focus well  thereby making their claim to high resolution illusory), but when it comes to transparencies, we experience annoying bleeding from highlights to shadow areas – - severe enough that we do not consider the final image to be ‘book quality’.  If anyone has experienced this problem and has a recommendation, would love to hear.

Posted by
Winston
Aug 12, 2007 11:30am PDT
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Winston
 

Keeping it a little off-topic, a reply for Winston. The behaviour you describe is neither normal nor necessary with a good scanner, such as the model you mention. Transparencies should scan pretty much as well as negs. I have a Nikon Coolscan V-ED and the if you look at my Flickr account you will not be able to tell which are scanned from neg and which are from transparency (though the tags reveal the answer). I’d suggest that something is probably wrong with the software settings you’re using. If you’re using Nikon Scan, then perhaps the highlight recovery function is adjusted way too high?

The important point is that a Nikon LS2000 should be able to get great scans from transparencies. 

Posted by
Claustral
Aug 12, 2007 3:38pm PDT
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Claustral
 

I created a 7×7 book using scanned slides and they turned out great.  I was impressed with the quality. I scanned them at 1600 dpi, but I did some editing (color restoration, contrast, and sharpen) and I also lightened them a bit.   Like, I said,, I was really impressed with how they turned out and the 7×7 in my opinion doesn’t have the same print quality as a larger book.  I kept the majority of the images smaller, but did take a chance on three which were full bleed.  If I had it to do over, I would have lightened the imagages and sharpened them even more.  I say, go for it.

Posted by
Crys5683
Aug 13, 2007 7:18am PDT
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Crys5683