Is anyone out there still scanning slides? If so, any recommendations re: scanners? If not, are there any services you would recommend? Like many or all of us, I have a pile of slides and would like to convert some. Thanks.

I just finished a few months ago. I started a few years ago. When I started, I used a Nikon Coolscan 5000 (which I still have). I used different scanning software. Silverfast was and is the best in my opinion. However, it could take up to a minute a slide. Then I used a Epson flatbed 750 and could do several at a time, but it still tool forever. So the project went on the back burner, and the slides remained unscanned.

Then I followed the advice of George Lepp from an Outdoor Photographer article. I bought a LED light source from Amazon (Artograph) made a L shaped jig for slide alignment, taped that on with gaffers tape, and put it on a copy stand ( you could just use a tripod), mounted my camera with macro lens and a cable release and I was ready.

I could copy a slide as fast as I could lay it on the light table. The images were 24 megapixels, it didn’t matter that the slides were Fuji, Kodak etc. and our software these days makes the scanner software superfluous.

Craig, Thank you. Great idea. I’ll try that. Much appreciated.

I tried and tried to get satisfactory quality 35mm scans from my Epson Perfection V700 Photo flatbed scanner, using various 3rd-party scanner software (VueScan, SilverFast)---- and was rarely happy with the results. Fine detail was not to my liking. The Epson focusing system is touchy and I felt like the slide holders were never quite in the proper plane of focus, despite adjusting their height appropriately. I wholeheartedly went to a fullframe DSLR camera duping arrangement a few years ago and haven’t looked back.

I’ve got two different rigs for duping slides, both work well— a Novoflex rail with an extendable slide copy attachment, and a vintage Minolta 1x-3x zoom macro with optional slide copying stand. I use a Sony A99ii fullframe body as the capture device on both; a Sony 100mm f .8 macro is the lens on the Novoflex set up. Lighting is with a small LED panel in the latter rig, and with a Minolta ring light in the case of the zoom macro setup. Both rigs produce great “scans” and I’m hard-pressed to see much difference in results between them. Definitely better than what I was getting off the Epson flatbed, which was supposedly designed for slide scanning.

I also use focus stacking when capturing slide dupe images since 35mm film is often slightly curved instead of perfectly flat. It does make a difference in final image quality.

For scratched transparencies, or those rare premier images that I just want to milk every last speck of detail from, I’ve gone a step further and created a small wet scanning film holder for the Novoflex rig, made from two small, custom-cut pieces of anti-Newtonian glass. It holds a single, unmounted 35mm frame of film, and just enough scanning fluid to fully bathe the transparency, between two wafer-thin pieces of glass. Can discuss that further if anyone is interested.

I find it interesting that no manufacturer seems to be producing new flatbed slide/film scanners. Epson came out with the Perfection V800 something like, what, 10 years ago? —and it was only a minor upgrade over the V700 line. Haven’t seen anything new from them in the flatbed film scanning category since, nor anything ground breaking from anyone else.

Finally, if you want a recommendation for a bulk slide scanning service— I liked working with an outfit called DPSDave. He did some free test scans for me, and based on my feedback, adjusted his scanning parameters several times until I thought his results were as close to the originals as possible.

There’s probably no better quality slide dupe than what comes off a professional drum scan— but at ~$20 and up per image, it’s not a very affordable solution if you’ve got hundreds or thousands of slides, as I do.

Kerry, Great information. Thanks. Jim