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I have recently had returned to me about 500 slides from a library i was with and want to upload them to alamy as many are subjects i do not have as digital. I bought a 22mp scanner new for £70 but soon found out the reason for the price. OK for home prints but thats it. I dont want to spend a fortune due to the revenue gained from licences these days. Anyone have any good ideas on how to reproduce these in digital format to a level that will be acceptable to alamy without spending a fortune

Kevin

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I got a Novoflex slide copying bellows adapter for Fuji X and 50mm Rodenstock Rodagon enlarging lens, all for under 200 euros. In terms of resolution, I'd put it at around 3K dpi when compared with my 4K dpi Canon FS4000US scanner. The latter has infrared dust and scratch removal but the bellows system allows for multiple exposures for dynamic range expansion and better color correction. It is also lightning fast compared to the scanner.

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Save the hassle and use a scan service.

 

Can't recommend one in the UK as I am based in Germany. I use "Scandig" in Munich who I have found very reliable.

They will scan 35mm with Nikon scanners in 16bit, giving a file of about 130mb, for under 1€ per slide.

I have had no problem with QC and am in no way connected to them!

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I've been using a CanoScan FS4000 for the last decade, I would say that 85% of the images I have on Alamy were scans

from chromes using the FS4000.  I remove the slide from the mount and clean it with PEC-12 before scanning,  I don't use

the Auto Dust Removal most of the time.  It can take forever to get the image spotted, but once it is done you have something.

One thing I found about the FS4000 is to not use it with the old USB 2.0, I have a 16bit SCSI Adaptec card to run it connected

to an old Lenovo T62 running Windows XP.  I keep this laptop just for scanning.

 

A lot of photographers that I know are using the NIKON 9000 and they are happy with them?  I also just picked up a perfect

Bowens Illumitran with three repro lenses, but I'm still trying to figure it out. 

 

I also started out scanning with a CanoScan 2710 and a few of my early images on Alamy were scans from the 2710.  You can

pickup a perfect 2710, in the original box for next to nothing these days.  On the 2710 you could use 3rd party software like ViewScan

which has built in dust removal?

 

I've also been tempted to pickup a used Flextight scanner, they can be found pretty cheap considering that they cost over $10,000

new.

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I use a Nikon D800 with a 60mm macro lens and a home-made light box (designed to cut out light scatter) in a darkened room.  The camera is placed on a sturdy tripod, strapped in position, and I use a flat-backed mirror to make sure the focal plane is absolutely parallel to the film (reflection of lens front element should be dead centre), which is kept flat inside a neg carrier with anti-newton glass. I make three bracketed exposures, and use a simple Photoshop action to create two layers, with luminosity masking, from the overexposed and underexposed shots and place them over the middle one.  Adjust layers to get maximum highlight and shadow detail.  Sounds complicated, but once I got the hang of it found it dead simple, and once initial problems are sorted out (e.g. camera shake - keep mirror up) can be a lot quicker than traditional scanning.

 

I have made direct comparisons with drum scans of the same slides and negs, and I would say that, for reproduction, results can be just as good (but different).  As with drum scans you get very good resolution (not just sharpness) and very little dust. 

 

I have used several so-called 'dedicated' film scanners and found them to be great - for resolving dust.  Dust removal software works quite well but you will still need to remove the blemishes caused by the removal, and you will lose resolution.  A few months ago I placed an image with a quite picky agent that I had scanned, from a very difficult original, using the above method.  It was one of many that I have that I had previously been unable to scan.

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I use a Nikon D800 with a 60mm macro lens and a home-made light box (designed to cut out light scatter) in a darkened room.  The camera is placed on a sturdy tripod, strapped in position, and I use a flat-backed mirror to make sure the focal plane is absolutely parallel to the film (reflection of lens front element should be dead centre), which is kept flat inside a neg carrier with anti-newton glass. I make three bracketed exposures, and use a simple Photoshop action to create two layers, with luminosity masking, from the overexposed and underexposed shots and place them over the middle one.  Adjust layers to get maximum highlight and shadow detail.  Sounds complicated, but once I got the hang of it found it dead simple, and once initial problems are sorted out (e.g. camera shake - keep mirror up) can be a lot quicker than traditional scanning.

 

I have made direct comparisons with drum scans of the same slides and negs, and I would say that, for reproduction, results can be just as good (but different).  As with drum scans you get very good resolution (not just sharpness) and very little dust. 

 

I have used several so-called 'dedicated' film scanners and found them to be great - for resolving dust.  Dust removal software works quite well but you will still need to remove the blemishes caused by the removal, and you will lose resolution.  A few months ago I placed an image with a quite picky agent that I had scanned, from a very difficult original, using the above method.  It was one of many that I have that I had previously been unable to scan.

 

I have used both a Nikonscan 8000 scanner, the predecessor of the 9000, and Robert’s method using a Canon 5D11 and a quality macro lens.

 
Robert’s method works best with greater dynamic range and better sharpness. In addition it can rephotograph any size transparency if the light source is big enough. 
 
The camera should be at least 12 megapixel and be fitted with a quality macro lens. Do not skimp on the lens!!!! Dust removal software on a scanner makes the file soft and lacking definition, so dust removal in software is not a scanner advantage, and should never be used.
 
If photoshop freaks you out, you can still get good results using the sliders in lightroom.
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Dust removal software on a scanner makes the file soft and lacking definition, so dust removal in software is not a scanner advantage, and should never be used.

 

 

VueScan has a light dust removal mode and I have a good number of Ektachrome scans on Alamy that were done using that setting. It saves a hell of a lot of time removing dust manually. It won't work on Kodachrome though.

 

Alan

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Dust removal software on a scanner makes the file soft and lacking definition, so dust removal in software is not a scanner advantage, and should never be used.

 

 

VueScan has a light dust removal mode and I have a good number of Ektachrome scans on Alamy that were done using that setting. It saves a hell of a lot of time removing dust manually. It won't work on Kodachrome though.

 

Alan

 

 

The Digital ICE on my Nikon Coolscan 4000 scanner works fine for me when it comes to dust removal. Back in 2008 and 2009, I uploaded at least 1500 scans without a single QC failure -- i.e. no problems with soft and lacking definition. The scanner itself, while built like a tank, hasn't been all that reliable, though, and repairs are costly.

 

P.S. Digital ICE also isn't any good on Kodachromes.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I use a Nikon D800 with a 60mm macro lens and a home-made light box (designed to cut out light scatter) in a darkened room.  The camera is placed on a sturdy tripod, strapped in position, and I use a flat-backed mirror to make sure the focal plane is absolutely parallel to the film (reflection of lens front element should be dead centre), which is kept flat inside a neg carrier with anti-newton glass. I make three bracketed exposures, and use a simple Photoshop action to create two layers, with luminosity masking, from the overexposed and underexposed shots and place them over the middle one.  Adjust layers to get maximum highlight and shadow detail.  Sounds complicated, but once I got the hang of it found it dead simple, and once initial problems are sorted out (e.g. camera shake - keep mirror up) can be a lot quicker than traditional scanning.

 

I have made direct comparisons with drum scans of the same slides and negs, and I would say that, for reproduction, results can be just as good (but different).  As with drum scans you get very good resolution (not just sharpness) and very little dust. 

 

I have used several so-called 'dedicated' film scanners and found them to be great - for resolving dust.  Dust removal software works quite well but you will still need to remove the blemishes caused by the removal, and you will lose resolution.  A few months ago I placed an image with a quite picky agent that I had scanned, from a very difficult original, using the above method.  It was one of many that I have that I had previously been unable to scan.

 

I have used both a Nikonscan 8000 scanner, the predecessor of the 9000, and Robert’s method using a Canon 5D11 and a quality macro lens.

 
Robert’s method works best with greater dynamic range and better sharpness. In addition it can rephotograph any size transparency if the light source is big enough. 
 
The camera should be at least 12 megapixel and be fitted with a quality macro lens. Do not skimp on the lens!!!! Dust removal software on a scanner makes the file soft and lacking definition, so dust removal in software is not a scanner advantage, and should never be used.
 
If photoshop freaks you out, you can still get good results using the sliders in lightroom.

 

 

I strongly disagree with not using the dust removal feature of a dedicate slide scanner. It works by subtracting an image formed by a separate scan with Infrared light. It works best when this scan is done at the same time as the normal scan. AFAIK this is only the case with the Nikons Coolscan 5000 and 9000. The others use a separate scan, which can lead to misalignment. Usually because the slide moves or expands.

However if it's only software, you are absolutely right: do not ever use it.

You are of course right on all other accounts especially the macro lens. However there are extremely good macro lenses to be had that once have been really expensive, but now are going to the scrap heap: Enlarger lenses. Look for Apo lenses.

Try to out-resolve film grain. I would give 12 megapixels a miss: go for 36 plus directly.

 

wim

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+1 for using a DSLR and macro lens. Loads quicker than a scanner and I found the results to be superior to my CanoScan 2710.

 

If I were starting now with digitizing my slides, I would probably go the macro lens route. It sounds much easier and more effective. However, as mentioned, the Nikon scanner did the job for me, and Digital ICE saved the day. I still do some occasional scanning but now submit via the archival route.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Kevin, you've reminded me that I could be in the same boat soon. I have hundreds of slides with a small agency through which I no longer make any sales. At the moment, I'm trying to get them back. Just wondering, were your slides returned without your having to ask or did you have to make a request? My agency hasn't been cooperative so far.

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Most advice here for camera/macro says to go with full frame or in Nikon FX.  I have 12mp and 24mp Nikon DX DSLRs and there is a 40mm Nikon Macro lens for DX cameras, and I was wondering if this combination would work.  I also have the Nikon ES-1 slide copier that threads into the 52mm filter threads.  I still have my old Minolta Dimage Scan Dual IV but would have to get VueScan to run it on Windows 10.  I also have a Canoscan 9000 that would probably work for Medium Format.

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Kevin, you've reminded me that I could be in the same boat soon. I have hundreds of slides with a small agency through which I no longer make any sales. At the moment, I'm trying to get them back. Just wondering, were your slides returned without your having to ask or did you have to make a request? My agency hasn't been cooperative so far.

They contacted me saying there were returning all slides.I think it was storage issue. They scanned them and put them online when everything went digital and so was no point holding on to them

Kevin

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Kevin, you've reminded me that I could be in the same boat soon. I have hundreds of slides with a small agency through which I no longer make any sales. At the moment, I'm trying to get them back. Just wondering, were your slides returned without your having to ask or did you have to make a request? My agency hasn't been cooperative so far.

They contacted me saying there were returning all slides.I think it was storage issue. They scanned them and put them online when everything went digital and so was no point holding on to them

Kevin

 

 

Thanks for the reply. You're lucky. Most agencies won't return slides and negatives. Not sure how I'm going to get mine back. Turns out I have about 3000 slides that I may never see again.

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I have never got on with my film scanner so tried a lightbox and a macro lens.  Looks good for slides but whats the best way to get rid of the orange mask for negatives?  There's a plugin, ColorPerfect that looks good but its almost £50 and i wondered if there is a free plugin or script that does the job?

Edited by Stephen Rees
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A simple way is to include part of the unexposed border in your 'dupe' and the use the white point sampler in PS Levels. Then invert in PS, or send it to LR where you have more control (there are plenty of tutorials on this subject - only glanced at this one but it seems to be doing it right:

 

 

This is only for starters. Getting good colours on negs is an art, but with practice you ought to be able to get much better results manually, than any software can achieve. To begin the process, try using the grey sampler on mid-tone areas that you think should be grey. Neg files are remarkably elastic, and you can usually go to town in post.

Edited by Robert Brook
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