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digitising slides

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When you handle slides and negatives there are two things to watch out for:

1.) Removing rough dust (necessary even if you use infrared capable scanners)
2.) Not adding any more blemishes in handling

Nr. 1 is best achieved with canned air or an air bulb and possibly a very, very soft brush - though I would recommend touchless and only use a soft brush on foreign matter like hair that clings electrostaticly or otherwise to the surface.

Nr. 2 is avoided by using cotton gloves and a pair of *plastic* tweezers at all times when handling slides and negatives.

As I said, today infrared scanning does not mean expensive any more for consumer quality scans. I bought my Canon flatbed scanner with this capability for $20.- at ebay. Is'nt that cheap enough for a throw-away piece (though why throwaway? - you will still have a great flatbed document scanner even after the project)?

I would NOT advice to use a microfibre cloth on slides, especially not on old slides, which tend to have a surface flaking problem anyway.

Some high end scanners allow wet scanning with special add-on equipment, but it doesn't sound (from what you have posted so far), that this would be for you. Therefore, I will refrain from posting any more about it, since this is a whole new and extensive topic by itself - though definitely not for casual home users.


  I always use compressed air and womens blush application brush which is super soft

I also had the same problem with my collection of slide photographs that I took with my Canon A1, AE1 and AT1 cameras back in the late 70's and early 80's. I have over 400 slides from Europe when I was there. I still have my Kodak slide projector, but I really wanted to digitize the slides so I didn't have to drag the projector out when I wanted to review them.

I tried a couple different inexpensive film scanners such as the ION Slides 2 PC, however I could not find one that satisfactorily captured/reproduced the quality of the original film slide. Granted, the quality I am speaking of was from 40 years ago and looking at it from today's perspective was not the greatest. However at the time the Canon A1 was professional quality and the resulting photos or slides were grade A.

I looked at flatbed scanners to accomplish this, but I didn't want to get a scanner that was jack of all trades and master of none. So - after reading reviews of many different solutions, I purchased a Plustek OpticFilm 7600i SE for converting my slides to digital images.

The scanner also included Silverfast ISRD software as part of the purchase. This is "finishing" software to remove scratches and optimize the photo's after scanning. I must say that this scanner has been by FAR the best purchase I made to restore my photo collection from film to digital. The default scans needed 'almost' no correction. On a few occasions, I had to use the scratch removal process from the Silverfast suite. I will try attaching a sample that I digitized.

I will say that the scanner was not cheap (around 400 dollars) at the time I purchased it, not sure if it's still available for purchase but if not I am sure that Plustek makes a replacement for it. I have digitized my entire slide collection and can now view or process them further anytime I need to.

The slides I have represent an irreplaceable time in my life and I am glad I purchased a dedicated scanner to restore those memories to digital clarity and ease of viewing.



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