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Thread: Can I scan slides with a normal scanner?

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    Can I scan slides with a normal scanner?

    My bro just dropped me down a box of old slides that my mum took ages ago - Just wondering can I scan them ok with a normal scanner?
    Cat (aka Cathy) - Another Canon user - 400D, 18-55,75-300mm Kit Lens,50mm f1.8, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro, Sigma 28-70 f2.8-4 DG, Tripod and a willingness to learn
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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Has it got a film/slide scanner attachment ?

    If not, it doesn't work too well. You can try placing a fluoro work light under a piece of aluminium foil over the scanner bed with the slides underneath for ok results, but focus seems to be a little out and the colour and clarity isn't great either.

    However, if you have a flatbed with the film scanner built in (usually a second light in the lid, and a tray tou put on the bed), then you can get quite decent results.
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    Thanks Dave and no, it doesn't have that and yeah just tried one then and real dark and couldnt see the pic :/ Would have been good to have a few of these scanned me as kid etc

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    you can take the chrome out of the casing and then tape it to the flatbed glass. it just depends where your scanner takes its focus from. as Dave said, if you can get a slide holder, you should be okay. i have scanned some old slides on both my flatbed, and film scanner and the best results came from removing from the chrom, and scanning like a normal positive. i would suggest a dedicated slide holder for such large quantites.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miaow View Post
    Thanks Dave and no, it doesn't have that and yeah just tried one then and real dark and couldnt see the pic :/ Would have been good to have a few of these scanned me as kid etc
    The other way you can do it, is to use a macro lens, a mirror, a tissue and some way to hold everything upright, then sit your slide standing upright, place a tissue in a frame (or say paddlepop sticks) behind it, and a mirror behind that. Put your camera in front, focus on the slide, and position so it fills the frame, then fire your flash into the mirror.
    The tissue should even the light from the mirror enough so there's no hot spot, and voila! scanned slide

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    Tom, Thanks yeah might look into getting one

    Might try that also Dave Thanks

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Scans of slides work best if they are scanned with a light source on the opposite side of the slide to the scanner head. My scanner has a light source inside the lid, so I can lay slides on the scanning bed, and scan them quite well.
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    Rick, Yeah this one the lights in the base :/

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Cat, a few weeks ago Mongo go tired of scanning sides with a dedicated slide scanner so he decided to photograph the slides straight into his camera using a slide copier. I do not know if you have one of these . It simply holds the slides in front of your standard 50mm (or similar lens) so you can just photograph them.

    You could almost make one of these using an empty toilet roll cardboard tube – place the slide on one side, point it to the light (day light preferably) and have the other side of the roll on the front of your lens. Set the lens’ focus to where it may work best. You may have to move the roll back and forward until in focus then cut the roll to length. If not long enough you will have to add another short length of tube. You can not have light enter between the slide and the lens - it must be connected by the tube all the way. It should then be OK for all your other slides give or take a small focus adjustment on the lens. Then press the shutter botton

    It is not hard to do at all so do not shake your head at what Mongo has written. Try it.
    Last edited by mongo; 18-08-2009 at 5:19pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo View Post
    Cat, a few weeks ago Mongo go tired of scanning sides with a dedicated slide scanner so he decided to photograph the slides straight into his camera using a slide copier. I do not know if you have one of these . It simply holds the slides in front of your standard 50mm (or similar lens) so you can just photograph them.

    You could almost make one of these using an empty toilet roll cardboard tube – place the slide on one side, point it to the light (day light preferably) and have the other side of the roll on the front of your lens. Set the lens’ focus to where it may work best. You may have to move the roll back and forward until in focus then cut the roll to length. If not long enough you will have to add another short length of tube. You can not have light enter between the slide and the lens - it must be connected by the tube all the way. It should then be OK for all your other slides give or take a small focus adjustment on the lens. Then press the shutter botton

    It is not hard to do at all so do not shake your head at what Mongo has written. Try it.
    Thanks Mongo will Try it

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    hmm well tried the macro to do a shorter distance away (as i couldnt find a tube at pres lol) - doing a handheld to the light came up with this one...I spose not too bad ??


    Me as a child and my dad
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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Great Cat. If you have a macro even better . It will improve if you can put a tube between the slide and the end of the macro lens to exclude light coming in from the sides.

    What you have already done looks pretty good.

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    thats not a bad capture actually!

    have seen worse results from people who came into the camera store last yr showing their slide captures shot with macro lenses they bought from us

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    Thanks JMT and Mongo, yeah it did turn out ok Yeah i'll have to look for a tube around the place (when the toilet paper runs out lol)

    Edited to add I did have the outside in the shot and croped it off...
    Last edited by Miaow; 18-08-2009 at 6:17pm.

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    Hmm it's weird actually seem to have to be further away to focus on the slides well cant be as close as I usually could be with the macor?

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    Though sometimes favorable, your flatbed scanner wont have a bright enough light to extract shadow detail in the darker areas.

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