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Thread: Dilemma regarding Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner for digitalising 35mm colour slides....

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    Member Chimbu's Avatar
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    Dilemma regarding Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner for digitalising 35mm colour slides....

    This particular scanner's allegedly quite decent for the primary intended purpose of digitalising a couple of hundred of my old 35mm colour slides - with the bonus thereafter of being a good quality (but infrequently used) flatbed scanner for documents, photos etc. Alternatively, a local photo printing outlet will scan them at the rate of $1 per slide - thereafter, any visual 'faults' would have be processed via my PhotoShop SC4 as opposed to the software supplied with the scanner. The related uncertainty lies with whether it's worthwhile outlaying a considerable sum of money for the Epsom scanner in the hope that it produces a noticeably higher quality digital image than that scanned by the mentioned printing outlet. Accordingly, I'd love to hear from anyone who has had pleasing results with digitalising 35mm colour slides using either the scanner or a printing outlet of sorts. In hindsight, I could also trial the latter with a dozen or so slides and critically view the end result.

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    For $1 per scan, I wouldn't count on the image being of a reasonable size/quality (probably around postcard size at lo-res. Professional scans I've had done in the past are usually around the $30 mark. One option to look at is the Nikon CoolScan (great reputation for hardware and it's associated software) and then re-sell after you've completed the job.
    Another alternative I've seen good results with, is setting up a lightbox and your camera on a tripod and doing it that way.

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    Junqbox, apparently the local photo printing outlet scans each 35mm slide at 300 dpi - hence why it's only $1 per slide. Note, how decent a quality would that be for either viewing on my Apple 27" iMac or for printing up to A4 size ? A brief web search indicates that Nikon CoolScans (like the V LS-50 ED) are discontinued. Bearing in mind that I've currently only got a Canon PowerShot G10, could you please elaborate what you mean by "setting up a lightbox and your camera on a tripod and doing it that way".
    Last edited by Chimbu; 18-01-2012 at 2:24pm.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    http://www.feelingnegative.com/digit...-film-scanners


    You do get pretty good quality photos as well!

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    Basically you use a lightbox, as in what is used to view slides and transparencies, to backlight your slide. Create a cardboard cutout 'template', so your slides will be in the same position each time on the lightbox [also good to 'black' out the rest of the lightbox, so no light leakage (thereby affecting your exposure settings). Then set-up your camera on a tripod and zoom in (optical only) and focus on the image within the slide frame and use your remote/or timer to photograph the slide. Further reference here- http://www.pbase.com/lowthian/digitizing_old_slides
    As for the CoolScan, they often pop-up second hand, usually by people in the same position as yourself, ie- needed to scan x amount of slides, then pass onto the next person.

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    Keefy and Junqbox, thanks heaps for the related links - I love the notion of alternatively improvising with things so I'm keen to tinker around with some of the suggested ideas. I've never used my G10 in RAW / manual focus / macro modes before so I'm keen to inexpensively & creatively experiment with 'digital shooting' some old 35mm slides - hopefully it will be a worthwhile and cost saving experience. Cheers.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Chimbu, whatever you do, don't get them scanned at 300 dpi. That's 450 x 300
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ameerat42, what a waste it would have been if my cherished slides were scanned at 300 dpi - thanks for clarifying the matter. I've been busy out in my workshop modifying an old wooden bird box into a semi-enclosed lightbox - rather than using white paper to diffuse the light I'm going to trial some translucent plastic or glass. Similarily, I might incorporate an enclosed light source (with a dimmer switch to readily vary the light intensity) rather than using one of my old slide projectors. With a bit of luck I might have it operational tomorrow.
    Last edited by Chimbu; 18-01-2012 at 8:43pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I was in the same boat about this time last year, and had planned to get a v700 myself for the same reason(plus the bonus of a high quality general scanner, which I'd use once in two years ).

    In the end I went for the photographic option, so I purchased a slide copy scanner instead, which doubles up as a great macro device.

    If you use Photoshop, I believe this software has the option to invert colours whilst in the raw format so you won't come unstuck as I have with my preferred software not doing the colour inversion at the raw stage.
    The ability to shoot in raw mode is probably quite important to begin with so that you have the best possible format for accurate colour balance.

    My current issue is that I have to work in reverse, where to warm up the 'print' I need to cool down the negative and so on .. darken to brighten and so forth as I need to get the file set as a tif or jpg as best as I can, where I then import the final negative into Paint.net where I can do the colour inversion and get an image that looks like a photo.

    Seeing as you're using a 'point and shoot' (albeit a high quality) model in the G12, I wouldn't be tempted to overdo the level of optical zoom. Find a focal length that works best in terms of sharpness and distortion and use that.
    I believe that these cameras have a macro setting, so you may need to enter into this mode to eliminate as much periphery as you can. Macro mode is usually enabled via the 'universal flower icon'.

    What junqbox described is basically how the bellows unit I purchased works too. An opaque windows through which you backlight the slide and keep external lighting out as well as stabilise the film.

    So far what I've noted with my attempts. Use a cold temp light source for back lighting. Brighter is better for the sake of exposure/shutter speed etc.
    If the G12 has IS in camera enabled, switch it off making sure that no ISO boost as part of a hybrid IS is also enabled and use a tripod .. more for the framing than anything else.

    I used a halogen light source which turned out way too warm on the negs, hence way too cool on the prints.

    If my preferred software had colour inversion, I'd have already scanned my negatives and started on my parent old slide too by now.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chimbu View Post
    Ameerat42, what a waste it would have been if my cherished slides were scanned at 300 dpi - thanks for clarifying the matter. I've been busy out in my workshop modifying an old wooden bird box into a semi-enclosed lightbox - rather than using white paper to diffuse the light I'm going to trial some translucent plastic or glass. Similarily, I might incorporate an enclosed light source (with a dimmer switch to readily vary the light intensity) rather than using one of my old slide projectors. With a bit of luck I might have it operational tomorrow.
    Remember that the slide bit for the negatives to go in needs to be smooth and padded with velvet or the lining of flim canisters (where the film comes out of) so that it does not scratch your flim. Should you need some used flim canisters i can post some to you for free as i have a few lying around. Just pm me your address and i can send them out tomorrow or friday.

    Have fun!

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    Arthurking83, it's interesting that the related reference links have contrasting focal lengths - namely, "the focus distance from the front of the lens body to the slide is just over 8 inches" Vs "with a macro lens, the closer you can get to the film, the more resolution you’ll get from it". I'm in favour of the latter. As also suggested by Dick, I'll initially trial shooting with the aperture priority at f/8 and the ISO at 200. The amount of external lighting currently concerns me - specifically, on the slide / camera side of the lightbox as this will vary depending on where and when the apparatus is set up. Also, rather than using one of my old fan cooled slide projectors as a back light source I'll seek the advice of a local photographer friend regarding the notion of alternatively using a less cumbersome cold temp light source. Note, I have the older G10, not the current G12.

    Keefy, I'm going to use the 35mm colour slides in tact so a simple slot (eg. cut into a suitable piece of black coloured wood or plastic etc) will securely hold the slide by its cardboard or plastic mounting frame - hence the film itself won't be damaged. Thanks all the same for offering me some old film canisters - their padded lining certainly would be ideal if I was shooting film strips rather than slides.

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    Some further related thoughts - a friend suggested setting the G10's tone to White Balance rather than AWB / Auto in addition to using a cool white LED light source rather than a warm halogen globe (as found in my old Slide projector). Also, to essentially eliminate any external light interference I'm also considering the construction of a 'sealed' lighbox - (namely, with a peep hole just big enough for the lens to slip inside (using Macro & manual focus), and a hinged lid to allow direct access to the slide holder). However, whereas the Epsom V700 allegedly has excellent Digital Ice software (for processing possible blemishes like scratches etc) I'm unaware if PhotoShop SC4's capable of such processing - once the slides have been digitalised ???? If not, then the notion of constructing a 'lightbox' would be a waste of time and money. Note, I've had minimal experience using PhotoShop; currently somewhat restricted to cropping, and the following sequence - Image / Adjustments / Curves. Any related advice would be most appreciated.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Re the "digital ice" s/w, it is useful only to the extent that the slides are particularly dirty. Pshop has clone and heal tools, and any such action affects the originality of the image, anyway. I don't know how good your lens is, but do look out for edge quality drop-off when using it under extreme conditions.
    Your lightbox sounds interesting and when it's a reality I'd like to see a pic of it.
    Am.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    *doh* slides. Not strips. I swear i need to start comprehending properly these days! No worries tho. I too would love to see your setup once you're done! I have a cheapish scanner that i purchased that is not very good admittedly and i do all the PP in photoshop cs5. Blemishes and dust are all just a simple content aware fill, heal, clone, etc. Look up some videos on how to do skin touchup and that should give you some idea of how use the function.

    Can it shoot in RAW? If so shoot in raw and set your white balance to anything other than auto so you can do a quick batch process on the white balance for all the photos. Also set 100 ISO to ensure low/no noise.

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    KeeFy, the G10 can shoot in RAW (a first for me, so bearing in mind that it's allegedly got an appetite for memory I went out and bought a FujiFilm SDHC 16GB Class 10 card). Regarding the ISO setting, to hopefully further minimise any noise I'll initially use 80 rather than a 100. As for the choice of back light source, I'll first trial a Philips Tornado Extra Bright / Warm White 20W (100W) energy saver globe mounted in a disused bed head lamp (the end of the metal shade sits snugly inside a piece of PVC pipe, which passes through the internal wooden dividing wall, thus directly beaming the light onto my light diffuser - a piece of off-cut laminated glass ,with a translucent piece of plastic sandwiched between the sheets, sourced and cut for free by my local glazier) so basically all I need to do now is paint my improvised lightbox, set it up and then post some pics of it. Touch wood it works ok !

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see if it all works out OK.

    I have a squillion negatives I'd like to digitise.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use a 'warm white' energy saver/CFL type light globe. Try to find a higher 5000+K(temp) globe. Lots of people hate them for general purpose use, but for photography(eg in your study where your main photography PC may reside, they're a much better colour balance. Higher K value is better.
    Warm white CFLs have a weird green cast to them, and even tho you're working in raw format and whitebalance is easily accounted for, I think it's just easier to get it right to begin with.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I wouldn't use a 'warm white' energy saver/CFL type light globe. Try to find a higher 5000+K(temp) globe. Lots of people hate them for general purpose use, but for photography(eg in your study where your main photography PC may reside, they're a much better colour balance. Higher K value is better.
    Warm white CFLs have a weird green cast to them, and even tho you're working in raw format and whitebalance is easily accounted for, I think it's just easier to get it right to begin with.
    The green cast will not be a problem if shooting below 1/50th of a second and all cfls suffer from them not just the white or warm white ones. If i'm not wrong (theoretically thinking so i may be wrong as well) as the light is contained like in a softbox, the colour cast should not be a problem at all. The newer electronic ballasts will help to control the flicker vs the old traditional magnetic ballasts. I absolutely and totally agree about getting it right the first time, will save you heaps of time.

    Maybe you can consider using a led light panel to be the backlight?

    Pictures please!

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    Trublubiker, I've predominantly constructed my improvised lightbox from melamined particle board which will require a couple of coats of rather slow drying enamel flat black paint so I'm impatiently waiting in the process !

    Arthurking83 and Keefy, the shaded light assembly will allow me to readily trial a number of different screw in globes (eg. a Cromptom 5000K/Cool White, R80 Fluorescent, 15 watt/75w, 583 lumen output, soft start & flicker free, protected from electrical surge, 80% Energy Saving, 6000 hours) - hence why I've adapted such a relatively simple and versatile back light source system. As per the above, I'm hanging out to do some investigative digitalising of my old cherished 35mm colour slides.
    Last edited by Chimbu; 20-01-2012 at 12:10pm.

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    The translucent plastic sandwiched between the laminated glass sheets unfortunately doesn't effectively diffuse the light - namely, the circular outline of the beam's clearly visible on the slide. Accordingly, I'll sound out a couple of local lighting retailers tomorrow on the off chance that they have a 'damaged' plastic textured household light diffuser. Also, I originally thought of mounting the slides in a slotted readily removable wooden block but soon discovered that it's somewhat finicky - eg. taking into account the precise re-positioning each time in relation to the camera lens plus the slightly different portrait & landscape slide mounting heights. So, I'm currently in the process of setting up two separate but fixed vertical slide mounts (using pieces of grooved aluminium) which, while focusing using the LED screen in MACRO mode, will simply mean minutely moving the camera forward or aft instead. I certainly hope that it ultimately works ok.......!

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