35mm transparencies to digital

sam409 8 4 England
31 Jan 2012 2:43PM
This may have been covered before but can't find it...so sorry if I am repeating the question. I have hundreds of 35mm colour transparencies (not mine, my dad took them and they are really good)...what is the best way to turn them into good enough quality digital to put with a stock library? Thanks. Sam409

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mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 2:53PM
You can either scan them or send to a processing lab.
For scanning yourself the best quality is from a film scanner but they are hard to find new nowadays. The benchmark is the Nikon devices but they cost hundreds and buying the autofeeder adds hundreds more. Cheaper scanners do not have autofocus and this can reduce quality
Flatbed scanners are getting damned good and pretty close to the dedicated scanners, but whether it is good enough for stock sites is a different matter. One of the best is the Epson V700 (450) or V750 ( more). The guy on iphoto gets unbelievable quality from his V700 and no-one seems to know how he does it.

I bought a V700 to do general slide scanning and if there are any really good ones in there I intend to send to a pro lab for high quality stuff. The advantage is that I can scan 12 at a time which means I set it up and leave it running for half an hour. Otherwise I am back and forwards every 2 minutes or so and it bugs the hell out of me.

You need to check up on what quality scan you need. You could send them to a pro lab (I have used One Vision Imaging) and see what quality is possible before committing money and time...
KenTaylor 15 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 3:01PM
If you have hundreds it will cost a fortune to have them scanned to a quality often required by a stock library.
Choosing a few then getting them digitised for an agency is one way forward.
sam409 8 4 England
31 Jan 2012 3:11PM
Thanks very much. Will check out spec requirements from stock libraries as well as pro labs and their costings - willing to take a bit of a gamble if I can see it will be worthwhile (and who knows), but not prepared to take out huge loan. Film and flatbeds scanners sound an expensive investment..with so many stock libraries and photos up for sale, might not be worth the expense. The photos are really good, mainly of Suffolk/Norfolk at dawn and dusk, coast, wildlife, marshes etc but expect libraries have loads of others available..unfortunately not some unique event like the Berlin Wall coming down...
mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 3:16PM
For pro labs I have seen prices under 50p for large batches of low res scans(4.5MB). You can scan nearly 1,000 for the price of the Epson V700 - you could probably do this to check overall quality before doing higher quality scans. These are probably fine for personal viewing on a computer screen.
For super-dooper high-res scans (40mb files) prices at 1.27 each good enough for prints up to 40"

I don't send to stock libraries but judging by comments from people who do, you have to send in thousands of images to get any significant income. You may get lucky and have good income from only a (relatively) few images but I think you need to think of the cost and return you may get.
cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
31 Jan 2012 5:24PM
You could just use a slide copier fitted to the front of a digital camera, The process can be a tad slow, But the image quality can be superb, Dependant on the camera.

I even know of someone who set up a slide projector & screen, Then aligned his DSLR camera & lens carefully, Set the carousel to auto, Then with a remote lead, He just fired the shutter as each frame appeared, Yes the process can be a tad slow, But the quality can be good ( Certainly the ones I have seen where )Plus on a big projector screen you can evaluate the images more precisely.

These days you can pick up decent slide projectors fairly cheaply, Same goes for the screens, Assuming you do not have them already.

Whatever, Good luck.....Smile
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
31 Jan 2012 7:32PM
I had something like a 1000 slides I wanted to scan, then many hundreds of negatives.

So I picked up a Plustek,an earler version of this and found it loads of fun.


The manual feeds a little slow, but its not something you will want to rush anyway.
WilliamRoar 12 188 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 7:37PM
I scan film with a Plustek 7400. Very highly recommended.
Camairish 14 1.4k Scotland
31 Jan 2012 9:33PM
Why not buy a dedicated film scanner (I use a Minolta Dimage 5400 Elite) 2nd hand from eBay, scan the slides you want, then stick it back on eBay when you're finished. You will be unlikely to incur a significant loss this way.

sam409 8 4 England
1 Feb 2012 11:35AM
Brilliant..thanks to everyone. Sam.
peterjones 18 4.9k 1 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2012 8:51AM
as far as stock libraries are concerned why not just scan and send them just historical and unrepeatable images for example I have some slides of Barn Elms Reservoirs before the London Wetland Centre was created and intend to scan them and send them to a stock library.

LenShepherd 11 4.1k United Kingdom
2 Feb 2012 10:41AM

Quote:my dad took them and they are really good

Unless the subjects are unique and of historical and commercial interest there are tens of thousands of photographers shooting digital images with better detail, sharpness and dynamic range than is possible with film.
A lot of them have already placed files with stock libraries.
If your Dad took superb images of the queen at the coronation the Jubilee is very close and you could make money.
If your Dad took landscapes including cars and people in clothes of an earlier era there is generally little or no commercial value.
Stock libraries expect a model release of people posing for a picture - something unlikely to be available.
My own slide collection consists of about 12,000 images - mainly of a personal event or record subject. Although I have 3 "ready to go" slide shows which attract regular bookings I think there is probably no more than 20 images that might interest a stock library. This is in the context of having about 20 digital images published a year for which the fee is often peanuts compared to the effort involved in taking a recent picture or scanning and post processing an old film image Sad
KenTaylor 15 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2012 1:33PM
It may be that you could have them on CD or whatever just as collection for personal use.
You could also have some chosen ones digitised to make up a book.

Financial gain is a long shot although one never knows precisely what an agency wants or the demands for images of any subject however mundane to the likes of us.
KenTaylor 15 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2012 1:39PM

Quote:tens of thousands of photographers shooting digital images with better detail, sharpness and dynamic range than is possible with film.

`is` maybe but `was` would include the untouchable Kodachrome in a class of its own and never matched Wink
kodachrome 8 723
3 Feb 2012 12:38PM
Summit Photofix is an excellent purpose made slide film scanner complete with USB to your PC.


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