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Customer Discussions > Slide Scanner forum

What to buy?

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Showing 1-25 of 236 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 22, 2007, 8:07:23 PM PDT
G says:
Am looking to buy a slide scanner in order to transfer approximately 5000 slides into electronic format. Am not looking to enlarge them etc. just to have them on electronic laptop in order to preserve image and be able to see them on a laptop with decent quality. Any suggestions on what might be suitable?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2007, 7:37:16 PM PDT
Anton says:
I am doing the same search. Have you had any success? Why isn't there more info on this? There must be countless people who have closets full of old 35mm slides. Has everyone given up?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007, 9:22:02 PM PDT
G says:
Regretfully... no success
The slides are still waiting for their hero

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2007, 10:32:22 PM PDT
I found one at that sounds great, except it only works on Windows XP and I use a Mac. I have about 800 family slides that I want to preserve as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2007, 4:14:42 PM PST
The Veho film scanner ( sold by Brookstone, and perhaps others) for $130 is really fast and gives a 5MP image. With that many slides you need SPEED.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007, 9:10:27 PM PST
JCullen says:
am also looking. I have read a lot of reviews, but haven't decided on one yet. If you are looking to keep the scanner, then the Canoscan CS8600F seems like a good choice since people really seem to like the quality slides AND it has a use outside of scanning slides. AVOID the PrimeFilm scanners sold by Costco (and other places). They are the worst rated by users for quality, usability, and durability. I will post again after I have purchased a scanner and tried it out.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2007, 5:56:02 AM PST
P.L.Reiter says:
I'm looking for a faster way, but so far the past 5 years or so I've been using a Canon slide and film scanner. It creates a great image, good color, but you have to load them one at a time. It takes about 30 seconds to scan a 35mm slide. Why doesn't someone make a bulk loader that looks like a Kodak Carousel????

Be sure to post if you find a better way to do this, I have 10,000 slides left to go!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2007, 12:14:38 PM PST
JCullen says:
The only automated solution that I know of is the Nikon CoolScan 5000 ED with the optional SF-210 slide loader. The slide loader holds 50 slides at a time. The reported scan time per slide is 20 sec at 4000dpi. This is a semi-professional scanner so it runs $1500 with the slide loader. I just bought the scanner without the slide loader, but it hasn't arrived yet. It is supposed to do a superb job, but no matter how you scan it is going to take you a while. See this post for a discussion with a couple of pros about batch scanning.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2007, 3:30:58 PM PST
K L says:
I read the reviews for the Plustek Opticfilm 7200 7200DPI Silverfast Se Slide Viewer and it looks pretty good to me. I wonder if anyone has comparison shopped or knows a reason not to get it. The software seems possibly less than great but I think it might work with Photoshop. Anyone have more info on this?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2007, 8:13:37 AM PST
Anton says:
A neighbor bought this product and is very happy with it -- quick and easy to use. The Veho referred to in another post appears to be the same scanner but costs $30 more at Brookstone than at hammacher ($99). I borrowed a 5800 series HP flat bed scanner and it is working well for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2008, 1:57:25 PM PDT
Did your Nikon CoolScan work out? I've got a mountain of old slides I need to digitize.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2008, 5:43:09 PM PDT
JCullen says:
I am still working out a workflow for the Nikon CoolScan. I got the book "Scanning Negatives and Slides: Digitizing Your Photographic Archives" by Sascha Steinhoff from the library. It was helpful in understanding the particulars of the Nikon Scanning software, but it is poorly written. I am mostly satisfied with the scanner. It has great resolution, good dust removal, pretty good speed. However, I am unhappy with the colors as they originally scan. I have to increase the saturation to match what I see in the negative with the naked eye. It captures the contrast much better than your run-of-the-mill scanner, but I was expecting the colors to be more true to form. I am looking into whether this can be fixed via IT8 target calibration. Some of the issues may be because I am scanning KodaChrome slides which are notoriously difficult to scan. The Nikon does have a special setting for KodaChrome, but still does not give the results I expected. I will post again when I get this resolved.

I haven't ordered the slide feeder yet so I can't vouch for that.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2008, 6:49:05 AM PDT
Thank you. That is VERY helpful.

I invite any other participants in this forum to weigh in if they have anything to add.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2008, 7:55:09 PM PDT
I am also looking to convert thousands of my family slides as well as negatives - color and black and white. I was looking at the Veho slide converter ($100) - price (the feeder and the speed looked good) but then I ran against posted negative comments. I was looking into the CanoScan 8800 ($200) but it does not have a feeder. The Nikon is too expensive for me with or w/o feeder. I am really not sure how these work and how are they different from other scanners? Can I assume if they do photos they do slides? I have also read 2 to 20 minutes to scan 4 slides at a time...This will make a difference as at 20 minutes for 4 I will never get done. Thanks for any assistance.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2008, 12:06:35 AM PDT
JCullen says:
Scanning thousands of slides is indeed a huge task. A couple of suggestions.
1. If you want good quality scans, you need to put out the money for a quality scanner. With a low quality scanner you will put in more time and get less quality out. Learn from the experience of those frustrated with low cost solutions.
2. Don't be scared off by the high price tag of quality slide scanners; you can usually sell the scanner for almost what you paid for it. For example, you can sell a used Nikon Coolscan 5000 scanner off on ebay for $800-$1000. I bought one used and don't expect to lose too much on it when I resell it when I am done.
3. Scanning slides will take time, even with "automatic" solutions. I am culling my slides. For example, picking 1 shot out of 3 shots of the same subject. I will then scan all these using some automatic procedure. I don't expect these scans to be prefect, but they will be presentable. I will also select out the top 5% or so slides that have more meaning to me and I will spend time with each individually to get the color and contrast just right. There is no automatic process that will work for really well for all slides due to differences in exposure, film type, degredation, and such.
4. Film type matters. I have KodaChrome slides which are notoriously hard to scan. A high priced scanner is the only way to do it. If you have Fuji slides you may get away with decent scans from a lower priced scanner.
5. Some flat-bed multipurpose scanners have gotten great reviews for film scanning. In particular, the Epson Perfection v700/750 does an excellent job. It is still not cheap at about $500 and up, but it has a tray that holds 12 slides at a time which is 3 times what other scanner hold. Again you might be able to buy used and then resell.
6. Post processing in a image editing program such as photoshop is inevitable. Dust, scratches, and colors will need attention no matter what type of scanner you have. The better the scanner, the less post processing you will have to do for the same quality image.
7. Quality slide scanning is not a task for the timid. Even with my Nikon Coolscan 5000, which one of the best semi-pro scanners out there, I am still trying to develop a work flow that minimizes post processing time while producing true to life colors and eliminating dust/scratches.
8. If you really just want to have a rough copy of the slides (i.e. you are not worried if the colors are off , dust and scratches don't bother you) then maybe a low cost solution would be fine. Just realize that you will be investing a good chunk of time in this regardless of the quality of the final output.

In a nutshell, my advice is to first cull your slides to reduce the sheer number and then get a good quality scanner (even if you end up reselling).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2008, 5:55:35 AM PDT
This post is exceptionally comprehensive and detailed and, therefore, helpful. Each of the points has the ring of truth to it and squares with my intuition about how things work in the real world. I've about settled on the Nikon Coolscan as the best for my needs, but I intend to investigate the Epson because I'm doing a family history project and have a lot of other material to scan. And, I have yet to hear from a professional tech in the image lab at the university where I work about her experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2008, 7:23:32 PM PDT
Anton says:
If you want professional (and high quality printable) results I'm sure the earlier posts are correct. However, if you just want reasonable access to countless memories I suggest spending $100 or $200. I borrowed a HP Scanjet 4890 and did 1500 to 2000 slides in my spare time over 2 months. It had a frame which held 16 slides at a time. It can also do negatives and prints. That model is no longer in production but I suspect there are others out there. I think both HP and Canon have comparable new products available. Admittedly it did take me a while to get efficient at it and all the digital files can use editing but I have what I was looking for. My neighbor accomplished the same results with the Veho scanner.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2008, 8:22:59 PM PDT
A very helpful insight. Thank you.

I heard today from a photo lab professional who says she finds the Nikon CoolScan to be the best product. She also alerted me to slide scan services, such as, which I visited and I must admit I like what I see though I haven't had a trial run. I may send them a few slides and check it out; they're just $0.24 apiece for the ones you want to keep; others are no charge.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2008, 10:03:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2009, 10:31:26 AM PDT
JCullen says:
Thomas, let me know how scancafe works out. They seem to have very reasonable prices especially considering you only pay for the scans you like! All other scanning companies charged twice that much for and charge you for all your scans. If they do a good job with difficult to scan KodaChrome slides it just might be worth it to have them do scan those slides.

By the way, I scanned some EktaChrome slides with my Nikon Coolscan 5000 and they turned out beautifully. The Kodachromes are still giving me troubles with colors though. I am hoping the IT8 target I ordered will fix that problem. If not then I will try out

Update: March 11, 2009 I tried and the slides turned out fine. The colors were true and scan quality seems good. I have never been able to get a hold of an IT8 target to see if I could get true colors from scanning myself.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2008, 7:22:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2008, 7:31:01 PM PDT
jdub says:
One of the issues I'm running into is that although all of the slides are mounted in 2x2 frames some of the actual transparencies are 1.75 x 1.75. It's tricky to tell online if the template will allow a scan of the whole slide or only the standard 1 x 1.5. I, too, am trying to stay around $200. I was going between the HP scanner that will hold 16 slides and the Canon that holds four. The reviews on the HP said how slow it was and the Canon had great review for no warm-up and fast scans. I'm leaning toward the Canon because for one thing the scanners that are dedicated to slides/film I can't see any close-ups and I'm afraid they won't take that larger transparency. But I've had a chance to see the HP scanner and the Canon in a brick and mortar store to see that they will actually scan the whole slide.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008, 11:35:52 AM PDT
Anton says:
On the HP 4890 that I used I could alter the shape and size of the scan in the preview mode with the cursor.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2008, 7:06:19 AM PDT
Hi everyone, I really have had good luck using a slide copier and my DSLR camera. It's incredibly fast, load and shoot, not waiting for the scanner. I save my images in RAW format since that's what I usually photograph in. Plus I already had the camera and it's a lot more fun than owning an expensive slide scanner. I am using a slide copy attachment from which I read about at, another slide conversion service that has apparently automated this slide copying method though they don't say how they did it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2008, 7:36:39 AM PDT
Great advice! Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2008, 9:47:47 AM PDT
JCullen says:
What types of slides are you copying? Fuji, Ektachrome, Kodachrome?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2008, 9:00:43 AM PDT
Native Texan says:
I also have 35 mm slides and negatives I would like to scan. But I also have larger format negatives, both b&w and color, that I would like to digitize. Some of the film sizes are 120 and 220, God knows what the other film types are. One is a negative (about 2"x3" of me (at about age 2 or 3) sitting on a longhorn steer.

Does anyone know if the scanners mentioned above do non-35 mm slides and naegatives?
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Discussion in:  Slide Scanner forum
Participants:  94
Total posts:  236
Initial post:  Jul 22, 2007
Latest post:  Feb 14, 2011

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