[APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Wed Dec 30 11:17:49 MST 2009

To clarify, I'm also digitizing slides to preserve them, and my criteria for 
results is very demanding.  I just haven't come across the type of problem 
you described.  When I said I wouldn't scan them at the highest possible 
resolution it was to reduce introducing perfections, some of which are in 
the slides themselves. I scan at resolutions that preserve the images and 
allow copies to be viewed digitally or printed out in hardcopy. I think 
you're setting the bar too high (as to resolution) for preserving the images 
in slides, and may even be a counterproductive choice.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <john at johnwylie.com>
To: "'LBoswell'" <laboswell at rogers.com>; "'Mail list APG'" 
<apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 3:48 PM
Subject: RE: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides

> Larry,
> You make some good points. I digitize my slides FOR preservation, so I use
> high resolution (usually 4000 lpi.) If having an attractive image on my
> computer screen was my most demanding criteria, then your technique is
> probably fine. I guess it boils down to purpose. On another list, I 
> outlined
> that when I started digitizing 35mm slides some years ago, the slide 
> scanner
> was so slow that I decided that the very first thing I had to do was trash
> about 3/4 of the slides. First came the 'tourist' shots of well known
> places. If they included family or friends, I kept them, but as I reviewed
> them about half were postcard shots that can be found on Google images. 
> Then
> I trashed duplicates, including near duplicates.
> The slide sorters are gone so I can't tell you the bulb size or media
> thickness. One was like most sold in stores and the other was a pro model
> that I got from a friend.
> John Wylie
> APG Member
> -----Original Message-----
> From: LBoswell [mailto:laboswell at rogers.com]
> Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 11:33 AM
> To: john at johnwylie.com; 'Mail list APG'
> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides
> Were you using a close up focus at high resolution?  Taking the resolution
> too high even when copying printed photographs is going to bring out all
> manner of imperfections.
> I'm thinking of how slides were intended to be viewed, usually with dust 
> and
> other surface imperfections projected onto folding screens that were less
> than perfect surfaces.  In partially darkened rooms and so on. Hauling out
> the projector, trying to shut out other light sources.  Angle the screen
> right for optimal viewing.  Hardly a  high-def digital experience back 
> then!
> I've digitized hundreds of slides in the manner described and the result
> viewed on a computer is vastly improved over the old projection method of
> slide viewing.  In fact digitized slides come out far better than a scan 
> of
> a printed photo of the same period.  They also print out with a quality
> that's superior to most of the latter.
> If you use a super high resolution  than you're going to introduce 
> problems,
> which is why I choose to limit it.
> Also, how thick was the background support material?  And how powerful a
> backlight were you using?
> Larry
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <john at johnwylie.com>
> To: "'Mail list APG'" <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
> Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 11:41 AM
> Subject: RE: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides
>> Larry,
>> My testing of a similar solution six years ago failed. Since imaging 35mm
>> slides involves so much magnification I found that slight imperfections 
>> in
>> the backlight material affected the final digital image in noticeable and
>> negative ways. I took a 20+ magnifier to two sorters and one passive
>> viewer
>> and was astonished at how imperfect the media were. The three I tested
>> were
>> all white translucent plastic and were most likely made for general
>> viewing.
>> I did not test any glass sorters, so they might return much different
>> results.
>> John Wylie
>> APG Member
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org
>> [mailto:apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org] On Behalf Of LBoswell
>> Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 9:10 AM
>> To: Marieta Grissom; 'Amy Crow'; 'Claire Bettag'
>> Cc: 'Mail list APG'
>> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides
>> Yes, exactly.  The trick is to make sure the camera is squared up with 
>> the
>> sorter.  Also position the slides so that all are evenly lit.  I don't 
>> use
>> a
>> close up setting on the camera, but you could if you wanted to do a
>> smaller
>> group (or a single) instead which would give you a higher resolution
>> result
>> a slide sorter, or a homemade light box/table, anything with a 
>> translucent
>> surface that can be backlit
>> Larry
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Marieta Grissom" <marieta.grissom at msn.com>
>> To: "'LBoswell'" <laboswell at rogers.com>; "'Amy Crow'"
>> <amy at amyjohnsoncrow.com>; "'Claire Bettag'" <claire at clairebettag.com>
>> Cc: "'Mail list APG'" <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
>> Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2009 6:08 PM
>> Subject: RE: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides
>>> Larry,
>>> What you are talking about reminds me of a slide sorter?  Would that
>>> work?
>>> Marieta A. Grissom, CG
>>> 505 West Jackson Avenue
>>> Indianola, Iowa 50125-1119
>>> CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
>>> Certification of Genealogists used under license after periodic
>>> evaluations
>>> by the Board.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org
>>> [mailto:apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org] On Behalf Of LBoswell
>>> Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2009 8:50 AM
>>> To: Amy Crow; Claire Bettag
>>> Cc: Mail list APG
>>> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides
>>> I used a digital camera on a high res setting, and a homemade back lit
>>> holder (translucent white plastic with a flourescent fixture behind it
>>> (you
>>> need to set the light so that there isn't a strongly lit focus or 'hot
>>> spot'
>>> where some slides are lit differently than others).  Use an indoor or
>>> flourescent setting on the camera.  Camera is simply left squared up to
>>> the
>>> holder, and on a tripod until I've completed however many slides I need
>>> to
>>> scan.  Have done hundreds of slides in no time at all (inherited a
>>> collection of 3000 slides that needed to be copied).  Line the slides 
>>> up,
>>> 'click'....next batch.
>>> You can buy these back lit displays secondhand from a photo store but
>>> it's
>>> easy to make one up
>>> I find about 8-10 slides grouped together works best.  Then open the
>>> result
>>> in any graphics/photo editor and cut/paste each image out (lowers the
>>> resolution of each individual image, but still easily high enough to
>>> display
>>> digitally or print out in a standard sized print).
>>> Better results than my scanner (which has a slide scanner built in), and
>>> much faster.  But of course not worth setting up if you're just doing a
>>> handful of slides.
>>> Larry
>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>> From: "Amy Crow" <amy at amyjohnsoncrow.com>
>>> To: "Claire Bettag" <claire at clairebettag.com>
>>> Cc: "Mail list APG" <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
>>> Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2009 7:27 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Digitizing 35mm slides
>>>>A few years ago, I scanned several hundred slides for my parents' 50th
>>>>anniversary party. I purchased a slide adaptor for my flatbed scanner.
>>>>Although the results were very good, I would not recommend doing it 
>>>>way if you have the volume you are talking about. It was *very*  slow 
>>>>tedious. If I had to do it over again, I would invest in a  dedicated
>>>> Amy
>>>> =========
>>>> Amy Johnson Crow, CG
>>>> Reynoldsburg, Ohio
>>>> On Dec 26, 2009, at 8:52 PM, Claire Bettag wrote:
>>>>> I have several hundred 35mm slides (snapshots taken mainly in the
>>>>> 1970s
>>>>> and '80s) that I want to convert to digitized images--just to 
>>>>> preserve
>>>>> the family photos. I'm considering sending the slides off  to a 
>>>>> service
>>>>> to have them done rather than purchase a scanner to  convert them
>>>>> myself.
>>>>> I'd appreciate any advice, recommendations,  pointers from others who
>>>>> have used such services. Feel free to  respond privately.
>>>>> Many thanks, in advance.
>>>>> Claire
>>>>> Claire Bettag
>>>>> 1685 34th Street NW
>>>>> Washington, DC 20007
>>>>> 202-625-2598
>>>>> cell: 202-436-2121

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