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Guest Yachtsman1

Scanning Glass Slides

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Guest Yachtsman1

One of my latest acquisitions for lamp conversion was a Victorian Magic Lantern, which "flew off the shelf" so to speak after conversion. When I bought it there were 2 Victorian 3 1/4inch square glass slides, which projected through the converted lantern fairly well. I've since bought a second lantern & am in the process of converting it. There were no slides with it so I bid on a box of 50 on Ebay & bought them at what I thought was a good price, the were listed as "Scottish Family Life" & contain mostly pictures of family groups. Always on the look out for new AV show subjects I thought I would scan them & try to create a show.

The problem is they haven't scanned as good as they look when viewing the slide with the naked eye. To me they look blurred, the glass is around 5mm thick & wondered if it was something in the scanning process causing the blur. I asked Canon, but they aren't the quickest in their support. I wondered if anyone else had tried to scan glass slides & if they were acceptable. I had to change my scanner last year as the software wasn't supported by Canon & I could only use the basic functions with my new PC. My new all in one a Canon MX925, which is an abortion to use doesn't mention scanning any type of transparent image. My last one you, removed the white underside of the lid over the platen when scanning in slides, this one is fixed. :(

Yachtsman1.

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Hy Yachtsman,

Your scanner is not fit for negatief or dia scans. It works on reflected light.

for glass slides de light must go through it.

greetings

Luc M

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You need to scan from the right side of the glass, the side with the emulsion on it, or the thickness of the glass slides may be causing the blur.

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Guest Yachtsman1

Hi Both

I suspected that when I got the results I did. When I picked the Canon, it was the only one of around 10 that could also print CD/DVD covers, maybe I should have picked a dedicated photo scanner? I may try photographing the projected image once I get the lantern converted. I've just been helping Lennart to acquire a slide copier that fits the lens of a 35mm DSLR, I suppose that would be another solution, but finding one to take 31/4inch square slides & fit my FZ150 is probably akin to looking for rocking horse do do! Back to the drawing board. Thanks for replying.

This is from Ken's link-

"A flatbed TMA (Transparent Media Adapter, sometimes called a film adapter) is basically a lamp in the lid (or a replacement lid) of a flatbed scanner, to allow it to scan film. The film is placed on the scanner glass bed, but instead of being illuminated by reflected light from below like a print, this lamp shines down through, from behind the film. Then everything else pretty much works the same, we scan film using the same basics as for prints."

Yachtsman1. :(

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Guest Yachtsman1

Just got a reply from Canon-

Dear Mr. S++++++

Thank you for your request and for contacting Canon.

In reference to your query regarding scanning glass slides with the MX925. We regret to inform you that this model does not support scanning slides and therefore are unable to guarantee the scan quality. We recommend to view the film and slide scanner in the current range.

CanoScan 9000F MK II:

http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Scanners/Flatbed/CanoScan_9000F_MarkII/

We are sorry that we have been unable to assist you with a resolution regarding scanning slides with the MX925 and for any inconvenience that this may cause. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further questions or enquiries.

- which is the up-dated version of my previous scanner, ah well.

Tachtsman1. :(

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Hello there Eric,

My daughter, a PhD in tephrostratigraphy - the study of ash eruption layers from volcanoes - had a collection of about 3,000 35mm slides from her studies back in the 1980's, and wanted to scan them as the slides were beginning to fade and shift color, so she asked me about a suitable scanner. As even a good scanner will take more than a minute to scan a slide, it would be a lot ot time to scan all her slides, and a better idea would be to use her Canon digital slr and a proper macro lens - which she has - to re-photograph the slides illuminated with a suitable backlight, in her case a slide viewing light box, suitably masked to illuminate the slides. I advised her to set custom color balance using the light from the light box, then shoot the slides letting the camera decide the exposure in evaluative mode. It was then just a matter of positioning a slide, click the shutter, position the next slide, and so on. She was able to get through the entire approximately 3,000 slides in just a few evenings, and they turned out spot on.

So, after that, forget scanners and use your camera. A suitable light box should be within your capabilities, preferably using a continuous-spectrum light source like a halogen or LED light source. Custom balance the camera to the light source and you're away laughing.

Regards,

Colin

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Guest Yachtsman1

Hi Colin

All the slides are mono apart from a couple that look as if they have been hand tinted, (scanned copy attached).

As it happens I do have a close up attachment for my Panasonic FZ150 which I bought early days but ended up in the gadget bag practically unused. So when I get some time, I will give your idea a go, obviously I am restricted to using what I own, with maybe a small outlay.

After scanning 10 of the slides with my scanner, I don't think the subject matter itself warrants a lot of effort.

I have seen a number of digital lightboxes/scanners that connect directly to the PC, but I'm not prepared to spend that amount just to see if they work, also they only mention 35mm in their blurb.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111430427610?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Another possibility

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Photo-Studio-Photography-Light-Box-Kits-Background-Equipment-UK-SHIP-/301294202825?pt=UK_Photography_StudioEquipment_RL&hash=item462688afc9

http://www.lightboxuk.net/product/a5-for-art-design-tracing/

I also wrote to my local camera club last night to see if anyone their could come up with something, but I'm not in a hurry.

BTW I scanned over 3000 35mm slides & negatives with my previous scanner, but it was just too big to keep in a flat, plus the previously mentioned software problem.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Regards Eric

Yachtsman1.

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The slide samples you have provided appear to show diffraction or reflection, possibly from the glass and your lighting setup. Darken everything around. Stop ALL the extraneous light and allow exactly the light you want. I use artist's lightproof black flocked fabric for this. You might get much better results. It's work--decide if it's worth it.

I have scanned many slides including glass slides with excellent results using a scanner. I also created an elaborate camera/tripod/lighting/ macro lens method complete with a black felt hood and special home-made negative and slide holders for odd sizes.

Final analysis: The camera can do a great job, especially by stitching together multiple photos, but nothing equals the output of a good slide scanner--if you really want a fine, sharp job. Often the detail and quality of old slides and films does not warrant so much fuss, but occasionally it might.

I use the OpticFilm 8200i Ai Scanner with SilverFast iSRD scanning software. But it's not cheap. And it's not fast if you have thousands of images. The combination of dust/scratch removal including the use of IR is almost mind boggling. For most photos dust D/S removal you can do fine in Photoshop, but for some photos, that IR scan really works miracles that Photoshop can't touch.

Learning to use it well is not for the faint-of-heart. There is some learning curve to take advantage of the scanner and software's abilities. Like many hours of frustration and disasters before you feel like a beginner. Having said all that, right out of the box and pushing the buttons it may do a beautiful job on most of your images. For 35 mm and smaller only. You can be creative about getting odd sized film inside the machine. The software will make you wonder what kind of sadist invented it, but if you can tolerate its idiosyncrasies, nothing else out their can match it. Kind of like Photoshop. I have a few folks who help with scanning (I have little patience for such things), but my scanner has scanned some 15,000 images and is going strong.

If it had been available back when I bought, I would have got the OpticFilm 120 for the larger negative capability. But, alas, I didn't. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/890953-REG/Plustek_783064365642_Optic_Film_120_Scanner.html

More info on other options here: http://www.filmscanner.info/en/PlustekOpticFilm120.html

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Guest Yachtsman1

Thanks Judy. I was happy with my previous scanner & brassed off my so called all in one isn't suitable. As I said before the content of my glass slides doesn't warrant expending loads of cash, after reading various comments from here & elsewhere I will probably go the lightbox route, there are a few used examples on Ebay, I'm in no hurry so I will just bide my time for the present. Thanks for your answer.

Regards Eric

Yachtsman1.

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Guest Yachtsman1

After further investigation I think to least expensive method of copying these glass slides is with a light box of one form or another (tape slide to window being the most basic?), I'm watching a couple on Ebay, but, in the meantime I copied Lennart with one of the Ebay links & an A5 sized light box at £40 & he came back with the suggestion of using a tablet as a light box :wacko: :wacko: :wacko: So I've just done a search, but can only find an app for an IPad, not an Android as my Tesco Hudle. So there must be an opportunity for some geek out there to come up with one?

http://www.topappreviews101.com/light-box-ipad-app-13095.html

Yachtsman1.

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Guest Yachtsman1

Hi Tom

I thought you would know of one :P Just had a look, one is google & wants me to clear my system before installation & the other wants £5.15 for it. I'm sure if I opened a book we have stored at a blank page & increased the brightness it would do what I want? Will do some experiments & come back. Thanks for looking.

Regards Eric

Yachtsman1.

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Guest Yachtsman1

Just did a quick trial, 100% better than my scanner.

Method, cut out a card shield to cover the Hudle screen with a cut out the same size as the slide. Switched on the Hudle, opened Adobe reader which has a blank page, cranked up the brightness, took a shot from about 60cm zoomed in to fill the screen & took a picture set on Intelligent Auto. Opened it in Elements 10, cropped to size, used auto smart fix, then convert to B&W, GS1 is the result, GS2 & 3 are just the set up. Well done Lennart :rolleyes: 21st century technology applied to 19th century products.

Yachtsman1.

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Gidday Eric,

Well, you've cracked it there, a very good image, tonally speaking at least. I'm not sure about sharpness but that can be optimised with a tripod or copy stand. I have an old Leitz 35mm enlarger, totally obsolete now, but I removed the enlarger body from the column bracket and modified that to hold a camera, which works very well.

The idea of using a tablet as a light-box is clever, as the light is already balanced for viewing, and the only problem might be the brightness - but with a copy stand a slow exposure wouldn't be a problem.

Also, from a definition point of view, the image from a camera is probably greater than 2000 ppi, which is at least equal to most high-end scanners without interpolation, and a good lens on the camera should be able to compete with a scanner.

The only remaining problem might be distortion - barrel or pincushion - from the lens, but that can be corrected in post-processing. A real bonus over scanning is the speed of copying, as scanners are notoriously slow to scan transparencies,

So, all in all, you're away laughing, as they say. Congrats!

Regards,

Colin

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Guest Yachtsman1

Thanks Colin

Lennart mentioned he had used an old enlarger, but like me was pushed for space & had scrapped it. Having now seen the remainder of the slides I think I was correct not wasting too much time on them, they are just a boring bunch of someones family snapshots, with just a couple of gems. Whether I can get a show out of them remains to be seen once I've finished post processing. Thanks for your interest.

Regards Eric

Yachtsman1.

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Hi All!

I have to make a small corrective. I have not used an enlarger to copy glass plates.

This was more a suggestion for Eric to cheaply get a holder for the negative as well as a "lightsbox".
The Notepad way was found with the kind help of Google ...
A dedicated lightbox will of cause be the best. And to keep the ambient light low.

Some years ago I used my flatbed to copy a glass plate with the attached result. (Pre and after Photoshopping).
The flatbed lamp was disconnected and the glass plate was placed on the flatbed glass emultion side up (towards the lightsource).

This gives a miss focus by the thickness of glass plate.I took a calculated chance on the depth of field of the flatbed. :)
Backlight was my table lamp and a piece of opal plastic.

By the way - nice to be back on the forum.

/Lennart

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Guest Yachtsman1

Hi Lennart

This is from your Email (For the large slides and/or glass plates I would go for using an old modified enlarger as
light box. I found this one on Ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Durst-M370-Black-White-Enlarger-Rodenstock-50mm-Lens-Timer-99p-Start/141385702507?_trksid=p2047675.c100010.m2109&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D25291%26meid%3D3149f87a34d84383889ffaf93a9648d5%26pid%3D100010%26prg%3D10621%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D24%26sd%3D131280085681


I am sure you can use the neg. holder as is.)
maybe something lost in translation?
I have, just before lunch started to put a show together, without much enthusiasm as the content of the slides & quality would need someone like Alfred Hitchcock to make them interesting. However, there's always an however, while copying the slides I found only one marked with a name "Den of Fowlis", which I Googled & discovered it referred to a well known view between Angus & Dundee, & further to that well known supposedly Scottish poet William Topaz McGonagall, said to be of Irish descent & a poem he had written called "The Den O' Fowlis". By coincidence on last nights TV there was a reference to Dundee and the coming referendum & showed a picture of the Tay bridge to Dundee, to which I remarked to my Wife, "there was a disaster on that bridge when it collapsed with a train crossing, with great loss of life". Also by coincidence, McGonangall had written a poem about the disaster, now that is a great subject to research for a show.
Regards Eric
Yachtsman1.
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Guest Yachtsman1

This is the result of copying the slides just over 3 mins, aspect ratio 4-3 as the slides were 31/4inch square it seemed the most appropriate.

Yachtsman1.

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