To Scan or Not to Scan – that is the Question!
Looking to Scan Slides
I have 1000s of slides from my Aunt Mary and I need to figure out what to do. She was an avid amateur photographer and took some amazing slides. Some of her slides are worthy of making into lots of prints and products because they are so beautiful! Before Aunt Mary died, she gave me written permission to have the copyright of her work so that I could do what I wanted with it. Tons of slides! Here is one slide that Aunt Mary took – I scanned this years ago.
Aunt Mary’s Lady Slipper
Lady Slippers I, Photography Â© Diane Clancy
What is Now Available?
The last few days I have been looking around to see what is available for scanning in general and scanning slides in particular. We have a regular flatbed scanner but it seems to have stopped working. Also there is the problem that the manufacturer doesn’t have software with it that will work with our operating systems!! Big problem. Also I have an old slide scanner I used a whole lot – but it would even connect up to the newer computer since the scanner has a SCSI connection (as opposed to USB or Firewire). So that is mostly out of commission.
POD has Taken Over my Life!
I used to be pretty up on the hardware … as I was learning how to use computers, I read a lot of magazines and talked with friends quite a bit. Now I spend almost all my time doing POD (Print on Demand). There is so much to do to get my art onto lots of mugs, iPad sleeves, posters, duvet covers, window curtains, rugs, kitchen sets … and … and!! And I have only a small fraction of my work up on merchandise. And at the same time I need to keep creating, otherwise life gets me down!
Reading is How I Learn
I learn well from reading about things and reading what others share. There is a great article on PC Magazine here that reminded me of the basics. I know I sometimes but not often need to scan documents so that doesn’t matter to me. Since I am starting to make Zentangles, it is important to have a flatbed scanner with a high enough quality that I can use it on POD products. So certainly I need one of those since ours is broken! This is a great article, again from PC Magazine here about which are the best scanners for photos – which obviously I need. Amazon has a lot of these good scanners!
Slide scanners are another kettle of fish, as they say. This Automated 35MM Slide Scanner by Pacific Image Electronics seems to be really wonderful!! As it should be for the price! The advantage it has over the flatbed slide scanners that can also scan slides, a couple at a time, is that it can be set up to scan 50 slides at a time.
Some of the reading I have done, suggests that nowadays it is better to send your slides out to be scanned at some other place. I know from tough experience that one never knows what will happen to a slide once it leaves your hands. So I am hesitant. Plus if I scanned all the slides, it would be more expensive than buying a scanner. Scanning still takes time … but so does choosing slides to send out.
Nikon SF-210 Auto Slide Feeder is another scanner that will do 50 slides at a time. Another article suggested to get a used Nikon Coolscan 4000 and autofeeder from Ebay.Â After I researched some more, I realized the Nikon SF-210 Auto Slide Feeder IS the auto-feeder for the Nikon Coolscan … and costs quite a bit on top of it.
Where from Here?
I have no idea what to do at this point. I am officially overwhelmed now … I want to take advantage of sales … this a great amount of money … and a labor of love that may or may not pay off. And it is still not clear to me what I should do even if I had lots of money.Â I really am on overload!!Â Maybe we should just get a flatbed with a slide scanner and settle for the quality not being superb.Â And we can certainly scan an occasional slide on the old scsi slide scanner.Â Ouch, my brain hurts!
Thank you for being with me on this journey and I hope this is useful to you too!! ~ Diane Clancy
Subscribe to My Newsletter
How to Find Me
Facebook Artist Page: DianeClancyArt
Etsy Shop: dianeclancy
Greeting Card Universe: dianeclancy
Fine Art: DianeClancyFineArt*
I got a relatively inexpensive scanner a few years ago and while it would only do one slide at a time, the holder would hold three for each load. What a pain to do several hundred slides. None of the slides were great (all were taken before I knew diddly about photography) butter empathy family memories, so I wanted to digitize them. The quality of the images was nowhere as good as I remembered the slides, partly because of the machine and software, but just as much because of the dust and fingerprints, mostly dust. Cleaning, brushing , and blowing each and every slide, sometimes two or three times to try to get it clean was the biggest problem I had. And all my slides had been stored in closed cubes, not open carousels. Good luck!!
“Butter empathy” loosely translates to “but they were”. Just love what the iPhone does to sentences sometimes.