View Full Version : Scanning Slides - My tips

08-18-2005, 04:54 PM
I was reading through happyrobyn's thread about which scanner to get and she mentioned having LOTS of old slides to scan. We bought a scanner specifically for doing the same thing, but in the end we didn't even use a scanner - and we saved a ton of time.

Disclaimer: I put this thread here with scanners, because so many people want to scan their slides, but if someone thinks this should be moved I sure understand.

Here's how we did it.

After buying the scanner, we found the entire task of scanning 2000+ old slides such a daunting task. We kept putting the project off because we knew how long it was going to take. One day *bright light* the lightbulb went on and we decided to try something that worked for us and hopefully works for you also.

We set up a slide projector - it was one of those carousel types. Then we set our digital camera on a tripod right beside the projector. For a screen we used a piece of poster board - okay maybe it wasn't called that, but I can't remember the name right now - but approximately 2ftx3ft. (We tried the regular slide screen we had with the sparklys on it. but it didn't work.) We felt that projecting the slides at a fairly small size gave better quality.

So then we just focused the camera and projector and clicked away. We set the camera to just go to the edges of the projected slide and nothing else. Clicked the camera, clicked the projector to advance one, clicked the camera again. Repeat as needed to do the whole tray.

We found that we could do about 400 slides in a couple of hours. While one of us would refill the carousel, the other would download the pictures from the camera to the computer. We figure it would have taken us a couple of weeks to do 400 slides with the scanner.

End result: was that we then had all the slides in a digital format on the computer, ready to make any adjustments we wanted in Photoshop. When we downloaded them to the computer, we used the built in camera wizard in Windows XP and could organize them into folders as well as the wizard naming the files for us. Irfanview can also do this.

This method may not work for everyone, but it certainly worked well for us. I can't stress enough the amount of time it saved us.

08-18-2005, 05:09 PM
That sounds like a great way.... hmmm... (too bad I don't have any slides to try it with, lol!)

08-18-2005, 05:23 PM
You are so smart, Nancy! Thanks for sharing!

08-18-2005, 05:28 PM
You are so smart, Nancy! Thanks for sharing!

More like I am lazy. LOL I figure that machines are invented for the purpose of doing the work. Manually swapping out the slides in the scanner 2 by 2 just was too much work.

08-18-2005, 09:19 PM
LOL....Smart and Funny. Great combo! And thanx for the great tips....I don't have a scanner....or slides for that matter but I'm sure there are alot of people out there that do....lol.

08-19-2005, 01:16 PM
I can totally relate! The scanner I have can do 6 slides or 1 of the old plate negatives (which you should consider when buying a scanner, you don't want to find you cant fit the film in!), and I spent days and days and days scanning.

All I saw was whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays, whir, save, change trays...well you get the idea.

I bet it was fun actually seeing the slide show, too!

08-19-2005, 03:36 PM

I bet it was fun actually seeing the slide show, too!

Yes that part was so much fun. It is amazing the "story" you can get by what is missing in the actual pictures. For example a picture of both of my parents - which told me that my oldest brother was now old enough to take some of the pictures. Or a family member missing from the pictures reminded me of another story - like the summer I spent away from home at my grandparents several states away - I missed mom's birthday, a brother's birthday, and a family vacation.

One of the funny stories I am currently trying to scrap. When my parents bought the house I grew up in the "agreement" had been to remodel the kitchen. For years my mom said that it took 12 years. BUT>>> by looking at the slides as a slideshow, I could pinpoint the actual year, and correct my mom's faulty memory - it was only 6 years. LOL

08-29-2005, 09:29 PM
Thank you so much Nancy! This is an awesome tip. I'm gonna pick up the old carousel slide tray and a ton of slides next time I'm at my mom's.