View Full Version : Scanning slides

30-12-2004, 3:30 PM
2005 is going to be the year I embark on scanning all my historical pictures. Unfortunately most of the pictures for recent years are on 35mm slide. I remember a few years ago paying a small fortune for some to be transferred into photos and the quality wasn't great, but I know you can buy scanners with slide adaptors on the high street now.

Has anyone got experience or any recommendations of good scanners with slide adaptors that they would be willing to tell me about?


30-12-2004, 6:31 PM
I use an HP Scanjet 4670 which is a flatbed scanner that looks like a picture frame! The beauty of it is, apart from the fact that it has the slide/negative adaptor you are after, you can lay it flat onto a document/newspaper/book or whatever and scan that way, instead of upending the document onto the scanner. It also takes up less room than a conventional scanner, as it sits in an upright holder.

Best wishes

Peter Goodey
30-12-2004, 9:15 PM
You might be better off buying two scanners - one standard flatbed for prints and the very many documents you accumulate in this hobby and one dedicated slide scanner.

My general advice is decide what you want to do with the scanned slides and, if you want to print, what size you want. Then working from the maximum size you want to print (taking into account any cropping you might do) and your favoured print resolution (300dpi or whatever), calculate the dpi you will need from a 1" x 1.5" slide. Don't buy anything with a poorer resolution than that! If it's not stating the obvious, take account only of a scanner's "real" resolution - ignore any figures based on interpolation which some manufacturers like to state as a headline figure.

30-12-2004, 9:19 PM
Gosh, Ann, that sounds interesting.. but more for possible reasons of portability.

Have you any idea how much it weighs?

Oh... and costs!



31-12-2004, 8:15 AM
Rob, it certaily doesn't weigh too much. I would imagine it could fit in one of the larger laptop cases you can get these days. I have never carried it any further than across the room! As for cost, I think we paid about 150 for it, but it is almost certainly cheaper now. I would suggest you go to the Hewlett Packard UK web site to find out all about it. There may even be other versions, as we have had ours for a while now. If you put HP Scanjet 4670 into Google or whatever, you will also find lots of sites which will give you more info. Strangely enough, I think you may find that the cheapest option is to but direct from HP.....and their delivery is very prompt (anyone would think they were paying me - honest, they're not!!)

Best wishes

Peter Goodey
31-12-2004, 10:33 AM

The Epson Perfection 3170 is well spoken of for photo scanning - 3200 dpi which ought to give you an acceptable A4 (ish) print. And cheap at around 130. You might be better off going for a 4800dpi model if you can run to it - eg the Epson Perfection 4180 might be worth looking at (about 175).

07-01-2005, 11:01 AM
I'll investigate these a bit more, thanks!

08-01-2005, 11:43 AM
I also have a HP flatbed scanner that does slides and negatives and i LOVE it. Reliable and top stuff. It was not expensive. It has an attachment, light thingy that plugs in the back and gives light behind the slides/negs.

I am not near it now so cannot tell you the number but as its at least 2-3 years old, I bet HP has an even better one now.

This one is great for normal scanning too.

take care
Kirsten from Australia

26-01-2005, 1:48 PM
A bit late in the day to reply but wanted to share my experience with this scanner.

Bought 2 weeks ago, 2nd day it literally crashed, phoned HP who rang me back immediately and after more than one and half hours the problem solved.

Since then I have copied using the slide attachment, negatives and slides such as 35mm, Kodak square and Olympus mini slides; all have come out perfect and some are well and truly aged - up to 40 years old!

On the document sanning side, apart from the long warm-ups, the rate of copying is roughly twice that of my older 3670 and when you use Acrobat 6 for multipage documents this is a real bonus.

But what I really drool over is the panorama software where you can scan any over-sized document, or photo, and it stitches it down to an A4 format and saves in JPEG. This in turn gets saved to PDF where I save all docs.

In other words, untill something better comes out, I won't change. Cost me the equivalent of 98 over here.


06-02-2005, 6:25 AM
Hi folks -- I've had a fair bit of experience with scanners the last few years because I need to use one for my ebay book business.

The first scanner I bought was a high-end HP flatbed (can't remember the model number) but it cost around $600.00 Canadian about 5 years ago. It worked wonderfully for about two years and then the software decided that the scanner didn't exist anymore. Looked up the problem on various discussion groups and it seems that this is (or was) a chronic problem with HP -- great hardware but not so great software. It didn't matter how many times I un-installed and re-installed the software. The only solution HP could offer was that I upgrade from Windows 98 to XP. No thanks.

Currently I'm using a Canon CanoScan D1250 U2 which cost about $100 Canadian a year or so ago and it works fine with no problems whatsoever.

Now for colour slides -- I also have several hundred slides from the 1950's and '60's sitting in metal boxes, which I would love to digitize. However a dedicated slide scanner costs thousands and the few experiments with the slide attachment of the HP scanner turned out ok, but it took much too much time to scan at 1200 dpi (remember there is a lot of enlarging to do from a tiny slide).

But now, I think that copying with a digital camera is a good option, especially if you are intending to buy a higher-end camera anyway. If you can afford a 10 megapixel camera which will accept a macro lens, then the quality will be good enough when you've enlarged the slide. And you would be able to copy 10 slides with a camera in the time it would take to scan one.

I know that a 10mpx camera is a bit pricy now, but wait a year and they'll be right down there with the 3 and 4 mpx models.

Too bad this message is all chopped up. I see there is still a bug with repeating text. Hope you can make some sense out of it.

Cheers, Chas. Dobie.

Peter Goodey
20-03-2005, 10:13 AM
Sorry to resurrect this thread but I wanted to thank Chas. Dobie for his suggestion about digitising 35mm slides not by scanning but by using a digital camera.

I'm the world's worst DIYer so I looked around and bought a slide copying attachment specifically designed for digital compact cameras. It really is very good and the resolution is only limited by the resolution of the camera. Even my current rather modest camera produces images from a decent slide which can be enlarged up to A4.

The slide copying attachment was 75 quid which I didn't enjoy paying but it was a very much cheaper option than replacing my existing scanner which is perfectly adequate for documents and photographic prints.

The attachment I bought is for a camera with a 52mm filter ring. If anyone is thinking about going down the same road, check that your camera does have a filter ring or has some optional provision for one!

The automatic white balance on my camera is fine for copying slides using daylight. I only needed to switch to manual focussing and manual aperture selection (I set the camera to a small aperture to increase depth of field and help to get a sharp image).

Thanks again to Chas, Dobie for his advice.

Guy Etchells
06-12-2005, 1:10 PM
I would recommend a dedicated slide scanner for scanning slides they can be bought quite cheaply these days.
Be wary when buying a digital camera a high number of mega-pixels is meaningless if the sensor is tiny.

16-12-2005, 2:43 PM
Further to recent posts I have been scanning microfiche and 35mm microfilm using the Canon MS300. This machine was fairly expensive to purchase to the image quality is fantastic I would highly recommend.

Hope this is of some help!!!



16-12-2005, 4:47 PM
I would recommend a dedicated slide scanner for scanning slides they can be bought quite cheaply these days.
Be wary when buying a digital camera a high number of mega-pixels is meaningless if the sensor is tiny.

Hiya Guy!
What sort of powered sensor should we be looking for? On the packaging etc; of most digital cameras we can see the number of M/pixels claimed for the cameras. Is there a pro rata scale we should look for where sensor power is concerned? I am thinking of getting a camera in the sales after Christmas and knowing NOTHING about them would appreciate the advice!

Chasing Caseys
16-12-2005, 10:30 PM
I have an Epsom Perfection ( big overstatement) 1660 Photo and im B...... if i can get slides or negatives to work on this thing :confused: With this sort of stuff im not exactly dumb at working it out but no matter what its never seemed to work.

Guy Etchells
17-12-2005, 9:32 AM
It's not power but size that matters.
A larger sensor has larger pixel size and this allows more light and therefore information to be stored. Smaller sensors also use part of the available area to store the charge allowing less space for light capture.
Canon have a good description at.

Peter Goodey
17-12-2005, 12:05 PM
"What sort of powered sensor should we be looking for? "

There is an explanation of pixel count and sensor size here

See also the linked pages "Size Matters" and "Digital Depth of Field".

You'll see that there are other implications of sensor size, particularly constraints in the type of lens that can be used.

How much it all means in practice when choosing a first digital camera is a moot point. Most people start with a budget and my impression is that within a particular price range, sensor size if probably much of a muchness and pixel count may be more significant. However, those aren't the only factors and I'm inclined to think that reading a good range of reviews including subjective opinions of picture quality are the best approach. Of course, your views on quality may not be those of others - for example, there's a brand (I forget which one) in the same sort of price range to my camera which to my mind produces pictures straight out of the camera which appear to be excessively artificially sharpened. Others think they're great and I seem to be in a minority (again!). But there you go, it'll be your money so only you can decide!

31-01-2006, 10:13 AM
I have an Epsom Perfection ( big overstatement) 1660 Photo and im B...... if i can get slides or negatives to work on this thing :confused: With this sort of stuff im not exactly dumb at working it out but no matter what its never seemed to work.

This might sound obvious but are your removing the white backing board that slots into the lid of the scanner? This is there to use only with reflective copy. For transparencies it needs to be removed.

Chasing Caseys
13-02-2006, 10:06 PM
This might sound obvious but are your removing the white backing board that slots into the lid of the scanner?

Yes because if didnt i wouldnt be able to clip the slide / negative holder onto it. Long given up with this one though.

Thanks anyway