Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photo slide scanner

I needed to scan and sort through thousands of family slides and negatives
dating back to the 1940s, most of which I figured were medium to low quality,
either poor image originally or due to degradation over time. My goal: To
digitize "keepers" and those that need some editing or improvement using PE8. I
wanted to do this quickly and cheaply, acknowledging very few images would be
"National Geographic quality," with the rest being more nostalgic to my family
and friends when viewed on-screen (or printed -- The scans print well up to 8x10
inches). This Wolverine scanner costing about $100 met (and is still meeting)
all my expectations: reasonable image quality, easy to use, small footprint, and
cheap. Setup took a few reads of the manual, but was not tedious. Use, once
"down-pat," is almost a Zen-like process: place slides or negatives in holder,
turn on the scanner, scan each image (up to 25 when using internal storage),
transfer to PC (via USB cable), rename image files, and repeat for more images.
Using an SD card increases the number of images scanned per "cycle," which is OK
if you recognize all the images or plan on renaming them later. I am
particularly impressed by the quality of negative scans, both color and B&W --
so easy and fast, too. The scanner's small preview screen is clear enough to
identify those not worth scanning, saving time. Scans take seconds, even
including the time it takes to save each image. OK, enough praise. The main
down-side is exposure. You can watch the scanner trying to find the best light
intensity before you press the "OK" button, and most of the time the resulting
image is adequate or better (sometimes the detail is amazing). But it will burn
out highlight areas in high contract images, although many I corrected
sufficiently in PE8. If I decide an image is exceptional, I save the slide or
film until I can scan it on a friend's scanner that costs hundreds of dollars
more to obtain a higher resolution and better contrast. Summary: I got what I
paid for, and the Wolverine scanner is exactly what I needed and expected.Photo slide scanner

No comments:

Post a Comment