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  • Which scanner

    Hi everyone, my first thread!
    Like many of my 'vintage', I have a very large collection of B&W negatives and mounted and unmounted slides. This archive includes my Father's collection of B&W negatives of Australian aircraft from the mid 60's and my colour slide collection of aircraft from the 70's to the present day. The intention was to leave it to a relevant museum but progressively, all potential museums have politely declined the bequest due to insurance issues (keeping paper based material), the need for a librarian (?) and ultimately, the rise of the digital revolution. I have decided to scan a selected subset of say 5,000 of the 100.000 images to make storage more feasible. Some years ago, I bought a second hand Canon automated scanner but didn't use when I had the opportunity and now have trouble with SCSI connection to my current computer/s and missing drivers. I am happy to spend up to say $1000 on a scanner and recognise that this price will mean a LOT of time committed to manual scanning but I have the space to leave it set up AND the discipline to scan (say) a roll a day?
    I have done some homework on available scanners and the Plustek range seems to suit my needs but I thought I would raise it here first to get the opinion and experience of others. Is there anyone who has solved a similar issue and how did you do it?

  • #2
    I've done a bit more digging today and now also see the Epson V800 as a contender largely because it scans batches of up to 18 35mm negatives whereas Plustek 'only' does 6. The other major attraction of the V800 is that it appears that I can also scan my 59 X 24mm panoramas taken on the Widelux?


    • #3
      Fletty, If the 'old' Canon is still serviceability you may not find it necessary to spend the money on a new scanner. I had a similar problem with an Epson scanner and found 2 solutions:
      Where the hardware was compatible with my newer computer, a search of the internet revealed that the drivers for another model (Epson scanner) would allow the old scanner to communicate with the new computer. Yes some features were not available, but as I only needed it for one project of 5000 slides, it was fine and more importantly the drivers were downloaded for free.

      The alternative, which I ultimately went with as half way through the project, I had to upgrade my computer and this time there was no suitable driver available. The solution was to buy a used PC running Windows XP (cost less than $100) and use this as a dedicated system just for this project. I subsequently sold the computer and scanner for $75 - so a cheap solution.

      If you can justify the purchase of a new scanner for use outside you immediate project, a new scanner is probably the way to go. I have had 2 Epson scanners and have not had any complaints. My current scanner is 5 years old and going strong and will be fine until I upgrade from Windows 7 Pro. Then I will be faced with the same problem of "We only support this type of equipment for 2 years!!"

      I will be on the stand at the T&WWW show at Caulfield 12 - 4pm - call in and have a chat.



      • fletty
        fletty commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Bob,
        I tried to do what you suggested above last year but eventually got stumped when my old computer, which had the SCSI connection, was no longer connected to the web and so the driver sellers couldn't search to confirm which driver was required? It all got too hard. When my conscience got me started again, I found a SCSI to USB connector for $246 and was starting to plan to relocate the scanner to near the current computer knowing that I then had to confront the double change of an old scanner operating on a new platform AND a change to Mac ☹️
        When I started this last year, I was at first comforted but then alarmed, at the number of people around the World trying to get their Canon scanners to work on current platforms. I deduced that the Canon scanners were very highly regarded by their owners but the 'industry' wasn't interested in keeping them going.
        I'm going to make 1 more attempt as you suggested above but I feel the need to get Geeks2 u sitting beside me when I do?
        Re TWWW this weekend, I was actually going to drive down to meet the forum locals this year but this was gazumped by the plans of some OS friends who arrive on Sunday. Enjoy the Show, I look forward to the reports..

    • #4
      I know this is an old thread but I’m pretty chuffed with current progress. I won’t go in to all of the detail but I did eventually buy an Epson 850 and have been ‘dabbling’ with it in between shed projects and/or when it’s been too cold in the shed. I also invested in Lightroom and what a learning curve that has proven to be BUT I am now in the position of being able to achieve pretty much everything I could do in the old ‘chemical’ darkroom with the possible exception of archival prints?
      As a sample, here is one of one of my father’s B&W negatives which had never been printed before due to air bubbles adhering to the film during developing ( you can still see one under the starboard upper wing).....

      and here is another where the dynamic range of the negative was so compressed that it had also proven impossible to print ‘chemically’...

      My remaining issue is the decision as to whether I print all of the tens of thousands of negatives, index print all OR only scan and print the ‘few thousand’ that he himself rated as A Grade?



      • #5
        Hi Fletty,
        You seem to have Lightroom under control - The quality of these images is first class.

        Several years ago I bought an Epson Stylus Pro 3800 Printer. It takes A2 size paper and uses the K3 inks. Combined with Epson archival paper it is claimed that prints will not fade for at least 100 years - haven't been able to prove that though.. Paper and ink is not cheap - A2 size colour print costs about $10. I do use Lightroom, but export images to Photoshop for colour editing, sharpening, and printing - although I mostly only save images as .psd files for archiving or jpeg for uploading to the web. I am no longer doing weddings, etc so don't print much at all now.

        Good luck with the project



        • #6
          It’s official, my chemical darkroom is DEAD!
          In years gone by, I spent hours in the (chemical) darkroom printing in Cibachrome and then Ilfochrome. My Widelux panoramas could take up to 30 minutes of exposure but still couldn’t pull out the shadow detail. I can now scan and correct in well less than the time I used to spend shuffling from foot to foot while waiting for the timer to do its thing!


          • #7
            Hi fletty, Haven't been on here since May. My kids gave me a Qpix FS-170 digital slide and negative scanner for Christmas a couple of years ago. I acquired a large supply of aircraft slides and prints that a chap was going to throw in the garbage, and have scanned the best of them I have uploaded them to an aircraft photobase/forum I am a member of for other plane buffs to look at. Here is a link to the Australian photos from this collection:

            In the left column, under Edwin Van Opstal collection, you will see photos from other countries. The scanner writes images to an SD card which you can then upload into your computer. It can flip and rotate images and transform negatives into positives.

            PS. Aircraft are one of my favourite subjects as you will see on the other folders in the above link. I also have photos on and on
            Shameless self promotion - my photos on Google Maps have collectively had more than 1 million views.
            Last edited by red750; 6th August 2018, 05:21 PM.


            • #8
              Thanks Red’,
              That site is of great interest to me. I have about 30,000 aircraft slides from the mid 60’s to current and my Fathers collection is a further 20,000 mostly B&W. Both of these collections have been heavily edited down to these totals to leave only the good or unique shots. I have also recently added a lot of Shuttleworth, Duxford and Scampton pictures. I might ask for your help in uploading a few?


              • #9


                • #10
                  Fletty, I presume you mean upload to that website. The best thing is to register as a member, and there are special upload procedures. PM me your email address and I will forward you details about the site before you decide to go ahead. One of the benefits of this site is that they do not screen photos, they leave it up to the member to screen their own photos. Some other aviation sites are hyper critical, and getting photos accepted is very difficult.For example, the photo above would be rejected because the horizon is not level, and the image is not cropped closely enough. No such problems with
                  Last edited by red750; 7th August 2018, 10:58 PM.