U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: digitizing slides advice??

Re: digitizing slides advice??

Well, Bob,
My students do internships for credit every semester year round so if you could afford to travel, room, and board one of them, (they are unpaid internships--they pay for the credits) an internship in Barbados might be very appealing!

It is such "grunt" work...but I know I have little to complain about when pro photographers have probably a couple hundred thousand (?) images all told.

Erie, I am pretty much Ebay illiterate, but did check on ebay what was offered and there were some items in this category...thanks. We no longer have one at school unfortunately.


Christina Z. Anderson
----- Original Message ----- From: "BOB KISS" <bobkiss@caribsurf.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 7:29 AM
Subject: RE: digitizing slides advice??

My transparencies & negs from the 1970s and 80s sleep peacefully in
storage. There is a contact sheet of every roll/sheet of film all in
carefully labeled files and the slide sheets are also carefully
labeled...that is one of the benefits of being an advertising
photographer...affording staff to take care of that stuff. My work since I
moved to Barbados in 1993 also sleeps with a contact sheet of every
roll/sheet of film and files holding my transparencies.
I only scan/digitize when I need to send a file to a client or make
an enlarged negative myself. I know I am a dinosaur this way but it still
works for me.
I do wish I could afford to have one of my students come in for a
summer and digitize all of my work...we'll see.

-----Original Message-----
From: Christina Z. Anderson [mailto:zphoto@montana.net]
Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 11:03 AM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: digitizing slides advice??

Thanks Eric, Clay, Liam, and Don, for the advice.

Eric you bring up a good point below--what quality I need. The largest size
gum and platinum would be 13x19, but it may be that I print a group of these

digitally (gasp) at larger sizes. Thus quality is important, but Clay's
advice to do the whole lot cheaply and efficiently with the camera and then
choose the best to do with a good scan is good advice.

I checked into the prices of the slide attachment/bellows and together new
they cost about $618 (URL below if I am getting the correct equipment
right); the scanner $600, the V750 scanner $850. All of these choices would

be cheaper alternatives than having someone scan 400 glass and 1000
cardboard slides. I do have one benefit--growing up in a family of 8, they
are willing to pitch in some $$ to do this and with that many it isn't too
costly per person in this economic blitz of a time. But it may be that a
better scanner is the way to go because after the collection is digitized I
will have the scanner for personal use. BUT I could conceivably make $$
doing the slide thing for others, too (in my spare time--NOT) :)

Don said:
And yeah I'm in the same boat, hundreds of family photo prints and thousands
of slides to be converted. I've promised my brother and sisters that I will
create a family album for everyone. It sounds like a great idea to begin
with but after the reality of the time and work required sinks in it becomes
a real burden.

Don, I feel your pain, being my family's "photo archivist". I have made 4
Blurb books to date, and they take lots of time. I mean LOTS of time.
This is the intention I have to do with these ultimately, and I will say
that one of my books was all scanned color 3x5s or 3x6s, very low quality
images to begin with, and the book was still a hit. It was almost as if it
was intentionally crummy. And the great thing about Blurb is once you make
the book, you give them the URL and they pay for it themselves (tho
certainly not for your time).

The most time, though, is in the initial cull and edit. Maybe I should come
down there and help you??

Sometimes I feel all of this is thankless but I know the next generation
will really appreciate it.

Bob Kiss, are you there? Being a pro photographer for so long, has someone
digitized your collection?



Christina Z. Anderson
----- Original Message ----- From: eric nelson
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Sent: Saturday, July 04, 2009 2:32 PM
Subject: Re: digitizing slides advice??

Heh, I'd settle for a tent lakeside at this point.

I don't have any experience with your volume of scanning but since quality
is an issue for getting good digi-negs, I'd decide what that level of
quality is vs how much is being charged for it, plus factor the risks of
sending originals to the vendor.
If you go the DIY route, there is an automatic method using the Nikon 5000
and a mounted slide feeder attachment where you can set it up to scan a
stack of up to 50 slides and walk away. Someone who's worked this way can
contribute further as to quality and speed. My experience with scanning
older slides is that they are always dirty and having built in software like

ICE (as the Nikon does) would be a godsend. It does slow down the process
whether using and Epson or Nikon as it takes time for the software to do
it's thing.

On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 8:44 AM, Christina Z. Anderson <zphoto@montana.net>

Dear All,
I know that some of you who have worked as professional photographers for
many years or have inherited family pictures have this same problem.

I inherited over 25,000 slides/negatives from my family of origin--both my
parents were very much into photography. No one else in the family wants to
handle them so it fell to me. To be even more accurate--25,000 slides, 1400
bw large format negs, 3500 16x20 imagesetter negs, and untold numbers of
medium format color film.

Over the years I have brutally culled that collection first to 8000, then
5000, then now about 2500 (tho I didn't remove all the past husbands of the
7 divorces in my family of origin much to my sisters' chagrin--too much
"revisionist history" for me). That is the absolute lowest amount I can cut
it down to. There is just too much historical and excellent "vernacular"
work in there to throw out.

I have a student scanning the large format BW negs for me, I can scan some
of these images myself with my flatbed and my Canon 35mm. But there are 400

glass slides in there as well. I have found a place in Michigan that will
scan these for me, but it is not cheap.

I cannot tell you how many hours/days/weeks/years I have spent doing this. I

am not completely complaining, because the Family of Origin project on my
website is primarily from these images. But I was wondering what choices
any of you have made with this issue of digitizing your former film/slide
images? And how much can you expect to pay for this kind of service?

The nice thing, of course, with the digitizing process is all those great
gum diginegs that can be produced from it. The sad thing is there is
NOTHING that comes close to kodachrome with a great 35mm lens. I don't know

what lens my mom had on her Nikon but the images are just glorious, some of
them. I am waxing poetic about the "good ol' days" here I suppose, but I am
a sucker for nostalgia, and when "lake living" in MN actually meant an
unwinterized teeny cabin on the lake with barefoot summers instead of 20,000

sq.ft. second homes.


Christina Z. Anderson

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