Re: archiving slides and negatives
- From: Roger <Delete-Invallid.stuff.groups@xxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 20:42:52 -0500
On 6 Mar 2006 11:16:39 -0800, "Paul" <u53net@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I have also struggled with this. The solution that works for me is
based on the fact that at least 80% of my personal film archives are
not really worth preserving at full resolution, and the fact that it
will take a very long time to get caught up if you were to scan at full
I have settled on bulk scanning old filmstrips and slides at enough
resolution to be viewed on a slide show on a computer screen. While
monitor resolutions keep climbing, I settled on 1280 pixels on a side
as "good enough" for slide shows and small prints. I turn on just
FWIW: With the Nikon LS 5000 I've found that with a native scan only
taking about 15 seconds, or 20 to 30 with ICE and running film strips
with 5 images at a time (or the bulk slide feeder) there is really
little time saved by scanning at less than full resolution.
Now, were I doing post processing in the scanning software, then I
could see it saving time during the scan operation.
enough of the quality options to make it look decent while keeping the
process reasonably fast. For most personal photos, this is enough. If
this moderate-quality scanning run reveals a very special image, I'll
turn on all of the best-quality settings, scan that image at full
resolution, and give it the full Photoshop treatment.
Typically I scan with ICE on most of the time as I can see no
softening of the image even when greatly enlarged. Loading the image
into PS is fairly fast (couple of seconds) and it takes me about 10
seconds to change the image size in pixels (when I'm well organized),
and about another 10 to 30 seconds to save the image.
Normally, I run one of several macros in PS that will resize all the
images from a batch to either screen size 1200 X what ever, or roughly
800 X 600, or 300 X 200 for smaller stuff. I use the same macros on
the images from my digital cameras. These can do large batches of
I then preview the smaller images and delete stuff not worth keeping
for one reason or another. This approach does take quite a bit more
computer time, but it takes a lot less of my time. It also makes
sorting and culling faster and easier.
This approach depends on you getting real familiar with how your
scanning software works, so you can do these draft scans straight to
high-quality JPEG without having to push every single one through
Photoshop. It took me a long time to figure out how best to use VueScan
controls to achieve this goal.
Despite what one or two in this newsgroup may say, I find VueScan to be
the best software for my bulk scanning purposes, based on its quality,
efficiency, and automatic file naming options. The built-in film
profiles are a great shortcut and the automatic white balance algorithm
covers the rest of the distance well enough. The recent addition of
S-curve control has really cut down the amount of curve manipulation
needed later in Photoshop. NikonScan is OK for one of two images, but
for bulk scanning it drove me up the wall.
Part of what makes this somewhat practical is planning when to scan. I
feed a 4- to 6-frame negative filmstrip into the scanner, walk away and
do something else like wash dishes, then come back to check and if
necessary correct that strip's scans that are buffered in RAM before
I wouldn't have time to wash my hands <:-)). I normally run the
preview, make sure the frames are aligned and then tell it to scan.
With ICE in NikonScan or the equivalent cleaning in VueScan it only
takes some where between a minute and two minutes for the whole strip
after I hit scan.
OTOH when using the bulk slide feeder I need to be here all the time.
It may feed flawlessly for a couple of 50 slide loads (It has but only
on rare occasion) and it may jam on every couple that go through.
Which ever you can count on it jamming as soon as you turn your back.
I think the darn thing is sentient.
So I typically catch up on my e-mail, or read the news groups while
the scanner is running which is another reason for having lots of RAM
and a fast processor. The next system (coming soon) is going to be a
dual core Athlon with one Terabyte SATA RAID 5
doing the final save to disk. You can also switch to other programs and
do other tasks while the scanning software runs, unless you're using
scanning software that likes to take over the system.
You can set the priority level in Task Manager if that is a problem,
but I can normally run OE, Firefox, Agent, Word, NikonScan (or
VueScan) and Photoshop as well as the AV and firewall software without
having to worry. As the system has three external USB drives totaling
just shy of one Terabyte I do have to watch the I/O to them as the
scanner is also USB.
Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
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