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Scanning abused slides

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  • Scanning abused slides

    Being a 'newbie' I'm not sure whether this is the best section to post a query on scanning (as opposed to scanners), but Software doesn't seem appropriate. I've searched the forum in vain before creating this thread.

    I have many hundreds of colour slides that have lain neglected in the loft for thirty or more years. Having just started on the marathon task of converting them to digital I'm looking for the most time-efficient method of scanning. The scanner (Minolta Scan Dual) software has comprehensive facilities for applying curves or levels and hitherto I have been in the habit of using the curves before the final scan. The problem with the older slides (mostly Ektachrome, but some Kodachrome, Agfachrome, and Gevachrome) is that the dyes, particularly blue and green, have faded to leave a significant red cast, with substantial gaps in the histograms. Colour negatives don't seem to have suffered as much, if at all.

    My query is this: which is the preferred method among the forum users for tackling this problem; scan the slides 'as is' and do all the renovation post-scan, or take the time to obtain the best available scan? Is it better (!) to work on a 'raw' file? Will pre-scan adjustments increase or reduce the available information in the scan?

    Thanks in advance,

    Derek F.

  • #2
    Re: Scanning abused slides

    How timely! I'm in the middle of a contract for scanning/digitizing about 100 slides or so. These range in age from 1967 to around 1982. Almost all of them are in excellent condition even to the point of being fairly dust free. In this particular case I have chosen to simple scan and apply "Auto Tone" in scanner. It's faster and mostly does a good job. There is the odd slide which will require a quick levels adjustment (usually Auto Levels) but not too many.

    If I'm doing a few slides only and it's a specific "restoration" project as opposed to a straight up digitizing I will do all my adjustments post scan. I get the best possible scan I can with no adjustments in scanner. It's the type of control freak personality that most restorers/retouchers seem to have.

    With colour casts the first thing I try is usually in curves or levels using the eyedropper tool to select appropriate black/grey/white points. That usually solves the problem or at least most of it. After that I start fiddling with curves and various adjustment layers to get what better results I can.

    I hope that helps in your dilemma.


    • #3
      Re: Scanning abused slides

      I'm pretty much with smiley guy on this one.

      My preference is always to scan "au naturelle" and apply any adjustments in Photoshop, but then again I've never had to scan hundreds at a time.


      • #4
        Re: Scanning abused slides

        Thankyou, both.

        Since initiating this thread I've timed the throughput of slides in one hour. Scanning after tweaking is several slides slower per hour than 'as is', but the most time-consuming element is picking up, cleaning, loading and replacing each batch of four slides. So, its 'as is' from now on,........ plus an intensive course in dexterity!


        • #5
          Re: Scanning abused slides

          Yeah, four at a time would be a little more time consuming. My scanner does 12 at a time so I can set it up and go away for a stretch of time and not have to worry about it.


          • #6
            Re: Scanning abused slides

            Hi Derek

            Welcome to RetouchPro

            I had similar problems
            Here is my method



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