umfundi wrote:Does a regular flatbed like the CanoScan 9000 work OK, or should I use a special scanner? Has anyone used a service that does this? I have about 10,000 slides that I have decided to digitize.
I'm a professional photographer so can save you a lot of time, since I hear this question almost daily.
10,000 slides? No. You will not live long enough. I am not kidding. The equipment and time to process is too slow. You need to edit. A realistic goal is maybe 100 slides a week. You will think you can do more, but it will not happen. So if you keep that kind of pace up without fail, in a good year you may get through about 5000. No one does this as it is too labor intensive. My recommendation is you edit to the best 500, and make that your goal. Put the other 9,500 in PrintFile archival slide pages and wait for the technology to improve.
For what its worth, I have a backlog of about 50,000 slides. Guess how many I plan to scan this year? About 500. And only at that since I know those are profitable images which sell on a regular basis. The simple fact is the equipment to handle this frankly stinks. To give you an idea of how much time it takes for a professional image -- scan: 15 minutes/slide (Imacon), color correction/spotting/prepress: 30 minutes/slide, filing/database: 15 minutes. Total about an hour per image. So 500 images for me is about three months worth of full time work. Crazy.
Ok. So, what to use to tackle this job. My recommendation for all but professional publication is the Epson V500:http://www.amazon.com/Epson-B11B189011- ... B000VG4AY0
It uses a dust removal technology called Digital ICE to remove automatically the majority of dust and scratches. This will save you hours and hours of time -- do not even bother with any device without this built-in. The Epson V500 is about $150. The price can't be beat.
By way of background, just if you're interested: In the "pro" world, we use dedicated film scanners like the Nikon 4000/5000/9000. These units are no longer manufactured. Even used they command very high prices. Over time, the internal mirror accumulates dust, and the equipment need to be disassembled and cleaned. This is not officially approved by Nikon and people have rendered units useless by bad cleaning. I do not believe Nikon supports these units in any way at this point. Suffice to say, for those of us using these for "batch scanning" it is like living on the edge. To top it off, the Nikon software is no longer supported. In all, one big pain. At the even "higher" end, we use Imacon units. These are many many thousands of dollars and are far too slow for consumer use. At the "highest" end, we use drum scanners ... they are at pro labs and take a real experienced operator to run well.
If you want to outsource these jobs, I wish there was better news. The only place I know of who is using Nikon 5000s to do batch scanning is Pixmonix in Portland, OR:http://www.pixmonix.com
Expect to pay about $1/slide for services like this. The good news is you send them a box, and the work is done for you. You get your stuff back in the mail, put the DVD in your PC, and you're done. If you have 10,000 slides, you need to be very wealthy to consider this type of service.
Whether you send the work out, or do it yourself, you will find quickly that the labor involved is indeed about $1 per image.
My recommendation is an Epson V500, editing, and 500 scans. Then over time you may want to scan more.
You need to have realistic expectations on the time involved. My hope is one day someone will come up with a very high speed device that can process at least 100 slides per hour. At that point many people will be able to digitize complete archives. There is no "pro" solution that is particularly faster. We are all stuck with the same problem.