Re: Scanning color slides to archive

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Larry Caldwell, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. (xavier) writes:
    > I have a collection of 35mm slides that are still okay, but I'm
    > thinking that it might be prudent to scan and save these to CDs. I
    > have an Epson 1200U Photo scanner (flatbed with a slide attachment)
    > which can do this and Adobe Photoshop.


    Don't throw away the originals. You might have a lot of trouble reading
    current computer formats 30 years from now, but you will still be able to
    look at your slides. What would you do if somebody handed you a reel of
    1" magnetic tape? That was standard data storage 30 years ago. Even if
    you got the data written onto a CD, the machines, programs and operating
    systems that understood those file formats don't exist today.

    > What I would like an opinion on is:


    > 1) What DPI / resolution would you scan at to have quality
    > comparable to the original and be able to get 8 X 12 or 11X 14 prints
    > ultimately and still not have huge files to store? Choices are from
    > 50- 1200 DPI. However, when I scan @ 1200 dpi, I am creating
    > files in the 85-95 Mb size which means about 8/CD. What is the best
    > way to save the files? JPEG, TIFF,?


    Scan at the highest resolution you can manage. You could zip archive
    your raw data. JPEG is lossy, and not recommended unless space is a real
    consideration, like on a web page.

    The TIFF format has been stable for quite a while, and is supported by
    Adobe and Microsoft. If you buy a software package that has licensed the
    patented Lempel-Ziv-Welch compression patent, it offers excellent
    lossless data compression. Most TIFF makers do not license the necessary
    code, so offer at best RLE compression.

    > 2) How would you approach those that are not properly exposed? Would
    > you just scan and store the original?


    Yes. Don't throw away the original. Put in archival storage and it will
    last far longer than a digital copy, and you can always scan it to
    whatever format they are using in 2039.

    > 3) Any other suggestions of how to do this to the best advantage so
    > that the time expended to scan and archive will be done only once? Is
    > there a software program specifically designed to allow you to do this
    > with greater ease than just doing it yourself with Photoshop?


    Automate the process as much as possible, or it will be more work than it
    is worth.

    > 4) If you were scanning to save for future usage with a digital
    > projector, what resolution would you scan at to give good results with
    > an LCD projector (say 1024 x 768)?


    LCD projectors are dodos. Scan so it will look good on a 1024 line HDTV
    display.

    > 5) Is there a reference that touches on this issue that you might
    > have seen?


    Go to a science fiction convention and see if you can get one of the
    panel discussions started on archiving digital data for the future. You
    are likely to go to a lot of work that will be obsolete in the not too
    distant future.

    --
    http://home.teleport.com/~larryc
     
    Larry Caldwell, Aug 6, 2003
    #1
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  2. Larry Caldwell

    HRosita Guest

    >Larry Caldwell wrote:

    >Don't throw away the originals. You might have a lot of trouble reading
    >current computer formats 30 years from now, but you will still be able to
    >look at your slides.


    Well,
    I have slides that are deteriorating fast and they are less than 15 years old.
    The Florida humidity is getting to them.
    So I intend to digitize them and save them on CD's or DVDs. And if the format
    changes, either myself or somebody else can copy the CDs before they become
    obsolete.
    However I would worry about the quality of a scan at 1200 bpi.
    Most entry level scanners are 2800 or so.
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Aug 6, 2003
    #2
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  3. et (HRosita) writes:

    > I have slides that are deteriorating fast and they are less than 15 years old.
    > The Florida humidity is getting to them.


    Air tight storage and a bag of silica gel will solve that problem. A
    nice plastic cooler and plastic shipping tape on the seams will be tight
    enough. You can buy a 1 lb. bag of silica gel anywhere shipping supplies
    are sold, including on the internet.

    If you want to get really fancy, buy a short length of 12" PVC pipe from
    a sewer contractor, a glue-on end cap and a big threaded end cap with a
    small threaded tap. Give it a week for the solvents to dissipate, then
    trundle down to Airco and have them purge and pressurize the pipe with
    about 10 PSI of dry argon gas. Under inert gas storage, your slides will
    last virtually forever. If you need to access them frequently, just buy
    a small tank of argon and you can restore the inert atmosphere yourself.

    Personally, I would just go with an air tight box and the silica gel.
    Constant temperature and no moisture will preserve slides nicely for
    decades. I have some Kodachrome from the 1930s that still looks great.
    It's moisture that is the killer. If mildew starts eating the dye, the
    slide is trash.

    --
    http://home.teleport.com/~larryc
     
    Larry Caldwell, Aug 6, 2003
    #3
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