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Thread: scanning slides to CD - advice needed

  1. #1

    Default scanning slides to CD - advice needed

    Have some issues to discuss about scanning slides to CD - mainly, which places offer good quality scans?

    My experience is this: When I first started to send my slides for scanning, I went to various photo developing places, eg along Orchard Road. Quality was TEROK! Colours, exposure, etc, totally off.

    eg pix with main colour red and slight bluish tint became very blue with reddish tint. Many pixs dark until cannot see, especially with Kodakchrome slides.

    In one case, when I complained, the shop owner could not even tell the difference. He honestly believed (or he was good actor) that the slides scans and originals were very close.

    Later, someone told me that these places, even though have expensive digital machines, inside the machines only have cheap flatbed scanner! Not sure if true, but believeable.

    Eventually, I found Fotohub and the quality was best of all I tried so far, so I stuck with them. But I sent mainly old slides for scanning, new pixs were taken with negatives.

    Recently, I started taking slides again. This time I realised that even Fotohub quality not that great.

    Problem seems to be with the outlet. I usually go to OUB and they are ok, but they don't process slides. So I send to Bt Timah and the slide scans turn out very dark and dull - eg shiny objects no longer shiny. I needed to do a lot of Photoshop adjustments. Some still no good after adjustments - maybe my Photoshop skills not good enough.

    When I complained, they said this is normal, slide scans usually darker. Once, they even told me that slides normally viewed with backlight therefore always appear brighter than they really are.

    But.... when I sent the same slides for re-scanning at OUB, they came out much better. Some even slightly too bright! Anyway this time, minimal PS adjustments needed.

    Despite the improvement, I still see that original slides are quite significantly better than the scans.

    My questions:

    1. Any of you have similar / different experiences to share?

    2. Where else – in town – can get good scans? One CS member offers low cost, high res scans at Bedok and some have given good reviews. But he is at Bedok and not even near interchange, got to take feeder bus. If no car very troublesome.
    There was some discussion about KT (name correct?) near Chinatown Complex offering good quality prints. Do they do good scans as well?

    3. Is there a big difference between doing it personally with slide scanner like Nikon Coolscan vs sending to professional labs - which may have better equipment but everything done by employees who have no time to check individual pixs?

    4. Is there big difference (in quality, price sure got big difference) between the mid-price slide scanners like Nikon V vs high end scanners like Nikon 5000? Or is the skill of the person doing it more important?

    4a How about difference between new and older models, eg Nikon V vs III which some people here were selling cheap. Even if there is a difference, would using a Nikon III and doing scan personally still be better than sending to a lab?

    5. Any photo clubs with slide scanner that members can use, either free or for a small fee?

    6. Any other points to consider?

    Your input, sharing and advice much appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by RichardSeah; 25th February 2005 at 08:43 AM. Reason: forgot to choose email notification, no change to message

  2. #2

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    in my experience digital lab scans of negs usually turn out better than scans of slides.

    i believe for max quality DIY scanning is your best bet though it can be time consuming if you have a ton of slides to scan, and may require investment in a scanner.

    you can try renting the Nikon 8000 scanner at Shriro (i think it's $15/hr, min 2 hrs. you also have to use their provided CD writables at $2/disc.. they use Verbatims, maybe you can convince them to let you use your own Verbatims?).

    objectifs should also have scanning facilities for rent though i do not know the cost to rent it nor the specs of the scanner...

    yup i think your scanning skills will matter too, but i think it's still not too complicated to get a good scan. my amateur approach is to set the black/white points to tweak contrast without blowing out the shadow/highlight details, and greypoint to correct any colour cast. the scanner software interface offers much more controls. for an additional cost you may consider third-party scanning s/w such as Vuescan, which comes with film profiles which could possibly make getting the colour right easier.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by igpenguin
    objectifs should also have scanning facilities for rent though i do not know the cost to rent it nor the specs of the scanner...

    for an additional cost you may consider third-party scanning s/w such as Vuescan, which comes with film profiles which could possibly make getting the colour right easier.
    Thanks :-) for the suggestions.

    Er, what or where is Objectifs and Vuescan? Sorry I a bit sua koo.

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    I've had mine (Astia, 100VS) scanned by 35mm, I'm very pleased with the scans and colours, although nothing beats viewing it through a loupe & LCD screen.

    Had him help me scan into TIFF files for 5 rolls, 2 DVD-Rs were used.

    Next have some 120mm format needs scanning will have to give him a call again.

  5. #5

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    espn, how much would that cost? and how big are the tiff files? thanks!

  6. #6

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    vuescan was a highly touted piece of software, but i could not even get it to match the software from my canon fsu4000, let alone surpass it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    I've had mine (Astia, 100VS) scanned by 35mm, I'm very pleased with the scans and colours, although nothing beats viewing it through a loupe & LCD screen.

    Had him help me scan into TIFF files for 5 rolls, 2 DVD-Rs were used.
    Thanks too, ESPN.

    Again, er... who/where is 35mm?
    Is this the Fotohub outlet at Bt Timah - whose email address is 35mmlab@fotohub.com?

    And who is “him”?

    Would appreciate if people giving suggestions be a bit more specific, since I quite sua koo.

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    Why shoot slides? Because you have the complete control of your pictures. What you shoot is what you get. Instead of letting other people scan it and come out looking bad, why not invest in a good scanner like the Nikon Coolscan V to scan it yourself, adjust to your liking and output?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by theITguy
    Why shoot slides? Because you have the complete control of your pictures. What you shoot is what you get. Instead of letting other people scan it and come out looking bad, why not invest in a good scanner like the Nikon Coolscan V to scan it yourself, adjust to your liking and output?
    Well said.

    But I will support this statement only if theres 1 roll to scan. Imagine scanning 10 rolls (oversea holiday)!! Die sia.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee
    Well said.

    But I will support this statement only if theres 1 roll to scan. Imagine scanning 10 rolls (oversea holiday)!! Die sia.


    I think otherwise. If you have a lot to scan, rather scan myself. If it is only 1 roll, pay people $$$ to scan it well, once and forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefen
    espn, how much would that cost? and how big are the tiff files? thanks!
    Think $6? You can PM him and ask


    Quote Originally Posted by RichardSeah
    Thanks too, ESPN.

    Again, er... who/where is 35mm?
    Is this the Fotohub outlet at Bt Timah - whose email address is 35mmlab@fotohub.com?

    And who is “him”?

    Would appreciate if people giving suggestions be a bit more specific, since I quite sua koo.
    Urm, 35mm is the user handle of a CSer here in CS.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by theITguy

    I think otherwise. If you have a lot to scan, rather scan myself. If it is only 1 roll, pay people $$$ to scan it well, once and forever.
    Agreed. If there are many to scan, invest in a good scanner and it would cover the cost back. Also, you have control on the result.

    I believe you wont scan all shots in high reso right? If so, pre-scan the whole roll and decide which one to keep is the way.

    I have my flatbed scanner and really fed-up with it. Always give me the incorrect color cast and the images are soft....

    Anyone can help me here?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by theITguy
    why not invest in a good scanner like the Nikon Coolscan V to scan it yourself, adjust to your liking and output?
    Very simple reason why not.... no money to invest leh....

    If got money I might even consider investing in a Nikon 5000 - but not the even higher model since I don't use large formats.

    Hence my other question - is there very big difference between the Coolscan V and 5000? Has anybody here compared?

    Thanks to all who have given ideas, viewpoints etc.

    Meanwhile more questions for ESPN:
    You mentioned viewing slides through loupe and LCD screen. What is loupe? Is it some kind of slide viewer that connects to an LCD screen. And is it any LCD screen such as computer screen? Or one that connects specially to the loupe, whatever that is.

    Er... ok I checked dictionary and it says loupe is a small magnifying glass. Wah this very cheem, first time I come across this word. But this puzzles me further. How to connect loupe to LCD? Where (which shop) can I find such a thing?

    How much would such a set up cost, including LCD? Few hundred? Many hundreds? Over a thousand? More?

    And thanks for clarifying that 35mm is CS member. He offers scanning service? Where is he based, ie which part of Singapore?

    Many thanks to all.

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    try Minolta SD 4 if budget
    although no ICE, its dust removal s/w is good enough for slides.

    I'm using it now.. no regrets

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    Loupe is a magifying glass, the so called LCD screen think is the lightbox (box with light and you place your slides over it to view with the loupe).

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by theITguy
    Loupe is a magifying glass, the so called LCD screen think is the lightbox (box with light and you place your slides over it to view with the loupe).
    Oh, Lightbox ah? This I know lah, not sua koo until like that.
    I thought there was some special kind of set up using real LCD screens!

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    Talked to a guy today who went shooting with us about the scanners. He mentioned that the FDI machine can give a better scan, provided the operator knows what he/she is doing. I guess Kex's service might be great for money compared to those outside. If you got money go to ColourLab at Aldephi or Beautiful Memories at Stamford House.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by theITguy
    Talked to a guy today who went shooting with us about the scanners. He mentioned that the FDI machine can give a better scan, provided the operator knows what he/she is doing. I guess Kex's service might be great for money compared to those outside. If you got money go to ColourLab at Aldephi or Beautiful Memories at Stamford House.
    Thanks again for the suggestions.

    I will probably make a trip to Kek one of these days... except very inconvenient for me - need bus/taxi - mrt - feeder bus/taxi again.

    Didn't know about this place called Beautiful Memories. They are good?

    Have used services of Colourlab at Adelphi before, but I felt Fotohub was better – until recent experience.

    Cheers,
    Richard

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    ColourLab I did not try the service, but was recommended by some people here. Given the price they charge, they should do colour correction until you are happy. Charge a premium must get the stuff done to customer's satisfaction IMO.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by theITguy
    ColourLab I did not try the service, but was recommended by some people here. Given the price they charge, they should do colour correction until you are happy. Charge a premium must get the stuff done to customer's satisfaction IMO.
    Well I did use ColourLab long ago (about 2 years ago).

    The earlier pixs on my web were scanned by them.
    Originally, scanned by a place at Orchard, lousy, they scan again - cannot remember have to pay again or not.

    Then sent to ColourLab, first time lousy again (but better than the Orchard Road place). The re-scanned for me, second time they sorted out Kodakchrome and Etkachrome and scanned them separately, results much better. Free of chrage.

    In that sense, service was good

    Quality was much better second time around, but I felt still not satisfactory, especially with so-called difficult pixs such as those taken in low light.

    Subsequently discovered Fotohub (OUB outlet) and found their quality much better when I gave them existing slides to scan.

    It was only when I sent newly taken slides for developing and scanning at Fotohub Bt Timah outlet that I had the recent unsatisfactory results with some rolls - ie scans came out dark and dull.

    But to be fair to them this was just SOME rolls, not all.

    And when I re-scanned a few pixs at OUB (no point to re-scan all when I don't need the rest) they came out much much better.

    What I will do is this:

    1. Check out Kek.

    2. Get him to scan those few slides that I did at Fotohub Bt Timah and OUB

    3. Post all three versions for you guys to compare.
    So watch this space. Should be able to get them done by end this week.

    4. If later can be bothered, will do the same at:
    a) CD Academy (at Kaki Bukit, recommended by Steven Yee of PSS on another thread)
    b) Beautiful Memories at Stamford House which ITGuy recommended
    c) Maybe Colourlab again
    d) any other recommendations? Anybody with a Nikon / Minolta Scanner want to scan and compare?

    5. Invoice ClubSnap for research work

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