Anyone had experience and success digitizing old slides and 8mm film?


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The method I used for slides was fine for me but may not suit your needs. I wanted to get rid of boxes and boxes of old slides and really only wanted to preserve the image as a record, not as a piece of art. I had a scanner that could do slides but it was incredibly slow. Instead I set up my old slide projector aimed at a beaded screen. Right beside the projector I set up my digital camera on a tripod aimed at the screen. I projected my first slide on the screen and then zoomed the camera in so that it just captured the image as closely as possible and not a lot of extra screen. Then as fast as I could advance the slides with the projector's remote control and click the camera shutter, I was on to the next slide without further fussing. I did boxes and boxes of slides in an hour or so. A few nights work and I was done. If I ever want a particular image in the future I can then edit it more closely to clean it up further.

Rather then just throw out the slides, I spent some quality time on the drill press making a small hole in all for sides of each slide and joined them with some tiny rings.


As for the old movie film I took it to a place on the corner of Douglas and Saanich Rd. (kitty corner from Uptown) and had them digitized onto DVDs. That was years ago, but I think this was the place:



Nice use of the old slides Dave
Just wondered if anyone has used the new machines claiming to digitize these slides and movies especially 8mm


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Direct answer to your question is YES. However read on.....

For the 8 mm home movies we had Costco process onto DVD's a number of years ago. Then over sized slides my wife had ~(3"x3")- too big for our slide scanner so I had done by a very nice fellow Frank out in Sidney who also processed a large number of our VSH and C-VSH video tapes onto thumb drives for us. Victoria DVD & Film Transfer. He works out of his house doing this. or for email.

As for our masses of regular 35 mm slides, we use a Nikon SuperCool Scan 4000 hooked up to a dedicated older 27" iMac with a 1 TB HD running High Sierra (Max OS its capable now , so not on the internet any longer, just our home network). Makes for a nice setup and use of an older computer.

We use VueScan software which is incredible for cleaning up slides and fixing exposures for aging slides. This is a labor of love you must understand, because it is slow going. But you can auto save your fixed up clean images as both JPG (smaller image size ) & much larger images of the same slide, in TIFF format at the same time. So I create two files sets of these. JPG are placed onto thumb drives for kids and grandchildren to have. Any images desired for larger poster size prints can be accessed later as the TIFF format from the computer HD.

I can process about 60-80 slides and hour depending on how much adjustment is needed along with flipping or rotating if slide inserted wrong. Nikon unit will also do strips of slide negatives also. Completed well over 2500 slides now from the family collection. Still more to go when the spirit moves but everything is there ready.

This same computer has an older unused inkJet Pixma MP170 scanner printer combo unit for doing actual photos. ( It died as an inkjet printer but NOT the scanner part). Using the same VueScan software it will even take multiple photos at the same time and separate them into individual files. We use this to get some very old photos onto Ancestry for the family tree. These are file shared to our newer computer for internet transfer. Both the devices were found thru family and friends who no longer had any need for them and I saw the opportunity to re-use them on our unused computer. For us, a great resource and only cost was purchase of the VueScan software which had been purchased a number of years earlier by a friend who no longer wanted it, as he had finished all his scanning.

I know you can purchase newer flat bed scanners that also come with racks to mount slides into for scanning. Probably higher resolution units as newer, but can be a little pricey. I have seen some of these units come for sale on both our forum and used victoria over the past few years.

Hope this gives you some information to help you out.

Bruce Whittington

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My experience is similar to Cougurr, using Vuescan and a Nikon Coolscan V ED scanner. (Nikon software no longer works on Mac). The one thing I will add is that many slides (Kodachrome less so) are always deteriorating, so it is good to get them scanned sooner rather than later, and you should learn to get the best original scan you scan. If you count on working up the images down the road, and the original scan is substandard, you may find when you go back to rescan the quality has deteriorated. And it is worth the time to do it well--I've salvaged some pretty poor record shots, and old family images that would otherwise be nearly useless.


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One last tip on this subject: In this world of 4K and soon to be 8K video, if your aim is preservation of the images for future enjoyment by later generations, they will thank you if you take the (extra, and not inconsiderable) time to scan them at very high resolutions — 1200 dpi or better yet 2400 dpi. The latter is intended for pictures that have historical interest and may end in up in museums or other historical collections.

Save such files as TIFF or another “lossless” format for preservation, and then also make lower-res JPG files for easy sharing and on-screen enjoyment. TIFF files are typically pretty large.

300 to 600 dpi is adequate if the intended target is a non-professional book or other printed publication. 72dpi to 150dpi (a common setting) should never be used unless you’re just planning on faxing something somewhere.