Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

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Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#1 Post by MicroBob » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:04 pm

Hi together,
we are about to collect stuff from an old member. There are probably about 2000 well selected microscopy images on 35mm transparency film. To make this wealth of high quality images available to the public we will have to get them digitized. Due to the amount individual handling is out of question and funds are limited too, as usual. The goal would be to get images of medium quality (e.g. 4MP sharp, colourful, well illuminated) images for an acceptable price.

Does somebody have experience with digitizing companies with work on micro images? In my experience micro images are not always handled right by camera exposure control, so automatic scanning might lead to bad results.
I found a digitizing service here: https://www.ebay.de/itm/1000-Dias-digit ... 3149507796
The price would be good and the scanner in use might be quite ok from what I read.


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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#2 Post by 75RR » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:01 am

Is that EUR 79,17 to digitize 1000 slides? Has to be automated!

I would contact them, get a phone number and explain what you need.

Hopefully they may be willing to redo any that you consider did not come out right.
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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#3 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:28 am

Here’s a fairly detailed review of the Reflecta DigitDia 5000 [which appears to be what they use]
https://www.filmscanner.info/en/Reflect ... a5000.html

Too many 'projects'

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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#4 Post by Chris Dee » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:11 pm

I digitised 300 family 35mm slides with a DIY setup of diffused flash/DSLR/macro lens/and slide mount. The results were acceptable but the biggest hurdle was ensuring the slides were clean and dust free beforehand. If not stated in the eBay service listing (sorry don't speak German) I'd enquire about slide preparation, or if this is something that needs doing in advance.

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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#5 Post by MicroBob » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:20 pm

Hi together,
thank you for your replies!
The digitizing service I linked writes that they clean with compressed air. For loose dust that will do. When I have the slides I will see how clean they are. Scanning is probably affected by frame type and glass/antinewton glass/glassless too.
I had sent 35mm negativrs to another digitizing service and got film and results only back after making preparations for taking legal steps. :evil: So this is also very much a question of dependability of the service.
For my own negatives I plan to do the digital copying myself, the equipment is about to materialize soon. But this is a time consuming process.
If I would start to do that with the group members micro slides, my wife would probably throw diatom material, paraffine and canadabalsam in my dinner until I realize that this is not a welcome pasttime in her eyes. :lol:


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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#6 Post by Goofy » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:31 pm


As an option for digitizing company I suggest to buy standalone scanner. Digitizing companies tend to mass scan slides/film rolls with one-fits-all preset. Outcome is fine for like some random old family photos, but If you want total control and professional effect than doing it by hand is the only option.

My other hobby is BW analog photography. Along darkroom analog silver prints I have also made countless digital scans of color/monochromatic films, many of them were 35mm as this was most popular format.
I'm using Epson V600, here is review (not mine): https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/what-i ... epson-v600

I would suggest to look for one of these, either new or used. Really nice piece of equipment, comes with very good software that is capable of detecting and auto-removal of dust particles during scan process. It uses some neatly placed IR light illuminated at angle to detect dust and scratches. Scan process is highly customizable and fully automated (apart from placing film in the device ofc :p)
Outcome resolution is more than enough, probably you will hit grain resolution limit of analog film long before scan resolution limit in this device.

For maximum quality and effect I used full resolution scans (6400dpi) in TIFF format and then inverted them and post processed in Photoshop/Lightroom. But this is extremely time consuming as well.
Here is my example of high resolution scan (hit 'view original' for full resolution) this is full sized TIFF:
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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#7 Post by MicroBob » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:49 pm

Hi Goofy,
thank you for sharing your experience in this topic. I have a Canoscan 9000F MK2 scanner that is quite similar to your Epson scanner. I have scanned 4 slides with it and it took about 30 minutes with ICE and full resolution. At 2350 scans to do and a precise order that has to be kept this is a tedius job. So I hope to be satisfied with the results of the cheap digitizing service.
The slides themselves will be worthwhile to scan as the member was very quality conscious and the slides are in good condition too. There are mainly diatom slides, many from material from exotic places all aroung the globe. I'm planning to offer a climate neutral world trip on a meeting wher we will prepare slides with this material. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun!


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Re: Digitizing 35mm micro photography tranparency images

#8 Post by RobBerdan » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:06 am

Hi - I have digitized lots of slides for clients using a Nikon coolscan and the Epson V600. The coolsan offers the highest quality, but a full res scan can take 5 minutes. The Epson will scan up to 6 images simulataneously and does a very good job, not as good as the Cools scan but good enough for most purposes. I don't recommend hiring someone, they will charge you by the hour as I would. If you have the time I suggest you purchase one of the New Epson flat bed scanners with slide scanning capability e.g. V600 cost me $249 and you can also scan medium format slides and 4x5 slides or negatives, and prints about 9 x 12 inches - so you can use it for other uses. I even use the Epson as low power microscope 40X - see my article on my web site:
https://www.canadiannaturephotographer. ... e2017.html

Almost all scans will need to be retouched to remove dirt, colour correct etc and that takes more time.
I would select the very best images and work on them first, if you have time and want the others,
you can then process them.

20 years ago Camera stores offered Kodak Photo CDs and they would scan your slides for $2 each, problem is now we can't open those files unless you have a very early version of Photoshop or convert them into format Photoshop can read.
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