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I don't think it's possible to buy a really good dedicated scanner for slides any more. The Nikons and Konica- Minoltas are gone, and now the Hasselblad Flextights. There is still the Plustek Optic 135, but I read a lot of complaints about quality.
Plustek make a range of slide/negative strip scanners, of which the Optic 135 is one of the cheapest. There is also a (very expensive) model that scans 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 and 6x12 cm frame sizes as well as 35mm.

I have an OpticFilm 8200i, which came with Silverfast and an IT8 target. It is still listed on their site and is also available from Amazon in the UK.

I found Silverfast cumbersome and bought VueScan instead. The learning curve is a tad steep, but now I'm rattling through black-and-white negatives at a fair old rate (currently midway through 1984).

My main criticism of the scanner itself is of the filmstrip holder. It is not the easiest I have ever used. Otherwise (with Vuescan) it scans quickly and reliably.
 


It may be discontinued, but the link you provided indicates that they still have some in stock, selling for $800, though review comments indicate that many customers were not happy with the result.
Amazon lists the current version, PowerSlide X, for $889 — mixed reviews, but seemingly mostly positive.

I just brought home lots of slides from my parent's house, both mine and theirs, and will probably get this to digitize them.

Not a lot of options out there currently. Would love to find a Nikon with feeder for a reasonable price in good condition, but I suspect that is a pipe dream.
 


While they may not be processing Kodachrome any more
Kelly-Shane Fuller figured out how to process Kodachrome himself:
Kelly-Shane Fuller said:
I began to research the film and discovered it used a process known as “K-14”, much different than modern film’s C-41. K-14 used a toxic color coupler that was no longer in production, which prompted Kodak to end its 75 year run. Every person I talked to repeated that it was simply impossible to shoot it in color any more, sure you could develop it as black and white but color was just not ever going to happen.

Now as a self professed armchair photo-chemist, this answer seemed crazy to me. If we’d done it once we could do it again, I vowed to prove it possible!!!
 


Kelly-Shane Fuller figured out how to process Kodachrome himself...
Ahh, Kodachrome. My first true love. And like so many, we have to leave that first true love behind and move ahead. But the memory never fades.

Such it is! My Kodachrome slides are as brilliant as the day I opened the box. But they were always a pain. First, a note on the process:

Kodachrome applied the 3 color dyes in the developing process, unlike Ektachrome and Fujichrome, which are chromogenic - meaning that the processing reveals the chemically-linked colors. That also means the dyes are built up on the surface of the film, which is another problem for scanning, as it's not a smooth surface.

Kodachrome had issues with color inconsistency, depending on the aging of the film. It would shift from green to magenta bias over time. Pros would test a batch and shove it in the fridge when it hit the right color balance.

I've been through the K14 processing line, and it's totally unlike other systems. It is a continuous high-speed line with film running through a zillion different processing baths. It's prone to scratching, too.

Scanning has always been tough, even for the high-end prepress scanners. I've used every method, and sometimes it's glorious, sometimes it's exasperating, even for similar images - like, why is there zero content in the red layer in this slide?

I've found that Silverfast tends to produce better results than Vuescan, most of the time. But not always!

Nowadays, I use a Nikon 5000 and, though Nikon abandoned their software, it's still the best dedicated film scanner, if you care about quality.

For speed, a transparency flatbed scanner can produce surprisingly decent results for multiple images of similar exposure.

Oh, and I have a nice Nikon Super Coolscan ED 4000 if anyone wants...
 


Several years ago, I bought a Canon flatbed scanner to digitize Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides that were mostly 25-30 years old. I was a bit surprised to find that many of them had multiple, small spots of dirt — not dust that I could brush or blow away. I'd kept the slides in boxes designed for the purpose, but they weren't tightly sealed and had been moved many times. I was able to eliminate some, but not all of the blemishes digitally.

I wasn't able to find a cleaning solution that would remove the spots without damaging the film, especially on the emulsion side, but if anyone knows of a safe way to clean slides I'd give it another go.
 


Several years ago, I bought a Canon flatbed scanner to digitize Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides that were mostly 25-30 years old. I was a bit surprised to find that many of them had multiple, small spots of dirt — not dust that I could brush or blow away. I'd kept the slides in boxes designed for the purpose, but they weren't tightly sealed and had been moved many times. I was able to eliminate some, but not all of the blemishes digitally. I wasn't able to find a cleaning solution that would remove the spots without damaging the film, especially on the emulsion side, but if anyone knows of a safe way to clean slides I'd give it another go.
Back in the day when I scanned negatives and transparencies on a Hell drum scanner, and later on a Scitex flatbed scanner, the only (good) way to remove those artifacts that you speak of is by soaking the film in a bath of triple-distilled water with a few drops of Kodak Photo-Flo. It might take a couple of days for the specks of dirt to loosen and fall away; or it could even take some very careful nudging to get them off.

At this stage, the emulsion would be very soft and vulnerable to scratches, so make sure to let the film drip-dry (hence the Photo-Flo to avoid water spots) thoroughly. If the slides are mounted, obviously you will have to unmount the film before the operation.

99% isopropyl alcohol will not work, because the gel coating of the film will have to soften enough to release the dirt artifacts. Great care is important, and I suggest experimenting first with expendable slides.
 


... 99% isopropyl alcohol will not work, because the gel coating of the film will have to soften enough to release the dirt artifacts. Great care is important, and I suggest experimenting first with expendable slides.
For what it's worth, warming pharmaceutical-grade castor oil to 80 degrees and immersing a problematic Kodachrome into a petri dish for a few days in a warm room worked wonders on 'embedded dirt' prior to separating or scanning. Ronsonol lighter fluid then flushed away the castor oil and the released dirt.

When working with any kind of camera-original film (i.e. the single-use "sensor" lying behind the lens and shutter during the exposure), it is easy to confuse 'embedded dirt' with 'image dirt', terms of art common among old-fashioned color separators in the 20th Century.
 


They are old family photos, and the quality isn’t superb to begin with. Slides are Kodachrome. I would like advice about choosing a scanner. The results may never make it off a computer monitor onto paper. I am sure that a scanner costing under $200 is more than adequate. I tend toward the Epson V600. Is a dedicated film scanner for the slides enough better than a flatbed scanner to be worth the extra cost of buying a second scanner?
My two cents: if quality is not a big consideration, the flatbed should be fine. If time is much of a consideration, send them out. You may find that with extra money and time, that is the most efficient approach.

I've used Minolta and Nikon film/slide scanners - the Nikon a bit better but not massively so. For what it's worth, the Nikon was lent to me by a friend and then 'passed on' to another acquaintance - it made the rounds; it may be worth asking around. Although they're expensive used, there still seems to be demand and should not be too hard to resell.
 


I always scan my films just as soon as they are dry, having used PhotoFlo in the final wash. This means they have little opportunity to gather any dust. Then just a little squirt of canned air will be all that's needed before going in the Flextight. If I do have to scan old negatives or slides, I have found isopropanol adequate. It's also the best thing for removing the residue I always seem plagued with on the first film out of a new batch of C-41 chemistry made up from a powder Press Kit.
 


The 64-bit cutoff is looking worse all the time. I have been informed that the software for my X-Rite Eye-One (i1) Display 2 colorimeter will not be updated to 64-bit. Furthermore, I was told the X-Rite (August 2011) "is now long past its factory calibration certification, and the accuracy is most likely out of spec by now." So, DisplayCAL may not be an alternative. Is it really time to retire it?
 


... my X-Rite Eye-One (i1) Display 2 colorimeter will not be updated to 64-bit. Furthermore, I was told the X-Rite (August 2011) ...Is it really time to retire it?
I'd say the anwer is "yes", it's time for a new device. I have both the X-Rite i1Display Pro and the X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2.
It's my opinion that the $250 solution is better (albeit slightly) for display profiling than the $1700 solution.

I do not recommend any display profile "puck" other than the i1Display Pro.

your milage may vary of course...
 


Thanks! I'm finding some other resources (but still looking for additional collections of ICC profiles). A Gamut Test File (among others here) seems quite useful:
Here are some other resources I found:
I will be giving a digital photo slide presentation tomorrow (Sept 25) and just learned which projector (Epson Powerlite 1980UW) will be provided.

To avoid any issues with colors I would like to install a baseline Epson ICC profile for this projector but have been unable to locate such a file. Do vendors provide ICC profiles for projectors?

I attended a presentation last night in the same venue. The presenter was using a Macbook Air with the same projector and colors looked fine so it may not be necessary to have a projector-specific ICC profile.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I will be giving a digital photo slide presentation tomorrow (Sept 25) and just learned which projector (Epson Powerlite 1980UW) will be provided. To avoid any issues with colors I would like to install a baseline Epson ICC profile for this projector -- but have been unable to locate such a file. Do vendors provide ICC profiles for projectors? I attended a presentation last night in the same venue. The presenter was using a Macbook Air with the same projector and colors looked fine so it may not be necessary to have a projector-specific ICC profile.
Thanks for any suggestions.
I don't have any experience with projectors, and I didn't have any luck finding an ICC profile for that one, but I do have a few related thoughts:
  • Connecting a display to a Mac typically provides a profile option in System Preferences > Displays > Color. (E.g. for my current Viewsonic display, I see a "VP2770 Series" option.) These seem to work well. I'd look for an Epson profile after connecting the projector.
  • If you have time and want to do an especially nice job, you might:
    • Have some good sample images/tests readily available on your Mac for evaluating the projected image.
    • Find out in advance what controls the Epson projector provides for its display, so that you can tweak those for best results.
    • Have an assistant to help tweak and evaluate during setup... :-)
 


I will be giving a digital photo slide presentation tomorrow (Sept 25) and just learned which projector (Epson Powerlite 1980UW) will be provided....
You're not likely to find a baseline profile; there are just too many variables. The lamp ages; the room light varies; and most importantly, there is no "standard" projector surface. If you are providing your own projector and screen, then you can create a custom profile with some Xrite products. Generally, however, if the projector allows it, set everything for sRGB, and you should be pretty close.
 


Do vendors provide ICC profiles for projectors?
David, if you don't get satisfactory results from the get-go, and Prefs > Displays > Color doesn't yield an "Epson Projector" profile, try changing your Display Profile to sRGB.

I still run Sierra and my Display settings include access to the Display Calibrator Assistant, which might help you brute-force compensate for incorrect color and/or tone.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I still run Sierra and my Display settings include access to the Display Calibrator Assistant, which might help you brute-force compensate for incorrect color and/or tone.
I forgot about that option, and that's a good reminder. Also: you need to hold down the Option key In Settings > Displays > Color when clicking Calibrate... to get useful ("Expert") profiling controls.
 


I don't have any experience with projectors, and I didn't have any luck finding an ICC profile for that one, but I do have a few related thoughts:
  • Connecting a display to a Mac typically provides a profile option in System Preferences > Displays > Color. (E.g. for my current Viewsonic display, I see a "VP2770 Series" option.) These seem to work well. I'd look for an Epson profile after connecting the projector.
Thanks for this tip. I have a Canon projector that I have calibrated but will not be using it for this presentation. I have noticed that in addition to the calibrated ICC file I created, there is another Canon profile that pops up when I connect the projector. Perhaps the same will happen when I connect to the Epson.

And thanks to everyone else for their suggestions.
 


I forgot about that option, and that's a good reminder. Also: you need to hold down the Option key In Settings > Displays > Color when clicking Calibrate... to get useful ("Expert") calibration controls.
And keep in mind (as Tracy wrote) that your calibration is only going to be valid for that one particular setup. Your next presentation (different screen, different distance, different bulb-age, different ambient lighting) is going to affect the way everything looks, meaning your carefully hand-tweaked calibration won't be that accurate anymore.
 


To avoid any issues with colors I would like to install a baseline Epson ICC profile for this projector but have been unable to locate such a file. Do vendors provide ICC profiles for projectors?
And keep in mind (as Tracy wrote) that your calibration is only going to be valid for that one particular setup. Your next presentation (different screen, different distance, different bulb-age, different ambient lighting) is going to affect the way everything looks, meaning your carefully hand-tweaked calibration won't be that accurate anymore.
Plus, even with a manufacturer's profile, someone may have fiddled with the projector's controls so that the profile isn't a good fit. FWIW, the most common display issue I've found with giving presentations at venues that are new to me is that the Contrast settings are set too high, preventing some colors from displaying at all.

I'll second Ric's suggestion of getting to the space early enough to test the projector and, if necessary, to get someone to adjust the settings if the projector isn't physically accessible to you.
 



I'm a very experienced presenter using tons of color graphics, images and video, and have given hundreds of presentations working with projector setups all around the country and the world... and I still find the whole calibration thing to be a pain in the neck.

The Apple calibration software is obscure, unintuitive and hard to use when working with an out-of-reach projector. I wish someone would devote some attention to this subject and develop a much more user-friendly way to deal with a zillion projectors, old-and-new, and the disparities between HDMI and VGA cabling, etc.

We don't need to know or understand "gamma" (for instance) in a calibration tool; we just need to make the colors look good. (I have no objection to a "pro" mode for people calibrating monitors and artwork, but, really, please give us "presenters" a simpler, more effective tool.)
 


... We don't need to know or understand "gamma" (for instance) in a calibration tool; we just need to make the colors look good. (I have no objection to a "pro" mode for people calibrating monitors and artwork, but, really, please give us "presenters" a simpler, more effective tool.)
Unfortunately, the nature of calibration is such that it will always be a pain in the neck unless you have a hardware device that can scan the output (of a monitor or projector). These devices exist, but good ones are not cheap. And without one, there is no way to automate the process.
 



Xrite has a new i1Display profiler in the works; it is available for preorder, so presumably, it’s going to be out soon. I was planning to get one until I looked at the system requirements: macOS 10.13 and up. I’m hoping that it may actually work with Sierra, but I’m not going to be the guinea pig who tests that. I’m probably not going beyond Sierra on my 2010 Mac Pro. My 2015 MacBook Pro is the only Mac in the household that is on High Sierra.
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch
iPhone-like "computational photography" is making its way to DSLR cameras now.
DPReview said:
Olympus OM-D E-M1X review
... You see, the E-M1X is among the first 'traditional' cameras from a 'traditional' camera manufacturer to make use of 'deep learning' and true computational photography techniques like we've been seeing on high-end smartphones (Sony's latest Real-time Tracking AF is similar...but different). And that is exactly what traditional camera manufacturers need to stay relevant in today's shifting market.

... The other feature I'd like to touch on is the hand-held high-res shot. It really, actually, works. It aligns and stacks a total of 16 images, giving you more resolution and lower noise levels. And unfortunately, you get ghosting and / or a loss of detail on moving subjects.
 


iPhone-like "computational photography" is making its way to DSLR cameras now...
I've been shooting for 60+ years, teaching for 20. Computational is a huge change, but the biggest is soon to arrive: momentless. All the skill we developed over centuries is about to be blown away by 8K video. The need to know "the decisive moment" is about to become history. One can shoot a burst of 8K video and simply select the best moment.

Not tomorrow, as shutter speeds are still too slow and 8K is still too expensive... but as we all know, these, too, will be resolved soon enough. Photographers will still need to "have an eye" and understand what constitutes a good photo. Sports and fashion photographers will benefit the most. (We are already seeing some of this.) The fleeting expression in portraits will benefit as well.

To an old guy like me, this is bigger than computational photography... but only barely.

Change happens...
 


I've been shooting for 60+ years, teaching for 20. Computational is a huge change, but the biggest is soon to arrive: momentless. All the skill we developed over centuries is about to be blown away by 8K video. The need to know "the decisive moment" is about to become history. One can shoot a burst of 8K video and simply select the best moment.

Not tomorrow, as shutter speeds are still too slow and 8K is still too expensive... but as we all know, these, too, will be resolved soon enough. Photographers will still need to "have an eye" and understand what constitutes a good photo. Sports and fashion photographers will benefit the most. (We are already seeing some of this.) The fleeting expression in portraits will benefit as well.

To an old guy like me, this is bigger than computational photography... but only barely.

Change happens...
Where were all these toys when I was actually trying to make a living at this?
:-}
 


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