Adapt and Overcome

I’ve got a big box containing at least 350-400 slides from Gray Lodge #329 that I need to scan.

One problem – my scanner (an old HP Scanjet 6200C) does not have a transparency adapter.

One trip to Ace Hardware later, things are working fine.

Six paint stirrer sticks (free), cut to appropriate lengths, taped to the scanner body over the glass with blue painter’s tape. These serve as guides to keep the slides straight; I can only put three slides on the glass at once.

One 18″ long, 15-watt flourescent light fixture with bulb. Once the slides are on the scanner glass, I position the light shining down through them down into the body of the scanner.

VueScan scanner software, running on my MacBook Core Duo (recently reinstalled with OSX 10.6.1 “Snow Leopard”). This supports the HP (and damn near every other scanner on the planet), and lets me put it into “transparency mode” where the built-in light on the scanner head is turned off. I’ve been using VueScan since 2001 and have never found anything better.

The scans are only ending up being around 800×600 since the maximum resolution of my scanner is 600dpi. However, this is fine for now; I’ll eventually buy a new scanner (whenever I’m able to sell some of Amy’s purse collection) and redo the scans at 1200dpi.

Update: A dedicated $40 slide scanner works great, although I still need to clean up the output a bit.

3 thoughts on “Adapt and Overcome

  1. I did the math and decided it was considerably cheaper and less frustrating to take my slides to Costco and let them do it. Of course if you have a lot of slides then YMMV.

  2. Heh. I have two boxes of photos to scan.

    Rebecca Ore (who takes a shitload of film shots and is a severe camera nerd) advised me to do what everyone does: buy a Nikon Coolpix off eBay, use it for a year or two to do the lot, then sell it back on. There’s ten-year-old Coolpix III out there still circulating, still holding their price … you just need a PC with an ISA slot for the SCSI card …

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