The prospect of scanning my slide collection (May 1972 - Sept 2000) at total of 8700 slides has always been rather daunting, but it has been something I wanted to do for a while now.

So I did some research on the net and found some interesting sites and videos on Youtube which by-passed the two standard ways of achieving the task; using either a flat-bed scanner or dedicated film/slide scanner. There are many cheap and expensive versions of these devices and all are quite slow at the scanning process. I purchased a Canon slide scanner years ago and have used it to successfully scan selected slides. It takes about 2 minutes per slide and only accepts one slide at a time. Not ideal for scanning 394 boxes of slides.

The research showed that there a quite a few people out there, like me, wishing to covert their slide collection into the digital form. With the advent of fully-featured, high resolution DSLR cameras, the idea of photographing the slides with a macro lens has become quite popular. Youtube Link.

There are even recent commercial solutions that uses the same concept called SlideSnap Pro and SlideSnap Lite (US$2195) but are quite expensive, especially to purchase and ship to Australia. 

So with my backup Canon 5D MkII, 100mm macro lens and a $70 slide projector from eBay I set to the task of making my own scanning (photographing) system.

DIY Slide Scanner - A simple concept?

I modified the lighting and lens system in the projector and now use it to store and move the slides in front of the camera in an orderly and quite precise fashion. To see the full story and how this was done you can go to my Slide Scanning Project page.

Slide Project 2014_IMG_2072

Aerial view with cover removed. The Canon EF 100 f1:2.8 Macro will capture at 1:1 and therefore the image of the slide will match the sensor of the full frame Canon 5D.

Slide Project 2014_IMG_2071

The setup with remotes for operating the projector and camera. 

The process worked well and I progressively 'scanned' (or photographed) my large slide collection during 2014, finishing in September.

I had also acquired my father's slide collection some years ago, so with the success of the my own collection fully converted into digital images, referenced and catalogued using Aperture 3 on my Mac, it was a logical extension of the project to complete his set also (1956 to 1987 - 2,640 slides). I completed these in two weeks in January 2015, revealing some memorable family events!



Terang 1976  -  Kodachrome 64  (taken with Pentax KX ) 

Box 057_1965 - Slide 18

Family visit to the Great Ocean Road Victoria Australia in 1965.
Photo taken by Bob Ward with Voigtlander 

Box 057_1965 - Slide 01.jpg

Standing on the now collapsed London Bridge formation, Port Campbell National Park - Twelve Apostles Area. 1965
(Photo Bob Ward)


To see the full story and how this was done go to my Slide Scanning Project page.