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2 1/4 slide conversion to digital

Jessica Richards , Feb 24, 2004; 04:58 p.m.

I have hundreds, perhaps thousands of 2 1/4 inch negatives (Hasselblad) taken by my grandfather that I need to convert to digital images. What is the easiest, most economical way to do this? Is there a machine such as the SmartScan for 35 mm slides that I could use for this size slide? I really can't afford to have them done professionally and would prefer to do it myself. Any ideas appreciated.


Ralph Meliso , Feb 24, 2004; 05:10 p.m.

I believe the Epson Perfection 3170 flatbed scanner is in the $200 range. You probably can find some other discontinued flatbed scanners that can handle MF negatives.

C Jo Gough - Carmel, CA , Feb 24, 2004; 07:31 p.m.

We have a extra Minolta Dimage Scan Multi---which will scan up to 6X9 images-for sale ------please contact us

thanks kindly cjogo

Beau Hooker , Feb 24, 2004; 09:00 p.m.

Hi Jessica, I use the Epson 2450 scanner for my Hassie negs and it works really well. It's an older scanner and the newer ones should be a bit higher in resolution. In addition, I think they now have Digital Ice, which auto-corrects scratches and dust spots. This can save a ton of time because scanning "thousands" is going to take you a while. It can be fun revisiting the old memories, but that's an awful lot of information to digitize. At any rate, Epson scanners do an admirable job with Hassie negs and chromes and won't cost you an arm and a leg, either. Best wishes , . .

C Jo Gough - Carmel, CA , Feb 24, 2004; 09:07 p.m.

Jessica the epson flatbeds will do a fairly decent job--unless some of the negs are thin or overexposed....We are selling the Minolta for $349-(only $2800 new!)

David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) , Feb 24, 2004; 09:10 p.m.

The 3170 is a good suggestion. The more recent more expensive Epson 4870 might be a bit better, although there are different reports coming in on this scanner.

You've used both the terms "negative" and "slide" in your question. These are quite different beasts and will result in different answers. Also, what sort of quality do you need? The flatbed scanners are pretty poor quality and only support magnifications of about 4x or 5x (i.e. up to 8x10 or maybe 11x14). If you are looking for professional photographic quality, you'll need something like the Multi Pro a previous responder is selling. For web display, the 3170 should be more than adequate.

Another problem here is that scanning is extremely time consuming. I only get a few frames scanned a day, and am only about half way through the shots I took on a trip Jan 1 to 5. This makes the 3170 attractive in the sense that it's the minimal cost to find out whether or not you are going to be able to put in the amount of time this project is going to require. (Note that you need a big computer: plan on USB 2.0 (or firewire depending on the scanner) and 1GB of memory.)

Doug Fisher , Feb 25, 2004; 12:23 a.m.

With lots of people upgrading to 4870 scanners, there are going to be quite a few 3200’s going up for sale in the used market.  If your grandfather has a few negatives that are larger than medium format size, the larger lightlid of the 2450, 3200, 4870 might make them worth looking at over the 3170.  If the digital ICE feature of the 4870 looks enticing, just remember it may not work with certain film types that your grandfather was likely to have used (like Kodachrome and classic/older non-C41 type black and white films).


Doug’s “MF Film Holder” for batch scanning "strips" of 120/220 medium format film with flatbeds


Jean-Baptiste Queru , Feb 25, 2004; 02:09 a.m.

I scan medium and large format with my Epson 3200 and get some very satisfactory results. For 35mm film the results are only good enough to enlarge to about 8x12.

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