Making Photopia Shows From Scanned Slides
During the pandemic, my wife and I started reviewing the (many) 35mm slides we've taken through the years, and have decided to make Photopia shows from some of our travels.
The slides of these vacation trips range from 150 to over 500 (mostly Kodachrome) 35mm slides per trip.
The two shows I've made so far run half an hour in length and the other at 10 min. The quality of the resulting shows was different. For both shows, I scanned the slides (on an Epson V700 scanner) in Full Auto mode at 300 dpi. (I got this number as a suggested starting point a few years ago in a users’ forum.) For the first show, almost all the slides were very good. For the second show, most of the slides were of good resolution, but a large percent, about 15-20%, were not as clear as I would have liked. For that, second, show, in addition to possible camera equipment limitations, I think that I should have scanned at higher values, but the scanning time seems to grow significantly with higher dpi.
Have any of you made shows with a significant number of images from slides? Are you pleased with the results?
Even though I've had moderate success in the conversion-show creation process, I still have a number of questions that some of you might have already addressed:
1. I’ve scanned into jpg format, but see that BITMAP and TIFF formats are also available in my scanner. Should I be using TIFF (or maybe BITMAP) instead of JPEG?
2. I read recently that to achieve full resolution of a Kodachrome slide, I need to scan at 3000-4000 dpi. I’ve tried that, but the scan time shoots up drastically: From 40 sec/slide for the 300 dpi, to 3-1/4 min/slide for both the TIFF and jpeg 720 dpi scans. (From a scan of three slides at 3200 dpi, I estimate that each slide requires about a 7-10 min/scan for the 3200 dpi images, way beyond the time I have to put in to such a project!)
My usual work flow is to quickly look through my digitized image files and drag all those I might use into the show. Then after rearranging them as I see appropriate, I finally weed out the similar images, those that are not technically good, and those that I could not easily edit into good images, and settle on the resulting—greatly reduced number—of slides that I edit and actually use in the show.
In other words, I really do need to scan ALL my slides in order to drag many of them into the show, but then greatly reduce that number as I weed them out. Since I start by reviewing all the slides, I’m thinking that, in order to keep scan times bearable, I should do an initial scan at 300 dpi (i.e., about 40 sec/slide), and, after I’ve weeded out the “extras,” rescan (at greater dpi) the slides I want to actually use in the show.
So, my final questions: In order to preserve my ability to edit those images I want to use in the completed show, what format (jpg or TIFF or?) and dpi scan setting should I use for those slides? The viewing equipment my family and friends and I use is basically large screen (43” and a few larger) LED TVs, with the Photopia shows as mp4s, mostly in thumb drives, but a few still as DVD shows.
- Dean A.
Dean, have you tried using a "Light Box" and maybe a 5" magnifier to do your initial sorting?
A video on making your own... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvHinIroBac
I've considered the light box (which I do have) review a few times, and may eventually go with it. (As to the 5" magnifier, I'm not sure what you mean, but I do have a more general purpose magnifier that I might be able to use.)
But, at the beginning of each project the prospective number of slides seems to be beyond what I could easily do with the magnifier-lightbox method. Maybe I'll finally buckle under and use that method. (The alternative, as I said before, might be to just scan at some low-res value, and, at least have images I can place into the show to create a sequence and narrative script, and then finally rescan the ones to be used at the final res.
Hi Dean, the magnifier was just so you could get a better view of the slide, larger image vs the 2" square. I have done a few and I know what you are going through.
Have you considered a Plustek slide scanner which provides the ability to preview, make some modifications and export.