Convert slides to digital


If you get an autofocus macro lens**, that speeds things up a touch. But.... manual focus macro lenses of very good quality can be bought super cheap these days.
**It would have to have autofocus available at the close focus that is necessary, either right at 1:1 (if your DSLR is "full frame"), or about 1:2 (if your camera has an APS-C sized sensor.)


I'm talking used, on,line or local. Nikon still makes a couple of manual focus macro lenses new, but new they are $500-$800 range. Same lenses used are $100-$300.
I've used C-list locally (big city)., also are places I've purchased used stuff many times. KEH and B&H have good return policies on used stuff. You just have to thoroughly check the gear you bought promptly when you receive it, so if you want to return it, you can do so within the stated return period. KEH has a repair operation on site, and will repair used stuff that goes bad within the used warranty period.
Local photo shops are pretty much gone from my area, but they are good possibilities if they still exist where you are. Depends on how reasonably priced they are. Sometimes they'll have fair deals, sometimes they go crazy and hope for overpriced sales to folks who don't know better or don't care.


I Like to Camp
After inheriting slides from my grandparents, and also slides that my dad from serving (which as a youth I never knew that he had a slide collection), and other family negatives and of my own, I bought a Plustek OpticFilm slide scanner.

The software (Mac compatible) wasn't fancy but it had a lot of features, including color adjustments, settings for different types of film, and scratch removal. But it was really slow to work with, and frankly scanning slides and negatives was like watching paint dry! I worked on them for awhile and then put the project away. A year later, when I went to use the software again and after a Mac OS X update, it forced me to pay for an upgrade (the scanner was useless without paying for the upgrade). The software was pretty much the same, however, instead of taking two minutes per slide to scan, it took one minute!

I'm glad I digitized the old slides.

A few samples ...

A dealer (I think) in Laramie, WY. (1951)

Property above a family ranch in Wyoming, called Cow Camp. Cool old Jeeps out in front! (1951)

My dad, training at Clark Air Base. (1955)
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I Like to Camp
It really was great to get all of the old slides and negatives scanned, even though as I said that it was like watching paint dry. Some came out better then others, just due to how they were stored over the years.

I find it interesting today how we can all take so many great pictures, when back then, we would carry a single roll or two, carefully took pictures, and then had to wait to develop them to see how they turned out? And when seeing those few perfect shots from a roll, it was awesome! And how we had just a few picures that recorded that time in our lives. Now, I can take a thousand pictures on a week long vacation...

Anyway, I think that the color in this slide came out well from 1977 on a family, Wyoming ranch.

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And for that same quarter you could go to a full length Saturday Matinee....

The trick to copying slides with a macro lens is good even consistent color temp illumination and some method of holding the camera and lens holder all still while you are working.

I am a fan of VueScan software, I have used it for over a decade. Great company that treats its customers very well.