Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

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Calavera
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Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Calavera »

Thought someone might find this interesting so I figured I'd post it here.

We have a box full of slides I'd guess around 300 or so. I've gotten them out a few times when I'm wanting to mess with an old slide projector but I always thought it would be nice to have them digitized onto the computer. While I was organizing my back room I came across a Pana-Vue handheld slide viewer from 1987 that I had purchased at Goodwill years ago. I will have to do them one at a time but it seems like a decent way to finally have them in digital form. Here is how it works.

This is the device for viewing the slides.

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You pull open the tray on the right to insert your slide and turn on the light.

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Then I just use the camera on my cellphone to take a picture of it up close. Copy it to the computer and ta-da! I now have a digital version of the old slide!

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I've done 70 so far. I've just been doing it while I'm watching TV/Youtube. It'll take a little while to get them all done but it will be nice to have them all converted. Btw all these slides are before my time. I'm digitizing them not only to preserve them but so my mom and brothers will be able to easily look at them. I believe they are mostly from the 60s and 70s.

Maybe after I get them all done I will make a slideshow DVD and then record that DVD to VHS and Beta! :olol: I'm just kidding about that.....maybe :oshocked:
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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

That's pretty cool. The quality of the picture is decent.

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Calavera
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Calavera »

Well that didn't last long. After doing slide 110 the light went off and never came back on. So the bulb must have burnt out. Here is the inside of the device.

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Nothing but metal contacts and a bulb. The bulb is a #245 which can be had online for cheap but I wanted to do these slides now. I won't want to do it in a week or two when the replacement bulb arrives.

While I don't have a bulb I do have this flashlight that lights up on the side.
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And it is just the right size to fit into the viewer with the internals removed. So I popped it in and am back in business!

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ian
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by ian »

I love it. And I wish you best of luck in finishing your preservation efforts.

Every time I try and convert old Photos, negatives, slides, and 8mm film I get about 100 photos in and then find a better method, or better hardware, or better software, or other various ways that stop me ever getting them all done. I've had 4 scanners over the years, each purchased with the intent to do it, but never actually finish the damn things. I've been putting off an Epson Perfection V600 for a few years now. A, because they're like $600, and B, I know even when I get it I'll have it for 6-16 years and use it for at most 3 weeks.

I have an OLD ass Canon scanner I got years back I just can't part with because even though newer ones are faster, cheaper, use less power, have better driver and software support, I can't argue with an image quality that makes modern $200-300 scanners seem like garbage.

So to see you using something you found in a pile with a smartphone actually getting something done is great. "thumbsup
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OrangeRibbon
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by OrangeRibbon »

I had to do this a long time ago. I found a scanner that had a special attachment for this.

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Calavera
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Calavera »

ian wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 10:37 pm I get about 100 photos in and then find a better method, or better hardware, or better software, or other various ways that stop me ever getting them all done.
I'm sure there is a better way to do this but the results from doing it this way are perfectly satisfactory to me. They don't need to be perfect. A few dirt marks here and there doesn't bother me.
ian wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 10:37 pm So to see you using something you found in a pile with a smartphone actually getting something done is great. "thumbsup
Thanks!

So as I said the bulb burned out on me early Wednesday morning. I looked at bulbs and the best deal was a pack of 10 for around $12 shipped which I would have to wait on. So I was just going to use the flashlight method I posted about above. I ended up going to Goodwill later that day to look around and imagine my surprise when I saw this.

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Amazing! It was $3.50 but didn't come with the AC adapter. That was ok since I have the one from the other one. This one looks to be much older than the 1987 one. With the way the box looks it could be from the 60s or maybe early 70s. So I brought it home and plugged it in and it lit right up! So I am now using this older one to finish out the slides. Hopefully the bulb in this one will hold up long enough to get through them but if not I can always go back to the flashlight method.

Here are the viewers and their boxes side by side just for anyone who is interested.

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ian
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by ian »

That looks like a 70's brown to me.
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Calavera
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Calavera »

ian wrote: Fri Apr 15, 2022 9:14 pm That looks like a 70's brown to me.
I tried looking it up online to see around what year it came out but couldn't find anything. The woman on the box and how the writing and logo is on the device itself says 60s to me. My guess would be late 60s or very early 70s.

I'm still working on getting them all digitized. So far I've got 352 completed. Here are 320 of them.

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I'm going to guess there is about 100 or so left. Almost there!
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Calavera
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Calavera »

So I uploaded all the slides online and saved them locally on my computer. They are good enough for viewing, much better than having to drag out a projector and all the slides. But ideally I'd like to edit them so it is just the image itself, so none of the slide viewer is showing. Here is an example of a before and after.

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While it isn't totally necessary to edit them down like that they just look better overall. This may be a dumb question but is there any program that could do this automatically? There are a total of 451 and I'd rather not do them all manually. Sure I could just do a few a day but I know how that would end up. I'd do 100 the first day then not do any more for 6 months. They'd eventually get done I guess lol.

I just wondered if there was any way maybe with AI to automate the process?
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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

I'd assume you would only be able to automate it if each picture was getting cropped the same amount. There might be an AI program that can do it. Or you can probably pay Indians/Chinese online to do it for 1c per pic.

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pixel
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Re: Finally digitizing all the old slides we have. Using a device from 1987

Post by pixel »

I haven't used it, but BatchCrop has a feature to detect dark/black margins. Photoshop also has an automatic crop/straighten option, but I don't know if that will work. The program might only be able to detect photos placed on a white background from a flat-bed scanner. I think this feature has been around for a while, so an old version like CS3 might work well.

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