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WHAT IT IS NECESSARY TO KNOW BEFORE TAKING FOR THE DIGITALIZING OF SLIDES

In the pre-digital era, photo slides were a common way to preserve memories. But now the slide technology is outdated, most people no longer have access to the slide projector to view them, so the films are forgotten in boxes on the far shelves.

Digitizing slides by yourself

One photo studio client told how she set about digitizing a box with old slides and came across a few photos of her father, who passed away when she was only four years old. Until this moment, she had never seen these photos, and her relatives had forgotten about them for many years. After the slides were scanned, the whole family happily looked at the faded, but such native images. Similar stories remind us that we have to digitize old slides now, not delaying, until time has swallowed them completely and irrevocably.

You can scan slides yourself using a specialized film or flatbed scanner equipped with a slide processing module. Before you do the scan, pay attention to the important points.

The choice of resolution
Image resolution is measured in DPI (dot per inch) – the number of dots per inch of the surface. Resolution allows you to evaluate two important things regarding the image.

Sharpness, or how sharp the image will look.
The ability to print such a digital image.
Higher resolution will allow for larger prints. For example, a 35 mm slide scanned into a file with a resolution of 10 megapixels will allow prints up to 13×9 inches in size. However, a large resolution is not always beneficial. High resolution scanning can trap unwanted grains from photographic material. In such cases, digitization with lower DPIs may give better results.

Dust and scratch removal
On slides that have lain in the box for a long time, there are often scratches, mold or other defects associated with the action of time or careless handling. A combination of antistatic film cleaner and lint free fabric can be used to clean the mold from the mold before scanning. There should be careful and carefully wipe the film along the length, rather than in a circular motion to avoid the formation of new scratches.

One of the automated solutions to the problem of dust and scratches is a hardware and software retoucher called Digital ICE (Image Correction & Enhancement). This is a technology to minimize defects, which is integrated into good modern scanners. The essence of this technology is to use infrared light to detect and subtract positions of dust and scratches from the final image. The current implementation of Digital ICE includes, in addition to the Digital ICE module itself, for the removal of dust and scratches, restoration and color correction modules, reduction of grain visibility, optimization of contrast and exposure.

However, this technology has some limitations. For example, Digital ICE does not work well with a black and white film containing silver halide. Silver halide grains in this type of film can create artifacts that Digital ICE cannot effectively handle. In this case, manual editing is necessary to get a clear, scratch-free image.

Color correction and restoration
When working with old slides, color correction and restoration is important. First, as mentioned above, scanners have built-in functionality that can help correct color shifts and color fading.

Secondly, you can use graphic editors such as Photoshop in cases where the scanned image from the slide requires more complex restoration. This happens, for example, when mold on a slide obscures part of an image. You can restore this slide, but you will need knowledge and experience in using the software.

Custom slides
The format of 35 mm slides is the norm, however slides come in other less common formats. The size of the real image in the cardboard slide mount will tell you which format you are dealing with. In addition to 35 mm, there are also film types 110, 126, 127, 120, medium and large format films.

Not all scanning equipment is equipped with suitable modules for capturing the entire image area for such formats. This may result in cropping and incomplete scanning. So a universal and high-quality scanner that can handle all these formats is a key requirement when scanning non-standard slides.

Try it! Slides are worth it to preserve their memory.

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