Author Topic: Cleaning up old 35mm slides  (Read 2733 times)

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Mark5

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Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« on: December 06, 2020, 09:44:37 AM »
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I have a bunch of slides that I took mostly in the 1970s - I've been carting them around all these years.

I've got a slide scanner now - any recommendations on the best (safest) way to clean them up for a good scan?

I posted a couple of test scans - you can see that the slides need some cleanup: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=50993.0

Thanks!

Mark

wcfn100

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2020, 03:25:43 PM »
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What's the scanner (to know the software)?

Usually some sort of auto color or color restoration will make the slides pop again.  Then if it has an unsharp mask option, using that will help sharpen the image.  Descreening isn't used for slides (I assume the software has that).  Dust removal can be a good tool but can also make you loose detail.  I  use a separate image program sometimes to deal with dust and spots.


Jason.

peteski

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2020, 04:35:05 PM »
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Mark, I believe you want to do physical cleaning (like dust removal), not software-based cleanup?

If the slide's surface is dusty then I would use a soft brush and a can of "dust-off" compressed gas. Well, unless you have access to compressed air source.  If that is the case (and the air is moisture- and oil-free) then you could use your airbrush (with no paint) as a miniature nozzle to blow the dust off.  But dust does stick to the surface, so that is why soft brush is needed to physically loosen up the dust particles.  Do not use any moist (water) cleaning because the photo emulsion is gelatin-based, so moisture would damage it.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 05:15:54 PM by peteski »
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Mark5

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2020, 05:10:18 PM »
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Mark, I believe you want to do physical cleaning (like dust removal), not software-based cleanup?

Exactly. Thanks, I did not want to try any liquids prematurely. :D

MK

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2020, 05:41:05 PM »
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Go to a photo store and look for an anti static brush for negatives and slides.  Takes the dust off and keeps it off.

If software wise, look for scanners with Digital Ice 3 software.  Does color corrections and restoration for negatives and slides.  I have an old Nikon scanner with it built in and Digital Ice is amazing.

peteski

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2020, 06:25:20 PM »
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Go to a photo store and look for an anti static brush for negatives and slides.  Takes the dust off and keeps it off.

If software wise, look for scanners with Digital Ice 3 software.  Does color corrections and restoration for negatives and slides.  I have an old Nikon scanner with it built in and Digital Ice is amazing.

Antistatic brush is a good idea.

I think Mark already got a scanner.  I just looked at the Epson scanned I bough a while ago (but still haven't really used much) and it did come with Digital ICE.  Good to know that this software works well (for when I get to scanning my photos/slides).
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wcfn100

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2020, 07:15:23 PM »
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I flipped a coin on on physical or software clean up.   :P

Digital ICE is not an end all be all solution, or even the best option for all slides.  On top of that, Digital ICE takes forever to scan.

Compare the following:

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

The first is just an unsharp mask.  The second, default Digital ICE.

The unsharp mask took 22 seconds to scan at 400% and 300dpi.  The Digital ICE took 1:56.  The digital ICE did take out small spot and dust like it should but it also took out a bunch of shadow detail like under the RI hopper or under the switchers coupler.

Jason

MK

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2020, 10:53:52 PM »
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Did you add in the time it took you to clean up the dust and small spots in the first one?   :trollface:

One of Mark's photo of a coaling tower is really faded and washed out.  Digital ICE will save that one really nice without post processing.  Where Digital ICE comes in is the worse the slide/negative is, the more time it'll save you in the end.  If you do an unsharp mask on that coaling tower it will look just as crappy.

If the original is pretty good to start with then Digital ICE is not necessary.  Or you can just use the dust removal option then you don't even have to clean you slide/negative.  :)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 11:02:19 PM by MK »

Mark5

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Re: Cleaning up old 35mm slides
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2021, 09:46:25 PM »
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Thanks for the tips gents! I think I've concluded that you have to spend some bux to get the better scans. Simply using the compressed air (which I have around for the computers anyway) made a noticeable difference.

The Digital ICE intrigues me but I probably won't need it for most slides.

The Kodak one that I picked up (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1518288-REG/kodak_rodcfs20_5mp_digital_35mm_film.html) gives good scans, but I feel like they could be better.

The latest scan I did is here: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=51515.0

Mark