Scanner for transparencies

Hello, I need to scan and file old photo negatives. I am searching for good scanner. Some have built-in transparency unit, is this better than a transparency adapter? Thanks --Jan
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  1. I suspect they are about equal in quality but the built in one may be easier to use.

    Neither is the ultimate in quality.

    For that you need a dedicate film scanner.

    The big players of 10 years ago -- Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Acer, seem to have largely pulled out of the market. High secondhand prices for USB versions reflect that.

    However if you have a desktop computer and can fit a SCSI card, there are some quality bargains to be had.

    The only new players seem to be Plustek whose USB models currently offer the best combination of price, quality and connectivity.
  2. ^+1. Also, there are professional photographic places that convert film to the digital version (make sure they are reputable and get the files in TIFF). I've had them done to my parent's old negetives (wedding,etc) and they did a good job (some of the films were scratched, so needed a bit of Photoshop to fix).
  3. I've been looking around too. Tom's Guide has an Analog to Digital article that includes tips about scanning slides. Here's a link:,review-1415.html

    From what I have read in my search (I have yet to buy.) the cheap 5MP units you see aren't worth it.

    Dedicated film scanners in the $100 to $300 range go a good job, but are slow.

    The scanning services are just outrageously priced. Of course they may do some touch up for you, but $2 a slide and 1,000 slides, you can hire an out of work expert for a month to do it for you.

    That leaves scanners with film scanning attachments. The Tom's Guide has some recommendations, but since the article is a year old all the models have probably changed. I'm pretty sure that route I'll go is to buy a flatbed scanner based on the tips in the article. I'll scan at 2,000 dpi and 24-bit color since I don't plan to make prints, just archive the images and view them on a monitor. If I find a special picture or two I would rescan at higher resolution/depth and then clean them up for printing.

    Hope this helps. It is a frustrating search since there are many options and scanning film/slides is a secondary task that isn't very glamorous.
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