Scanners for Slides to Digital

  • To convert slides to digital, you need a scanner with a 4,000 dpi resolution. After you convert your slides and send the digital image to a print company, your image will be printed at 300 dpi. Your slide is 1.30″ x 0.85.” With 4,000 dpi resolution, you can print as large as 18″x 12″ photographs.
  • Old scanners on eBay have old technology. You may not be able to import your scans into your modern computer. If you have a laptop, buy only scanners with USB output. If you have a desktop, you can buy older scanners with SCSI output.
  • A SCSI scanner will require a SCSI cable, a SCSI card, and a x1 slot. A SCSI-2 port on your scanner will accept an 8-bit, 10 MHz, 10 MB/s, 50-pin “A” cable (ie, normal SCSI-2 cable, NOT a Centronics 50-pin cable). A ULTRA 320 port on your desktop computer is also known as SCSI-3. A SCSI-3 port on your desktop computer will accept a 16-bit, 80 MHz, 320 MB/s, 66-pin “P” cable.
  • Your SCSI-3 card must be backward compatible. A used SCSI-3 card with an x1 slot will cost slightly more than $20 on the internet. A SCSI-2 to SCSI-3 cable will cost slightly less than $10 on the internet.
  • Scanners with pixel density: Nikon LS50 (M dpi²) requires USB-B output.
  • Scanner with 4.2 pixel density: Canoscan FS4000 (4,000 dpi, 42-bit) requires USB-B or SCSI-2A output.
  • Scanners with 3.2 pixel density:  Canoscan FS2710 (2,700 dpi, 36-bit) requires SCSI-2A output.
  • Software: You will scan your slides raw, meaning that you will select no adjustments other than size (1.3″ x 0.85″) and compression (none) when scanning. You will edit the raw images later, in Photoshop, VueScan, GIMP, or similar editing programs. Your scanner may have its own editing program on a CD, assuming your computer has a CD/DVD drive.
  • Drivers: Many old scanners still have their original CD that includes the software, user guides, and drivers. The drivers will be out-of-date for Windows 10. Instead, load the free version of VueScan as your driver. You can also chose the upgrade versions of VueScan that include advanced features such as slide scanning, but for just a driver, the free version is sufficient.
  • You can buy “How to Scan” training from Konrad at his website.

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