DIY Slide Copier vs Commercial Copier Revisited

I previously posted my test results from coping a slide on a DIY backlight and compared them to results from a 2002 slide copier.

I have since found an old scan made with a Canoscan 8000F and did testing on a Epson Perfection V600 that has been topping the charts since 2009 (under $200 on Amazon today, and Epson has made sure the driver and software works with Windows 7, 8 and now 10).

Here are the results.

slide copy comparison 20151118B_Crop.jpg

I disliked piecemealing it in HTML so here is one big chart/image that you can zoom in and out (click the chart to have it open up in a new tab).

As I wrote before, you can technically convert a slide to an image using a smartphone and some source as your lightbox, and that would pass on (low resolution) social media, but I wouldn’t count on it for preservation. The image is awful if printed, cropped or enlarged.

Using a sharp camera like my Canon G15 did a much better job than the smartphone, but my old Nikon 995 + Nikon Slide Scanner did a much better job than the point-and-shoot (since the Nikon combination was built to do this).

The results from the old professional Canoscan and consumer Epson Perfection are mixed only because there are so many options for tweaking both of those scanning systems. I only showed the results of the Digital ICE correction, but you can correct color, reduce film grain (this results in some loss of detail) and adjust exposure and color bit depth to get more range and details.

(I did do a color correction on the last Epson image. This made it look more like the Canoscan (higher contrast), but some details were lost in the correction. These might be remedied with some manual adjustments.)

For those of you wondering, I didn’t find the consumer Epson any harder to operate than the professional Canoscan, but I was a graphic designer for many years and am a tech support person now. On full auto (one button click), it does give you results, but not nearly as good as doing it in advanced mode.


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