Slide film scanner for mac

Needless to say, your process needs to create the best image possible. They should give you the best scan possible.

10 Best Slide and Negative Film Scanners

When it comes to scanning, there are two possibilities. Either you get the best possible scan by working on the image while you scan it, pulling out as much detail and tonal range as possible. Or, you get as much as you can but working on the image in Lightroom , Photoshop or any other editing software. For the first option, your scanning software needs to have the capacity to change elements in the scene.

It is down to your personal preference which route you take. Under each of these tabs are a plethora of sliders and options, making it difficult to determine what you want to use. If this feels friendly to you, this is where that feeling is going to end. The first step in scanning your negatives or slides is going to be the preview.

This shows you where the negatives lay, allowing you to choose which frames to select. This is the first area that will allow you to crop or apply all the settings you desire for the full scan. Typically, you lay your negatives directly onto the scanner bed flatbed scanner by using film holders. Then, set the software to scan for wide transparencies.

This will show you the preview of every frame. I personally use the Epson V, which has two lenses. One is pre-focused at the height of the film holders, and the other is pre-focused on the glass. Once you preview the whole sheet, you need to select a shot to work with next.

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There is a definite plus here with using VueScan, as it lets you zoom into the image. When you use Epson Scan or Silverfast, zooming into an image will force a re-scan of the selected image. The trade-off here is that the zoomed in image in VueScan has a very small resolution. Once you have the image selected, we can start the real fun.

This is where you decide your workflow in scanning every one of your images. Do you want to maximize the information in your scan, or get as close to a finished image as possible? If you want to get in and out, manipulate the preview to bring out the most possible detail. You need to look at highlights and shadows. It will look flat, but the aim is to bring the shot into your editing software of choice.

Once you figure out the sliders, the process becomes simple.

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The sliders have names such as Black Point and Curve Height, which might not mean much. If you think that help is just around the corner, the online help system is vague and uninformative. Both VueScan and Silverfast have specific film stock profiles that claim to give your scans accurate color. Silverfast is more consistently accurate than VueScan, but every so often, VueScan has surprised me. They both came out of the scanning software exactly the same. You should complete any sharpening in your editing software for high-quality images. The pricing differs across all three platforms.

Epson Scan is the cheapest solution, as it is free for all Epson users. This is what I use the most, as it is fully capable of providing very strong scans. For that, you get an interface with more graphics. For this, you get color profiles that come close to the real deal, meaning high color fidelity.

The platform is workable and gives you better results. You can grab color presets by using Lightroom. If you have a high quantity of slides to convert, you may want to consider a professional scanner service. Image Resolution The output resolution of a slide to digital image converter indicates how clear the digital images will be in megapixels MP. A larger output resolution usually means a clearer and more detailed digitized image. What you can expect are slight improvements thanks to the image-editing options built into these devices.

Many include exposure and color balance options, which let you brighten a dark image or adjust the coloring. Some scanners include a companion CD with even more image editing software compatible with both PC and Mac systems. Even with the accompanying disc, none of the converters have extensive editing abilities, especially compared to powerhouse programs like Adobe Photoshop.

All you can really do is slightly brighten or darken a photo or tweak the red-blue-green composition. Most models let you save images to an SD card to view on a compatible device, and many also have a TV-out jack so you can display images on your TV.

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Physical Design Slide scanners generally fall under one of two build designs: a small unit the size of a grapefruit meant solely for slides and negatives, or a larger unit roughly twice as big and capable of handling slides, negatives and multiple sizes of physical prints. Most converters require an SD card to work, so the best models include one in the package.

Some devices are also accompanied by the necessary cables and a user manual. We found converters with cables and ports located in the rear of the device are easiest to use because they keep the wires out of your way. Models with built-in color screens give you a preview of your images before and after converting. Most measure around 2.

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  8. Screens that were angled upward slightly were easier to view on a table than those that faced straight forward. Most of the devices we tested have similar menus with the same set of choices, though a few are particularly easy to navigate. Thankfully, most slide to digital image converters let you adjust color and exposure for each image right on the device. What kinds of editing features are availability vary by device. Some allow you to make digital edits before converting, so you can see what the final product looks like before conversion, whereas others only let you make edits after digitizing the image.

    We found that the best devices give you granular control over how much red, green and blue you can apply to each picture, rather than preset amounts. The same goes for adjusting the brightness for your image. You can use external software like Adobe Photoshop to clean up and adjust your newly digitized images, or you can send them off to a professional photo editing service. Standalone vs. Computer-Dependent Converters There are two main types of digital converters - ones with standalone functionality and ones that must be connected to a computer to work.

    Standalone converters are the smaller of the two and have small display screens built into them, which you can use to preview and edit your images or navigate the menu to find other settings. This style of converter is easy to move around and woke take up much space when in storage. The other option is converters that require a hard connection to a computer to run. These converters are much larger than standalone converters and are most commonly flatbed scanners.

    They do not have a built-in screen and their bulky design makes them somewhat difficult to move around, so we recommend leaving them out on your desk. Many manufacturers also provide you with multiple resources as a means for you to troubleshoot problems or learn how to use a specific feature. Most companies also host informational resources on their websites, from walkthroughs and video tutorials to digital user manuals, a hearty FAQs section and an active community user forum.

    The best companies should also provide you with at least one method of contacting their customer support representatives, should you ever need to discuss a question with them directly. For many people, their old slides, negatives and printed photos are stored in a closet, basement or attic, where they are susceptible to dust, mold, water damage or even fire.

    As a result, these slides can be coated in grime and particles that make it difficult for a slide to digital image converter to do its job. If you digitize your classic media without first cleaning it, any gunk on them will also appear in your converted image. All the converters in our comparison do come with simple soft brushes for your media, which generally do a good job of removing most debris. However, you can also try using a soft cloth, compressed air or anything else along those lines.

    Even after using a brush or cloth, you may still see imperfections in your newly digitized photos. If that is the case, Photoshop or another photo editing software may remove unwanted scratches or dirt or revitalize color. And although many of the slide to digital image converters in our comparison have basic exposure and color adjustment options built into them, those basic options may not be enough.

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    Some of the converters come with a CD containing simple photo editing software whose tools and capabilities are more than sufficient for the majority of users. However, for users who want to polish their digitized image collection beyond what these converters can offer, we recommend using Adobe Photoshop or a comparable program after digitizing your files to get the best results.

    With this type of program, you have much more control over colorization, exposure and spot correction, as well as other tools to edit and enhance your cherished memories. Those experienced in using these kinds of applications can even perform much more advanced edits, such as removing unsightly background objects in the photo, as well as spots and other blemishes.

    Typically, these services can clean up your images and even apply artistic touches if desired. You can also opt for a professional service or find a willing freelancer through a site like Fiverr.

    Many of these businesses offer editing, retouching and printing services as well, so it may be more worthwhile in the long run to send off your slides and film negatives rather than dealing with them yourself. From our research, we found that the best photo scanning services are upfront with their pricing and other pertinent information.

    They should provide details regarding what image sizes and formats they can work with, their price per image, whether or not they work with damaged media, what digital and physical output options they have as well as what their turnaround time is. You should also be able to easily find information about shipping liability, minimum order requirements and how to submit your film and slides. In addition to researching the logistics of a particular photo scanning service, you should also look at customer reviews and how others rate their services. Few things are more fun than the rush of nostalgia that accompanies looking through old photos.

    But with a few tips, you can learn how to safely store film slides, negatives and even physical prints so they can stay in pristine condition for years to come. Many people store old media in basements, attics or garages, not knowing that these environments can actually be dangerous for physical print media due to a lack of climate control and other factors.

    Ideally, you want to store photos, negatives and slides somewhere that is consistently cool and dry. You want to avoid basements, garages and attics because temperatures are likely to flux, as are both humidity and light in these spaces.

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    In addition to providing a stable storage location for your physical media, there is still more you can do to ensure they are stored and handled safely. Due to the chemical nature of slides, negatives and prints, they are susceptible to damage when they touch each other and when you touch them. We recommend storing photos with sheets of acid-free paper between them to prevent color changes, fades or worse — photos that are stuck together.

    You can also store photos individually in archival-grade plastic sleeves and containers that are designed with high levels of alkalinity to slow or prevent disintegration. When physically handling your media, we recommend washing your hands before doing so, or wearing cotton gloves so as to limit the amount of damaging dirt and natural oils touching your photos. Of course, another option is to digitize them with an image converter, like the ones we tested here. Converting your physical media allows you to keep a digital copy of your memories, which can be easily stored on a hard drive.

    Most slide to digital image converters initially save your digitized photos to an SD card, and from there you can transfer them to a computer. Keeping them on your computer works well enough, but we recommend storing them on an external hard drive in case your computer crashes.