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Most of us that use a computer for image manipulation and printing will have a flatbed scanner. If you have one that was supplied with a transparency adapter, you will have noticed that the supplied carriers are not really suitable for mounted, or un-
The scanning resolution of modern flatbed scanners is now such that the results will be very acceptable considering that we are talking in terms of ‘side by side’ or ‘above and below’ viewing of the scanned images which does not involve great enlargement of the original images. Digital projection of images scanned in this way is also quite acceptable, bearing in mind that digital projectors have a relatively low image resolution, 2 mega pixels at the most.
With this in mind, I set about making three carriers for my Epson 3170 scanner, one for Realist mounts, another for View-
The project is dealt with in two stages. First we will take a look at how to make the carriers and then we will take a look at setting up the scanner software for each of the carriers mentioned.
Although scanners vary in design, the modus operandi remains the same and most of the detail given here should readily transfer to scanners provided by other manufacturers.
The Epson 3170 is provided with three carriers, one of which is specifically intended for 2" x 2" slide mounts. This carrier allows for four slides to be scanned in a single operation. Our goal is to closely copy this carrier and replace the four 2" x 2" apertures with our own requirements. One first carrier will have two 4" x 1”5/8 apertures for simultaneously scanning a pair of Realist mounts and our second carrier will have a pair of 1/2" x 1/2" apertures for scanning a single View-
Figure 1. shows the View-
The original carriers for the 3170 are manufactured from plastic; we are going to use black mounting board. The type of board we need is available from good craft or art shops. Self-
We will first trace the outline of original template onto the card using a soft pencil and then draw the apertures using the dimensions of the relevant mount or reel given earlier. The position of our apertures needs to closely match those of the original carrier in order to coincide with the lighted area of the scanner adapter. The apertures can be cut with the aid of one of those low cost, throw-
The location of a Realist mount is by the aperture itself as shown in Figure 2. The location of the View-
The original carriers include a small white triangle on the upper surface and two small white rectangles on the lower surface. The former is just an indicator as to which way the carrier should be placed into the scanner -
For Holmes type stereo cards, a single aperture is cut into the with a similar orientation to that used for Realist mounts, this avoids reflections during scanning caused by the concaved surface inherent with these cards.
Software provided for different scanners will vary considerably. It is not possible here to discuss the methods that you should use for your own situation, but there are a few basic principles that will apply to all. In my case, the Epson 3170 has software that provides ‘Automatic’, ‘Home’ and ‘Professional’ modes. The required mode in my case is ‘Professional’ as the other options assume that you are using the supplied carriers.
When scanning, you will normally be required to specify the type of media that you are scanning and the resolution required. We are going to scan our Realist mounts as a ‘Transparency’ at 2400 dpi. This resolution is based on the understanding that we will be printing ‘Side by Side’ cards for viewing in a Holmes type viewer. Each image to be scanned will be printed 3” wide and 2400 dpi is more than enough in this case.
All scanners will allow you to preview the scanned area and place a marquee around the area you wish to capture. The Epson 3170 allows multiple scanning and so a marquee can be placed around each of the four imaged evident in the preview as seen in Figure 6. Once the settings have been made, they can be saved for future use.
We can now scan ‘All’ the images at one time and save to the appropriate folder with a file name of our choice. Figure 7. shows thumbnails of the scanned images prior to saving.
It is now a matter of manipulating the images in your favourite program or that wonderful program – StereoPhoto Maker, available free from Muttyan’s Home Page which can be found at http://stereo.jpn.org/eng/ which will give you a great choice of actions for aligning and printing your cards.
Figure 8. is the result of scanning a Realist mounted image taken with a Kodak Stereo camera. Figure 9. is a scanned View-
Figure 10. is an image produced from a Holmes type stereo card for digital projection purposes. A mask has been added to emulate the original mount, but to the proportions required for digital projection 2 x 1024 x 768 pixels, referred to as 2VGA. In this case the original scanning need only be at 300 dpi. The mounting in StereoPhoto Maker is far more involved however, more on this later.
If you do not have a flatbed scanner with a transparency attachment, you might consider a dedicated film scanner, expensive but offering better quality scans than flatbeds at the moment. I have worked with a Nikon Coolscan IV ED which has great software and provides 'professional' quality results if you are prepared to spend the time with it. If you choose to work with a dedicated film scanner, expect to spend 15 minutes on each stereo pair!. There are also film formats that will not work with a dedicated 35mm film scanner, View-
A slide duplicator or copying attachment should also be considered. The advantages of this approach over other methods for digitising you slides are speed and portability. Couple this with the fact that you are working at the camera resolution and you have a very attractive solution.
I will now share a few experiences of mine with a slide copying attachment. I have two alternative methods to suggest each having it's own merits:
The first method is intended for digital SLR cameras and utilises an IT.Ohnar C-
Figure 12 and Figure 13. show an adapter that I have made for Realist mounts. With this set-
The second alternative uses a similar adapter but this time from Opteka at a cost of around £60 Figure 15. and designed to work with cameras that have non-
The Opteka Duplicator was bought complete with extension tube and stepping ring on eBay. The slide carriers supplied are also compatible with the IT.Ohnar duplicator.
Different stepping rings may be required for other accessories used of course.
Perhaps I should also mention that I had an old Paragon duplicator that I purchased from a TDS club member for a fiver. Now, this is not suitable for my SLR which has the APC sized sensor which will not grab the whole image; but it will grab a full View-
For speed, you can't do better than investing in a macro lens for your digital SLR, especially if you slides are stored in rotary or linear magazines. I shall add more information on my findings with two rigs that I have made in due course. For the time being, I can tell you that a full magazine of 80 2" x 2" slides can be copied to digital format in around 5 minutes using a converted slide projector!
If you own one of the new FujiFilm W1 stereo cameras and a Taxiphote viewer try this for a bit of fun! Adjust the inter-
Barry Aldous – Updated January 2010
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