Relics from the Past

Lucky me.

I have the wonderful task of exhuming forty five plus years of memories from 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm film, 35mm slides, VHS tapes, and miniDV cassettes and I’m a bit overwhelmed on the entire process. In his prime, my father had a passion for photography and film. In today’s parlance, he would have been a film and photo geek. These boxes have survived many, many moves – from the late 60’s in England to present.

These days, my father’s interest in all things film and photo have waned. He had planned on getting around to it when he retired. He never did. Last year, when I packed my remaining belongings left at my parents’ place, I also brought along nearly all of his remaining film and equipment.

Now I’m faced with the overwhelming task of bringing his work into a digital format. Most of this is alien to me. My strategy, if one calls it that, is to begin with the 35 mm slides. There are flatbed scanners, portable “feed” scanners, and even apps on smartphones that should work. I’m sorting through all the options and basically have come down to the notion that I don’t want to deal with flatbed scanners.

Ideally, the device I choose will allow me to insert multiple 35 mm slides into it, batching the scanning process directly into the computer. The high end options are too expensive for me to consider. My budget is around $200. The two contenders I’m considering are the Wolverine Mighty and Kodak’s new SCANZA.

What I’m looking for is guidance. Perhaps someone reading this post has already been down this road and can provide some recommendations for any of the formats I’ve listed above.


These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Tim Warren
    January 19, 2018 at 10:18 am

    You’re probably better off sending the slides to be scanned.

    Those two scanners you mention are the lowest tier of film scanners. Maybe you can get a web-sized image that is acceptable, but they aren’t up to the task of archival scanning. For around that price, you could get an Epson V550 flatbed scanner that can scan I think 4 mounted slides at a time, and actually give you decent image quality.

    Just a quick glance shows Scancafe as a promising service:

    • Krishna
      January 19, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Thanks! I really like this idea. I still want to see what I have on the slides to determine which ones I want to have developed. Maybe the Wolverine would work for that?

  • Andrew
    January 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Or pick up a cheap slide viewer to choose the ones to be sent out for high quality scan and just leave the rest in a physical archive – surprisingly Walmart seems to have a wide selection.

    • Krishna
      January 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Great idea, Andrew! Exactly my plan.

  • Andreas
    January 24, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Hi Krishna,

    i would suggest a professional approach, too. from my experience there’s a lot post processing to be done if you scan them by yourself (at least 5-10 min per slide at least) to get a decent quality.