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Jack Clark on capturing slides from a projector screen

I tried to scan my slides but the scanner picked up every minute piece of dust or scratches' and by the time I zoomed in they were not very good.

I used to have a projector but I gave it away a long time ago. I checked with several camera shops around the area and found one with a projector to rent. (very reasonable at $20 per week.)

I set the projector up and used a portable fold up screen that I still had. I then set up a tripod and focused my digital camera about six feet away from the screen. I was able to take pictures of the slides being displayed on the screen and they came out excellent. I then only needed to use a card reader and put them in the computer. I have attached a copy of one of my slides to show you the results.

This slide is one of the better ones. Most slides did come out very good but a few had faded due to the age. This particular slide was taken in 1958 and it held the quality very well. It was a Kodachrome film and processing. Some of the other slides I have were cheaper film and photomat processing (not very good for aging). All in all, I copies over 1000 slides and 99 percent of them were still in good shape.

Not every slide came out like this one, but most can be touched up with photoshop or one of the available programs for picture editing.

I have attached a file of my cat's picture taken in 1959. You will see a faded out slide and then a quick photoshop adjustment in the "adjusted cat" jpg.

My cat has long since passed on but the slide did not and it is still recoverable. This was just a quick adjustment. I am sure that with a little effort I could improve it even more.

I would not have thought of doing this had I not seen your web comments. Thanks for the suggestions. Your article inspired me to try to recover pictures' that I have not seen for a long time. I copied over 1000 slides. Most came out similar to the one of my daughter. The ones that were a little faded also cleaned up with photoshop.

With the digital picture conversion, I can now sort and store old memories with ease. I still have the slides but now I do not need to worry about losing out on viewing them again.

Thank you for the ideas.

Jack Clark
January 2007