You get smarter as you get older. It’s compensation for hair growing out of your ears and nose. This week’s discovery was just how long it takes to scan a set of 35mm colour slides into the digital archives.
Oh, it’s got to be done before the old transparencies succumb to chemical and fungal attack, but up until now I always assumed it would be best done with an Epson V700 scanner. I’ve got one I use to capture magazine illustrations and out-of-size negatives. It does a great job on big individual items.
But it is now called on to scan 7800 colour slides in batches of 24 and, quite frankly, it is not going to be a good idea. Oh, it will render them very well, but it will take 3.5 minutes per slide. That’s 455 hours and I don’t think I could stand to hear it grind for that long without going mad.
The answer will be to combine a macro lens, a mirror-less camera, and a lightbox. I’ve got all three items in the studio and am just completing the tests to find the best white balance and file settings. If I had a longer focal length lens there would be more space to shuffle the colour slide about into the holder – I’ll manage somehow. No matter how clumsy I am I can still better 3.5 minutes putting things in there and clicking the shutter.
Then the tough bit: writing details into the embedded file fields to remember what it is that we are seeing on the slide. I hope my brain is up to remembering 1966 onwards…