scanning glass stereo slides on Epson V750

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by alan_rockwood, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. I have some heirloom photos. They are glass stereo slides. There are various sizes. Most are close to 120 size, but not necessarily exactly that size, and there are also some considerably smaller ones as well.
    I am trying to figure out how to scan them with an Epson V750 scanner. It is the mechanical/optical part I am trying to work out. I did make a "film" holder out of glued up pieces of thick art paper, but only with partial success. I got the elevation above the scanner glass pretty much optimized by trial, so I know about that issue. However, the holder wasn't quite flat, and after I made one to fit one of the slides it ended up being the wrong size for some of the other slides.
    Are there some commercially available holders that might work, perhaps the ones from better scanning? Keep in mind that the slides vary in size, and also they are thick (typically about 1.3mm), so the holders would need to accommodate those constraints, i.e. it should be adjustable for size and be able to handle thick materials.
    Also, there are a lot of fingerprints and dust on the slides, and I would like to clean them, but I fear damaging the images. Are there any suggestions on how to handle cleaning, or would it just be better to leave them as-is?
  2. Is the actual image directly on one surface of the glass, or is it sandwiched between two glass sheets? If the former. I would clean the non-image side normally, but gently brush the image side and perhaps carefully wipe it with a damp cloth if it is very bad. If the latter just clean both sides.
    I would lay them on the scanner glass on strips of thin card at the edges, to ensure separation and avoid Newtons Rings. Again if the image is directly on the glass, lay it image side downwards. If it's a sandwich there may not be enough depth of field for it to be in focus. In this case it may be easier to put the slides on a light box and just photograph them with a macro lens. But that's another story.
  3. John, the image is on one surface of the glass.
  4. Ok, I don't see why you might need special holders, I would lay the slides on the glass, image side down, using thin card or similar to maintain separation. Perhaps make masks out of black card to cut out stray light, being careful not to block the calibration area to the top of the bed. As to cleaning, its your call really, I just used a damp cloth when I cleaned some glass plates, going very carefully so as not to rub off the emulsion, but cleaning the non-emulsion side more thoroughly.
  5. John, I think you're missing something. Not sure, please all, don't bite my head off, lol.
    I believe the scanner is regular flatbed, but with extra light source and holder mounting above the regular scanner glass, for use with transparencies. So, your description to lay the slides "on the glass" is not applicable. I think.
    Alan's trying to mount the glass slides in the transparency holder, some distance above the regular scanner glass.
  6. I would lay the slides on the glass with EXTREME care. Then, in the scanner software, choose either "8x10" or "Film with Area Guide". This will set the focus where you want it. Lower the tranny head VERY gently and make your scans.
  7. I must confess I don't know the Epson 750 scanner but I believe it works in a similar way to my Epson Perfection 4870, that is, there is a light source under the bed for scanning prints, and another one in the lid for transparent media. So to scan a transparency you do indeed lay it on the glass bed.
    With the 4870 at least, there's no question of trying to mount the slides an appreciable distance above the glass - there are different holders for 35mm slides, 35mm negatives, medium format film and 5x4 which all sit flush on the bed with a small gap between glass and film. The plane of focus being on or just above the glass, as it would be for a print. I'm not aware of any facility to change focus, but the 750 may have this, I don't know.
    For non standard media such as glass plates I normally just put them on the scanner bed, obviously with care to avoid damage to either the media or the glass. That's one reason why I suggested raising the slide by strips of thin card at the edge to create a small gap. The other reason being to avoid Newtons Rings. It may be possible to use for example the 5x4 holder to mask areas external to the actual image, to cut out stray light, or make a card mask for the same purpose, avoiding blocking the calibration area to the top right.

    Mendel I hope this does not bear interpretation as biting your head off.
  8. I previously did some measurements using some spacers and determined that optimum sharpness occurs when the emulsion is 3mm above the glass (emulsion side down.) When I tested the same slide directly on the glass the sharpness was poor.
    After making a home-made glass slide holder I wasn't too happy with the mechanical aspects of my work. I am hoping to find something I could purchase that will work well.
  9. Alan--see my post above about how to change the focus by choosing 8x10 in the software. This will cause the scanner to focus ON the glass rather than above it.

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