Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scanning Slides Update

One of my 2011 genealogy goals is to scan all the slides at my grandma's house. There are 3 shelves of boxes containing 100 slide carousels. There are 14 boxes on each shelf. So I have around 4200 slides to scan.

In January, I wrote a post about my beginning attempts to scan those slides. I started by using one of the slide converters that is really a light box scanner. I decided that it was too much work to place the slides into the tray and manually line up each slide. If I didn't have a lot of slides to scan, this would be a good, cheap choice to scan them all. But that is not the case for me.

When I got my new laptop last year, I found out that my old scanner was not compatible with Windows 7. So I had been scanning with my netbook and then transferring the files to my laptop. So I was in the market for a new flat bed scanner. So with a little cooking, cleaning, and eye batting, I got my husband to buy me a new one.

He purchases the CanoScan 8800F (Amazon affiliate link) for me. It is massive, but it is so much faster than my old scanner. It makes me wonder why I didn't purchase a new scanner long ago. I had no idea how much faster scanners now work. I don't even want to think of how much time I wasted waiting for my old scanner to do its thing.

The CanoScan 8800F can scan slides and film. It scans 4 slides at a time. You just lay them in the tray, preview the images, select which to scan and scan away. Scanning slides takes FOREVER, but this new scanner makes it a pretty hands off experience. I've been scanning the slides and participating in Scanfest or watching genealogy webinars while waiting for it to complete each set of scans.

The other thing I like about my new scanner is that it recognizes when you are scanning multiple items and can automatically crop them into separate image files. With my old scanner, I would scan each photo separately, then crop it. Now I just lay 4 photos on the glass and let it scan and it leaves me with 4 files. It's great!

Now I just need to work on adding metadata to all these images.

Disclosure: The link for the scanner is to my Amazon affiliate link. It allows me to get a small percentage of your purchases, but it doesn't tell me if you bought it.


  1. Thanks for sharing, I have a lot of slides to do too!

  2. I still haven't done anything about a new flatbed. I'm waiting until I actually have time to scan the several thousand slides that are waiting. Thanks for the update and I'll add this scanner to the list of scanners to consider.

  3. You had the same problem as me with Canon and Vista, they weren't compatible until a new driver was done. Such a pain, and I even blogged about it. I think more people might be made aware of the problem through your post.