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Jerry asked: “In the years before electronic photography, I was a serious photographer and have accumulated thousands and thousands of ektachrome and kodachrome slides that are basically sitting in boxes or in slide trays. I’d ultimately like to transfer them to an electronic format, like JPEG. What would you recommend for a cost-effective scanner that would enable me to copy all these thousands of slides?”
If this is a one time conversion and you won’t be shooting any more slides, we would recommend using a service to do it for you. Whatever you pay, when you compare it with the cost of buying a high quality scanner combined with the hours it will take you, and knowing that you’ll be stuck with that scanner when you’re done, it makes sense to hire this job out.
If you want to buy a scanner, you can get the Plustek 8100 slide and negative scanner for around $350, the Canon CanoScan II for around $200, or the Ion Film 2 for about $90. Each of these will scan both slides, negatives, and prints, so you’ll be all set. We don’t have direct experience with any of these models, and we have to note that the online reviews are mixed.
Which brings us back to the service. There are many online sites offering this service, but we’ve also seen it available at Costco and Wal-Mart, so you can likely deal with someone local if you don’t want to mail off those irreplaceable slides and negatives.