on 3 May 2012
I got this to digitise a whole load of slides from the 60's and 70's and chose it because it seemed the best of a bad lot, so I wasn't expecting much. So far I have only scanned a few photographs and about 100 slides and have been pleasantly surprised by the digital reproduction.
In the box you get a scanner the size of a large stapler , a power pack ( which you have to add a UK or EU plug (supplied) to), a USB lead, some cleaners , a negatives holder, a slide holder and a 2Gb SD card. Oh and some instructions which are nice to have but superfluous. The scanner is nice and sturdy and well balanced so it doesn't move when you insert a photo or slide.
The set up is simple as on Windows 7 it is plug and play. That's it. Plug it in and get started. Simple.
The SD card contains some software which I am yet to investigate but if it is of the same standard as that was placed with Kodak's printers then I fear it will be a bit rubbish. (I'm not prepared to install it just yet as my Kodak printer is in one of its working moods and I don't want to risk annoying it.)
For photographs it is simply a case of sticking them in, one after the other, and filling up the card. The files are created on the 2 GB SD card and are .jpg format so don't take up much room. I'd recommend users not to connect their PC until they have finished scanning. This is because after each photo Windows will pop up a message asking if you want to view the card, which is annoying but can be ignored. The quality produced is pretty good, not photo (film) standard but good for a digital photo. Scan rate is slow-ish at about 15secs per photo as it is very easy to get a skewed photo without using the guide rails and this slows down throughput. 6x4 inches is the largest size it will scan BTW - hence the name ...
The slide holder is a bit odd. It has a spring loaded lid and the idea is that you trap your slide inside the holder by snapping shut the lid. Herein lies the first problem to overcome. I was using Agfa Colour slides from the 60's which are made from cardboard. For the most part they fitted (just) in the holder but a sizable proportion didn't. I think this is because the hole in the slide (where the film is) is just that bit too small for a couple of raised bits in the holder which look like they are meant to trap the film and stop it from moving in the scanner. On some slides the lid would not close or popped open once the holder was placed into the scanner's slot. This caused some very odd results as the holder can stick slightly causing weird effects in the digital image. This slows you down tremendously as each created image needs to be checked to see if it has scanned correctly - so connect your PC for slides. With other slides that didn't cause the lid to pop this was not an issue.
Overall 100 slides took about three hours which is not great. NB it will not scan slides without the holder.
Some plastic slides had to be dismantled as they were too big to fit inside the holder. This produced some good images but also some dreadful ones and is best avoided. Again it was down to the size of the slide window. A plastic slide with a small 1 inch by 3/4 inch window simply would not fit whereas a slide with the same overall dimensions but a 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch (35mm) window fitted no problem.
Also, on the subject of the slide holder, the lid is held on by a loose pin which after a few uses starts to creep out of the holder and causes the whole thing to jam in the scanner. This was really annoying at first but a bit of DIY with some glue and it was fixed.
The quality of the images created from slides was very variable and is probably a function of the age of the slides themselves. Dark slides don't fare very well and look obviously digital. Well lit slides are pretty good but of lesser quality than the photos I used but again that's probably more an issue of the age of the originals. Overall the quality was good but not as good as I had hoped. It must also be said that there is a lot of imaging software out there which can help to improve digital images no end - although it would be nice not to have to faff so.
I didn't try the negative holder (no negatives to try) but it looks tricky to use and only takes 35mm film.
Overall a good choice when compared to others on the market but it is not without faults. I'd give it 5 stars for ease of set-up and overall image quality but the issue with the slide tray is enough to demote it by 1.
on 8 August 2011
The Scanner was perfect for me to scan all my 35mm slides taken in 1972/73 for a veterans reunion. It is surpassed all my expectations as these slides are nearly forty years old. I was surprised at the quality of many of them. I can recommend this device to those who wish to digitize their 35mm slides another good product from Kodak. I cleaned my slides with a puffer and a soft lens brush to remove any dust.
on 14 September 2012
OK, this scanner works well once you get to know it, so here's what they don't make clear:
1) They say it can run on AC or batteries. This isn't really true. See point 2.
2) It WILL run on dry batteries, for half an hour. Then it will conk out and you'll be worried about how hot it's getting. To be fair, the manual does say you can put dry cells in but they strongly don't recommend doing so.
3) So here are the power aspects. To use this at home and scan in all those old photos, you really really MUST have 4 lithium rechargeable AAA batteries and a charger for them. The scanner will simply not operate at all unless you have some kind of batteries plugged in, even if you have the mains adapter plugged in. So, let's be clear, if you're a war photographer in somewhere bad and a local chap has given you some prints which you must send to your news agency, you WILL be able to scan them in and use the USB cable to transfer them to your laptop while the scanner is running on 4 AAA dry cells. So, handy. It's also not very big, so will fit inside your laptop bag at a pinch. BUT, if you fit the recommended lithium rechargeables, 4 fully recharged AAA batteries will realistically only let you scan and upload to the computer about 50 prints a night before they discharge. So don't plan on doing your entire photo collection in one night.
4) A previous reviewer sent his back because the scans kept coming out with white lines across them. I had this problem too. Until I figured out that the diagrams in the manual are way too small and that actually you have to run the (included) cleaning swab back and forwards a few times FROM THE BACK SLOT IN THE SCANNER! Not from the front. Do this and white lines disappear. I find that to keep a consistent scanning quality I do this about every 15 prints scanned.
5) It's fairly forgiving, but if you feed in a print at a really wonky angle the scan will come out with wonky sides. So you still need to use a bit of care (unless they're pictures of your mother-in-law, in which case who cares).
If you follow my tips here, this product works pretty well and you can't complain about the price too much. The optical quality is very acceptable if you follow my instructions above.
I've now scanned in about 500 old prints, and I'm fairly happy with the results. It's not perfect, but it's an awful lot quicker than doing a print at a time on a flatbed scanner. As I said, if you fill it with rechargeable batteries, you'll be able to scan 2 packs of those old prints every night.
Hope this is of use to someone, Phil.
on 18 November 2011
Up and running and attached to my Mac in less than 10 minutes from unpacking. Started scanning old photographs, slides and colour negatives, just to see how well it worked. The answer is brilliantly well. Had to drag myself away after two hours. The pictures came up in Aperture pretty well exactly like the originals, and the older, more faded ones were amenable to a bit of digital tweaking. After a few more tries, the ease and great quality was confirmed, but I'd recommend scanning first to the on-board card and importing from there - it was a bit faster and simpler. The only negatives encountered were the original ones scanned in (pun intended, sorry, in fact the performance with the colour negatives really surprised with how good the results were).
on 11 September 2012
Before purchasing this scanner I must admit that was rather confused with the reviews I was reading. How can reviews be poles apart? Well here is my own for any perspective purchaser. I bought this to scan slides as I have about two thousand that I wanted to digitize. This device isn't up to it. OK, if you have old family slides it may do the job, you're probably just delighted to have a digital copy of such an important image? If however like me you have high quality 35mm slides taken with good film and with a good SLR, you're in for a disappointment. Colour reproduction and image quality are poor at best. I didn't return it for one reason and one reason only. It turns out to be pretty damn good at scanning pictures. That's not why I bought it but at least I can use it for scanning old photos. I have scanned loads and I'm surprised with the results. I am afraid I cannot recommend this device for scanning slides. Perhaps I am expecting too much but on my projector the images look fab. Scanned by this, they look awful. Wish I was writing something more positive here but I'm being as truthful as I possibly can.
on 9 December 2011
I bought this to scan some old photographic slides for a big birthday celebration. It worked a treat, straight from the box - even including a 2GB card to upload the photos on. No need to connect to computer. An absolute bargain. Also scans photos really well. I would strongly recommend this. Easy to use and great quality.
on 19 January 2012
This is the most impressive bit of kit I've used out of the box in years. It works by pulling photos through on rollers (not tried the slides yet) making scanning a box of photos a breeze. And there isnt any difficult software, just feed it, one after the other, when its scanned it, the image is in the folder on your PC or on the SD card, saved like a digital camera would. There isnt any messing around with placing photos in a scanner, pressing scan, taking the photo out, you just keep them coming and this thing just keeps scanning. My mother has been feeding boxes of photos into it since Christmas and the results are fantastic.
I was hesitant after reading other reviews on other sites, people saying the quality wasn't up to it. Personally, I think the quality is spot on. I've never used a scanner in the last 15 years that hasnt required you to tweak colours post scan and this is no different, but the results are more than adequate for the job its designed to do and if you really need that perfect finish, I'd expect you to photoshop an image anyway.
We scanned an old school photo of mine from 1985, we looked at it on the screen and wondered what the orange blobs around the image were. Thing is, when you examine your old photos carefully, there are dirty bits, blobs, blurs, fingerprints etc. your brain just makes them invisible by filling in the blanks or reducing the effects. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes, what you see isn't what you get, but when you examine your original closely, you'll see that the scanner is just picking up on imperfections that already exist.
Overall, I love it, out of box, plug in, scan. Couldn't be simpler. Blast through a shoe box of images, store your memories digitally, share them with family and friends and reminisce of days gone by.
on 22 June 2012
I bought this product recently to scan a large number of slides and photos onto my pc. It was easy to set up, although the leads could have been a bit longer. The results of the slides I scanned were very poor quality. There were lines along where it was feeding in and the contrast was very poor. The photos I scanned were a slightly better quality but needed some work in Photoshop to get a reasonable photo. All in all very disappointed
on 25 November 2012
A very practical little machine - even fun to use.
Easy to get started - just watch the on-light colour - it's instinctive to leave as green (which is actually low-res for scanning prints), where you really should press the power button briefly to flip to use the higher-res mode (orange light)
What I didn't know is that negatives and slides are scanned as positives to the memory card - amazing!
Unlike a previous reviewer, my slides came through really well.
Can be used as completely separate from a PC, very useful when a visit to a relative uncovers unknown negatives or prints that cant be taken away. Can even be run on AAA batteries - but I dont know how long they last.
Prints, negatives and slides come out really well.
Weird negs with incorrect exposure or processing that merge the 'image' into one blur do not upset it, so long as the sprocket holes are present
Under-exposed shots are handled really well, over-exposed ones lose a tiny amount of colour depth but thats being really picky! Any item that needs extra TLC can easily be identified, run through a PC's scanner and Photoshopped as needed.
For me, its biggest plus is the fast handling of large numbers of negatives
on 30 May 2012
I purchased this purely to scan colour slides, thinking Kodak would know this business inside out but was quickly disillusioned. If you are considering using this scanner for colour slides buy something else.
To start on a positive note it is very simple to set up, get started and link into a computer. But the results where virtually all unusable for the following reasons.
1. Loss of image all around. The scanner loses a section of the image all the way around, or more on one edge depending how the slide is lined up. This leaves a noticeable chunk missing from the original; especially annoying if you have well constructed images in the first place which are left out of balance due to the reduction. These are 35 mm slides, which have been in production for decades, especially by Kodak. Surely it is not too hard for them to find out the actual size of a 35mm slide?
2. Random cutting of the image area. The scanner decides what size the slide is and will only scan the section it wants. For example it will drop half an original image from the scan if it is noticebly darker than the other half. Why? I could not find anyway to stop it doing this. I refer again to the point that these are 35mm slides; a set format.
3. Unable to cope with tonal variation. The scanner only gave decent imgaes when faced with originals that were brightly lit all over. Any tonal variation was completely lost. For instance a street scene in North Africa. Middle of the street in bright daylight was fine, everything tonaly below this, eg in shadow, was lost in a mass of lines and poorly copied colours.
4. Lines in the dark. Simlar to point 3. The scanner cannot cope with darker images. There appears a mass of scanning lines across the image, composed of pixels in various colours. I even found this in images which were brightly lit, but with dark coloured objects in them. Some of these images I have had hard prints done of immaculate quality, so I am contant it is not the slides at fault.
I went through the whole manual to try and rectify these issues, including going though the cleaning process, but with no improvement. Gave up and put it in the box to send back and I will try something else.