Off-Topic: Digitize slides

January 2011

What has MyTourbook and digitizing slides in common?

Nothing but MyTourbook can manage tours and digitized slides needs also to be managed, but don't expect that MyTourbook will also manage images in the near future.


In December 2010, I started my vacation project to scan all my slides and negatives. I think there are other people which has the same problem, this is the reason why I'm blogging my experience.

scan dia slides

Here are some of many steps:

  • a dia frame with glasses needs to be reframed into a glassless frame, to have a better picture quality
  • b&w- and color-negatives needs to be framed for using the magazine scanner
  • after scanning, all slides had to be unframed and archived, I used stamp sheets with 7 rows to archive them
  • 1 stamp sheet contains: 5 slides in a row * 7 rows  * 2 sides = 70 slides


Some figures for 1 scanned slide

Resolution 48 bit / pixel
Dimension 4880 x 3170  pixel
Size 100 MByte
Format TIFF uncompressed



Slide 2-3 minutes, all slides has been scanned with the best picture quality
Magazin 2:10 hours (50 slides)

21852 minutes or 364 hours or 15 days



Scanner DigitDia 5000
Scan software SilverFast
Image software Adobe Lightroom, a picture catalog (which contains image improvements and meta data) can be used on Windows and Mac
Image store and backup 3 x 1 TByte external harddisk with USB 3.0
USB 3.0 PCI Express Card it is loading images with 50-60 MByte/sec (USB 2.0 is 20 MByte/sec)


Scanned images

Dias 3599
Color negatives 4115
Black&White negatives 780

Scan statistics

scan statistics


B&W negatives has been scanned on day 13+14, it was faster because the scratch removal with the infrared image is not working for this type of slides.

Image loading time

Loading a fullsize image to display it takes 2-5 seconds depending on the hardware so I created small images (1366 x 890 -> 7 MByte) for every scanned image with the same format, except the size. With Lightroom you can switch between the big and the small image because it saves image improvements (e.g. scratch removal) with relative positions and not with absolute positioning.


All done (almost)

I had vacation for 4 weeks and scanned the bigger part of my slides. On 10.01.2011 at 21:16:06 the last image was saved.

Is it worth to spend so much time?

I would say yes because now I'm very happy to have all my family pictues at one place and I learned how to improve pictures and to manage them with Adobe Lightroom.