My wife and I have been trying to transfer old slides onto the computer so we could save them on a CD or something.
The issue is that we could never get a proper exposition, or obtain the right focus no matter how we tried.
I already have a really OLD slide scanner, but it requires Windows XP - no new version of the drivers are available. Also that tool is really bad at making the right focus/exposition as explained above.
I didn’t want to spend the money on a new tools I would only use once, so I started to search for alternatives for this project.
I did try with my flatbed scanner, but I couldn’t get a good background light to work.
I’ve also tried different ways with my cell phone, but things were always mis-focussed and I couldn’t reporduce a “right” result time after time.
While trying to find a decent alternativ, I saw this cardboard box tool from Kodak : https://www.amazon.ca/-/en/KODAK-Scanner-film-mobile-diapositives/dp/B07MTKNTPK
It goes with a free companion application called “KODAK Mobile Film Scanner” - the app is available on the Google Play store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pictoscanner.android.kodak) and most likely available for the IPhone as well.
This got me thinking I could probably “recreate” this tool using my laser cutter and use the Kodak app.
First thing was to search for a good background light source. I ended up using components of an old defective monitor I had lying around - you can get details about the parts I salvaged from this video - check around 3:42 into the video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLP_L7Mgz6M I mounted that “white screen” on top of a cardboard box in which I put a bright cold-white light.
Throug trial & error, I had to find the right distance between the background lit slide and my cell phone. I’ve cut pieces of cardboard of different heights to form an enclosure (with a hole for the cell phone camera) until I got the right distance. This ended up being ~100mm high.
I then loaded my favorit box maker site (see Great online box generator for laser cutters - #6 by Zolt) and created a simple box with my desired dimentions, saved as SVG, imported in LightBurn and modified it in a couple ways:
- Created a round opening on the top part for the Cell phone camera
- Created a slot on the left side to allow a small “drawer” containing the slide to be easily inserted - this ensures that the slide can easily be swapped and that it’s always at the exact same place
- Created a partial frame so my cell phone would always be at the exact same position
The final result looks like this:
It does work wonders compared with all the other ways I’ve tried in the past.
The good thing is that appart from the backlight, this only took about 2 hours to make from begining to finish, so it was a great saturday afternoon spent!
Now, I just need to find the time to scan the slides, copy them over the computer so I can crop them, then save them on a CD!