Not having a dedicated film scanner is no barrier to being able to digitize your slides, but DIY methods we’ve presented in the past tend to be time-consuming. Even if it’s an easy DIY solution that will let you, say, use your desktop all-in-one to scan them in, it’ll still take you a long time to digitize the hundreds of slides you might have lying around.
Well, we’ve finally stumbled across a rig that fixes this problem: All you need is a modified slide projector, a macro lens, and an intervalometer to digitize hundreds of slides in minutes.
The solution comes to us via Victor Kaijser Bots, who built this nifty DIY rig a couple of years back that allowed him to scan almost 1,000 slides per hour, almost entirely automatically.
All he had to do was modify his slide projector, set up his DSLR with intervalometer and macro lens attached at an appropriate distance, and then set the automatic advance on the slide projector and the intervalometer at the same interval.
In the video he shows the slide projector advancing at its fastest setting every four seconds, which comes out to 15 slides digitized every minute. And the only work you need to do is load up a new set of slides every time the current set is done.
Bots admits that results “might be better with an expensive (and slow) scanner like the Nikon Coolscan,” but his purpose was to digitize his memories on the cheap, and this rig allowed him to scan in 1,500 slides in an afternoon.
Check out the video at the top to find out how to build this rig for yourself, and if you do put this idea to use, drop us a line in the comments and let us know how it went!