It Can Always Be Better

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ask The Retoucher #33 - Color Prints From Slides

Question: I have a number of 35mm slides from which I would like to make prints. Can I use an HP PSC 2355 All-in-One Printer to do it? If not is there a reasonably priced way to do it?

That particular printer will not scan your slides (you can try, but it will be a mess). Ideally, for the best scan, you will need a dedicated slide scanner, such as a Nikon Coolscan scanner. Unfortunately, these fine works of digital technology are becoming extinct: Nikon and other manufacturers are no longer making slide scanners. Conversely, the technology for 35mm flatbed trays and adapters has improved greatly. You can comparison shop at the Photo Grafix University Store or look at some of the links below.

For you, I recommend the Epson Perfection series (such as the Epson Perfection V500). Most of them can handle both prints and 35mm slides/negatives. The quality is not as precise as a Nikon Coolscan, but it is good enough for archival purposes. The current all-in-one printer you are using should do a fine job printing the photographs.

If you don't have a reliable program to edit those photos, I also recommend that you purchase Adobe Photoshop Elements (a version and platform appropriate for your system and budget).

Finally, you should purchase a good book for Elements. I recommend the Teach Yourself Visually Series. Buy the book for the version of Elements you own.

Please send your questions and problem photos, your location—and genealogical society affiliation if appropriate—to Eric for future "Ask The Retoucher" columns. Visit Photo Grafix online for more information.

Eric runs Photo Grafix, a humble photo-retouching studio in Evanston, Illinois (USA), making photo illustrations and improving photos for hundreds of people and companies worldwide. If he doesn't know the answer, he won't rest until he finds it. Eric Basir is at your service: With each "Ask The Retoucher" article, he'll help you successfully tackle your digital photographic problems.

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