Having recently embarked upon the task of transferring all my MiniDV footage to iMovie and the MP4 format, before the tapes themselves go bad or the little Sony camera no longer functions — more on the lost nature of my Sony MiniDisks some other time, I find myself wondering about the boxes of slides and film negatives also in my possession, some of which holds either memories quite dear to me or material that could serve my own research and teaching or that of others.
To address this issue, I started looking around for what is the current state of film scanners and what the pricing looks like. [B&H has a nice survey], which runs the gamut in price and quality of scan — and the two are closely tied, of course. I wish it were otherwise, but it looks like the lower-end Plusteks, which run about $300 or so, are about where I am headed. Does anyone have any advice? Some of my university’s units used to have film scanners, but I don’t know how well they’ve been maintained over the years, and in at least one case, it was a SCSI device. (Good luck finding a connector for that these days — I tried recently, out of curiosity, to revive the first external hard drive I ever owned, a LaCie with, I think a whopping 10MB inside something the size of a cigar box.)
[B&H has a nice survey]: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/buying-guide/film-scanners