Using DSLR to 'scan' colour slides: learning from the Digitising Jemdet Nasr 1988–1989 project

Palmero Fernández, M. (2020) Using DSLR to 'scan' colour slides: learning from the Digitising Jemdet Nasr 1988–1989 project. Internet Archaeology, 55, (doi: 10.11141/ia.55.10)

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This article presents a cost-effective method for digitising photographic film for archival purposes using a DSLR camera, focussing on the widely used colour reversal Kodachrome film produced by Eastman Kodak between 1935 and 2009. It discusses the digitisation of an archive of 787 Kodachrome slides taken between 1988 and 1989 during the excavation of Jemdet Nasr, an archaeological site located in southern Iraq (Project website). Results obtained using a film scanner (Nikon Coolscan IV ED) are compared with two different scanning software solutions (SilverFast and VueScan), a flatbed scanner (HP Scanjet 8300), and two DSLR cameras with macro lens (a Canon EOS KissX3 with 105mm lens and a Canon EOS 80D with 90mm lens). The results demonstrate the cost-effective value of the DSLR method for archives where time and resources are limited, but where digital photography equipment might be readily available, such as an archaeological unit or a university department. The method allows for high quality, fast and economical digitisation of excavation and collection archives that will enhance research. The method also offers superior results in rendering the high dynamic range of photographic film such as Kodachrome.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Palmero Fernandez, Dr Monica
Authors: Palmero Fernández, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Internet Archaeology
Publisher:Council for British Archaeology
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author
First Published:First published in Internet Archaeology 55
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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