How disappointing , that Google have decided to end support for this program. Some of you may never have used it. But I’ve always found it a really fast and easy to use program for storing and managing my photographs. It’s particularly quick for exporting images at reduced sizes , say when you want to put an image on ebay or similar. One major annoyance for me is that you can’t seem to fill the screen with an image other than by selecting the the ‘slideshow’ mode. (Press the ‘Play’ icon at the top of the screen. My copy is still working on Windows 10 , but wonder how long they will keep it running? Maybe somebody can tell me.

I continue to check out some of the other free applications. Fastone image viewer I suppose is my other favourite. Download here: http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

Benefits are it has some better editing tools and handles full screen mode much more readily. They’ve just released a new version too. It’s slower** (for me ) to load than Picasa , I suppose that’s my biggest gripe. A little bit more awkward to quickly export images too. But still a great program , especially as its free.

Another interesting contender (for me) is Nomacs, found here http://nomacs.org/

It’s very fast and does full screen mode beautifully. Haven’t quite got to grips with all of it’s menus yet but definitely worth a try. You might like it!

** AMD budget quad core, 8G RAM , Win 10 Pro 64 , SSD boot  drive

 

Prompted by a conversation with a colleague , I set out to scan some old 110 film holiday photos. Simple I thought, just drop the strip into one of the 35 mm film positions. To my amazement it didn’t work. Something to the effect of ‘unrecognizable’ format. So I phoned Canon support and was told: ‘you can’t scan 110 film on the Lid500’. Somewhat frustrated I spent a few minutes thinking, what’s actually stopping this from working I wondered?   I got myself an old unexposed 35mm frame and cut a hole large enough to drop in a 110 frame. It works! So my conclusion the software is looking either for a full frame or maybe the 35mm sprocket holes. Does anybody know? Please refer to the image below:

Unfortunately for me my old negatives are ratter poor. I think a combination of age (25+years), the 110 system itself, the little Pentax 110 I used to take them. Sadly my pictures are too poor to use. But it might just work for you, good luck.

I’ve recently assisted a colleague by resurrecting a relatively ancient film scanner. Specifically an Epson Filmscan 200 film scanner. The last published drivers were for Windows 95/98 and my colleague only had an old ISA SCSI card. I obtain an Adaptec 21960N PCI card and a 50HD way to Centronics cable off Ebay for the grand sum of £20. We then added the well regarded program Vuescan http://www.hamrick.com/ .  It’s running under XP , (XP provided a default driver) and results to my eyes appear surprisingly good in spite of the modest 1200dpi native scanning capability.  (Although in truth my colleague has a problem, the first scanned negative is always at the wrong resolution?)

Enthused by this process I’ve obtained a Canon Lide500F scanner. Not as elegant as the Epson but a little more up tod date. Simply plug in  to USB and run the supplied toolbox software. I’m using PaintShop Pro 4.15SE to save acquire and save the images.   Results are again surprisingly good. Well good enough me to revisit some of my negatives that hold sentimental value. It’s much slower than the epson as each frame has to be scanned individually. (The Espon can automatically scan 6 slides or negatives by itself). Sample image from my Canon below. Happy Scanning !

Hong Kong Harbour