I have a few hundred scanned slides that are about 30 yrs old and contain quiet a lot of dust/scratches.

I'd like to use a filter to automate removal of most dust/scratches as I cannot realistically do this manually on each photo.

Looking around I found that Polaroid did release a great filter for this purpose but I have not had a chance to try it out just yet.

What I'm looking for is a filter that can remove most of those defects and one that could be run in a batch. I'm flexible with either a Linux or a Windows solution.

To give you an idea of the pictures that I have to process, here is a sample.

sample slide


If you still have the slides, re-scan them with hardware dust removal. This is after you have cleaned them using canned air.

Rent a slide scanner which has Digital ICE. It's a method to remove dust by using an infrared light source and creating a "dust only" image which is then used to clean up the original image automatically. You can also just buy a scanner off of ebay and sell it for the same price when you are done. I've noticed that the late scanners by Nikon and Minolta are much better than the newer ones from Plustek or Reflecta.

Or send the slides to a scanning service like digmypics.

  • be aware that Digital ICE will not work with silver based transparencies such as Kodachrome, or most B&W negatives.
    – BobT
    Feb 17 '13 at 2:43

It's going to be hard to remove without loss of details, but the remaining dust vs detail might be enough for viewing at a low DPI, ie. 25-33% size on screen or in prints. You have to do this selectively with e.g. median filters (you can't use gaussian blur for this), even the polaroid program works with masks you select manually.

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