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Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-24-2007, 07:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm looking to transfer my 35mm negatives to digital.
My local film processing company charges (I think) $7 for 24 photos. As all of you, I have quite a few 35mm strips.
I'm thinking of buying my own film transfer machine. B&H has a range of them, the cheapest being $200 those use 3000dpi. I found a place that has a 1800dpi one for $99. I would only use this for my own personal photos, not looking to do others. The 1800dpi sounds ok, so I'm leaning towards that one because they're not really photos I would sell I just want to get them on the computer.
What are your opinions?
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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-24-2007, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Unless you just want to spend a lot of money and do a lot of fairly hard work, then you may want to look at ScanCafe:

http://www.scancafe.com/

They scan at 3000 dpi on Nikon Coolscan 5000 EDs and do Digital ICE scratch and dust removal for 19 cents per negative or 24 cents per slide. They also do some manual cleanup. There is a review of the company and details in the latest issue of Popular Photography (Dec 2007 - page 17).

It does usually take several months since the photos are shipped to India for the work to be done. When they've been scanned, they post them to a private web site where you review the scans. You can reject up to 50% of the scans and don't have to pay for them.

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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like a very good price and I rather see an Indian scanning images than trying to explain to me, why my satellite TV isn't working. BUT
I wonder if they'll pay you 19 cents per image if they loose your package?
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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaborm View Post
Sounds like a very good price and I rather see an Indian scanning images than trying to explain to me, why my satellite TV isn't working. BUT
I wonder if they'll pay you 19 cents per image if they loose your package?
It appears they'll pay you $1000 if they lose your order.

http://www.scancafe.com/safety.php

Since you ship it to them by UPS, you are covered during the shipment by UPS guarantees and by the above while its in their control. Sounds as safe as any thing can be when out of your control.

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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 10:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know about you, but to me a $1000.00 won't really replace the amount of slides and/or negatives collected in the last 25-30 years.
Even one roll for someone could be priceless.
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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can't address the issue of how to value a package of negatives, but I CAN tell you that scanning film and slides at high resolution isn't a piece of cake, at least wasn't for me. Dust becomes your enemy, even more than it was in the darkroom. Major pain in the behind. I would also guess that the $100 scanner isn't going to give you the quality you really want. But, that's just my opinion.
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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 04:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaborm View Post
I don't know about you, but to me a $1000.00 won't really replace the amount of slides and/or negatives collected in the last 25-30 years.
Even one roll for someone could be priceless.
Well I don't imagine anyone would send 25 or 30 years of slides and negatives out. You'd send them out one batch at a time. Of course the alternative is to spend $500 to $1000 for a quality scanner with ICE and then spend hundreds of hours scanning them, and manually retouching, etc. I'm willing to bet that few people will have the stamina to do this sort of project. I know, I tried it once myself. After scanning about 100 negatives, I gave up. The quality was poor, the time taken was long, the process was boring, and when I saw 10,000 negatives still to go, I just gave up.

Just think of the advantages offered by this type of service. Lets say you do a rough sort through the old negatives and come up with 5000 of them. You send them off in batches of 1000. A month or so later, you look at the results on line (and you can really see the results since you're seeing a scan and not looking at a negative in a lightbox). Now you can pick and choose the ones to keep and you don't have to pay for the rest. Seems a much more efficient way to proceed with much better results.

Cheers,
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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 04:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jford View Post
I can't address the issue of how to value a package of negatives, but I CAN tell you that scanning film and slides at high resolution isn't a piece of cake, at least wasn't for me. Dust becomes your enemy, even more than it was in the darkroom. Major pain in the behind. I would also guess that the $100 scanner isn't going to give you the quality you really want. But, that's just my opinion.
You're exactly right. A cheap scanner will not work. You must have one that has the ICE built in and it needs to be about 3000 dpi to get decent results from 35mm slides or negatives. I had a scanner that would go up to 2400 dpi and did not have ice. I scanned about 100 negatives. It took about 2 minutes per strip of 4 to to the basic scan and then several more minutes to process each one and then you had to dust and remove scratches by hand, do color corrections, etc. All of this will be done for one by the ScanCafe for 19 cents per negative. My time is a lot more valuable that 19 cents for about 5 minutes of work (average for doing it yourself).

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Looking to scan 35mm negatives to computer
Old 11-25-2007, 04:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I recently bought the Nikon Coolscan 5000ED. It scans at 4000dpi and works great. It can do batch scanning of film or slides and can do quite a bit of processing on each image as needed. Quality is much better than mass market type scanning.
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