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Scanner for negatives, slides, and prints

Texas T

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There hasn't been a scanner discussion here in years (I checked), so instead of relying upon outdated information I'm hoping someone - or several someones - will have more recent information to convey to me.

I'm going through boxes that have been closed up for decades and I'm seeing things for the first time, some of which I want to share with distant family members. I have various sizes of photo prints, various sizes of negatives (see below), and a quantity of slides. While I do have a local place that I've used for slide conversions in the past, they aren't cheap so I'm thinking that even if I spent upwards of $500 on a quality unit I'm going to come out ahead in the end (not counting my own time, of course). I have enough material to keep me scanning a couple hours a day for many months.

Because of the variety of the sizes should I go with a flatbed scanner? I currently have an older HP printer/scanner but I'm guessing that a dedicated image scanner is going to provide me with better results, plus I see that some of them have software that will automatically enhance the image, take out scratches, etc.

What should negatives be cleaned with and how before scanning?

These are the majority of the negative sizes I have to scan, but I also have a bunch of the 110 size. The very large negative is a one-only, everything else is smaller.
negatives.jpg



So, please clue me in on what to look for and why. Thank you.
 
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I've got a bunch of slides and black and white negatives from the 60's when I was in the army in Germany, its been on my list to digitize them, I was thinking of doing it with my iphone.
 
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I bought a carousel slide projector with intentions of setting it up to use a DSLR camera to convert the slides to digital format. I found some great information on mounting the camera and such. I just got side tracked and put the project aside. Still think that I will do it some day.
 
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Over the years, I tried a multitude of approaches. Photographing slides onscreen, SLR attachments, various scanners. I was never very satisfied, not to mention that it becomes incredibly time consuming. Ultimately, several years ago, I shipped some 4,000 slides to a guy on the west coast who copied the whole mess at amazing quality, and charged what I considered a reasonable price. There's a thread out there somewhere that shows some examples of their quality.

But technology keeps moving forward, and I've found a couple of hundred more slides that need copying. I'll be interested to see what innovations are available today.
 

Texas T

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But technology keeps moving forward, and I've found a couple of hundred more slides that need copying. I'll be interested to see what innovations are available today.
My sister sent me a link to an app, and on the surface it seems like it does a good job but once you start reading the negative reviews you find out that the images have to be held within a certain very specific distance from the camera or the results are poo-poo. Granted, something like a flatbed scanner will take considerably longer to complete the task but with the built-in software to enhance the image and remove scratches / dust I'm thinking it might be the way to go.
 
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I had a flatbed scanner at one time, that had the capacity to scan a single slide or negative. The results were passable, but it took a bare minimum of a minute per slide. In my mind, a good solution would be one in which you could, in effect, lay down a dozen or so slides and scan them at once. Afterward, you'd have to cut them into single slides, but a software solution to do that en masse shouldn't be that hard.
 

Texas T

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I think I've seen flatbeds that will handle a large number of slides / negatives on a single pass.
 
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I bought a Wolverine Snap-20MP a few years back. It worked well for me, but I suspect 20 megapixels is less resolution than you can easily get now.
 
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I wonder what it would cost to send in a couple hundred slides to be put on a memory stick and who to do it?
 
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I bought a Wolverine Snap-20MP a few years back. It worked well for me, but I suspect 20 megapixels is less resolution than you can easily get now.
That's actually higher resolution than my aging Nikon digital SLR. Could it do multiple slides at a time?

I wonder what it would cost to send in a couple hundred slides to be put on a memory stick and who to do it?
Four years ago, I sent mine to DPS Dave in Oregon. Results were superlative. Prices are posted on the website and, of course, on a scale, depending on quantity. The work is done inhouse, not shipped overseas. And if you call to ask a few questions, the chances are Dave will answer the phone. I would totally use him again.
 

Texas T

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I wonder what it would cost to send in a couple hundred slides to be put on a memory stick and who to do it?
I used these folks the last time I had a bunch done. In 2019 I paid a bit over $500 for 511 slides but I think I used their highest option for removing dust, scratches, etc. They do work for various Govt agencies as well as some large corporations but they are local to me. They too do everything in-house. In my research I've found that some of these places that takes weeks and months to get your stuff back is sending it overseas, primarily to India.

 
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That's actually higher resolution than my aging Nikon digital SLR. Could it do multiple slides at a time?


Four years ago, I sent mine to DPS Dave in Oregon. Results were superlative. Prices are posted on the website and, of course, on a scale, depending on quantity. The work is done inhouse, not shipped overseas. And if you call to ask a few questions, the chances are Dave will answer the phone. I would totally use him again.
It did one slide at a time.
 
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In my research I've found that some of these places that takes weeks and months to get your stuff back is sending it overseas, primarily to India.
Exactly. And that's important for multiple reasons, one of which is obviously turnaround time.

I went back & checked. I had 4,000 slides done for $775, quality was excellent, and total turnaround time including shipping was just over a month.

There are probably a lot of good places in the US to get work like this done. Looks like Brian & I have both had success with the places we used. I'd still like to find a quality scanner to do the handful of slides & old negatives that keep turning up. But as far as bulk work, I've had the joy of spending an entire afternoon trying to get decent scans of 40 or so slides. Once I saw the price for getting them all done at once, it was a no-brainer to me.

Here's a link to my 2017 post regarding having my slides digitized:
 
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It's great to see your old images pop back to life. The image quality captured way back when can be amazing. I love this stuff.

Clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol and a soft, lint-free cloth. Be very careful on the emulsion side. At work, we use PEC photographic emulsion cleaner with PEC-PADs from Photographic Solutions

I worked in the digital imaging business through most of the 90s - I call it the golden age before digital cameras took over. High quality was very expensive then. One place I worked had a Scitex drum scanner that cost > $200k. Much of the work was commercial.

I have a Nikon Coolscan 4000 for 35mm and a 9000 for up to 6x9 cm negs and chromes. Message me if you want to buy either :)

Doing it today, I would recommend a digital camera with macro lens. Best would be something like a Canon 5DS R which is a 50mp full frame and the 100mm macro. Mount this to a camera copy stand and use a Skier Pro Sunray Copy Box for illumination. The results can be stunning. The detail captured by film can be amazing. However, you should be able to get great results with most digital cameras with a macro lens - you need to, ideally, fill the frame with the image. The higher resolution can give you more options for post-processing and large printing, but it can get to the point where you can see the film grain in sharp detail :) Using this method vs CCD based scanners, the impact of dust and scratches are much, much reduced - much of the time nonexistent.

I started consulting at a place called Memory Forward in Austin last year, setting up the above mentioned camera scanning setup. Now I work there. https://www.memoryforward.com

I love this stuff - did I say that already? Happy to talk about this stuff personally and non-professionally any time
 
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Late to the party but if someone is still looking for some options I was in the same boat few years back. Ended up buying Epson V600 scanner, I consider the results as a balance between quality and price. You can scan negatives, positives, Polaroids etc. For negatives I could scan 12 at a time using the attachment that came with the scanner.
 

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Like Whodat101, I'm late to the party, but I'm just looking ay ways to scan ab out 12,000 35mm negatives ... ugh.

This product review was helpful to me and affirms Whodat101's good decision to buy the Epson V600 scanner.
Best Film Scanners
 
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