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Old 08-02-2009, 12:09 AM
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Default Scanning Negatives

Has anyone ever sent their negatives anywhere to be scanned? I have a ton and want to get them all scanned so that I can scrap them. I used to have a scanner that scanned negatives but the dog chewed through one of the cords and the new one don't do negatives. The old one was super slow anyways. Anyways, I obviously need a trusted place since this is my negatives!! Just wondered if anyone had any good advice.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:25 AM
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I'm sure Stan has ideas, but I know that Alana Brodniak from Heritage Makers has a scanner that does negs. You might check with her and see if she will do them. She has gatherings in Chattanooga the third Thurs of every month, we could go sometime. If I talk to her I 'll ask and let you know. We have an old film scanner, I'm doing slides with it, and it's really slow, so I know what you mean.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:28 AM
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That would be great! I dont mind to pay someone to do it.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:32 PM
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Jennifer,

Well here's the deal. You have a few options to try:

  • Get them scanned by a one-hour / drugstore / discount store type place like Wal-mart or CVS. They do a good job but they might send them away. We have had iffy quality with Wal-mart scans at the lab. They might be dirty and you have to ask what kind of resolution. Now they usually do them in the store so your negatives are at least staying in town but there is no guarantee about damage or loss.
  • You can contact a dedicated minilab store / camera store. They will have better equipment and usually take better care to give you a good scan. You may not have one in your town as they are getting few and far between.
  • You can send them away to a place like ScanCafe.(http://www.scancafe.com/). Google negative scanning and you'll find a bunch. We've heard good things about ScanCafe but have never used them. disadvantage is obviously that you ahaveto send them away - loss or damage.
  • Do it yourself. It's not hard - just takes some special equipment and knowledge. It mostly just take a lot of time. You will need a scanner with a negative / slide attachment, some way to clean the negatives (both dust and grease), and software for your scanner that says it does negatives. Negatives are trickier than slides because of the orange mask build into the negative. If you take your time and experiment it should be fine. A danger is that without a color calibrated monitor any color correction you do might be wrong and get you a worse scan. The auto options on the scanners are good but not foolproof. If you are going to buy a new scanner (it will do prints also) look for 1) a 12x12 or bigger patten to scan layouts ( price could be too high though) and 2) Digital ICE (it might be called scratch removal) The ICE technology does an amazing job at removing minor scratches and dust from negatives and slides - and usually doesn't raise the cost of the scanner.
Let me know if you or anyone else has any questions.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippizip View Post
Jennifer,

Well here's the deal. You have a few options to try:

  • Get them scanned by a one-hour / drugstore / discount store type place like Wal-mart or CVS. They do a good job but they might send them away. We have had iffy quality with Wal-mart scans at the lab. They might be dirty and you have to ask what kind of resolution. Now they usually do them in the store so your negatives are at least staying in town but there is no guarantee about damage or loss.
  • You can contact a dedicated minilab store / camera store. They will have better equipment and usually take better care to give you a good scan. You may not have one in your town as they are getting few and far between.
  • You can send them away to a place like ScanCafe.(http://www.scancafe.com/). Google negative scanning and you'll find a bunch. We've heard good things about ScanCafe but have never used them. disadvantage is obviously that you ahaveto send them away - loss or damage.
  • Do it yourself. It's not hard - just takes some special equipment and knowledge. It mostly just take a lot of time. You will need a scanner with a negative / slide attachment, some way to clean the negatives (both dust and grease), and software for your scanner that says it does negatives. Negatives are trickier than slides because of the orange mask build into the negative. If you take your time and experiment it should be fine. A danger is that without a color calibrated monitor any color correction you do might be wrong and get you a worse scan. The auto options on the scanners are good but not foolproof. If you are going to buy a new scanner (it will do prints also) look for 1) a 12x12 or bigger patten to scan layouts ( price could be too high though) and 2) Digital ICE (it might be called scratch removal) The ICE technology does an amazing job at removing minor scratches and dust from negatives and slides - and usually doesn't raise the cost of the scanner.
Let me know if you or anyone else has any questions.
hi Stan, i just read your post on Negatives, My DH has a heap of slides and wants me to do them i havent a clue can you help thanks Maggie
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:47 PM
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Maggie - I'm in the middle of a slide project for my dad. What were they thinking taking all those slides!! LOL!

Really, Stan's advice to Jennifer above applies to slides too. It's a slow, tedious thing to do it yourself. But if you have more time than money, than it's worth it. Many scanners come with slide adapters, you might need a different scanner. We have a dedicated film and slide scanner that's SO old it takes 4 minutes to scan a slide!! But I have a friend who just got a new one for $50 that scans slides beautifully. So it might be cost effective to buy a new scanner and do it yourself.

If you don't have that many, or if you don't have time, there are services that will do it for you. You run a bit of risk letting them out of your sight, but you can send them registered and insured. ScanCafe might be a place to start, they have a good reputation.

The thing about slides is you have to scan at a high resolution. Think about it:
  • slides are about 1.25x1 inch
  • lets say you want to crop it a little, and print it on a layout at about 4x6.
  • to get a 6 inch wide print at printing resolution (300ppi) you'll need 1800 pixels across.
  • to get 1800 pixels in 1.25 inches you'd need to scan at about 1200 pixels per inch. I scan at about 2400 pixels, so that I can crop more heavily or print larger than 4x6 without losing quality.
so just make sure that you scan (or have them scanned) at a higher resolution. It takes longer (and costs more) but is totally worth it. Nothing worse than doing all that and getting a bad scan you don't want to use.

Hope that's helpful, let me know how you do!
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:37 PM
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Maggie - it's actually a little easier with slides as the color is correct already - negatives the color is reversed and then overlaid with an orange mask that makes them trickier to scan. Not so with slides. It's really a trade off of your time and an investment in a scanner vs. paying someone.
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