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Thread: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

  1. #1
    Member LizaWitz's Avatar
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    Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    I've got about 15 years worth of negatives. Much of its 35mm color film, though a bunch is black and white, and a bunch of it is also in those old kodak formats that are smaller than 35mm.

    I need to scan it.

    We scanned some stuff at costco-- reasonable price and very fast, but the images are varying in their resolution (seems one batch was 2,000x1,000 and another was 3,000x2,000 -- roughly)

    We have a flatbed scanner, it will scan at high DPI and has a film holder. Its just extremely slow, I mean 40+ minutes before I gave up trying to scan at 3200 dpi.

    I'm thinking about getting a dedicated scanner. I also set up a little rig to photograph them with a FZ50. The problem here is that the color photos have an orange cast and that didn't work very well.

    Should I get one of those slide scanners? I'm thikning about getting an OpticFilm 7300. Will do 35mm, and can probably work up a rig to have it scan the smaller stuff.

    But does this scan any faster than my flatbed? People online have said this is a slow process....

    Any advice appreciated! Probably have about 1,000 frames to scan. So am willing to trade money for time, though the dedicated scanner at $250 is about what it woudl cost at costco to have them scan it....and buying the scanner means I could control the quality.

    Help!

  2. #2
    Member LizaWitz's Avatar
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    Re: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    Specifically, if I get the OpticFilm will it be a PITA to be able to get good scans? (Heard people say that about Nikon scanners).

    Is there some solution I'm not thinking of?

    I really like the idea of shooting the negatives with the camera in some sort of a rig-- very fast. I'm just not sure about the orange tint to color negatives and how to remove that. Initial tests failed to produce a desired result.

  3. #3
    Ranger 9
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    Re: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    Doing a good job of scanning negatives is hard. It takes some practice. It's also not a fast process, no matter what kind of scanner you have. Cheap scanners require even more dinking around than good/expensive ones, so are slower yet.

    The good thing about it vs. sending them out to be scanned is that there's less risk of their getting lost or scratched if you do it yourself; also, you can get better quality, because you're probably willing to make more effort than Kostko Kid is.

    If you were happy with the results from the FZ50 other than the orange cast, that might be a good way to go. The orange cast should be fairly easy to remove. Find a neutrally-colored object in one picture and use the sampler tool in your image software (usually looks like an eyedropper or something similar) to set it to a neutral value. The same settings should work on all the other photos on the same kind of film in the same kind of light.

    Not everybody here will agree, but having worked hard at this over many years, my take is: If there were a really good, easy, fast way to scan film, digital cameras would never have caught on. But obviously they have, and the difficulty of getting good scans is a big reason. Still, since you have 1,000 negatives you want to be able to handle digitally, you have no choice but to plod through the process, one way or another.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    Hi Liza, and please accept my official welcome to the forum.

    Fine to start threads wherever you feel most comfortable, but you might get more responses in our image processing or analog processing sections

    In general, dedicated film scanners will outperform consumer flatbeds by a fairly significant margin, however pro flatbeds like the Eversmart are exceptional and parallel the best drum scanners.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    Hi Liza

    You don't say why you want to scan all these negs -- is it for achiving, for indexing, or to enable you to make prints via computer? I'm not too sure what the Kodak formats are that are smaller than 35mm -- expand please.

    I scanned several thousand negatives and slides a year or so ago. I was initially going for high resolution [TIFFs], but I soon found that it takes forever, and that the files are large -- say 70MB.

    So I abandoned this idea, and scanned for indexing, and sort of archiving -- jpgs, mostly around 700kb, and quite adequate for on screen viewing -- even the largest screen isn't more than about 2MB. I intend -- some day -- to scan my favourites at high resolution.

    I used a Nikon dedicated film scanner. This has an APS adaptor, and you can quite easily batch scan a whole film in one go -- just set up, and let the machine get on with it. I got a slide adaptor which holds around 50 slides, depending on the thickness of the mount, and again, once set up, just let it get on with it. I did find that the Kodachromes which are cardboard mounted tended to jam, and needed an eye keeping on progress; slides in plastic mounts were no problem.

    The negs were in strips of 6; again there is an adaptor which makes fairly light work of this. Nikon also have a very expensive adaptor which will scan a whole [uncut] film at one go. The scanner automatically corrects for the yellow/orange base colour of colour negative film.

    For a few negs larger than 35mm, I brought them to a lab -- Nikon also do a very expensive scanner which will do 120.

    I also had several thousand prints, where I wasn't sure where the negs were, and very tediously scanned these at low res with a simple Canon flat bed -- at least I could do 3 or 4 prints at a time.

    This took most of the winter to do -- it's not quick, even with 'minimal' settings.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

  6. #6
    Member LizaWitz's Avatar
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    Re: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    Thanks for the feedback. I tried to put this in the right forum, but it wasn't clear to me, so please would an administrator move the thread to the right forum? (Rather than me starting another one, which I assume would be worse?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    If you were happy with the results from the FZ50 other than the orange cast, that might be a good way to go. The orange cast should be fairly easy to remove.
    Thanks for the tip. The FZ50 results show some promise, but will need some additional work. I have heard that VueScan and SilverScan software will remove the tint-- they have to do this when they take the data from flatbeds, so I'll try re-working my setup to see if I can do this. (I'm hoping for automatic to save time, though I appreciate your telling me how to do it, worst case I can scan them all now and then correct them as you describe later.) [/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    You don't say why you want to scan all these negs -- is it for achiving, for indexing, or to enable you to make prints via computer? I'm not too sure what the Kodak formats are that are smaller than 35mm -- expand please.
    This is to archive them. Once scanned the negatives will go into storage and probably not be seen again or used. At any rate they will be out of touch. We're very mobile traveling all the time and we're digitizing absolutely everything- documents, our DVDs, etc. I want them to be able to work with them as if I had all the negatives with me, but I won't be blowing them up to posters, in fact I don't think I'll ever be making prints-- maybe they'll go on the web at web sizes in the future, in which case 2kx1k resolution isn't too bad-- but I want to be able to feel ok if the negatives are destroyed or lost and I can't get them back.

    The non-35mm formats are:
    110 film -- cartridge film from the 1970s:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110_film

    126 Film -- also a cartridge, from the 1960s-1980s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/126_film

    The negs were in strips of 6; again there is an adaptor which makes fairly light work of this.
    This is the state most of my stuff is in.

    I appreciate the time your project took. I don't want TIFFs, but I don't want index scans either, so I'm hoping to get JPGs of around 6-10MB each out of them. So, about 10GB of data total. That's a nice manageable number.

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Plesae help with scanning negatives.

    I do remember 110 and 126 film. The negs from 110 are very small, and you may find that scanning them is a problem. Originally, they would not have been enlarged beyond around 6x4". Those from 126 are rather larger, and might work on the flatbed.

    You may also find, as most of these are quite old now, that they have faded to a greater or lesser extent -- while some of this can be recovered, some may be too far gone for retrieval.

    Good luck!
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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