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Like most of us I have boxes of old photos, most with negatives, and some old slides. I've been thinking about digitizing them for years, and always thought it would be a project for me in retirement. I'm still a few years from retirement, and not sure that's how I want to spend my time anyway. So I'm looking for suggestions.

I see some Epson scanners with good reviews. On Amazon there is a V600 available for $183 and a V800 for $689. Is there any practical difference for me if I don't have large format negatives to scan? Any other scanners that you would recommend?

My second question is whether or not I even want to do it myself. There are many services available that do this work, and I'm thinking they would be a lot better equipped than me with dealing with dust and such. Does anybody have experience with these services, either good or bad?

At this point I'm willing to pay to have it done, but not if the quality isn't there, and I'm a little hesitant to ship off irreplaceable photos. What do y'all think?
Posts: 2355 | Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana | Registered: June 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My wife and I did this several years ago for a project she was involved in. We used a Samsung flatbed scanner with a plastic frame to hold the negatives. Scanning was easy enough, although somewhat time consuming. Results were fair to good with about 50% of the scans needing touch up with Photoshop. These were very old photos. Most of them were black and white negatives made with an old box camera (think early 1900's).

If I had to do it over again, I'd check out a service for the work and accept any reasonable results. We only had ~100-200 photos to process. Best I can recall now, with two of us working on two different computers, it took us about 3 weeks to get everything scanned and processed. The touch up was the most tedious. Depending on the quality of the originals AND the likely advancement of the hardware and software you might do much better...or not. Fixing contrast and dust flaws in the original negatives was the worst of it.

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Posts: 3796 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I'm Different!
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You may already have one. Do you have a printer? If, so it may have scans ing capabilities.

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Posts: 3834 | Location: Northern Panhandle WV | Registered: March 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Rinehart
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There's another thread about this around.
I've done this in two groups of probably 500+ photos and also 35mm and 8mm film to digital conversions.

For the slides/pictures I used an older Firewire/USB Canon 9950F 4,800 PPI flatbed scanner with all of the slide/negatives/plate holders. I added the twain driver and scanned directly into Photoshop. (VueScan is my scanner program of choice).

(The original Canon software isn't supported by either OSX or Windows 10) but you really don't need that stuff as it is basic compared to even some of the system photographic stuff around.

From what I've seen no way could I have afforded having a service do the scanning and repair. (We had probably 70% of the photos that needed repair due to cracks/rips/irregular color shifts). Plus we had many pictures where an older family member only had one copy and didn't want to have the photo sent out of sight, basically. (These I had to turn around quicker than others).

I was just going to mention that if you get a routine going you can go ahead and scan everything and do the cleanup work in Photoshop later. I'm still not done.
Posts: 927 | Location: PA | Registered: March 15, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His Royal Hiney
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My thought is if you have a smart phone with decent picture taking abilities, you can use it and is even more efficient than a flat bet scanner.

I use a note taking app called evernote that does a great job of identifying documents or pictures and snapping just that document or picture apart from its surroundings. There may be more function-specific apps even.

I have a scanner/printer, but using the smart phone is a lot faster and better I think.

"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
Posts: 14624 | Location: Bay Area, CA | Registered: March 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sam's or Costco.
Posts: 2221 | Location: (Occupied) Northern Minnesota | Registered: June 24, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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