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Scanning Negative Archive

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January 25, 2005 9:59:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.

Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
anyway.

I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
might well be better than the originals ever were.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
know how pleased they were with the results.

When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.
January 25, 2005 11:13:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:
> denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk wrote:
> > Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an
'archive'
> > of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
> >
> > Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> > faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> > printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of
them
> > anyway.
> >
> > I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g
Nikon
> > Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and
would
> > enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of
editing
> > might well be better than the originals ever were.
SNIP

> I suggest you try this first.
>
> Take a couple of negatives and a few prints and have them
commercially
> scanned. Take a look at the best results you can get. Don't be
surprised
> if the negatives are in worse shape than the prints. Processing
color
> negatives was not a single process. Some places did a better and
much more
> archival job than others. Not properly processed they did not last
long.
> Properly done they did not last all that much longer.
>
> After this you will have a better idea of what direction you may
want to
> go. Consider the possibility of commercial scanning for the lot.
You may
> be able to work a deal. If you are a little more selective, you may
reduce
> the number of scans greatly. In any case, you may find it cheaper to
have
> it done that to try and buy the equipment to do it yourself. You may
even
> be able to find someone locally who bought some good equipment for
their own
> work and would be very happy to do yours now and recoup some of their

> original expense.
SNIP

This is good advice - find out what shape the negatives are in before
you make the purchase.

It's worth your time to look around for a good pro shop that'll do
justice to your negatives, but talk to them about doing a GOOD job, not
their USUAL job. My local shops won't do a good job no matter how much
you pay them, but then, that's why I go online to shop. They need to be
willing to scan at least 4 Mpixel equivalent (for archiving) - maybe
1800X2400 pixels, and they need to be willing to use Digital Ice (or
something like it) on the images. The old hands at local shops know how
long this will take, even with their industrial scanners; they won't do
it. At most they give me about 1200X1000 - in the 1.5 Mpixel range; and
no dust/scratch reduction allowed. Maybe a new shop in your area (ie.
looking for customers) would be willing to take the time at a
reasonable price.

One thing that you may not be factoring in to your decision to scan at
home is the time needed - it's HUGE. Most dedicated scanners will do
about 1 scan every 3 minutes, with Digital Ice. So, how many negatives
do you have? And how much is your time worth? That's about 20 negatives
per hour, if you're perfectly efficient....

OTOH, once you're done (if ever....) you can always re-sell the scanner
(as long as you don't smoke in the same room, or abuse it in some other
way) for a decent price. They're going for almost new prices on E-Bay
right now.

Good Luck!
ECM
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 1:25:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Denis,

Although I shoot completely digital now I do also have a Nikon LS-2000 film
scanner which I use when someone needs one of my slide images. They work
just fine and usually are much better than a flatbed scanner for
transparencies and negatives.

You should have no problems with the LS30 or similar scanner making even
8x12 prints or as I've done with these images, up to 20x30 with Genuine
Fractals or a step resizing in PS.

Cheers.

Chris


On 1/25/05 9:59 AM, in article
1106665187.923576.85260@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com,
"denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk" <denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
> know how pleased they were with the results.
>
> When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
> like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
> enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.
>
Related resources
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 1:58:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1106665187.923576.85260@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
> know how pleased they were with the results.
>
> When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
> like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
> enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.
>

I bought a film scanner with the intention of scanning a few thousand
slides. I scanned about 50 when I realized that the time it took was
totally restrictive. If you have the patience of a saint and plenty of
time, try it. I haven't done it yet, but I plan to reduce the number of
slides I want to save and have a commercial outfit do it. Several have been
suggested, but I think I will use:

http://www.slideplus.com/slidecd/index.htm

I believe someone from this forum suggested them but I haven't used them
yet.

Good luck
Don Dunlap
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 2:38:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I did the same thing, and if you've got old negs, get one of the newer Nikon
scanners. Better ICE, faster, too. Your biggest investment is going to be
time. Scanning is a drudge.

Another option is a Photo CD from Kodak. Very good quality, but at a buck an
image, it could add up.

<denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1106665187.923576.85260@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
> know how pleased they were with the results.
>
> When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
> like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
> enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.
>
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 6:23:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk wrote:
> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
> know how pleased they were with the results.
>
> When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
> like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and
> would enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.

I suggest you try this first.

Take a couple of negatives and a few prints and have them commercially
scanned. Take a look at the best results you can get. Don't be surprised
if the negatives are in worse shape than the prints. Processing color
negatives was not a single process. Some places did a better and much more
archival job than others. Not properly processed they did not last long.
Properly done they did not last all that much longer.

After this you will have a better idea of what direction you may want to
go. Consider the possibility of commercial scanning for the lot. You may
be able to work a deal. If you are a little more selective, you may reduce
the number of scans greatly. In any case, you may find it cheaper to have
it done that to try and buy the equipment to do it yourself. You may even
be able to find someone locally who bought some good equipment for their own
work and would be very happy to do yours now and recoup some of their
original expense.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 25, 2005 7:15:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk wrote:
> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.

Out of interest, are you expecting anything digital recorded now to be
readable in 40 years' time? High density digital media haven't been
around that long; and there's the small problem of backward
compatibility of the readers after that period. (Can you read an 8" floppy?)

I've noticed sadly, btw, that my colour slides of 25 years ago are
becoming badly faded :-( There's something to to be said for silver!

--
Please use the corrected version of the address below for replies.
Replies to the header address will be junked, as will mail from
various domains listed at www.scottsonline.org.uk
regards. Mike Scott Harlow Essex England.(unet -a-t- scottsonline.org.uk)
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 2:53:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I bought a Nikon Coolscan V ED (about $550 USD). It has Digital ICE to
correct for beat-up negs and it works very well. It's kind of fun to do,
too.

Good shooting,
Bob Scott

<denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1106665187.923576.85260@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
> know how pleased they were with the results.
>
> When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
> like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
> enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.
>
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 4:38:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 25 Jan 2005 06:59:47 -0800, denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk wrote:

>Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
>of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
>Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
>faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
>printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
>anyway.
>
>I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
>Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
>enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
>might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
>I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
>know how pleased they were with the results.
>
>When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
>like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
>enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.


I bought a Nikon Coolscan V to scan my negatives, with the intention
of selling it when I'm done. We already have a CanoScan 3200F which
will scan negatives, but you have to reposition the negative strip for
each frame and I ain't gonna' do that!!!

I'm not working to get marvelous scans. In fact, I'm printing out
contact sheets, putting my negatives into archive-quality pages, and
burning the scans to DVD just because I've made them in the process of
constructing the contact sheets. My primary goals are to reduce the
volume of negative storage and to have something I can quickly look at
to see what's on my negatives.

I figure that for the few negative pictures for which I want a really
good scan/print, I'll probably want to rescan and do a bunch of pre-
and post-processing. Most likely I'll consult someone far more
knowledgeable than I am.


And something important to remember is that the digital versions
aren't going to stay around as long as the negatives themselves. DVDs
and suchlike have finite shelf life.


B
January 26, 2005 5:44:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I'm grateful to everyone who replied so promptly and spent the time to
pass on their experience and knowledge.

As a start I'll take the advice regarding using some sample negatives
to obtain prints from a lab - I'll use an online lab as there is
nothing local.I have had an initial look on the web - its a little
difficult to decide who to use as some labs are much more expensive
than others - I think I'll heed the old proverb that you get what you
pay for...!

Going back to my very oldest prints(1966!!) - I find these were from
slides and although the prints are now discoloured, it looks as though,
at the time,the printing (by Kodak) produced quite a good result.In
subsequent years I went over completely to colour negatives.

I would expect prints from slides to be not quite so good as those from
negatives:would this apply to scans of slides as well? If so I might
skip 1966 and start in 1967!

So far as expecting prints from scans to last 40 years is concerned I
rather think that in my case that would be unnecessary!
Denis Boisclair
Cheshire, England.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 12:08:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

denis@boisclair.freeserve.co.uk wrote:
> I'm grateful to everyone who replied so promptly and spent the time to
> pass on their experience and knowledge.
>

May I contribute this?
http://www.fototime.com/3A548A515C8B19C/orig.jpg

Mamie Van Doren photographed on Kodachrome in 1956, scanned in about
2000 on a H-P S20 at 2500dpi (approx. 2000 x 3000 image)

And this?
http://www.fototime.com/F4CD934A4EA0DCF/orig.jpg

Similar slide made into a 3 x 5-inch print in 1983, scanned on an Epson
1636 in about 2000.

What I mean to say: there is an inexpensive (check eBay for the HP S20)
path to digitized slides, and even faded prints from old slides can
yield useful digital images, if your uses aren't too critical.

Doing it yourself on a hundred images is near-drudgery, but worth it, if
you value the doing as much as the results; from there on the curve
bends in a not-positive direction, my view. I keep saying I need an
intern for this kind of work, but no joy as of yet. Well, some joy, but
not as much as I'd like.

Good luck.

--
Frank ess

aibohphobia, n., The fear of palindromes.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 4:39:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

anyone4tennis@hotmail.com wrote:

> Although I'm now a convert to digital photography I have an 'archive'
> of colour film negatives going back 40 (yes - fourty!)years.
>
> Looking back at the prints(all in albums) I reckon that some have
> faded, or the colours changed and probably,in many cases, the local
> printing lab never did a very good job of getting the best out of them
> anyway.
>
> I'm considering the purchase of a good used Film Scanner - e.g Nikon
> Coolscan III(LS30) which hopefully wouldn't 'break the bank' and would
> enable me to obtain digital prints which with the benefit of editing
> might well be better than the originals ever were.
>
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried this and to
> know how pleased they were with the results.
>
> When purchasing a scanner I would have in mind an 'obsolete'scanner(
> like the Coolscan III) but which was a 'best buy' in it's day and would
> enable the production of excellent 7"x5" prints.
>
Scanning negs and slides is a tedious and time consuming business. Saving
money the first time around will probably mean dis-satisfaction later when
that 'too expensive' scanner becomes affordable.

Buy the best scanner you can afford, read the reviews and decide for
yourself - another idea would be to contact friends and relatives who have
also gone down the digital road and pool resources to get a higher-end
scanner.

I scanned my entire library over a month or so at 1800dpi. Now I'm
considering doing it again at 3600. The fact I have time to do this again
doesn't remove the fact that I wasted a lot of time in the past and now have
a scanner no-one wants to borrow or buy.

A 'new' scanner has a better resale value than an older one. Eventually
you'll run out of material to scan and selling is the best option.

Store the 'raw' scan on CDR or DVD and work on the scans one by one with
photoshop or some other program. Biggest headache for me were tramlines and
dust spots, not colour balance or contrast.
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 7:42:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I've been using PC's since their introduction, and have simply moved
*important* data and programs up to newer media as it became available.
I have stuff now that was originally written on 8" floppies, and YES,
in fact I can still set one up if necessary - but the need (for me) is
no longer there. Sure, I've lost a few bits and pieces along the way
with the odd minor disaster.. but then my family has also lost a lot of
photographic `archive` stuff also, from housefires, fading, water
damage, even relationship splits.... (O;

Let's be real. Images will always be lost for various reasons (and in
some ways, given the huge amount of images that get taken, maybe that's
a good thing..!) But moving my archive of images *now*, from CD's to
DVD's (or whatever), is a sh!tload easier than duplicating old
negatives/prints/slides, and once digitised, if correctly stored, there
will be no degradation and no loss.

It just relies on those magic words... `if correctly stored`. This
whole `achilles-heel of digital` thing is just a beat up. Archiving
stuff successfully is, IMO, easier with digital. And you even start
off with one very big advantage - no degradation as you make the copy.

I could even be nasty and say that those who are not willing to learn
how to archive probably don't deserve to keep their images... but I
won't. (O;
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 9:11:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 25 Jan 2005 08:13:06 -0800, "ECM" <thedeepabyss@whoever.com> wrote:

> They need to be
>willing to scan at least 4 Mpixel equivalent (for archiving) - maybe
>1800X2400 pixels, and they need to be willing to use Digital Ice (or
>something like it) on the images. The old hands at local shops know how
>long this will take, even with their industrial scanners; they won't do
>it. At most they give me about 1200X1000 - in the 1.5 Mpixel range;

My local camera shop says that the service they send negatives to will only
scan negatives at 300 dpi. When I said this made no sense they insisted
they were correct. I, of course, walked out.

Don <donwiss at panix.com>.
!