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Archive 2013 · Negative scanning services
  
 
andyjh
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p.1 #1 · Negative scanning services


Anyone have experience with one of the negative scanning services where you ship them your negatives and they return to you as either a TIFF or JPEG? I have some nice medium format negatives from the old days (1990's) and would like to be able to print up to 16x20 with the digital file created from the scan. They are scenic images from various photo trips that I used to sell back in the days of film. Thanks.


Feb 17, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #2 · Negative scanning services


There are different sorts of scans. The highest quality would be a drum scan, but this is also the most expensive. It really depends on how much quality you need. 16x20 isn't a very demanding size. Just keep in mind that negative film has a lot of room for interpretation, so you can expect to work with the scans in photoshop to get what you want.

As with most things, you get what you pay for, so don't expect a super inexpensive service to deliver what a higher quality scan can provide. As a point of reference, I have my large format film drum scanned, and the scans run between $220 and $275 per image, but the files are HUGE. If it was scanned on something other than a drum scanner, and the file sizes were smaller, the expense would certainly be significantly less.



Feb 17, 2013 at 09:29 PM
andyjh
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p.1 #3 · Negative scanning services


Wow. Your price of $220 per scan is about $219 more than I was looking to pay! I was going to try this one: www.digmypics.com and see what the tiff looks like. If the scan is reasonably crisp I wouldn't mind spending some time in PS to perfect it.


Feb 17, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #4 · Negative scanning services


$220 per scan is for a high end drum scan, not a cheap automated lab scan. I've often charged that much and more for 16 bit per channel 8000 ppi scans from 6x7 cm, which is a file size of around 2.7 gigs. They also take about forty minutes to scan and sometimes at least that long to clean up, particularly if it's old film with dirt embedded in the emulsion. In addition, the larger the format, the fewer pieces of film fit on a given drum and the higher the degree of difficulty in correctly mounting the film. 8x10 is an order of magnitude more difficult to mount than 4x5, and so on down the line. And drum scanners are expensive to buy, much more expensive to fix and come with a built in learning curve that borders on very steep. And on top of all that, the actual hardware, software and operator make perhaps the biggest difference.


Feb 17, 2013 at 11:21 PM
keithdunlop
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p.1 #5 · Negative scanning services


I went to the "digmypics" website and it doesn't give the impression of being a pro lab. They don't say what machines they're using, and drum scans don't seem to be an option. If you'll looking for quality scans done properly check out the services from I&A in LA.


Feb 19, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #6 · Negative scanning services


A&I is the name of the lab, not I&A, but are you really serious? They claim their Aztek scanner can only scan in 8 bits per channel and that if you want 16 bits you can convert in Photoshop. Really They have the exact same scanner I have and don't really know how to use it. When Ish ran A&I back in the 1980's they WERE cutting edge, redefining the K-14 process so that professionals really could shoot Kodachrome, and the set the standard for the industry, but today, not so much. Several years ago when I was trying to get some large lightjet prints made, I profiled their printer, but could never get a good print because their process control was so horrible. Unfortunately, Ish is no longer associated with A&I and they are trading on the reputation from years long gone by.


Feb 19, 2013 at 07:46 PM
 

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andyjh
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p.1 #7 · Negative scanning services


This from the digmypics site: Over the years we've determined the best equipment and techniques for scanning the many different types of photos so we can ultimately give you the best possible image! DigMyPics is the only major slide scanning service that uses the Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 with Digital ICE Pro exclusively on 35mm slides and medium format film. See the difference a 9000 makes! The difference will make you wonder why anybody would use anything else.


Feb 19, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #8 · Negative scanning services


The Nikon is actually very good hardware and the scans I've seen and made from those units are better than scans from Imacon scanners costing many times that of the Nikon, but, there is still a noticeable gap in quality between a Nikon scan and a really great drum scan. The Nikon, however has every chance of being better, even much better, than a crappy drum scan.


Feb 19, 2013 at 11:29 PM
andyjh
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p.1 #9 · Negative scanning services


i'm going to send them a few and try it out. Won't break the bank to do a little experiment and see if I can get a decent 11x14 or 16x20 print from it.


Feb 19, 2013 at 11:31 PM
pesto126
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p.1 #10 · Negative scanning services


Why not just purchase a used Nikon Coolscan V ED for $400, process the slides yourself (nothing like total control) and then sell the scanner for $400 again... you are only out your time (and you'll learn quite a bit in the process).




Feb 23, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #11 · Negative scanning services


I have a Nikon negative scanner and it takes time to scan a series of negatives in, I just bought an Epson flatbed that iirc will allow me to layout a series of negatives so photos and it will sort each out to its own fill for tweaking and archiving. I've not had a chance to try it out yet.


Feb 26, 2013 at 08:58 AM





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