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iaddict
Apr 20, 2009, 12:44 PM
I have lots of old photos that were not taken on a digital camera. I'm just curious what is the easiest method to scan them onto my computer and then burning to a DVD. Just wanting to save them before they lose any more detail, etc. Also include if there are any free programs that are good for this. I do have iPhoto but I'd like to know if there's another program out there that would be easier or quicker to use.

Thanks.



Designer Dale
Apr 20, 2009, 01:13 PM
You can get a descent scanner for under 100US these days and it will have use beyond the task you have at hand. Be careful of resolution and get as high an optical resolution as your budget allows. Interpolated resolution is higher but that is software guessing at what your picture should look like. Scan at 300dpi. Higher if the photo has damage that needs to be repaired in PhotoShop at a later date. I know all the Epson scanners come with scan software.

This is Epson's scanner page.

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/ProductCategory.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-8172&iref=homepage_products_scanners

r.j.s
Apr 20, 2009, 01:17 PM
If you still have the negatives, there are several scanners that will scan them. Better quality than scanning the prints.

AxisOfBeagles
Apr 20, 2009, 01:56 PM
If you still have the negatives, there are several scanners that will scan them. Better quality than scanning the prints.

That depends on the neg scanner quality, doesn;t it? I've had some negs scanned that had poor color saturation and poor resolution compared to print scans.

r.j.s
Apr 20, 2009, 02:05 PM
That depends on the neg scanner quality, doesn;t it? I've had some negs scanned that had poor color saturation and poor resolution compared to print scans.

Of course.

iaddict
Apr 20, 2009, 02:43 PM
to scan. Can I scan multiple pics at same time or will this only slow the process down? Also, will all, say size 4 X 6 pics scan at the same amount of memory or will each pic be different based on the image being scanned?

FourCandles
Apr 20, 2009, 04:48 PM
I have lots of old photos that were not taken on a digital camera. I'm just curious what is the easiest method to scan them onto my computer and then burning to a DVD. Just wanting to save them before they lose any more detail, etc. Also include if there are any free programs that are good for this. I do have iPhoto but I'd like to know if there's another program out there that would be easier or quicker to use.

Thanks.

Scanners generally come with at least one proprietary software package which operates the scanner, usually sharpens the scans, removes dust etc.

You can also get third party software like Silverfast AI, which (usually) does a better job of scanning, dust removal etc. that the proprietary software and has more features. Higher-end scanners can come bundled with third party apps like Silverfast.

It would then hand over to your image manipulation / cataloguing software (e.g. iPhoto, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.), and you can achieve some degree of an automated workflow to help with a large number of images. Depending on the combination of software used then some people prefer to let the image manipulation software perform some of the tasks e.g. sharpening.


to scan. Can I scan multiple pics at same time or will this only slow the process down? ...

If you're scanning negatives or slides, then scanners such as the Epson V700 and V750 include holders than will allow you to scan (say) 12 slides at once or several strips of negatives. I have a V750; I haven't made an accurate measurement, but scanning say 12 slides takes less than 12x the time for 1 slide - particularly if the lamp has to warm up.

Some (most?) scanner software will also allow you to set multiple areas of the flatbed to scan in one go, thus allowing you do scan multiple prints.

... Also, will all, say size 4 X 6 pics scan at the same amount of memory or will each pic be different based on the image being scanned?

I assume you're talking about the final file size on disk and not the amount of memory required? Currently I'm scanning slides and negatives to uncompressed TIFFs and have only noticed a variation of about +/- 10% in file size (don't quote me on the exact variation, this is only from memory). However, if you're scanning to a compressed format like JPEG then you may experience more of a variation, but this is I believe an characteristic of the compression rather than the scanning itself (i.e. a simple image will be able to be compressed more than a complex one).

You may want further recommendations from the forums e.g. scanner models, software etc. and so if you could post details of your budget, how many photos you have and of what type that would be great :)

iaddict
Apr 20, 2009, 05:15 PM
Okay, I have a scanner that's an all in one with a printer. I think it's an Epson but not sure what model.(It's at my father's house) No negatives...I mean these are old pictures, some of them from when my parents were younger(they are 85 now) My dad says he has around 5000 photos. He says he has nothing but time on his hands and it will keep him busy if I can show him how to scan them. We have both black and white and color photos to scan. I'd like to know what the best way is to go without having to do touch ups. I think the photos are in good condition since he's kept them out of dust, heat, etc.

Thanks for all your help!

Keebler
Apr 20, 2009, 05:22 PM
Okay, I have a scanner that's an all in one with a printer. I think it's an Epson but not sure what model.(It's at my father's house) No negatives...I mean these are old pictures, some of them from when my parents were younger(they are 85 now) My dad says he has around 5000 photos. He says he has nothing but time on his hands and it will keep him busy if I can show him how to scan them. We have both black and white and color photos to scan. I'd like to know what the best way is to go without having to do touch ups. I think the photos are in good condition since he's kept them out of dust, heat, etc.

Thanks for all your help!

iaddict,

a few notes from me:
as someone else said, scan them at 300 DPI at least (no higher than 600 b/c it will really slow the process down). you should be able to set this as a default so your Dad isn't changing it every time.

Also, and this is for you and any siblings/grandkids etc.. :

Ask your folks to jot down information about each photograph. You should be able to start the scanning so the files save chronologically or alphanumerically. Ie. Dads Photos_1

have him write on a piece of paper (or type if he's up to it) with 2 columns:
file name and the description

You can do it afterwards, but as you go might seem less daunting.

I suggest the same thing to my clients. It can be a big project, but the benefits of adding important detail to cherished photographs is priceless.

If he's spending the time, he might as well detail them. Plus, it will help jog some of his memory.

Best of luck,
keebler

pdxflint
Apr 20, 2009, 06:40 PM
You can scan them yourself, or you can check out this service. I haven't tried them, but it seems like it might work for you.

http://www.scancafe.com/pages/h/ph2.php?cid=HYDRHUC006L006&pubid=4056

ChrisA
Apr 20, 2009, 06:51 PM
I have lots of old photos that were not taken on a digital camera. I'm just curious what is the easiest method to scan them onto my computer and then burning to a DVD. Just wanting to save them before they lose any more detail, etc. Also include if there are any free programs that are good for this. I do have iPhoto but I'd like to know if there's another program out there that would be easier or quicker to use.

Thanks.

How many old photos. Are we talking a couple hundred or 10,000? Next, do you have the negatives. If so you would be much better off to scan those.

You are going to need a scanner and which kind to buy depends on answers to above.

iPhoto is not scanning software. It is for managing the collection of scanned photos. I'd say to use that until you can say specifically why you don't like it. For the most part other programs will NOT is easier or quicker than iPhoto. But they may do things iPhoto can't. For example you WILL need something like Photoshop. Old photos have scratches and dust and need to have color rebalanced.

Do consider out sourcing the project Scanning is very time consuming and when you look at the cost to hae the project done, doing it yourself save money but then you'll be working for $4 per hour. It depends on how many photos their condidtion, what equipment you already own and your skill level with image editing software. But I bet outsouring is the best option.

EDIT:

Okay, I have a scanner that's an all in one with a printer. I think it's an Epson but not sure what model.(It's at my father's house) No negatives...I mean these are old pictures, some of them from when my parents were younger(they are 85 now) My dad says he has around 5000 photos. He says he has nothing but time on his hands and it will keep him busy

Please buy your dad a new scanner. It is NOT worth his time to mess with such a low-end scanner. Figure that he will be able to scan no more then 10 prints per hour. That seems slow but each one has to be physically handled, each must be at least checked over after scanning and likely simple corections applied and then he will need to enter some kind of keywords, caption or title. Actually 6 per hour is a very fast rate and at first he will not come even close to this speed. Figure 3/hr for the first 100 or so.

So if your dad works 20 hours a week (that's half time) it will take him most of a year to finish. He could hire the job out for about $2,500. He will be working for $3 per hour. Maybe he is happy with that.

But in any case please get a better scanner.

Also PLASE buy him a set of three backup disk drives. Even if he has the time, he'd hate to loose hundreds of hours of work to a disk failure, theft of the computer or an operator error. Rotate the backups to a safe off-site location

iaddict
Apr 21, 2009, 07:31 AM
I appreciate everyone that has responded. I will look at a new scanner and possibly having a company do this. Keebler - making notes about the older pics was a fantastic idea. Thanks! I'm sure my dad would love to let us all know the stories behind some of the photos.

Tumbleweed666
Apr 21, 2009, 08:08 AM
I appreciate everyone that has responded. I will look at a new scanner and possibly having a company do this. Keebler - making notes about the older pics was a fantastic idea. Thanks! I'm sure my dad would love to let us all know the stories behind some of the photos.

Absolutely, get a decent scanner because you are just going to *hate* it if he does all that work when for a few $$ you could have got much better images. And, without being morbid about it, without the notes as to who these people/places are, the pictures will be close to worthless when he is no longer around. As long as your dad is reasonably computer savvy I'd say forget the monetary cost calculations it will give him something worthwhile to do and keep his brain active.

Also, might be worth looking at making a selection of key photos to start with, there might be 5,000 photos but I bet there are maybe only 10% that really strike a chord, consider starting with those. First of all thats now a manageable task for home, and when done you'll have an idea if you want to spend the money getting the rest scanned. You could also consider hiring a responsible student to do this, does it really warrant a full scale professional company?

mojoejojo
Apr 21, 2009, 10:10 AM
I am in a similar predicament. I have a bunch of old photos and negatives that need to be scanned, and I wanted to get one of the best scanners for such a job. What would be considered a great scanner? I am willing to spend up to $1000 for one (preferably less). I appreciate your help and thank you.

FourCandles
Apr 21, 2009, 04:00 PM
I am in a similar predicament. I have a bunch of old photos and negatives that need to be scanned, and I wanted to get one of the best scanners for such a job. What would be considered a great scanner? I am willing to spend up to $1000 for one (preferably less). I appreciate your help and thank you.

If you've got a mixture of prints and negs, have a look at either the Epson V700 or V750, which in USD seem to be about $600 and $850 respectively. Apart from being an A4 flatbed for your prints, they have a genuinely good film scanner plus attachments which help to bulk scan negatives and slides, including 35mm, 120 and 5x4in.

Check the reviews such as this one (http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson%20V750/page_1.htm) which includes a comparison with a Nikon dedicated film scanner costing about 4x the price of the V750.

I'm biased because I own a V750 but have found it to be a great scanner so far.

ChrisA
Apr 21, 2009, 05:25 PM
I am in a similar predicament. I have a bunch of old photos and negatives that need to be scanned, and I wanted to get one of the best scanners for such a job. What would be considered a great scanner? I am willing to spend up to $1000 for one (preferably less). I appreciate your help and thank you.

The epson flat bed scanners are not all that bad for negatives. especially if you buy a copy of "vuscan". this software is a much improved "driver" that will get better performance from the epson hardware. It can do what photographers are calling "HDR" by combining multiple scans. The software is not expensive.

You should not have to spend all of your budget on a flatbed scanner $300 will get you a good one.

Features you need are (1) "Kodak ICE". Kodak licenses this technology to Canon, Epson and the others. It works to remove 80% of the physical defects in the print or neg. Make sure the scanner has this feature. ICE uses a fourth color - infrared. the scanner needs to have a second lamp and sensor for ICE. (2) at least 4800 DPI native resolution (3) a lamp in the top cover (4) Look at the "d-max" spec. The higher the better. But vu-scan can work around this by doing multi-scans
The epson 4490 is I think the minimum specs you will need. You can spend more if you like

Just remember that you can outsource this work for cheap and they will have better equipment than you can afford. Put a value on your time in $/hr and do the math.

In my case I was happy to pay someone $1,000 to save me from doing 500 hours of scanning. But if you enjoy scanning and don't have $1K buy the $150 4490 and now you have weeks of entertainment. The most time consuming part of the job will be physically handing all those negatives, and then doing quality control and simple corrections on the scanned files. ICE is not perfect. If you budget four minutes per image in Photoshop you can do only simply color/exposure correction and you can remove dust and scratches from only the most important parts of the images (a person's face) and you will have to leave the rest for later. Full treatments of old photos can take hours. for example a crease line or dirt spec could take 1 to 5 minutes and an old photo might have 20+ of these defects.

That said I do have a scanner and do process some of the photos myself. I do the ones that require the most work or the ones I want done "right" or the ones I want done "now". I send most of the work out. I send out batches of 1,000 or so images every couple months. I still have to add keywords and captions and ratings when they come back. I have 30 years worth of old film. About 1/4 of it is worth scanning

mojoejojo
Apr 22, 2009, 08:14 PM
I really do appreciate all of your input and advice. It has been extremely helpful to me and thank you.

canoeman
Apr 23, 2009, 10:23 AM
If it's all prints and you are just trying to collect them all in one place, seriously consider just taking a digital photograph of each one of them instead of scanning. It's tremendously faster, the images all start at the same size, you can selectively desaturate some old stains out that you couldn't do in a grayscale scan, you can take a photo of the back of the print to preserve comments and other info such as processing date, etc. I set them up for indirect light in a window and click away. I have a flatbed glass holder to flatten images, but I find that I don't even use that, just crop the curl away in processing.

I do have an epson 4870 photo scanner that I can use to scan prints and negatives, and I use that as a backup for things that I might want to do something special with. I find that it is slow to scan, change scanning area, straighten the print, get sidetracked in making corrections at the scan level, etc. But, I have found that most of us just want to get the images digitized and organized for show on the screen, web, or small prints.Taking a photo (in raw) has greatly simplified the process and provides plenty of resolution, especially in someone else's house while traveling.

I recently demo'd the process to my friend and his wife using the simplest of techniques. I used my little P&S Canon SD600 in the window, loaded it to my mac, and then showed them a comparison of the process using Aperture, Elements 6, and the free Picassa from Google. Embarassingly, the Picassa was as good or better than the others for all the basic stuff, lightyears faster, and she could duplicate the process after a 5 minute learning process. That makes using my good equipment and software look like a luxury treatment. The simple approach would be good for another "elderly" person like me to take on and have fun with.

On the road for several days now so can't follow the thread, but wanted to throw the idea out there. Bill

barnkeeper
May 12, 2009, 03:28 PM
I am looking for a slide scanner for our iMac (Ours is Intel based and is about a year old now). On other forums and tech help sites I've read nothing but terrible stories about how difficult it is for those folks to use a slide scanner that actually WORKS with Mac OS-X. I went on a couple of mfr. sites who sell scanners, and frankly those mfrs don't say anything at all about their slide scanners being used with the latest iMacs.

Does anyone actually have a slide scanner that works with the latest Leopard MAC OS-X? I'd like to know what the model is so I can also buy one online, too. Thank you.
barnkeeper

FourCandles
May 12, 2009, 03:33 PM
I am looking for a slide scanner for our iMac (Ours is Intel based and is about a year old now). On other forums and tech help sites I've read nothing but terrible stories about how difficult it is for those folks to use a slide scanner that actually WORKS with Mac OS-X. I went on a couple of mfr. sites who sell scanners, and frankly those mfrs don't say anything at all about their slide scanners being used with the latest iMacs.

Does anyone actually have a slide scanner that works with the latest Leopard MAC OS-X? I'd like to know what the model is so I can also buy one online, too. Thank you.
barnkeeper

What feedback did you get about the Epson V700 and V750 on Leopard? I have a V750 on Tiger and it works fine, using both the Epson Scan software and Silverfast AI. The only thing that doesn't work (or I haven't configured yet) is the autolaunch using the scan button on the scanner.