Highway robbery!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by indierthanthou, May 16, 2008.

  1. indierthanthou macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Ok so I called a camera shop from my area today to see what it would cost to put a few rolls of film onto a cd, scanned in high res. $12.95 PER ROLL plus $3.95 processing. Is that ridiculous? Also they charge something like $10.99 per roll processing+prints for 120 film, but they are the only place in the area that even has the capability of doing 120/620, so they kind of have me by the gonads there.

    Is thirteen bucks per roll gouging or what? I could understand that much per cd, but per ROLL? That is kind of ridiculous. I mean, I may as well buy the negative scanner I have had my eye on, in about 20 rolls it will have paid for itself.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Actually I think you're getting a deal there.
    First, to find a machine that will process 120 film is difficult, as you clearly know. Second, you say "high res" scans but are you talking drum scanning or something else? What's the digital output of those so-called "high res" scans.

    Take for example a place I used to frequent. I would process my own slides as I worked in a studio for some time and take the roll for scanning. High-res output for me was 300 DPI. I don't recall the pixels. I managed to print stellar 8x10 and 11x14 images from those scans, even under a 10x loupe they were beautiful. Consider I shot on slide film, but even on negative film I would get similar results. To scan one roll, no prints or process I was paying $15-$20. It was basically the "discounted" rate as we sent all our scanning to that guy. If I wanted a drum scan it would have doubled, easy. To scan one 4x5 slide using a drum scanner it'd run me about $4. That just seemed to be the standard price back then (5 years ago).

    So I think if high res outputs something that you can print up to at least 16x20 and still have a nice looking print, then yes, you're getting a deal.

    The alternative is to figure out how many rolls you intend to shoot and see if buying a decent film scanner isn't best for you. If I shot film like I used to I would scan everything and never make prints. I only print what I love, the rest just fall into the "this is ****" bucket on my hard drive.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It depends on the quality of the scans. For a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film $12 is only $0.33 per scan. That is very, inexpensive. if the scans are done at a decent DPI and they get the color "right" and so on. It's cheap for good quality scans.

    Why are you having prints made from the 120 film? Why not scan it. It is unlikey you need every frame printed

    If you have LOTS of 35mm film to scan and you can wait for a 6 week turn around try www.scancafe.com give me a PM and I'll e-mail a $10 off code to you. Put these guys are not good for just one roll I send film in 50 roll batches. They charge $0.19 per frame but you only have to pay for 1/2 of the frames you send it. Works out to about $4 a roll

    If you are really wanting to save money you can get a "daylight tank" and process the film yourself. It is really not hard and the required equipment is not expensive to just process the film. You can buy a scanner that does decent work for just about $250. A top of the line Epson flat bed scanner running "vuescan" software can do very nice. Once you are set up you can process and scan 120 or 35mm for $2 per roll and about 1 hour of time per roll (if you process two at once). You'll save money but you'll be working for $8 an hour. It was a good trade off when I was in Middle School I processed a lot of Tri-X back then. More recently I've proceed 120 size tranparentcy film using E6 process by hand. Just so I could see the results one hour after the shoot.

    This is what you need: http://www.adorama.com/DKT435.html
  4. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    I Agree.

    I was using a local "Mom & Pop" camera store for years...they were a bit more expensive, but they did a superior job in paying attention to color balance, saturation, etc. I had been paying roughly $15 for processing, and if I wanted it digitized during developing, that was an extra $5 for 6MP scans, which brought the total cost per roll (36) to roughly $20.

    Unfortunately, they went out of business last year because they couldn't make ends meet. I'm still looking for an as-good in-house developing house (the local Professional E6 half day service went out too); its frustrating.

    (I'm in Northern NJ, if anyone has any recommendations. I'm looking for a place that was as good as Denville Camera, or Positive Image. FYI, Dover Camera has gone out too).

    I'll do some ad-hock stuff on my Epson flatbed, but the time required ... "touch labor" ... kills me. I've been debating buying a Nikon LS-5000 and bulk slide reader, but that would run $1200 and more of my time, so I think that I'm going to go sift through a bunch of my non-digitized stuff and try out Scancafe.com - - at 24 cents per slide, I could get 5,000 keeper slides digitized and while I would be financially behind a little (since I could theoretically sell the slide scanner for after I'm done with it), I'd be way way way ahead time-wise, since I've still not gotten around to this project despite my "thinking about it" for the past ~3 years (probably longer).

  5. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    I bought the LS-5000 scanner and it's fantastic. The bulk scanner is a bit of a pain b/c it jams so i took it apart and added a large paper clip (they have the spring way too tight which causes jams). THe difference in slide quality from my epson v700 to this dedicated machine is just unreal (with the latter far surpasses the epson).

    Anyhoo, going with scancafe as you mentioned is probably a good idea. They use the 5000 and/or the 9000 from what I read. I bought the 5000 b/c I scan slides as part of my business, but I can't beat scancafe's pricing. Bulk pricing for them which is hard to beat.

    The extra touch up time can be a killer and the learning curve can be great.

    good luck,
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Hmmm... at approx. 4 minutes for picture, you are looking at what, 96 minutes for 24 photos to scan them yourself. So besides the cost of a film scanner for many hundreds or a few thousand dollars, is your time worth less than $8 per hour?
  7. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    well I hear that digital is giving film processing a run for its money so I'm not surprised that it's pretty expensive
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It certainly was when I was 13 years old. Where can a 8th grader get an $8 per hour job?

    As I wrote I processed a lot of film by hand. I bought it in 100 foot long rolls and spooled it into reload-able cartridges. I think the total cost of the film and processing was about under $3. Prices have not changed much from the 70's You can still buy 100 feet of film or about $25 and cut into about 24 rolls of 36 exposure film and process the whole thing for anoter $25 in chemicals. Film SLRs are cheap now Can buy a good setup for $100. The Image quality of the $100 camera can beat any DSLR that sell for less then $1K.

    We don't know the age of the OP. Could be someone like I was back then.
  9. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    $12.95 to scan a roll of film and burn it to CD is cheap!!!!

    I know I wouldn't do it for that low amount, I value my time too much I guess.

    Around here they charge about $15/roll and in my opinion the quality can be hit-or-miss.

    We sent one roll, the same roll to a local store twice. Colors were different each time! :eek:

    Excellent idea .... having a film scanner is a good thing. Be careful though, you might shoot some scenes on film and digital, then scan the film and compare it with the digital! :D
  10. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I'm thinking im gonna buy the scanner. I just am having trouble finding an affordable (>$300) one that runs on mac. I like the epson perfection v500.

  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think it would be helpful if you could find out what scanner your shop is using first. At least this way you can figure out the specs of their scanner and see if whatever you intend to buy will replace it. You may find your scans are junk and not worth the money for the scanner. Also, what's the resolution of your scans now? It'd very important that you know what you have now so when you do buy you're not buying convenience you're buying quality.

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