Photo Scanner?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wayland1985, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. wayland1985 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    I'm not sure if this the correct forum: but I figured some of the people here would know!

    I'm looking to start backing up my old family photos: I'm curious if there's a scanner out there that any of you have used? Or: what should I be looking for in a scanner?

    I'm considering a Canon all in one printer for this task, but not knowing what I should be looking for in terms of scanner quality, I'm lost!
     
  2. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #2
    I've not used any of the recent Canon AiO devices, but my experience with EPSON's and HP's has been that they are very good document scanners, but rather poor photo scanners. I don't expect Canon's to be any different.

    I would suggest that if your needs are limited to scanning photographic prints, rather than film negs or slides, that you consider the EPSON's flatbed scanners. The v370 is likely a good choice based on my experience with the earlier v330. The v500 and v600 are good as well and add decent film scanning ability. For film, I personally use a v700, which is an earlier version of the current v800. I've used it for a lot of old family photos. I chose it as a large portion of my collection of old family images are either film negative, mostly B&W, or slides. When we broke up my late parents and grandparents houses, other family members took the original prints; I just took the negs as I had a darkroom.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    How many photos do you have? Are they paper prints, slides or negatives. Seriusly concider outsourcing this job. It is harder than you think. Every photo needs to be placed in the scanner, scanned then you realy need to do some minimal hand edits, At least adjust the white balance and colr and maybe edit out some dust or damage. Fiure in spaending abot 5 minutes per photo. Yes that seems a long time but from the time you take the photo out of the box or album to when you hit "save" is about 5 minutes.

    Let's say you time is worth only $10 per hour and you are faster and more skilled this than most people and can do 15 per hour. That is about 67 cents per photo.

    You still might want a scanner. I'd out a service to bulk-scan hundreds of photos and my own scanner for low-volume works when I needed a quick turn around.

    The Epson v800 is about the best flatbed photo scanner out there not. Yes it is expensive compared to some but the price is "nothing" compared to the labor involved and you do NOT want to have to do this job twice. In any case us a PHOTO scanner and not a document scanner. You are looking for features like very high dynamic range (Dmax) and a fourth IR color channel to support a feature like "Digtal ICE"

    I've used ScanCafe.com for many scanning jobs. They do good work and use top qulaity equipment and EVERY image is looked at by a human and given some minimum of at least a couple minutes of hand correction. Their price is 21 cents per image.

    What you might do is send ScanCafe a box with 100 photos and see if the scans are up to your standards. If they are then you just saved yourself 6 hour of work and the cost of a scanner for $21. Send a few more boxes, 100 or 200 at a time.

    Next figure out how to back up the photos. A good rules of thumb is to have a minimum of three physical copies and a minimum of two geographic locations. For long term data I'd go above the minimum, keep copies at three different places.

    VERY few people bother to do effective backups so I've been predicting for years that in 100 years ther will be almost zero 100 year old photos. It is kind of sad because in the paste we have been able to find 100 year old family photos maybe at a grand parent's house That will not happen in the future
     
  4. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #4
    I've had a flatbed scanner for years and recently replaced my Epson V110 with an Epson V550. I also have an AIO Canon MG6320, and as far as scanning, simple documents, yes. Anything more critical, no, as it just doesn't have the resolution. Actually, that Canon won't die as would love to replace it with an archival quality wide body Canon or Epson, but that's a different issue. Wife recently found some 120 film of her childhood that she had never seen. Asked a local camera store how much to print the B&W, thinking chemical processing and was reasonable. Showed up with the negatives and learned there was an additional charge to digitize each and realized was ink jet printing after digitized. The V110 would only do 35mm slides and film, but quick math told me I could buy a new scanner that would do 120 film for about the same price for digitizing the 50 negatives. Looked at both Epson and Canon and 2 impressions. 1) old technology they just are not "improving" on with little change in the software with the exception of drivers, and 2) specs on Epson were a little stronger than Canon.

    One thing I noted when working with negatives, since so small, for a decent size file supporting enlarging, crank the dpi up to 1200 minimum, 2400 preferred, not the typical 300. While technically you could print immediately, I bring all mine into photoshop and clean them up. Additionally, with those I converted the square to 2:3 ratio crop improving the composition.

    Got my money's worth as after that I converted my parent's 20+ slide trays.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5

    It is always hard to know how to value your time. Let's say that to scan those 50 negatives it took you $300 for the scanner and 6 hours of your time. But to have color medium format negatives scanned at 3,000 DPI scanned you'd have to pay ScanCafe.com $1.64 cents per negative or $82. Clearly, if you only had 50 negatives it would not pay to buy a scanner. But what if you had 2,000 35mm slides. They could scan them for $420. (21 cents each) You could buy a cheap scanner for $250 and save $170. but it would take about 166 hours to scan them yourself. You'd save about $1 for every hour you worked. To me that's a no-brainer and I'd pay the $420 but I talked to one person who said he enjoys scanning slides and looks at it as a way to give hi something to do in retirement. Me? I've got things to do already, more things than I will ever be able to finish in one lifetime.

    But it really depends on how you value your time. For a tiny job, outsourcing the work is cheaper but for a huge job you could pay for the equipment in only one month of full-time work if you are willing to work for $1 per hour.

    May solution is to send out work when I can but if I want near instant turnaround I use my own Epson scanner.

    If you do buy a scanner, what matters is dynamic range. and for file at least 1,200 but better 2,400 DPI Make sure it is enough because you don't want to have to do have to replace the scanner and do that 166-hour job twice. Use the best scanner you can afford and LOOK at USED SCANERS. This technology is mature and does not change much. A 10 year old scanner can still do very good work
     
  6. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #6
    Dynamic Range - this is critical for scanning film originals. Few decent (read: non-AiO) scanners will have insufficient dynamic range for scanning color or B&W prints, which are far far less challenging.

    Used Scanners - these can be good values but do your research. Many (most?) have issues with software. Few discontinued scanners have any manufacturer support for drivers that are compatible with the current OSs. Also, many use interfaces that are difficult to adapt to what is on the more recent hardware.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    One more thing, software. Get this https://www.hamrick.com

    The software supports almost every scanner made going back 20+ years but you don't buy it just because it is the only drier for you old scanner. it is a BETTER driver.

    Also, these guys have used almost every scanner on Earth so believe what he says on his web page that is titled "what scanner should I buy?"
    https://www.hamrick.com/support/frequently-asked-questions/what-kind-of-scanner-should-i-buy.html
    Notice he gives pretty much the same advice you got here: The Epson Perfection is good and you can buy them used.

    The old Nikon scanner where good too if you only need to do 35mm but many of these take an SCSI interface and for that you need a desktop PC with a PCI card slot and an SCSI card.

    There are even better scanner drivers that handle older scanners but they cost more and maybe do more than you need

    This is another software option. More "high end" and lets you work in a 100% calibrated color managed environment. You can buy a color calibration target and .
    https://www.silverfast.com/scanner-software/en.html


    If you have a lot of scanning to do, color calibration is work looking into. This way if you order printer they come back looking like what you saw on your monitor. For that, you need to calibrate the scanner and monitor to a standard. There are a few ways to do this, some are free, some need special hardware.

    For your needs, VuScan is enough. But if you were running a service you would absolutely need to calibrate you e equipment. This is another argument for sending the work out -- It will come back with calibrated scans so the color will "work" with professional level calibrated monitors and printers.

    For scanning you will also need some kind of photo editing software, Look at Adobe Photoshop Elements. Elements is almost the full Photoshop but cost only $100 (one time) and you will need it to touch up the scas as they always have dust and scratches and need hand color correction.
     
  8. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #8
    Valuing time is relative and yes you can do the math to rationalize why sending out MAY be cheaper, but there is far more to it. Essentially, what you send in at the lowest cost service is what you get back with marginable adjustment and I will illustrate with a couple of examples. The other issue is the math being on a one time job, where will have the scanner for decades able to handle each and every situation as it presents itself and not have to take the time to outsource and potentially research new outsourcing resources which has the same mathematical "personal time" cost. Finally, is the development of your own personal skill with post processing.

    Most scans can be directly printed with little work...but when required, it is nice to know you can do it. Examples...slide emulsion deteriorated where red cast would be as shown on a projector. That is the way would also scan, requiring significant cleanup. (I believe this was 127 slide film - barely fit in 2"x2" slide holder with thin cardboard border). The B&W was 120 neg low grade consumer "snapshot" camera. Throughout is the classic lack of skill in composition, having to show feet, etc, and in this one, lack of level. Outsourced processing would give you what you see on the original scan, however, leveling and changing to 2:3 ratio gets rid of all the excess. Finally, the one in the truck is a direct scan from a photo. I can't find the unprocessed original scan...but I didn't know I was in the truck until I cleaned it up. That to me is important because my father died about a year later and I was too young to recall things we did together except through pictures. That makes it priceless and well worth my time. This one was scanned quite a few years back, either with the V110 or the scanner prior. I was using Paint Shop Pro at the time as I hadn't transitioned to Photoshop.

    Bottom Line...Just get the scanner and don't rationalize the cost benefit because having it is essentially priceless and over time having it will pay for itself.

    None of these are pro grade...just what the parent's took. Cameras were not that important, and I still kid my mom about our vacation to Key West when I was around 10 y/o. The entire vacation - 36 slides - one roll.
    IMG150.jpg
    img224-1500px.jpg
    img026.jpg
    img026.jpg
    A_grandfather.jpg
     
  9. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #9
    That's nothing. My dad, the family photographer until I took over in when in Jr. High, once had 2 Halloweens and all family events in between on a single 36x roll.
     

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8 November 3, 2018