Scanning / digitizing old photos, in 2016

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by M. Gustave, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #1
    There are old threads on this topic, but what apps and techniques are you all using, today in 2016, to "scan" old photos using your iPhone? (No flatbed Mac/Windows discussion please)

    I'm torn between using Scanner Pro by Readdle, and simply using the stock Apple camera app. Scanner Pro sometimes produces artifacts, and occasionally messes up the color and contrast. But it does seem to account for barrel distortion from the iPhone's wide angle lens, whereas the camera app doesn't. I've used an old app called "SKRWT" to correct lens warping. What do you use?

    I also get good results with natural window light. I put the photos on a dark background near the window.
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    Only in desperation would I use the iPhone for that. So..no apps or techniques, really.
     
  3. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #3
    Meaning you would only use a flatbed with a pc? Why is that? I'm not a professional photographer digitizing my "oeuvre"... these are college photos, family parties, etc. I have about 100 to scan, so investing in equipment to do it seems ridiculous.

    The point of digitizing, for me, is to reduce clutter and minimize all the stuff in my life. I gave away my Canon flatbed years ago.
     
  4. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Round Lake, IL
    #4
    I've never tried using an app to scan something with a phone, instead I use a mobile page scanner that scans in color and only requires a single USB cable to work. This one: http://www.brother-usa.com/Scanners/ModelDetail/24/DS620/Overview

    Capscan.JPG

    Sits nicely on the desk without taking up and room and automatically feeds the photo through. I've used it for photos, certificates, receipts, etc... For photos I have fed Polaroids, and traditional Kodak paper photos of various sizes.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #5
    A scanner will yield the best results. As good as the iPhone camera is, it will not do near as good as a scanner. Sharpness, detail and color balance would be sacrificed.

    All depends on how important these images are to you.
     
  6. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #6
    OP do you not have an all in one printer?

    If so then you already have a scanner that will do the job.

    Pretty much everyone I know has an all in one.
    I have an epson and it I ment to be iprint compatible but it seems to to be.
    It worked on android where could can and print to and from it.

    I can scan and print over wifi on my macbook and imac.
    But not iphone/ipad, for this I was forced to setup a cloud printer so still cannot scan.

    I do not know about other brands.
     
  7. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #7
    I can't say I'm surprised about the negativity and pushback so far, macrumors forum is the gold standard for being unable/unwilling to see productive uses for the iPhone. Just look at the 30 open threads about ship dates and color choices.

    But it's pretty funny that I specifically wrote, in bold, "using your iPhone", and everyone responds with get a scanner.
     
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    #8
    Since you asked for "No flatbed Mac/Windows discussion please" I didn't go there. Your response to my post seemed to open that can of worms.

    I've used Scanner Pro when I had to for documents.

    How much time does it take for you to scan and process a photo using your current method?
     
  9. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #9
    I shoot a ton of film and sometimes proof it before I take it into the darkroom using an app for my phone, but that is about the extent of it.

    I'd just use http://www.scancafe.com and do it right the first time around.

    Trust me....as we get older and mortality rears it's head, good representations of memories are never regretted.
     
  10. M. Gustave, Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016

    M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
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    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #10
    About 30 seconds, if I have to/want to edit it.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 28, 2016 ---
    It's a good suggestion, in that it doesn't require any time on my part, or acquiring more gadgets and clutter. Something to consider, thanks. How is the quality?
     
  11. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #11
    Depending on how good your originals are, very good to excellent. I have my own scanning equipment but have sent other people to them who wanted to do exactly what you are asking and all have been 100% satisfied.

    I think it is your best bet sir.
     
  12. redman042 macrumors 68030

    redman042

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #12
    I can help with this question. Try the app "Photomyne". It was designed specifically for this purpose, and does a great job. It's fast, smart about cropping and correction, and quality is quite good considering you are snapping a photo of the image rather than scanning it. Obviously, set up the best lighting conditions you can, avoid shadows and glare, etc.

    Of course I prefer a flatbed to get the best results, and I tried that. Last year my dad asked if I could scan in all our old family albums. I agreed, and stuck with it for quite a while. But it was like mowing a football field with a pair of scissors. I came up with the most efficient workflow I could, but progress was still extremely slow and after many hours the pile of photos still left to scan was huge. I gave up in frustration.

    But now with this app I get reasonably good results far faster, and the scans go straight into my iCloud photo library, where it is simple and fast to apply adjustments and share the resulting album with my family.

    Although the quality is not the same as using a flatbed, it's surprisingly close, and given the source photos were shot on a crappy compact camera in the 70's or 80's, it's plenty good enough for all but the most cherished photos.
     
  13. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #13
    Do you at least "mount" your iPhone on some kind of tripod and use fixed lightings to control your environment?
     
  14. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #14
    No. I'm not shooting at slow shutter speeds, and my 6s+ has OIS. My "fixed lighting" is daylight.

    I understand where most of these comments are coming from. I used to be a hobbyist photographer, always chasing the ever-elusive ultimate image quality. Obsessing over every photo at 200% in Photoshop. I had about $5000 worth of gear, and it did nothing but make me broke and miserable. Like many, I think I was missing the whole point. That's just some unrequested background, sorry.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 28, 2016 ---
    You bring up a great point. My photos were almost all shot on disposables, or point and shoot 35mm cameras. Some "Advantix". Let's be honest, the lens IQ was passable, and the developing was done by automated machines in the Fotomart. Is it worth obsessing over?
     
  15. redman042 macrumors 68030

    redman042

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #15
    There are definitely times when top-end gear is worth the trouble, but as the iPhone's camera improves year after year while my life gets ever busier, the justification for pulling out the fancy gear and investing the time in post-processing keeps shrinking. It's surprisingly rare now that my wife and I pull out the DSLR or the Sony RX100. We used to use them often. But it's rare now. And soon I'll be able to shoot RAW with my iPhone 7. Unless I'm contemplating framing the shot, the 7 will do just fine.

    As for your albums, you can capture all your albums with the phone and an app like this very quickly, organize and save the original prints in proper photo archiving boxes, and then share the digitals with family. If grandma looks at one of your images and says "gosh, I'd sure love a blowup print of this one", you can always go back and scan the original on a flatbed and spend time restoring it in Photoshop. That selective approach is much more efficient.
     
  16. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #16
  17. comptr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #17
    I would use a flatbed scanner for this, I started to scan all of the family pics with a higher end Epson Flatbed scanner that connects via firewire and and has very high resolution.
     
  18. redman042 macrumors 68030

    redman042

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #18
    That's what I did. Three photos at a time on the glass, scan into Photoshop, separate into three images, apply adjustments to each including removal of the inevitable lint, save as jpg, sort and organize. Takes about 7 minutes to do each batch of three. Around 500 photos done in threes times 7 minutes a batch equals 20 hours. All to achieve marginally better quality than doing it with the phone, considering the source material is low quality anyway.

    With Photomyne, I can do the same process way more quickly.

    But I agree with your approach for bringing in professionally shot portraits and other special moments. Just not all of them.
     
  19. comptr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #19
    I will try Photomyne, since I only started it a couple of years back, I did not get far so I may just use that app for all of my pics in albums then use the scanner for the rest.
     

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