Scanning in years of photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bking1000, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #1
    For scanning photos to work in iPhoto08, what are the best options (let's assume I have a flat bed scanner with sufficient DPI). Although -- what's the best DPI for a 4X6 if I want to support blowing them up digitally later?

    Are there utilities where I can put multiple photos on the bed, and scan them at the same time, to chop them separate later? I have SOOOOO many photos, I don't want to scan them one at a time!

    Are there any services anyone knows about for standard photos to be scanned in high volume? These would be photos over the last 15-20 years.

    Any recommendations, utilities, strategies, etc. appreciated.
     
  2. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #2
    Do you still have the negatives of any of these photos? You'll get much better quality in blowing up your prints if you do scans of the negatives themselves. Otherwise I think you'll be limited in how much you can blow it up and maintain good quality. Thats just coming from my own personal experience.
     
  3. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #3
    I do have negatives of many of them. How do you scan them? Can you put them all down on a flatbad scanner, bring them into .tiffs and then convert them to positives? I only have iPhoto and Pixelmator. What else would I need? Would I also need a real high density scanner? Would a service be best for negatives scanning?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  4. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #4
    Perhaps you can look into a scanner for negatives. Also, many REAL photo shops (at least ones I've been to) have scanners for negatives, but it could be cheaper in the end to buy your own if you have so many. I know Nikon makes a model called "Coolscan".
    :)
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Some questions:

    How many photos. You say "a lot" but is it 100, or 10,000?

    Do you have the negatives. If possible scan those. The result will be much better.

    Your scanner may not be up to the task. "DPI" is not enough. All scanners can handle 600DPI. Which is good for scanning prints. The important features are (1) "d-max" and (2) If it uses the Kodak "ICE" system. OK there is more to a scanner than just that. But "DPI" hardly tells you anything. You need to know about "quality" of pixels not just how many there are. Decent flat bed scanners start at just over $250.

    Every frame (print or negative if you have one) will need to be placed in the scanner, scanned and then you will need to do at least a minimal color balance and exposure correction or if not verify that none is required. And you will need to spot some dust, no image is dust free, no matter how carful you are. Expect to spend about 5 minutes per frame that that is if you have a fast computers that can scan one image while you correct/check the last. Working at the five minute per frame rate s hard but you get good at it after 100 or so and if not after 1000.

    All that said check out this web site
    www.scancafe.com
    They can do this for you. In order to decide to to it yourself or hire the job out you have to decide what your time is worth. Are you willing to work for an hour to save $3, how about if you could save $10.

    I started the same project. I'm scanning some of the images but sending the bulk out. THere is always some this I want to scan myself but no way do I want to spend months of my time scanning images. and at 5 minutes per frame if would take months of full time (40 hours a week) effort to scan in 10,000 frames.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Auto feeders sound like a good idea until the first jam. The bulk of your time is not spend feeding the scanner. What times the times is removing and replacing the negatice or slide from and back into the "print file" or other archival holder. You can't automate this. It's hand work. The other time consumming part is post processing. If you care even a littel bit about quality you will have to bring up each image in Photoshop and zoom in close andinspect for dust, scratches color and so on. And then it turns out Kodak's "ICE" is just slow. If is faster than my using the Clone Stamp in PS but it could add a minute per image.

    Running a scanner is not unlike running a digital camera. There is an unavoidable workflow that you simply can not automate. you have to look at each image and add keyworks and a rating and a catagory, whatever your filing system is. If not the image just slips into a big black hole in your disk never to be found again.
     
  7. bking1000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #8
    I agree. I started converting my vinyl to MP3, and decided it was easier just to re-buy the stuff. I'd like to find a service to probably just do my photos to jpgs for me. In terms of how many I have, I am not sure. I just drug out the old photos tonight. I would say about 2-3 boxes full (the boxes being about the size of a case of printer paper you buy at staples). So, while maybe not 10,000, it's way more than 100.

    My only issue is working with a mail-order place where I have to mail my pictures, as I am afraid of not getting them back. I'll look for a local place.
     
  8. Regis27 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    #9
    I'm considering a similar scanning job for all my old photos, and here's one thought:

    When you're comparing the costs between doing it yourself and getting it done at a shop, assuming that this is a one time job (i.e. that you've moved to digital and not shooting film anymore) buy the best scanner that your budget can allow keeping in mind that you can sell it as "like new" as soon as you finish.
    For example, if you decide to spend $200 to complete this, instead of buying at $200 scanner, buy a $1000 scanner that sells used for $800. Use it for a week or two, then sell it on ebay (or craigslist or whatever) -- you'll end up getting things done faster and at better quality.

    At least that's my plan. :)
     

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