Which scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dimme, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #1
    I just inherited the family photo collection of about 4 or 5 thousand 5mm Kodachrome slides. I plan to scan a lot of these. I know what I in for I was a drum & Imacon scanner operator for many years. I have tools to profile the scanner so I would like to do that also. I see a lot of old film scanners on ebay but don't want to be stuck with something that will require a old computer(SCSI) or old OS to make the software work. As I plan to do this over many years speed is not a issue. From what I read the Epson V700 looks like the scanner to get but I am wondering will the V600 do (Money is tight). The scans will be used for viewing on a computer and scrapbooking. Are there any other brands worth considering? But it would be nice to create a higher resolution scan if I want. One question I have about the V700 It looks to be a older model is there a replacement due out soon?
     
  2. pna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #2
    Seriously, for a job this big, just use Scancafe. Sign up for their mailing list, as they will from time to time have prices as low as 23 cents per slide scan, sometimes even less if you buy a gift card. That would make your job cost somewhere between $1000 and $1250 IF you kept all of them. In reality, I'm guessing that your family slides are like mine and you won't want to keep all of them. Scancafe lets you discard up to half of them.

    I realize that you say that money is tight, and totally respect that and your desire to do it all yourself. You've also indicated that you've been a scanner operator, so at the same time you have the skills to do this right, you also know what a huge undertaking this is. We're talking about hundreds and hundreds of hours of your time, here, and for some reason it pains me to think about someone spending that amount of time, when it's not their job, when they could be doing something else that they actually enjoyed. If cost is a huge issue, then spreading the set of slides out over a few years and sending them in batches to be scanned could also help out.

    I don't work for scancafe, but chose to use their service for precisely the same purpose as you and for precisely the same reasons I've outlined here. I've previously spent hundreds of hours ripping my CD collection (multiple times), so I know about tedious and time-consuming processes. Ripping CD's is nothing compared to the amount of attention you have to pay to do proper slide scanning.

    As for the scanners you've mentioned, my sense is that the Epson's you've listed are fine for scanning prints, but that their quality will be far inferior to the Nikon equipment that scancafe uses for scanning slides. Those machines cost more like $1,000.
     
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I agree with most of your post, but I cannot disagree more with this statement. Family photographs--even the bad ones--are priceless. You may ignore photographs if you have them. However, you are SOL if you suddenly realize that you want a photograph that you discarded last week. Storage is inexpensive. Image editing software can do a remarkable job of enhancing photographs that have suffered the ravages of time. My recommendation is to scan all photographs at the highest resolution that you can afford. Archive copies on multiple media.
     
  4. pna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #4
    Sorry -- I should have been more clear. There were, in my father's collection, a number of slides that were either so badly damaged that you couldn't see anyone or anything at all, or that were shots of a totally accidental nature, etc. I'm as sentimental and nostalgic as they come, and completely agree that storage is cheap and you should err always on the side of preservation, but some of them really didn't have value even to my father. It was of very convenient to me to be able to just dismiss these easily without having to sort through them physically and look at them closely under some kind of light.
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I am not looking for areas of disagreement here. The fact that the photographs are part of your father's collection is irrelevant. I have also dealt with ancient faded photographs. If the photographs are more than plain white or gray paper, then it is very likely that image editing software--and not necessarily expensive software--can dramatically enhance the scanned images. Just one example that comes to mind in my case. The photograph was of of my grandmother with my brother, sister, and me. My grandmother sat while she held my sister in her lap. My brother and I stood on either side of my grandmother. The paper print was so faded that my sister was nowhere in evidence. I had no idea that she was included in the photograph. My baby sister had faded into Grandma's apron. However, GraphicConverter was able to enhance the 50+-year-old photograph to the point where my sister was clear and recognizable as the toddler sitting in Grandma's lap.

    The takeaway message is that you should not dismiss the possibility of recovering precious long lost memories. In the case of my example above, do not dismiss the possibility of discovering family events that you never knew existed.
     
  6. Shaneuk macrumors regular

    Shaneuk

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
  7. dimme thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #7
    Just a follow up
    I got a Epson v600 and a used Minolta Scan Duel off ebay. The Minolta is sharper but as I expected all the film defects do show up. So for the old and very dirty slides the Epson is working out better. For the new (1980's) slides I using the Minolta.
     
  8. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #8
    One could go on and on with a bunch of techno-facts, but it is far better to send out those piles of old slides. Even a V700/750 can't do that job as fast, as well or as cheaply.

    Every profession review says the same thing. Cuz it is true.

    I suggest the higher resolution option, but not any special custom manipulation.

    When you get that disk back, back it up! Twice!

    Then, using an editing program you can crop out those deteriorated edges, restore faded color, retouch, etc. It is vastly easier doing it this way than while it is being scanned! And better, and cheaper.

    You could also label them so that future generations will know who these people are.

    Then, get your photos printed. I decided to do this in an Aperture album, but there are other choices of course. People will always be able to access prints, but may not be able to view digital files from today. Want to look at photos copied to floppy disks just a few years ago....?
     

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