buying a film scanner or paying a lab to do the work

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by arielkedem, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. arielkedem

    arielkedem TPF Noob!

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    hi,

    i have several hundred slides and negatives i would like to have scanned for the following purposes: 1) (most important)- to start a gallery on Pbase! 2) to ensure they last many more years 3) to be able to make large prints from some of the slides.

    it seems like financially it would be a good deal to buy a film scanner. however, i understand it is very time-consuming and i am not sure whether i would be able to perform the scan as professionally as a good lab would.

    has anyone been in this situation? what did you eventually decide and what would you RECOMMEND me to do?

    thanks,

    ariel
     
  2. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Many options.

    1) For just Pbase you can "scan them" with a digital camera. I've shot a couple dozen slides with my DSLR and 50mm lens on extension tubes. Quite fast too.

    2) They will last for many more years as slides... unless you burn them or something.

    3) You can always print from slides too, individually. Costs 4 bucks for an 8*12 print.
     
  3. Patrick

    Patrick TPF Noob!

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    Are you talking about something like a slide dup. device that mounts on a Digital camera? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=37453&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation
    I've seen them on B&H but was unsure of the quality that someone could get from one.
     
  4. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I've never used a dedicated slide duplicator, so I can't comment.

    I just attached a 50/1.8 lens to a 20mm extension tube, mounted the slide between 2 pieces of cardboard and shot at f/16 with MLU from a tripod.

    Let me post a sample...
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    900 kb file inside
    click on the "full size" in the right corner
    http://andrew4137.fotopic.net/p21544008.html

    It's an inverted jpeg, pretty much straight out of the camera. No manipulation.

    Had I aligned the negative better and if it took up more of the frame, the quality would've been better. Also, at f16, the diffraction kicks in and the quality isn't optimal.

    But for pbase - who cares?
     
  6. Marctwo

    Marctwo TPF Noob!

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    It'll take a long time to do them yourself but ultimately you'll get much better results. You're also going to need one hell of a lot of storage if you want to save a digital master of each image (which is the whole point, isn't it).

    If you get them scanned to CD/DVD by a lab then don't expect those discs to last to long. Most people burn discs at max speed which gives a very weak impression and makes them very unreliable. If you burn them yourself, burn at a slow speed and they should last for years.

    I'd say, get a film scanner/slide duplicator and scan them as you need them. You'll only need to store digital masters of the shots you're actually using.
     
  7. Patrick

    Patrick TPF Noob!

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    Wow. Going to to start "tinkering".

    I can't imagine scanning 1000 slides, it would almost become a hobby in it's self with the time it would take.
     
  8. Jeff/fotog

    Jeff/fotog TPF Noob!

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    I went to scan a 'high quality' negative and found the file was 352 Mb! So, you have to be a little fussy about the 'high quality' you really want!
     
  9. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Actually, it would be much worse with a dedicated film scanner. I assume you have the slides framed already?

    1) Set up a balanced light source behind the slides
    2) Turn AF on, MLU on, and put the thing on a tripod

    After that, it takes about 5 seconds per slide. You're only limited on how fast you can replace them and the buffer of your camera.

    30 slides a minute. 360 slides/hour... you'll be done in measly 3 hours.
     
  10. Patrick

    Patrick TPF Noob!

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    Yes...and I also still shoot more film anymore than digital for some odd reason.
    I also have a Nikon Coolscan which is how I can't imagine scanning all I have, which includes my late fathers collection. I look at the scanner anymore as a Hi-tech time consuming enlarger. It does a FANTASTIC job, just takes time unless all the negs/slides are shot under the same conditions.

    IMO you'd get great results, in my experience better than a DSLR, with a good film scanner BUT it's just not as simple as putting the slide in and pushing a button. Sounds like Doc's solution might be a great option for the snap shots and a film scanner for the keepers/wall hangers.

    BTW I'm sorry for sorta Hi-Jacking this thread.
     
  11. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I think it's on topic. I don't shoot film that much, and I can't afford to preview every negative by enlarging and printing a test shot... and a contact sheet is not that useful sometimes.

    So I just scan them to preview the negs and determine focus and useability. If it's good, I'll take the time to make a silver print... If it's not, I only wasted a minute or so scanning it.
     

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