Found some very old negatives, need to scan

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by skid2964, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. skid2964

    skid2964 TPF Noob!

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    While looking through some of my mother's things, I found some very old negatives, from the 40's and 50's, these certainly are not 35mm negatives, they are about the size and shape of a business card, maybe a little larger.

    What is the best method for scanning these? Just simply scanning them like a print on a flatbed scanner?

    I will share then here when I get a few scanned.
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, you will not be able to use a flatbed scanner.

    It sounds like the negs are 6x4.5 (inches) format or 6x7 (though that may be too large).

    You will need a scanner made for negative material ... as it has a backlight to project light through the neg to the scanning sensor underneath.

    You should ask your local photofinishing shop to see if they can scan medium format negs.
     
  3. Plankton

    Plankton TPF Noob!

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  4. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

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    I don't know whether the following applies to what you have, but I knew a guy who had some really old negs that a relative of his had shot back in the 30s. They were in some format that I did not recognize. In order to scan them, it was necessary to make an adaptor (or "mask") that was then placed within a standard medium format fixture. I'm sure that any good imaging place that does scanning is able to do this (for an additional charge, of course).
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    You can use a flatbed scanner. Its just that whatever scanner you use it needs to have illumination for film material (light arranged to shine through the film) instead of just illumination for reflective material (e.g. prints).

    The EPSON v500 would be the least expensive decent scanner to handle medium format film. It handles 35mm and 120 size film. 120 film is 63mm wide.

    There are a number of old roll film formats. 120 was the largest to survive past the '40s, though film in larger roll sizes was made into the '60s and early '70s. If your negs are wider than 120 (63mm) then even the v500 won't handle them. The more expensive v700 and v750 will.
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    About the size of a business card???? That's about 40mm, That sounds odd for a film format.

    Did you perhaps mean a Post Card, which would put it in the 120 to 125 range.
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sounds to me like 127 film. Probably shot from a Brownie or some such. It will be impossible to get useful scans from a flatbedd with color negs. However, if they are in black and white you can mess with the midtones and shadows and perhaps get something useful by reversing the tones. If there are great areas of low negative density it might scan poorly though due to the reflection of the scanning bed light from the top of the scanner. You might try a piece of non reflective white cardboard above the negs before you try. Again, this is for b&w. Color needs other than a flatbed.
     
  8. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    A US Business card is 3.5"w x 2"h or about 1/2 inch narrower than the classic 8 shot on 120/620 image size also call 6x9. They wouldn't be 6x7 as that format wasn't born until the '50s and then only in high end professional cameras. Basic "snapshot" cameras never shot that format. The "standard" 120/620 formats were 6x9, 6x6, and a version of 6x4.5. The old standard 6x4.5 was a 16 shot per roll format and a little narrower than the modern pro 6x4.5 format that yields only 15 shots per roll.

    127 was a popular roll film size for snapshot cameras from before WWI through the early '60s. It had two "standard" formats, 4x4cm square (12/roll) and 4x6cm (8/roll). A few cameras shot a "split" format roughly 4x3cm getting 16 shots on a roll.

    There are many other "antique" roll film formats that were common in their day, some as large as 3 1/2" x 5 1/4" to as small as 9.5mm wide film with 8x11mm images.

    No dedicated film scanner will handle anything other than 35mm, APS, 120/620, and 4x5 without custom made carriers. Flatbeds with film scanning abilities can handle the odd sizes much easier, though custom made/modified carriers usually make scanning easier. I generally create adapters to fit old film sizes into the next larger standard carrier for scanning in my EPSON v700. This has proven quite successful. I've scanned many hundreds of old odd sized negatives in the last two years this way.
     
  9. 4CATSRUS

    4CATSRUS TPF Noob!

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    Take a look at the HP Scanjet G4050. It has adaptors that allow you to scan 35mm,120-( 2.5" x2.5"), 620 -(2.5"x4.5") and the larger negatives.
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    They can be scanned at home on a film scanner. The scanner needs to have the ability to scan film at least the size of your negatives. Like others have mentioned you may have to make or modifiy carriers to fit the film size you have. This could be as simple as using tape or buying some black frame mat material and cutting the correct size in it. You need to use a film scanner as a document scanner uses reflected light. To scan negative you need a pass through light (light shines through the negative).Deppending on how many negatives you want to scan will determine if you should purchase a scanner or send them out to someone else. Since you said the size is around 620 film or so. This really puts some of the less expensive models out of the running. There are a couple that start around $450 that will definately do the job. The one nice thing about scanning yourself is you can take the time to use restoration software to fix photo's that have a meaning to you. A lab will have no clue if a negative should recieve extra attention or not. But scanning at home on your own does take time. So, that may play into buying a scanner or not.The Epson V500 is a good scanner and can be had for $170 and will scan negatives up to 6cm x 12cm and everything in between. And comes with decent software. That should cover the size you have (approx 2 1/4" x 4 1/2"). If not the next step up is the Epson V700 and that will do up to 8"x10". But it's $500. But it is a very good scanner.
     
  11. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    127 film is now an "odd" size and no common scanner will come with carriers to hold it. You can make simple adapters out of heavy black "construction" paper to fit them into the 120 carriers for most scanners that handle 120. I've been very successful doing this with 127 and other formats in my EPSON v700.

    These are a few images taken of and by my grandfather with his Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic on A127 film. The "A" indicates the autographic film which allowed you to write a caption on the film when taken; note the image titled "Parade Rest".

    Dwig & Karen ยป WWI Pix
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  12. johnvarenda

    johnvarenda TPF Noob!

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    hi to all..

    Can anyone explain about the on-line document scanning....
    Thanks.....
    .....................
     

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