Negative Scanner

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by busyleomom66, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. busyleomom66

    busyleomom66 TPF Noob!

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    OK. I need help. If this information is posted somewhere else, I am sorry for reposting (I know some people hate that). I have looked for it, but, I can't find it.

    Here is my problem;

    I have hundreds of photos I developed over the last 30 years. But, even after all this time, I still have most of the negatives with the photos. I want to put all these photos on a CD, but I don't have time to scan these photos in one by one, and it would be VERY pricey to have them done somewhere else. PLus, this is my thinking, if i get the negatives scanned in, instead of the photos, I will end up with a better product then scanning in the photos.

    So, basicaly, I am looking for a negative scanner for less than $300. I want it to be fast (or at least not slow). I want software which I do not have to be a rocket scientist to use. :) It should be able to be used with MS Vista.

    I don't want to spend a bunch of money, then the product not work the way it is supposed to.

    Any ideas?

    Busy Mom
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    *) Negative scanners are like buying cameras. You get what you pay for.
    *) Negative scanners are SLOW to scan
    *) Scanning that many negatives are a PITA. You have to address dust which is always going to be an issue.
    *) Negative scanners are typically going to pricey if you want any sort of quality.
    *) After you finish, now what? Scanner == dust collector.

    My advice is to seek out a lab to do the scanning for you. It might be pricey but the final result should be good (assuming you find a good lab). Ask for levels of quality and pricing. You might want to submit a sample for scanning to see if their quality is up to your expectations.

    Remember... your are not just paying $$$ for scanner. You are paying $$$ for the scanner PLUS you time and effort. In the end, it might just be better to spend a bit more and get it done by someone else.
     
  3. busyleomom66

    busyleomom66 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your reply. But, if I were to purchase one, which one should I purchase? I am still debating the two options; buying the scanner, or sending it away - but I would like to see what my purchase options are.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    Usayit pretty much summed it up. I use an Optitek scanner, paid about $350 for it. Does a really good job, but it's slow, for high res.
    First, are you going to scan every single neg you have? Depending, you could pay more for scans at a shop that does it. They get paid for their time also.

    If you're going to spend 3 - 500 dollars consider getting a scanner, if you're going to keep shooting film. It's this vs. that, kind of thing. I'd take stock of how many shots are actually keepers. Then you can weight the cost/benifits of buying (or not) a scanner. You can alway sell your scanner or trade it for some gear, down the road, if you're not going to shoot film anymore.

    If you are going to continue shooting film, then once you get the bulk done, it's not such a big deal scanning a few rolls at a time.

    I think this is one of those things you'll just have to figure out for yourself.
    Software, well, I haven't seen any of it that requires a PhD in astrophysics. If I can do it.......well.....

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  6. busyleomom66

    busyleomom66 TPF Noob!

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    LOL Astrophysics? Good one!

    AS for film shooting. That is not an issue at this point. We all have digital photos in our home, and when we do develop film we just develop it and get a CD with the developing (normally just 1-3 dollars more). BUT, here is the issue. I have TONS of old photos which were developed way long ago before CDs. I am kind of OCD so I still have most of the negatives. My ultimate goal is to have all the negatives photos put on CDs, then transferred to hardrive, then put in a safe deposit box. Yes, I know, it is a lofty goal, but it is one I am going to work on slowly.

    I am looking into companies which scan negatives and yes they do a great job, so I may send them a bunch. And I may even buy my own scanner and do a bunch myself. Like I said, I have a huge amount of photos from 30 plus years ago, and I really want to save these negatives on a CD, so I am just gathering information about all of my options.

    And no, I do not have a PHD in astrophysics LOL so I need an easy software program to use if I go the scanner route.
     
  7. busyleomom66

    busyleomom66 TPF Noob!

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    WOW COOL! It is hard to think these were scanned in from negatives. Very impressive. Thank you for the information.
    Yes, these are a little pricey. But I think, using your examples, I may be able to get my sister to go in for 1/2 and then we both use it.
    Does it just do negatives, or also photos?
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The V700 is (as of the review in 2006) the only flatbed that comes close to a dedicated scanner AND still provides the flexibility of a flatbed. You can do practically any size negative (even large format) as well as photos. Everything I wrote in the review still holds true... years later. The only thing that is a pain is dealing with the negative holders (and dust)... but they still get the job done. Someone told me that compatible negative holders are available via a third party manufacturer with improvements in design and made of better materials. I never looked into it. As for dust, just treat them as you would in a dark room. Anti-static cloth, cotton gloves, compressed air, even a fine paint brush to whisk the dust away.

    Its interesting... I revisit some of my negatives/prints from film and they still can give a digital a run for its money. They still hold details in the shadows and highlights better. People try to compare them to digital images on a computer screen.. just not a fair comparison (negatives intended for print.. ).. and 1/2 the time the issue is the scanner itself.



    BTW.. a few people here have reported excellent results from the cheaper version of the V700 which is called the V500. Something to look into but I don't have experience with it.
     
  9. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    My father-in-law is a retired reporter for the San Diego Union Tribune. He's got (literally) boxes and boxes of negatives that he wants to scan. He's been looking for a used scanner but can't find one. You'd think they'd be around, considering they're a one-use type of thing, but they're not.

    If you buy one and want to sell it when you're done, he would likely be interested.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They are difficult to find used because:

    * they are becoming a niche just as film shooters...

    * generally they are purchased by people who continue to be film shooters in the long term (thus need them long term)

    * technology in these things don't move as quickly as we have seen in DSLRs. They don't become obsolete very quickly.
     
  11. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    I own the Canon Canoscan 8800F. Look it up on amazon. There are sample scans posted with it. It's fast to scan and it does great. Read through the reviews there and you will get an idea of the speed and quality. Very happy with it.
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While I would recommend having your film scanned by someone else. If you are going to do it yourself you're going to want to opt for a epson flatbed scanner like the v700. The reason being that you can scan 24 images at once, so it's MUCH quicker.

    The trick with the v700/750 is getting the film carrier height just right. They're slightly adjustable (three settings), and you can fine tune by using tape at the bottom of the "feet" of the carrier. Do a lot of tests scans and note if the film is curled or not, curled film is a ***** to scan--you'll have to decide if you want the middle crisp and the edges soft, or the entire thing semi-soft.

    Good luck! again, unless you're continuing to shoot film, having it done is a better option.
     

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