Negative Scanning Business, 35mm

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by supraman215, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    I posted here some months ago about starting a negative scanning busieness. I have since had a baby and time has been a hard comodity to come by. However recently it's been getting a little better so I'd like to start researching this more maybe even getting some marketing going.

    The basic idea for the business is that most people from age 35-60 have spent most of their lives taking pictures using 35mm cameras and have oodles of prints and negatives lying around of their families, vacations, events, etc. Most of these people are also getting into the digital, internet infromation age, but don't have time to scan in thousands of old photos. This is where I come in. I will do cheap, bulk scanning of thousands of frames, at a rate of about $0.25 a frame. At this rate I would be scanning and putting them on a DVD, no digital retouching would be done.

    Even for those people at the other end of the spectrum that don't even own a computer they could see the value of making a permenent archival of their most precious memories for future generations to appreciate.

    So the idea behind this business is high volume, low cost, 35mm negative scanning. I'll start with one Nikon film scanner and one computer if business increases I can add scanners and computers economically multiplying my productivity with each additional scanner, also adding the ability to do multiple size prints and different negatives. Eventually if the business grows I can hire unskilled labor to man the scanners and load negatives.

    So that's the plan. What I need first is some clients before I purchase the scanner.

    Does anyone have a Nikon Coolscan V that could scan a negative frame for me untouched at various resolutions that I could use to complement my marketing materials? A photo that was not intended for commerical use that I could use for free would be great :)

    Thanks for any input and ideas.

    Jeff
     
  2. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

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    I have a Coolscan V, and I could do it, but I've never tried scanning "at various resolutions". I'll have to consult the manual on that. How about I just scan a couple of negs to start off?

    Don't forget slides. Lots of people have slides too, and the Coolscan V does a great job on them, better than negs, actually.

    I've actually thought about doing this as well. Keep us informed.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Most drugstores 1 hour labs have scanners that do this kind of thing. I have no idea aobut the pricing. What I really need is a higher than drugstore scan from the roll of film at a reasonable price. Then load it onto cd and send the negs and the cd back to me. I know thats a lot to ask but I can't seem to find anyone who wants to do the whole roll at a reasonble resolution and reasonable price.
     
  4. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    dinodan: Thanks that would be great. I'm planning on doing the scans at 200dpi which would keep the processing time low enough and the file size low enough and still create a high quality scan.

    mysteryscribe: That is EXACTLY the market I'm trying to reach. The quality of the drugstores is low, like kodak photo CD low. The local photo shop offers high quality but you're talking about usually around $2 a frame. That can get cost prohibative, plus you would have to go through all your frames to sort out the ones you want. What I'm talking about is a bulk service where you give me all your frames. I scan them all at 2kdpi with a low compression JPEG. That will be more then enough quality to do most printing. This would also be a service for people who don't have the time to do and organize all that scanning.

    My price will be about $0.25 per frame, and I would do DVDs due to the image size I'd be working with. If your interested PM me and we can talk about it.

    Certianly buying more equiptment in the future and expanding the capabilities is in the plan.

    Jeff
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    What is the pixel count at your project scan dpi... I just getting ready to come out of retirement for my birthday present, so give me a couple of months to get my feet on the ground and I'll get back with you. Sounds like you are planning exactly the service I need.

    Now the only concern I have is transporting negative by mail or some other third party.
     
  6. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    Using my rudementary math skills, lol, it appears that would be about 5.36mp

    frame size in mm: 36x24
    frame size in in: 1.417x0.945
    pixels per in = 2000
    frame size in pixels: 2835x1890
    total pixel count = 5,358,150

    If you want we can talk about a higher res and what that might cost.

    Also as for transporting, the USPS offers media mail which is a much cheaper way to ship then regular packages.

    How many frames or rolls do you think you have?

    Jeff
     
  7. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

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    Okay, I dusted off the owner's manual and found out how to reduce the scan resolution. I should be able to run some neg scans for you this weekend. Why don't you PM me your email address so that I can send the image files directly to you? Here's what the machine is capable of. This is an Ektachrome...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Sorry I sent you my email address got you confused with the original poster.
     
  9. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

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    That's okay. I wasn't sure whether it was a system glitch or a human one. :wink:
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    almost human...
     
  11. Murray Bloom

    Murray Bloom No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey Jeff, unless I'm missing something, I'm not sure that 200 DPI will cut it. If you scan an entire 35mm negative at that resolution and print to 8x10, the resulting DPI is only about 28 DPI on the print, which would look awful and equate to only a .05 megapixel camera! That's why films are typically scanned at about 4,000 DPI and higher.
     
  12. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    i sense another dots per inch v pixels per inch debate on the horizon.......
    :)
     

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