Photo Scanner

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by rjackjames, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    I have a question. I have been given the task of making my family pictures digital. I am debating what photo scanner too buy? Does anyone have any recommendations?

    I would appreciate the help.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Price range? remember buying a scanner is like buying a camera. You get what you pay for.

    If you are not prepared to spend the money for a dedicated negative scanner, I'd say the top level flatbeds for negatives are from Epson. Being the V750/V700 and the smaller less expensive V500.
     
  3. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    I dont have the negatives. I already have the developed photos that I want too make digital. I think the negatives were destroyed over time. I am willing too spend in the 500-900 range.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    The first thing you need to do is to inventory the family pictures to see what you'll be scanning. You will certainly have prints, but will likely also have negatives and possibly slides. The negatives are likely to be a reasonably wide range of formats. Only after you've found out the range of sizes and types involved can you make any intelligent decision on what scanner to get.

    That said, you will probably find that your best option will be a good quality flatbed scanner that has good film scanning capabilities. One likely candidate is the EPSON v500 and newer v600. These are very good scanners for prints up to 8x10 and film in sizes up to 120 roll film. This will cover most amateur formats used by cameras made since WWII and many of the earlier cameras.

    I'm in the middle (~1500 images behind me and another 1500-2000 to go) of a similar project that is a 50/50 mix of old family pictures and nearly 50 years worth of my own personal images. My family pictures include quite a number of negatives shot on antique roll film and pack film formats distinctly larger than 120/620 and my personal work includes a most number of 4x5 negatives and transparencies. I choose to get an EPSON v700 which, while being able to deliver a bit better image quality, can scan the larger film formats.

    Use the search function to search this forum for other posts on scanners. You should find several from which you can glean info and opinions. I also recommend that you drop by The Rangefinder Form (Rangefinderforum.com Portal - Rangefinderforum) and do a similar search. There have been some excellent recent discussions about several of the EPSON scanners, both current and recent models, along with models from other brands.

    You'll find a high bias toward film-only scanners (aka "dedicated film scanners"). While some of these can deliver slightly better film scans than models like the EPSON v700, none can scan prints and most require significant skill in crafting carriers for odd old formats. "Shoe horning" odd formats (e.g. 110, 126, 127, ... to name a few common amateur formats) into the carriers for flatbeds, like the EPSONs, is relatively easy and you can always just lay the film on the glass without a carrier.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah... So pretty much you have to get a flatbed scanner. In that price range, the V700 is right up your alley. It can also scan prints. Be aware that scanning from prints are not going to be as nice as from negatives but I have some excellent results from scanning 70+ year old enlargements. The larger the print... the better the scan.

    Also, you might want to consider sourcing a local camera shop (online?) to do the scans for you. This might be especially cost effective for those one off projects with lots of samples to scan. For select special prints, you might want to consider even spending the money for someone to run them through a drum scanner. Saves your time too.. scanning is slow and tedious work.
     
  6. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    I have all the time in the world. I know it can be painful. I would love too do this project since its my family history. I will look into scanners n debate right now since. I have too collect most of the pictures and process the one I want too scan. If i find the negative it will be awesome but i knew most of them were destroyed :( or got lost over time. We will see. I have a long process ahead of me.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most of my scans from my v700 are negatives:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/62119-epson-v700-experiences.html

    I was able to find two samples of print scans because (just like you) the negatives are long gone. This one is a scan from a Wonderful quality 8x10-ish print:

    [​IMG]

    This one is a scan from a print approx the size of a 4x6:

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully this will be helpful for your decision.

    NOTE: scans are from the original unmodified/processed TIFF output from the v700 converted to jpg (lightroom). I adjusted levels/curves before submitting for final re-prints.
     
  8. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    Wow those images are stunning. I am definitely getting that scanner. Thanks for the sample images. I have lots too do and I have too decide real quick. I really need too start this project its been too long.
     

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