Scan Resolution For Old Slides, Negatives

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by CanTex, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. CanTex

    CanTex TPF Noob!

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    I have 40 years worth of negatives and slides, most "snapshots" but some early-amateur 35 mm efforts in B&W. Lots of family pictures I want to preserve (like me with hair!). What is the best scanning resolution (dpi) for digitizing these photos? What is the best way to pre-clean them before scanning? Lens wipe? Compressed air?

    While I'm here, what is a reasonably-priced scanner for this purpose? The scanner won't be used a whole lot after I've completed my project. (My HP 2575 scanner/copier/printer did not come with a slide/film adapter.) I could go with a dedicated film/slide scanner or a flatbed that is capable of scanning at the recommended resolution.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I assume you refer to 35mm negatives and slides?

    4000 dpi is a good scanning resolution. I would get a Nikon ED 5000 slide scanner plus a slide feeder. it is quite expensive, but it sells very well on eBay. So I would buy it, do the scanning (will be quite an effort, did this some time ago with 5000+ slides), and sell the scanner afterwards.

    make sure you have enough hard drive space and a fast computer :)
     
  3. CanTex

    CanTex TPF Noob!

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    4000 dpi is good for the really great shots, of which I have a few, but what about the general run-of-the-mill shots like that vacation at the lake, etc.? I'm sure 4,000 dpi in a 35 mm shot would be very large. (How large?)

    And thanks for the input. Off to eBay to see what's there...
     
  4. Rusty105

    Rusty105 TPF Noob!

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    IF my memory serves me right a 3200dpi scan of a slide on my Minolta dual scan IV is about 40 mega bytes, give or take. That is for a uncompressed Tiff file. JPEG should be less but I don't know off hand. A 4000dpi scan will be quite a bit more, maybe 50% more then the 3200dpi scan. not sure if you need all that for a 'snap shot'
     
  5. CanTex

    CanTex TPF Noob!

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    My "due diligence" searches keeps pointing me to the Canon 8800F as a good compromise for ease of use, capacity, durability, resolution and scanning speed. Not perfect but it just might serve my purposes. The user ratings on Amazon.com are real eye-openers, steering me away from the one I thought I wanted.
     
  6. dipstick

    dipstick TPF Noob!

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    Im in pretty much the same situation as you. Im right now scanning all my old negs and slides. I use a Canon 8400F flatbed scanner, scanning all my snapshots at 1600 dpi, which gives me 1520x2280 px, or equivalent to 3,5 megapixels. I save directly as jpg files from the scanner software which gives me a file size of about 500k.

    I find this to be enough to archive and organize old snapshots. Most of them will just be printed as 4x6 anyway (if printed at all). I do however have a file naming policy that allows me to track the original neg from the filename, so if I find a shot I want to do something more with, I can simply go back and scan that again at a higher quality, or have someone else scan it with a high quality film scanner.

    So Im really happy with my 8400F, and I guess the 8800F would only be better, so go for it!
     
  7. CanTex

    CanTex TPF Noob!

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    Thank you sir! Do you use Canon's software to split up the images, or Photoshop Elements? I assume you can change the name of each picture individually at the point of splitting them up? I am sure I'll go back and rescan some of them at higher resolution later, like you are doing.
     
  8. dipstick

    dipstick TPF Noob!

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    You're welcome! The software will recognize every single frame from your strips of film or mounted slides and save them as individual files. So there is no need to split up the images as each frame will be a separate image from the start. The software will also let you set a prefix for the filenames and then add numbers to the filenames.

    Although you can scan from Photoshop, there is no need to, as Canons software will work on its own when doing batch scanning.
     
  9. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    I scan at 4000dpi, but only because I have the time and the disk space :) If you're not planning to print dipstick's suggestion of 1600dpi would probably be more than sufficient.
     

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