Scanning Dad's prints

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ChicagoFilmFan, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. ChicagoFilmFan

    ChicagoFilmFan TPF Noob!

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    Hey all, I was hoping someone here could help me with a project I've been working on. My dad was a professional photographer when he was in his twenties, and took beautiful pictures throughout New England. When my brother and I were born, he quit to get a job that paid better. To surprise him for his birthday I wanted to scan a few of his prints in for our family. They are very beautiful works and I want to capture that. How do I scan them in the best way? Is there another approach I should be taking? If need be, I can get access to the negatives or whatever else I may need. Thanks for all your help!
     
  2. moze229

    moze229 TPF Noob!

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    You're not going to be changing the photos in any way, so there's really nothing special to do other than getting your hands on the best scanner you can. Nowadays, even a cheaper scanner will do a fine job in scanning photos. There are a few tips and tricks with scanning, but that list is extensive and variable based on computer, scanner, and images being scanned. Google 'scanning photos' or something and I think you'll get a better answer.

    Matt
     
  3. jess28

    jess28 TPF Noob!

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    With access to the negatives, assuming they have been well cared for over the years, I would always choose to print from negatives.

    I saw a device at Bed Bath and Beyond that turned negatives and prints up to 5x7 into digital files, it was about $70. It worked by capturing the image like a photograph instead of scanning.
     
  4. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    $70!!! Any decent photo lab will print from a negative, and be able to scan it to cd with decent resolution for a lot less than $70.
     
  5. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    If you have the negatives, that's the best route to go. I have an inexpensive scanner, CanoScan 8400F, that includes a negative holder. It's certainly not professional quality but does a really good job for final prints up to 8X12. It's no longer available but this is the replacement.

    Be forewarned that scanning negatives is labor-intensive. No problem if you're doing a dozen or so but I wouldn't want to do several hundred.
     
  6. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    But you don't get to take any decent photo lab home with you and use it repeatedly, as many times and as often as you want. ;)
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    There are a lot of variables.

    In general, its best to scan the original film, whether negative or slide, but there are issues that can make scanning the prints a better choice:

    1. Condition: Occasionally, the film has not survived as well as the print.

    2. Manipulation: When you scan the film, you record the film image. When you scan a print you are recording the manipulated image including the orignal artist's choices of cropping, contrast, dodging, burning in, retouching, ... .

    3. Image sizes: Common print scanners can handle prints up to 8x10. Scanners for larger prints are mega-expensive. The same goes for film. Film-only scanners either scan only 35mm or cost over $1000 USD. A few flat-bed combination scanners (film and print) exist that can deliver decent to excellent results. Scanners like the EPSON v500 (~$250 USD) can scan prints to 8x10 and film in either 35mm or 120 roll film. The more expensive (~$500 USD) v700 can handle both prints and film up to 8x10 and delivers excellent results in the class of those from any under $1000 film-only scanner.

    Whether you scan from prints or film depends primarily on what format your Dad shot and whether your budget allows for a scanner to handle that film size. It also depends on the size of the prints and whether an affordable scanner is available for that size. Then, on a shot for shot basis, the condition of the prints vs film becomes a possible factor.
     

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