scanning negatives?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dmitri, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I just dug up an old box of photos I had taken back in 98 on a P&S. The photos themselves are ok condition, the negatives good condition.

    Is there a decent way to scan the negatives in, and if so, how would I work it so they are properly colored?

    Sorry if this is a silly or obvious question. I just got finished looking through a bunch and am tired. :)
     
  2. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You just need a negative scanner. You can get flatbed scanners with a light in the lid that do a good job fairly inexpensively these days. I just got a Canon 8800f not long ago that's doing an excellent job with my old negatives. I paid about $150 new on Amazon, but I'm sure you could find it or something similar for less by looking around.

    As for properly colored, the software that comes with the scanner does a pretty good job, I'm finding, and it can be tweaked by you if you like. There's also VueScan software, which works really well, and even allows you to make a DNG file if you like. Either way, once scanned, they can be brought into any photo editing program you have for tweaking to taste.

    You'll want to make sure the scanner glass is nice and clean, and that the negatives don't have dust and stuff on them before scanning. Kimwipes are great because they don't leave any fibers. Modern scanners of this sort also have some ability to take out a lot of dust and scratches without totally messing up the photo, and I find that it works reasonably well, when needed.

    I shot the photo below on 35mm color film in 1992 in Miami just after Hurricane Andrew ripped through, and scanned the negative just the other day with the Canon 8800f using no special settings at all. It came out of the scanner this way, and all I did was resize it for the web and sharpen a little:

    [​IMG]

    I shot the next photo last week with my medium format Mamiya RB67 on Tmax 400 black and white film, developed the negative in my bathroom, then scanned it with the Canon 8800f.

    [​IMG]

    One of the things I've found that I really like about the scanner software is that it identifies all the negatives placed in the holder, which is 10 or 12 35mm, or 3 or 4 medium format at a time, previews them, then you can choose which ones you want scanned just by checking the box next to each one, and let it rip. Then you can do other things while it works. When it's done, you've got all your scans done, named how you want, placed in the folder you want on your hard drive, etc. Not much fuss involved at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  3. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the reply, Buckster. Unfortunately these negatives are just from fun times, and not really worth getting a whole new scanner for. Was hoping there was a way on my current scanner. You're photos came out beautiful tho. Glad Canon holds up to its reputation :)
     
  4. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I tried a bunch of stuff on my old non-negatives flatbed scanner, but didn't get very good results at all. Thing is, it's reflective; Shines a light from below up onto this shiny plastic stuff called a film negative, and then bounces back the light. I tried bright white paper behind it, even shined a light on the paper from above while scanning, but I just really couldn't get anywhere near satisfactory results.

    I've read that some have tried making a holder for the negs or putting them on a light box and shooting a macro of it, then reversing the negative in Photoshop, but don't seem to be getting very good results with that method either.

    Still, you may be able to work something out. If you do, be sure to post your results for others! :thumbup:
     
  5. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There may be a photo store / lab locally where you can get this done for a fee. Or it may even be possible to find somebody on the net you can send your negatives to, to get them scanned. That way if you've only got a few negatives you want to get scanned you don't need to buy a whole new scanner...
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    for the cost of getting them scanned, you can purchase a new scanner that can scan them for yourself. In the end it's a wash.

    AND you get to buy new technology.
     
  7. Sark

    Sark TPF Noob!

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    Traditional Slide Copiers that attach to your camera can give suprisingly good results compared to cheap flatbed scanning.

    Sark
     
  8. ManMountain

    ManMountain TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I have also been scanning my old photos and negatives recently (and 50-70yr B&W's). I use an EpsonRX620 - with the B&W photos I scan at 300dpi on 24bit colour setting (scanning with the greyscale setting wont allow me to use the photo repair - ACDC2.5, not sure why, but no problem), scanning colour photos I use 600dpi- 48bit. For negatives I have experimented a fair bit - still not sure what is best! I generally save them as tiff, until I have finished editing. What do others recommend for the scan settings?
     
  9. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well he doesn't want to buy a new scanner if he just wants, say, one picture it'd be worth it

    Or you could go get the negatives redeveloped and scan those... At 0.10 a pic or whatever it is it might be a good work around...
     
  10. pez

    pez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Awesome- did a quick search in here and instantly found exactly what I wanted! I'm ordering one of these. :D
     

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