- Photography Question, Negatives to digital. What's the best way?
I have a load of photos (and their negatives) that I’d like to digitalize.
I know that I can get this done in a shop (expensive!), or buy a bit of kit and DIY them (I’ll be doing a lot, so is it worth it?).
My questions are – has anybody used a machine to do do this themselves, what was the quality like (compared to a shop) and can anyone recommend a specific bit of kit.
Thanks.Posted 6 years agoCountZeroMember
Any quality desktop scanner with slide scanning ability, like an Epson, or even a little Nikon slide scanner will do the trick. You will need software that can correct for the orange background of the film substrate, and most photo editing ‘ware will have the setting built in for scanning 35mm negatives. You’ll find the finished scan will be very grainy compared to the prints, because the printing process tends to ‘soften’ the image slightly, blurring the grain edges. If its a 400 ASA film, the grain will be pretty noticeable, but you could apply a very slight Gaussian Blur, then Unsharp Mask which will give a result similar to the prints. Experiment to see what gives the best result, but don’t overdo it, Photoshop elements or Aperture will give you all the tools you’ll need.Posted 6 years agoJPRMember
The quality of a decent flatbed film scanner is pretty good.
Though a the quality should be better* if you get a shop to do it.
The issue is how long it takes. I think I saw a film scanner review once where the reviewer worked it out and suggested that it was a very time inefficient way to digitize a life time of negatives.
*Assuming decent shop and ignoring the control you have to tweak things if you do it yourself.Posted 6 years agoCougarSubscriber
I got one of these.
Expensive, but hold their value well on ebay after you’ve done.
Quality is variable – not wholly sure whether that’s a failing of the scanner or my ageing negatives though.Posted 6 years agoCountZeroMember
A dedicated film scanner would be inefficient, certainly. I challenge your assertion that a shop scanner would be better than a desktop scanner/printer from someone like Epson or Canon. I have an Epson combined printer, and a mate has a similar one, cost about £100, and the results are outstanding. The advantage is that you should be able to put a whole load of negs into the carrier in the hood, then, once they’ve been scanned, apply an action to the whole batch, speeding things up. My comparison of the Epson was with a £35,000 Scitex A3 flatbed scanner, which was actually pretty poor quality, and a Crosfield 6500 drum scanner that I was originally trained to use, and on which I scanned many thousands of trannies and prints for the likes of Titleist golf equipment, (their annual catalogue), and Castrol.Posted 6 years ago
I have a bit of a clue when it comes to image quality. 😉JPRMember
As I sit browsing forums while my epson v750 scans some medium format negs I stand by my caveat from above 🙂
If we assume the shop has a higher-end dedicated film scanner and the staff are trained to use it, then it should produce sharper images with better colour accuracy than a budget flatbed film scanner.
One of the reasons I bought the epson v750 is because it came with the colour charts so I could profile it.Posted 6 years ago
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