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Slide and negative scanners

Not applicable

Slide and negative scanners

Have had a word with shutter (our photagraphic guru) about this and he has suggested that I post to see if anyone knows anything about slide and negative scanners.
In common with many people I have loads of negatives which should be in decent condition as they have been stored in their packets in a cool dark place.
I would like to digitise these and have seen scanners advertised in the newspapers. However, having done a bit of research on Amazon, reviews are not too good on some of them.
I just wondered if anyone knows anything about this subject and can advise.
Shutter reckons that it might be cheaper and the results better if I take them into a photographic shop, so I am bearing this in mind and will do the sums.
12 REPLIES
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

Have a look at:
http://www.scantips.com/
for some basic info.
Also:
http://www.normankoren.com/#Tutorials
I use a Canon flatbed scanner for digitising slides. It is a SLOW process to get anything like good results, and most photos require a fair bit of tinkering in Photoshop or similar.
I've never tried getting negs scanned in a photo shop, but I've heard anecdotes that they are not always scanned at a high enough resolution and results can be disappointing. Check the specs of what you're paying for before you start would be my advice.
Regards,
Neil
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

I got a Plustek 7200 from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plustek-Opticfilm-scanner-Imaging-Software/dp/B000BFHAO8 they have several models it take 6 negs or four transparencies, I am in the process of indexing my negs, as a lot of my photos, I cant tie into the Negs
You can do a rough scan or detailed, for the index I am just doing the low res.  if I want a print - which is cheaper via Boots or Tesco than printing it yourself I go back to my indexed negs- it displays in Positive hope that helps
PS got about 20 years worth to catch up on
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

I've used decent Epson flatbed scanners with TPUs in the past to digitise negatives and slides, and I've found the results to be rather good - in fact, combined with my Epson printer, I'd get a better print from the negative myself than from Boots' film processing. Special negative scanners within your price range will never be any good; you have to spend huge amounts of money to get a proper drum scanner if you want to beat decent flatbed as described earlier. (I'm afraid I can't recommend any particular models as I haven't done any photo scanning for years.) Bear in mind though that with a flatbed scanner you can only load a few negatives at a time, so if you have many to do it might well be an idea to take them to a professional company to scan in on one of those aforementioned drum scanners for you.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 3
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

I use an epson perfection 1670 photo, which can take, slides or negatives.  As other posters have stated though, this is a time consuming process, and can be a bit hit and miss.  Some of the ones I have done have looked a bit washed out (although this could be my distinct lack of experience in this area Cheesy  ).  I am sure I read somewhere about a negative scanner thatn uses a feed mechanism, but my mind cannot think of where I saw this.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

Indeed, penfold raises a good point: with any scanner, be prepared to spend some time tweaking settings until you get consistently good results. People who're serious about doing a good job will often opt for special 3rd-party software to do this rather than relying on the scanner manufacturer's applications; a particularly popular choice is SilverFast.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

Just seen this on eBay Epson Perfection 4870 Photo Scanner
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

Quote
a negative scanner that uses a feed mechanism

Things like the Nikon Coolscan have a feed mechanism, but they cost 500 - 600 quid.
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Nikon-CoolScan-IV-ED
The time taken to do a 5.5 megapixel scan in this review is between 1min 24 sec and 2 min 43 sec, as I said above digitising slides or negs is very time consuming. It's awfully easy to get bored!
Regards,
Neil
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

my PlusTek came with Silver Fast software
Cliff_Jordan
Grafter
Posts: 228
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

Quote from: Njal
digitising slides or negs is very time consuming. It's awfully easy to get bored!

Seconded Roll eyes
I have had an Epson Perfection 3170 Photo scanner for a few years now which has produced a few reasonable results - but I have made very little progress in scanning 30+ years worth of transparencies and negatives. You have been warned!
Cliff
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

just had a look what I have done so far, stated with my last neg camera, 1996 got as far as 99 so ar 1465 negs took me one month in the evenings, lucky since 2003 have been on Digital, no negs.  First I know I have got is Slides from Holidays in 1955, also the Brussels world fair in 1958, all currently in boxes. plus about five folders of various negatives
Not applicable

Re: Slide and negative scanners

Thank you for the replies which are all useful and interesting.
I am sure that I was being a bit naive in thinking that you just put the negatives in a machine and that was it.
Midnight Caller's link was interesting as it had software with it including the aforementioned SilverFast. Pierre's looked good but a little expensive for my simple needs. From what I have read the cheaper ones are not worth the bother as they appear washed out - no good taking the time and effort if they are substandard.
This was going to be a nice little project for the darker evenings and winter months but I have realised from the replies that I am probably not going to be able to proceed. I don't have the knowledge or aptitude for serious photo editing and fiddling about with resolutions and what have you (have bookmarked the link to the scanner information as it does take a bit of absorbing).
I am going to check out a photographic stall in our indoor market tomorrow - the chap there does editing and repairing so if he has the right equipment, I can leave a packet and then evaluate the results to see if it is worthwhile continuing, both financially and in terms of quality.
I like the comments by Neil and Whiffler about getting bored - if anything is to put me off, that will.
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Slide and negative scanners

I wouldn't want to put you off trying it!
Many flatbed scanners are pretty good and reasonably cheap. If you're selective in the negs you choose to digitise it needn't take too much time. Just choose your best photos and many can be discarded from the digitising process (at least many of mine can).
You will certainly get a reasonable image editing program if you buy a scanner, many have a single button entitled "Enhance my photo" or similar which will generally work pretty well.
Regards,
Neil