Scanners and Scanning Services

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
probert500 Senior Member • Posts: 1,351
Re: Scanners and Scanning Services

rpenmanparker wrote:

probert500 wrote:

jdurant wrote:

This might be the wrong forum area, but does anyone have any experience with scanning services. I have several boxes of old photos and negatives that I would like to scan (probably only some, not all). Can anyone recommend a scanning service? Would I be better off by a dedicated scanner such as a Canon Canoscan 9000f? I have an all in one printer/scanner at the moment, but I would like to create better copies of my old, pre-digital photos.


I'll enter the fray here:

Almost any scanner will give you good results with your prints. Maybe some fidgiting but no big deal.

Negs are another issue. For professional level scanning a dedicated film scanner will be better than most flatbeds. By most I mean everything you'll normally see on the web. This is expensive. For a very special shot I'd suggest going to a lab that uses a virtual drum or equivalent to get the best results.

If you go with a flatbed I srongly suggest getting one of these film holders:

because of the small size of the 35mm neg you want a scanner that has a very high native (not interpolated) resolution. Someone mentioned the v700 - v750 from epson.

And checkout vuescan software. The site also has good links. The software will enable multisampling and harware file reduction - these can make a big difference in the outcome.

An alternative would be using a macro lens and a lightbox and photographing the negs and slides.

I appreciate your positions, but you do have me puzzled. I don't see how you can recommend the highest quality of scanning as a basic requirement for this activity, give expamples of how to get it, and then suggest one can just jury rig an alternative. Either you need to do it right or you don't. You can't have it both ways. No matter how good the lens and lightbox setup, it just won't match a dedicated film scanner in terms of factors like dynamic range. And these don't have to be so exotic or obscure. As mentioned elsewhere on this thread, the Plustek products give phenomenal results for 35mm film and slides at as very reasonable price. The native resolution of these economical scanners is very similar to today's best digital cameras, promising similar or better resolution than what most photographers are accustomed to. The current Plustek native standard is 3,600 ppi or nearly 20 MP for a normal 35mm frame. And don't forget automatic negative reversal and orange mask removal with several standard demasking profiles included in the software to match the popular color films.

You can make this hard, but it doesn't have to be. As I have already said, if money is an issue, you can buy a Plustek scanner, scan your negs and slides and resell the scanner for little less than you paid for it. Better than renting. Having neither a macro lens nor a light box, that is certainly an attractive proposition to me.


I was suggesting an alternative to scanning.  I used the if /then logic.

Personally I have had very good results from photographing a bracketed series of shots using a full frame camera and a macro lens and them blending the images to compensate for contrast issues.  i was throwing that out as an alternative.

Perhaps the plusteks are good , but for professional work i have negatives scanned on a virtual drum .  These are for 30x30 prints at 300dpi -  so it might be overkill.

regarding scanning software- vuescan is widely regarded as the best - and the website is a good resource.

I was giving options for different levels of quality.  Not so difficult to understand - and I hope the OP finds it useful.  Sorry for any confusion yu may have had.

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