Taking on massive 35mm negative family photo scanning project - Advice needed!

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Arkaium New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Taking on massive 35mm negative family photo scanning project - Advice needed!

The Light Stalker wrote:

I just finished a similar project about a year ago, on my family's photo box, a big one at that.

For the prints, I went with an Epson FastFoto - link, for the prints and talk about saving time....that and the quality of the files are excellent. With the prints and other stuff bigger than 8x10 I flatbed scanned them.

For the negatives and slides, I went with a dedicated film scanner for the 35mm stuff. If I had to do it again I'd probably scan them with a camera to save time. I also have an Epson V850 but have found that file quality just isn't up to par with my dedicated 35mm scanners and the digital camera captures. With medium format and with the 4x5 negatives and slides, yes the Epson V850 certainly does a top-notch job.

When it was all said and done, I ended up with several hundreds of gigabits of files.

Enjoy your project, I did!

I’m enjoying unlocking some long forgotten memories (and not just for myself, I’m just 1 or 2 in most of these rolls!), but I’ll feel better about it when I feel like I’ve made some decent headway.

I’d be very interested to see what your negative scans or final inversions look like if you have any shared anywhere. I knew based on research that a 35mm scanner or a DSLR rig would be the best quality but having almost have the volume of rolls lacking negatives, meaning I’d need the best possible print scanner too, it felt like the only sensible choice. The negative scans I’m getting seem pretty good to me and I’m getting better about managing dust. Could they be a tack or two sharper? Maybe? But I’m content overall. Here’s me at 2 being a moron:

Vuescan’s JPEG compression, even at 100 quality, looks worse and is 3x bigger than the JPEGs I was getting out of Darktable at 80 quality. I’m very close to just biting the bullet and using Darktable with Rosetta 2, was desperately hoping the M1 native version was around the corner. For what I’m doing, performance won’t matter, more of a compatibility concern for down the road.

My bigger issue is I still haven’t settled on what program I’ll use to invert these properly. Vuescan is OK, and it lets me feed negative scans in which is nice, as if I’m scanning them again, so I can keep tinkering, but it’s JPEG compression and image processing leave a lot to be desired outside of the scanning itself. But at least I can revisit and revisit as many times as needed, the raw original will be preserved.

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