Scanning film prints into the computer

Started Mar 14, 2013 | Discussions
scouse_lad Junior Member • Posts: 28
Scanning film prints into the computer

Hi have a couple of hundred film prints no negatives  i wish to keep and turn into digital i can do it one at a time but its a long job any brain waves.

Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: Scanning film prints into the computer
1

For speed - you could use your camera to copy them - very fast to do a lot if you take trouble to set it up so all you need to do is change the prints.  Would guess about up-to 10X faster than scanning and then transferring into computer from memory card via reader would easily outpace anything else.

-- hide signature --

Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

Bruce Oudekerk
Bruce Oudekerk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,511
a fast flatbed might be best

Shooting FILM in the backlit environment of a dedicated slide copier apparatus is one thing… but shooting old prints with a camera can be very tricky because of complex reflections and geometric distortion.  A dedicated copy stand with appropriate lighting (especially with a vacuum table) works well but the setup takes more time and learning than scanning prints, especially if the physical setup is not immediately available.  I suspect I could scan a few hundred prints long before the average Joe even located the correct copy stand equipment... much less got it home and set it up.  OTOH an easily acquired decent flatbed scans fairly quickly at 600dpi/16 bit-per-channel but admittedly slows to a crawl at film scanning densities.

Bruce

 Bruce Oudekerk's gear list:Bruce Oudekerk's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Sony FE 24-105mm F4
Paul Stricklin Senior Member • Posts: 1,019
Re: a fast flatbed might be best

Clean negatives or prints are a must for good digital conversions.  At times it takes longer to prepare than the slowest scan.  Ignoring that challenge read on.

Most if not all of the current flatbed scanners now have a feature that allows automatic scanning and separation of multiple objects.  I have used this feature many times and works reasonably well.  With negatives you might have to make you own placement masks if you have curled materials.  The setup works nicely with multiple small prints.  Especially if you group prints by size and shape.  The one place that photographing prints may work better is the old dimpled prints.  Scanning often turns the dimples into large black dots.

Paul Stricklin

-- hide signature --

Club, Event Photographer to pay for the equipment
Nature, Landscape for the joy of life
LPS

Jay Reeves Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Re: Scanning film prints into the computer

For ease of use try http://digmypics.com/  I had several hundred slides to do a couple of years ago and went with Digmypics based on recomendations on Dpreview Oly forum.  Even though I had bought a scanner to do that job it was good decision (for me) to send them out.  I had all slides - no photos.

Suppose the first question whenever someone says - have a large number of something to scan ..... should be - are you retired?   I think I could enjoy scanning a large number of photos, just not at this point in life.

Best luck,

Jay

Bruce Oudekerk
Bruce Oudekerk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,511
Re: a fast flatbed might be best

Paul Stricklin wrote:

Clean negatives or prints are a must for good digital conversions. At times it takes longer to prepare than the slowest scan. Ignoring that challenge read on.

Most if not all of the current flatbed scanners now have a feature that allows automatic scanning and separation of multiple objects. I have used this feature many times and works reasonably well. With negatives you might have to make you own placement masks if you have curled materials. The setup works nicely with multiple small prints. Especially if you group prints by size and shape. The one place that photographing prints may work better is the old dimpled prints. Scanning often turns the dimples into large black dots.

While you can shoot a ‘batch’ of smaller prints with a camera quickly… where a 24MP camera can, say, cover a pair of 5x7’s at about 600dpi., the scanner can easily handle this and, as stated, automate the seperation.

Scanners also often have ‘digital ice’ to automatically repair small tears and remove dust and scratches effortlessly making pre and post scan cleanup easier.  It works well....often.  I should say here that the best SOFTWARE dust removal I have found is the free 'Polaroid Dust and Scratch Removal'... although a few tricks are in order.   Clean is always better, of course.

As a side issue, admittedly some scanners are MUCH more failure prone on the ‘micro pebbled’ (my term) surfaces found on some older wet lab prints.  My SCSI UMAX scanners were especially prone to this phenomenon but all my newer Epsons have been significantly more forgiving.

Bruce

 Bruce Oudekerk's gear list:Bruce Oudekerk's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Sony FE 24-105mm F4
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads