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B & W Negative Scanning

Discussion in 'Photography' started by ragl, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. ragl

    ragl Member

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    Good evening all,

    I am contemplating the impending purchase of a scanner for the many thousands of negatives - and a good smattering of transparencies - that I really need to digitise.

    Question - who has used a scanner to successfully - and accurately - scan their negatives?

    Also, what scanner have you used?

    I would be most appreciative of some guidance here, as I will be seeking to publish a lot of the photographic archive that I accumulated in the 70's. 80's and 90's, therefore, a scanner that will provide high quality scans is paramount.

    Any advice and tales of your scanning experience would be warmly received!! I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Many thanks

    Alan
     
  2. northernblue109

    northernblue109 New Member

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    For large volumes, my advice would be to purchase a dedicated slide/negative scanner rather than a flat bed scanner with a built-in transparancy adapter - unless you really need to scan from a full range of media types. Also ensure that the software includes effective dust-removal technology. Even then, to ensure the best results, be prepared to invest a lot of time in post-scanning work using an image editor such as Photoshop. From experience, slides are easiest to work with; negatives often require a little more work (but that may be down to my particular set-up). I am not qualified to recommend specific kit, but you will find plenty of reviews and opinions on the web. One final point is to scan at the highest resolution that you are likely to need in the future and save in a lossless format such as TIFF - there is nothing worse than having to re-do everything at a later date with different settings.
     
  3. rule55

    rule55 Member

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    I have an Epson V700 flatbed scanner purchased for this purpose. In the past I've had access to a Hasselblad flextight drum scanner (which costs a huge amount more) and I think the Epson does a fairly decent job. The negative mounts are widely criticised as being a bit flimsy but I've not had any problems with them.
     
  4. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    I have a student photographer scanning my negatives.. he's completed 10,000 to date.
    I pay him 10p a scan.

    Some of these are L&Y Horwich pictures... 4-6-0's under construction and others, great grandfather was a metal planer, more recently (I guess 1930s) a picture of an A4 Golden Shuttle in LNER Blue with stainless steel letters amongst others... , as well more recently 1960's pictures, and some very early pictures of KWVR / ELR, myself as a baby, as my own 1980's 's pictures when I started photography...my last 15 years around the world, the list is endless...
    but he's scanned the lot.. from 110asa, glass plate, B+W, Slide, a very large format colour slide, Advantix, 35mm, 126 film, even scanned Polaroid photos... everything.

    It's been a great few months seeing what's discovered every week when he brings the cd.

    I cant be sure on the copyright on some of the really old pictures so havent published (some may be official works glass plate pictures themselves)
     
  5. 46223

    46223 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I use an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner which does a decent job with negatives and slides. If you want to see a sample of a
    transparency scan have a look at the 'Galatea' thread, post 237. Bear in mind that the scan was sized down for the web.
     
  6. ragl

    ragl Member

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    Gentlemen,

    May I thank you all for your valued contributions to my quest. I haven't an answer to go forward with yet, but all of your suggestions have been invaluable in nudging me towards a solution.

    cheers

    Alan
     
  7. mickpop

    mickpop Part of the furniture

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    Equipment depends a lot on the quality and quantity of scans required. I have used an Epsom flatbed scanner - slow as the slide holder only took one slide at a time and then an HP C8180 'all in one' scanner, copier, printer which takes 4 slides or up to a 6 frame negative. I find that it will not always recognise some slides or negs if the exposure is very much over or under and that high resolution scans take a very long time -sometimes several minutes per frame. However the supporting software allows a fair amount of pre-scanning adjustment.

    Most recently I purchased a 'Maginon' dedicated slide scanner from Aldi for £59.99 - don't laugh it is brilliant! It will scan at either 5 megapixels or 10 megapixels [3900x2600] and will scan a neg or slide almost instantly. Carriers take 6 frames of slide or negs I've bashed through a whole film in under ten minutes. There is some scope to brighten or darken the image, crop and rotate.Well worth it if you have a large quantity of mostly unremarkable negs ['record shots'] and you can use a higher quality scanner on the 'mastershots'.
     
  8. ragl

    ragl Member

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    Many thanks for the advice, Mick, I will have to make some kind of decision soon as time is rushing on and there is a lot to do! The Aldi scanner looks like a good idea - just have to decide - is it a mastershot or not?? However, over 10,000 B & W negs will sway the issue!!

    Thanks again

    Alan
     

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