DIY w scanner vs. online scanning service?
I scanned some old photos (50 or so)on a non dedicated photo scanner.
Having done so, I realized that the quality of the photos were not the same or have lost detail after scanning.
For those DIY, what dedicated photo scanner would you recommend? (medium to high end). I also have slides and negatives to scan.
Other alternative was to ship photos, negatives etc to have done professionally to recapture integrity of photos. Any recommendations?
Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
#1. "RE: DIY w scanner vs. online scanning service?" | In response to Reply # 0elec164 Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sun 02-Jun-13 01:16 PM | edited Sun 02-Jun-13 03:15 PM by elec164
Well Susana, without knowing more specfic details I can only make generalized comments.
It's my opinion that pretty much any current flatbed scanner can make quality scans of photgraphic prints. Down side is that photographic prints generally don't contain much more than about 300PPI of information. If the prints came from fine grain B&W film or excellent quality color prints taken with top quality gear you may achieve better results up to around 600PPI. So if your scanning those prints with hopes of achieving greater enlargements, you will be disappointed. You may get away with slight enlargements, but not much bigger than the originals.
There is a time when you would scan prints at higher resolutions when restoring damaged prints. That allows you to make finer repairs,but when finished with the repairs you need to down-sample back to about 300PPI.
To my knowledge, the main difference to a plain scanner and one designated as Photo Scanner is the ability to scan slides and negatives. Photo Scanners have a light box built into the cover for illumination during the film scans.
Scanning film is quite an arduous task. The flat-bed photo scanners do a decent job, but dedicated film scanners are better. Even better than that would be a drum scanner. The difference is that flat-bed and film scanners use lenses to project the image capture where as drum scanners just have an aperture. With flat-bed and film scanners the will be a loss of quality due to the lens and multiple air surfaces involved as well as sampling mismatch and errors which often accentuate film grain. Today's scanners do a very good job.Currently the top of the heap in my opinion is the Epson V700, but any of the current V series would be good.
On the other hand a knowledgable drum scan operator can vary the size of the aperture and create virtually grain free scans. The down side is that it's relatively expensive.
Other services that a relatively cheaper use equipment not much different than you would buy. Sothe quality of the scans would be similar. The up side is that they do all the work for you.
Hope this helps.
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#2. "RE: DIY w scanner vs. online scanning service?" | In response to Reply # 1
#3. "RE: DIY w scanner vs. online scanning service?" | In response to Reply # 0
Expanding on Pete's excellent advice:
Old photos are, well, old. Probably fading, possibly cracked? To get the best scan you can:
• Do a prescan
• Adjust the white point and black point to maximize the histogram (but don't clip)
• Blow it up, perhaps 400% for a 4x6 original
That will give you the most usable data to work with. The added size makes it easier to do any retouching (dots and scratches). Generally you want to sharpen a scan — but for a really dirty, scratched photo you may want to break this rule, as the sharpenign may enhance the scratches more than it helps the subject.
Regarding professional services, if price is no object, there are many excellent service bureaus in the US, notably in New York and California. They will provide high res, high quality scans. For a bit extra they will perform an overall clean and correct. For a lot of money, they'll do a full retouch…
I do not have access to specific services, but a few years ago there were several very good, inexpensive services overseas (India, I recall). The tradeoff is that the turnaround time was weeks, not days.
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