The Forum is sponsored by 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: December 20, 2016 08:07AM
This is a follow-up to a thread from June (!) about scanning family prints or negatives from the '90s:


There is a local shop that does in-house scanning:


Martin (the owner) says for my 2-3k negatives, he would charge 28¢ each for 600 dpi scans. Price would be higher for smaller quantities, or for higher DPIs. He uses a scanner that does 24 negs on a flatbed, but he says the scanner does them individually, automatically adjusting the light for each one. The software is called Silverfast SE Plus.

I’m inclined to give them all to him and give it a shot. My inclination is to scan negatives, not prints, though I have no idea whether there is a 1:1 correlation between the two (either prints or negatives could be missing). Figuring that out would be a project.

Once I have these modest-resolution scans available, then I can review the photos and eventually pick out some that might be worth re-scanning at higher resolutions.

I wonder about his claim that his batch scanning software will adjust exposure values for each negative individually. Is that possible? Anyone here familiar with this Silverfast software?

/Mr Lynn

"Hillbilly at Harvard"
Honky-tonk Country and Bluegrass
Founded in 1948 by Pappy Ben Minnich
Saturdays 9am - 1pm Eastern
WHRB-FM, Cambridge, MA
Streaming at []
Be there!

The HAH weblog: []

Topical weblog: []

On the river in Saxonville.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: clay
Date: December 20, 2016 08:45AM
silverfast is good stuff.

for reference, check out pricing with one of these big scanning companies: []

why not start with a small batch to test whether the results are acceptable for you? Pricing will be higher per photo, but might be worth it to spend $25-$50 to make sure that the $750+ will be well spent.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: mikebw
Date: December 20, 2016 08:48AM
My initial thought is that 600dpi for a negative is low, but your idea to use those as a proof sheet seems good. Still, that's several hundred dollars for the amount you estimate.
Since you are not sure if you have all the prints (or negatives) would it be just as well to look through the prints you do have, figure out which of those you want scanned and then do just those from the print?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: Go To Top
Date: December 20, 2016 09:11AM
Calling about my order direct hookup to INDIA scan cafe.

A man who is of "sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
(Paul Valery)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: surfer33
Date: December 20, 2016 09:30AM
I had a project done a few months ago by and they did a terrible job and overcharged me. They said the video would require two DVD's for a 45 minute VHS. I questioned them on it, but paid the additional cost (they had my original VHS tape). I received two DVD's, with the 2nd one consisting of nothing but a blue screen.

My advice is to avoid scancafe.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: December 20, 2016 09:59AM
I would scan the negs rather than the prints, but 600 dpi isn't a lot of resolution. It might be adequate for the prints, but is still small. For 35mm negs and slides, you want at least 2400 dpi.

What do you intend to do with these scans? If you are not planning on making new prints, less resolution might be ok. But if I were going to all the trouble of doing this project, I'd make sure to get bigger scans.

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: davester
Date: December 20, 2016 10:00AM
I have a flatbed scanner and Silverfast SE Plus (which is the low end free version that comes with the scanner). 600 dpi is standard scan resolution for enlarged prints and therefore is ridiculously low for negatives. Negatives and slides need to be scanned at 2500 dpi at the absolute minimum. Moving up to 4000 dpi you will still be capturing more detail. You are getting ripped off...I wouldn't pay a nickel a 600 dpi negative scan on a flatbed.

Also, what post-processing corrections and dust removal steps is he going to give you? If you go to a professional place like digmypics you will get a high resolution dedicated film scanner, Digital ICE dust and scratch removal, plus cropping, rotation, color correction (to compensate for fading), repair of flaws, exposure adjustment plus scanning at a proper resolution for not a whole lot more than what your guy wants to charge.

One more thing. A flatbed only has one brightness setting. You can't adjust the brightness individually for each negative. You can of course adjust exposure for each frame in post-processing but that is true of all photo software.

"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2016 10:13AM by davester.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: December 20, 2016 10:09AM
If you have the time, the Kodak 2035 pops up on ebay from time to time. You will need a os9 machine and scsi but it is the fastest way to scan. You preset the focus on one strip and hit scan. Then you can push through the film holder after each scan without additional prescan and focus. It is a lovely machine.

Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. []

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: F/U: Scanning Family Photos
Posted by: freeradical
Date: December 20, 2016 01:23PM
High quality scans that are not done at the time of processing are going to be very expensive. These places that offer 29 cent scans...I just don't know.

You need to get at least 2048x3072 scans if you want to make 8x10 prints.

These places aren't cheap, but if you only have the "keepers" scanned, it might be worth it.


This place will do 3339x5035 scans for $2.25 each. That should get you an 11x14 print.

Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 84
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 2330 on October 25, 2018