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Is there a company that will SCAN and FILE photo prints?

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Is there a company that will SCAN and FILE photo prints?

Old 12-30-03, 01:03 AM
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Is there a company that will SCAN and FILE photo prints?

Hi All,

My parents have a ton of photo albums of older pictures. Most of them are 3x5 or 4x6 pictures. The problem is some of them are older and they're starting to fade. Or, they will start to fade.

Does anyone know of a company that will take these prints and scan them into digital format?

Thanks for your suggestions!
Old 12-30-03, 09:05 AM
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Use your phone book to locate some professional photo labs and graphic designers. Call around for some recommendations and prices.

It's worth noting that quality costs. First off, if you can locate the negatives for the photos you can get a much, much better scan. A drum scan of a single 35mm negative will run you $75-$100. A good scan from a slide scanner will cost you $50-$100. Flatbed scanning will run you $25-$50 apiece. Expect file sizes to range from 100-200MB for a drum/slide scan and 20-50MB for a flatbed scan.

Of course, other places will do it for much less, but the quality is much less, too.

What I finally did was buy a good slide scanner (Nikon CoolScan III, $800, now superceded by the IV model) and did it myself. Learning to scan well is something of an art itself, so learning to do a good job will require a significant time-sink. But do the math and you can see that it will pay for itself pretty quick.
Old 12-30-03, 11:58 AM
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danw, thanks for the reply.

First, I am positive that unfortunately, 95% of these prints do not have their associated negatives.

When you say "A good scan from a slide scanner will cost you $50-100" is that for EACH PICTURE?!

if it is, then it seems like I will have to get a good quality scanner. are there programs that will automate the "scanning pain" so all what i hav to do is train a monkey to put the pictures on the flatbed?
Old 12-30-03, 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by MitzEclipse
danw, thanks for the reply.

First, I am positive that unfortunately, 95% of these prints do not have their associated negatives.

When you say "A good scan from a slide scanner will cost you $50-100" is that for EACH PICTURE?!

Sometime it can be $50-$100. But are those memories worth it?
That is for you to decide.
Old 12-30-03, 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by MitzEclipse
When you say "A good scan from a slide scanner will cost you $50-100" is that for EACH PICTURE?!
Yes, indeedy! As TheKobra mentions, though, what are the photos worth to you?

if it is, then it seems like I will have to get a good quality scanner. are there programs that will automate the "scanning pain" so all what i hav to do is train a monkey to put the pictures on the flatbed?
I recommend and use Hamrick VueScan scanning software. It's very easy to use and is very powerful. Once you train your monkey to press "Scan" button you'll find that VueScan does a notably better job of scanning than most manufacturer's bundled software.

However, I would recommend putting the monkey back in the cage and taking over the scanning yourself. To get the best results, you've really got to make decisions about each image you scan. How does the histogram look? Color balance? Will this benefit from being scanned at a higher resolution? Multi-scanning? If you can answer those questions you'll be able to get a much better scan than the monkey could.
Old 12-30-03, 05:51 PM
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I don't understand why someone would charge you $50-100 per picture, just to scan it, no matter how high quality the scan is, that's absolutely ridiculas.

Scanning them yourself would be a helluva lot cheaper. I don't really care to have my pics scanned at too high a quality anyway. I've made some good prints from 300 dpi scans. I see no need to even go above 600 dpi in most cases.

But, then I'm not terribly picky. Just to give you some idea... I scanned approximately 400 pictures in about a weeks time (about 10 hrs) at 300 dpi each.
Old 12-30-03, 08:25 PM
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I agree with Dodging Cars. If all you have are 4"x6" prints as source, the quality is limited anyway by paper texture and the limited range of photographic paper. You can get some nice scanners for $100-200. Scan at 300 dpi (maybe 600 if original print is very good).

If you are worried about production rate, save as .TIF (wastes a lot of room on CDs, but no compression). You can do color and dust touchup later, since you haven't done any compression. When you get scan all cleaned up, you can save as a .jpg and cut size dramatically. But CDs are cheap, don't sweat it. NOTE: Until you clean it up and convert to jpg, it is going to be way too big to e-mail, upload to a photo site like Ofoto for prints, etc.

The money you save scanning yourself will pay for scanner many times over. You can even step up a bit and get really nice scanner for the savoings.

Paying a $100 for scan of a 4"x6" print would just be crazy.
Old 12-31-03, 12:16 AM
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Thanks for the tips all.. I'll check out Hamrick VueScan and see how easy it is. I really have to train my parents like monkey's since they're not computer savvy

Thanks again for the tips, unless I can find a company that will do this cheap, it looks like it'll be a lot of hours of scanning
Old 12-31-03, 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by MitzEclipse
Thanks for the tips all.. I'll check out Hamrick VueScan and see how easy it is. I really have to train my parents like monkey's since they're not computer savvy

Thanks again for the tips, unless I can find a company that will do this cheap, it looks like it'll be a lot of hours of scanning
Be sure and check their list of supportted scanners. There's a lot of scanners they don't support, including mine. The software that came with my scanner gets the picture scanned ok, and I use Irfanview or other programs to touch up the scan.

Parent training may be a problem though. I'm probably close to your parent's age, I'm trainable, but others in age group aren't. My parents are in mid-80's; training them is a real bear. I wouldn't even try to teach them to use a scanner; they have enough trouble with e-mail.
Old 12-31-03, 01:28 PM
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Here's a good site on scanning photos...

http://www.screengenes.com/drest.html

If you really don't want to do it yourself, I'm sure you can find places that will do it cheaper than what you were quoted above. Even this site I listed said that the highest quality you should scan at is 600 dpi.

Here are some places I found through Google. It seems to be fairly easy to find places that will do it for under a $1/photo

http://directory.google.com/Top/Shop...hoto_Scanning/

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