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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 Jun 2011 (Monday) 10:03
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Best way to digitally convert old prints?

 
darthrazz
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Jun 06, 2011 10:03 |  #1

Can anyone suggest the best way to digitally scan old prints? I have tried using a flatbed scanner, but I have literally about two thousand images that I, or my parents have taken over the last 40-50 years along with all the prints that my wife has as well.. and it's a mighty slow process!
For almost all of these photos the negatives are no longer available or lost. I know that there are services that can do this for you but they can get expensive. I feel that I would like to preserve these in digital format for my children. I found a scanner, made by Flashpoint that seems to do this with at least 4x6 prints. I’m new here so I don’t know if I am allowed to post links? I can always scan the larger images on the flatbed , since there aren’t many of those. Thanks for looking !


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crn3371
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Jun 06, 2011 10:19 |  #2

Scanning is a time consuming and laborious process. For prints, I'd stick with a flatbed scanner. Have you tried culling some of the prints? I doubt if every single one is a keeper that warrants scanning.




  
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ssim
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Jun 06, 2011 11:10 as a reply to  @ crn3371's post |  #3

If you are bound and determined to do this yourself you have limited options. Get yourself a faster flatbed scanner that still performs within your technical specifications. Have you been doing more than one at a time and using Photoshop's crop and straighten option. This does work pretty good and I have been using it for the ones I scan. It is a time consuming process and it is important to do as suggested above and cull out the iffy ones to save time.

I did an Internet search for "photo scanning service" and there is plenty of people offering this service. Scan My Photos (external link) is one of the first results and they say they will do prints for as little as .08 each. Even at a dime each it would only be 200.00 for 2000 prints. Given how much time it would take to do this many that is a pretty attractive price. I haven't used any of these services and am not making any specific recommendations.


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tkbslc
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Jun 06, 2011 11:15 |  #4

Places like scancafe can do this for you for about 30-50 cents an image. Sure that adds up to hundreds of dollars for 2000 photos, but you are looking at a couple hundred hours to do it yourself, minimum. Of course, you have to mail them your prints, so that is a risk some are unwilling to take.


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crn3371
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Jun 06, 2011 11:22 |  #5

Since you're just scanning prints, make sure to turn down the resolution. For prints I would scan at 300 dpi, 600 tops.




  
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HughR
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Jun 06, 2011 12:54 |  #6

Another option to scanning is to take digital photos of your old shots with your t2i. You'll need a piece of glass to put over them to keep them flat and two light sources at ±45° for even, non-reflective lighting. Given that your camera will be on a tripod, you can shoot at ISO 100 and get very good images. I've done this a number of times for old photos (although never 2,000 of them!).


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Best way to digitally convert old prints?
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
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