Scanning Negatives

Scanning Negatives

PostBy: europachris On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:19 pm

Here's a question - how does scanning from film at the photo lab work out (into digital format), quality-wise? We had some film from Hawaii (cheap waterproof disposable) developed at the local Wal-Mart and turned into digital. It turned out about as poorly as the prints (which is to be expected).

But, taken on good equipment with good film, proper speeds, exposure, etc. how does it turn out compared to a true digital camera picture?
europachris
 
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Re: Scanning Negatives

PostBy: av8r On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:45 pm

europachris wrote:Here's a question - how does scanning from film at the photo lab work out (into digital format), quality-wise? We had some film from Hawaii (cheap waterproof disposable) developed at the local Wal-Mart and turned into digital. It turned out about as poorly as the prints (which is to be expected).

But, taken on good equipment with good film, proper speeds, exposure, etc. how does it turn out compared to a true digital camera picture?


You can only get as much information as is there to begin with, but a good lab or photo shop should be able to help you out.
av8r
 
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Re: Scanning Negatives

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:49 pm

If you're comparing apples to apples such as the good digital SLR compared to a good SLR 35mm film camera the digital will always be better and I venture to say that's across the board. It's lot easier to go to print with digital than go to digital from negatives, the higher megapixels will also provide a better image for really large prints i.e one meausured in feet.. Having said that you can get really good scans with the right equipment.

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If you're interested you need a scanner that has option for the negatives for the best results. This will give you superior reproduction as opposed to scanning the printed image because the negative(or slide) is illuminated with a backlight. You'll also need a scanner that can scan a very high DPI since negatives and slides are so small physically. If it's a large project this is a lot of work no matter how you do it, IMO it's best to do it once and do it right.

The biggest issue when scanning is dust, this is especially true for slides and negatives because that little particle of dust becomes enormous. To prevent this you can purchase a scanner with Digital Ice, this is "flaw" removal system but works differently than software methods. Digital Ice detects physical imperfections (such as dust specs or scratches) before the creation of the scan and isolates them for removal. These types of scanners have come down quite a bit in price but are not cheap comparing to a standard scanner. You will also want to get some canned air to blow as much dust from the slides as you can before scanning. There are a few other scanners on the market with similar systems named differently but digital ice is the original, it can only be purchased with a scanner because it's hardware based, it's not software.

Other things to consider is to look into self feeding models.

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Having said that you can get some good results from a standard scanner. It's just going to add a lot of work, manually inserting hundreds of slides or negatives and manual dust(noise) removal with software is very long and laborious task.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Scanning Negatives

PostBy: WNY On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:54 pm

My wife works at RiteAid Photo and does this all the time. Scanning from negatives is not any better than scanning the picture to put on a CD into a digital format.

Also, when carrying film, ALWAYS have it Hand checked or thru the carry-on X-Ray, the luggage x-rays are much stronger and will ruin film.
WNY
 
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Re: Scanning Negatives

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:05 am

WNY wrote: Scanning from negatives is not any better than scanning the picture


? scanning the negative will give you far better results than a print. When you scan a negative its backlit, prints are lit on the surface. Don't make me fire up my scanner to prove it. :P
Richard S.
 
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Re: Scanning Negatives

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:44 am

Just to add so its clear, if you have a poor image (such as over exposed, lots of grain) scanning a negative isn't going to improve upon that. The difference with scanning a negative is your getting the information right from the source, this provides a more accurate and richer representation of the original image than you can get from the print for various reasons.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Scanning Negatives

PostBy: WNY On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:29 am

Yes, you're right, I meant it's is better than scanning a picture....sorry for the confusion. I was tired last night....
WNY
 
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