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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:08   #1
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Question Digitizing your old photo collection?

Our family has a drawer filled with photos - they're not too many but they're there slowing rotting and deteriorating with each passing day. I'm sure a lot of you have huge collections of photos and negatives as well.

We've been thinking about digitizing our photos so we can preserve these photos forever.

However, I'm confused if I should just scan the photos myself (use scanner at office during off-business hours), OR if I should scan the negatives (how?), OR if I should hand them over to a photo studio - and I do, do I give them the actual photos or the negatives?

I just tried to scan a couple of photos at 300DPI with my office scanner and they turned out just fine. However, it'll probably take me a few hours to days to scan all my collection. Is this a good way to digitize your photos or should I go the professional way? Then there's this whole thing about getting the colors right after scanning.

What did you do? Please suggest!

Last edited by hellmet : 22nd January 2015 at 11:10.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:15   #2
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Default re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

I had scanned the photos at my work scanner in the evenings.
Took a hell lot of time, but was worth, because I didn't want to spend 20 bucks a photo scan at the nearby xerox shop.

Never thought of taking it to a photo studio though. I don't think a Negative can be scanned or digitized. All they can do is the same thing as scanning the photos, albeit with a high cost.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:17   #3
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Default re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
I had scanned the photos at my work scanner in the evenings.
Took a hell lot of time, but was worth, because I didn't want to spend 20 bucks a photo scan at the nearby xerox shop.

Never thought of taking it to a photo studio though. I don't think a Negative can be scanned or digitized. All they can do is the same thing as scanning the photos, albeit with a high cost.
Rs.20 per photo is insane.

There are specific negative scanners out there that can scan negatives. However, I see some jugaad to DIY, on youtube.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:21   #4
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Default re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Scanning can be a very slow process, which is why I use another method. I keep the photos one-by-one on my desk, which is nicely lit, and I use my SLR camera to take pictures of the pictures. Mind you, one has to do this without using flash. If properly clicked they look as good as scanned ones. If not an SLR, you might need a decent quality digital camera though.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:23   #5
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Default re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

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Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
Rs.20 per photo is insane.
Forgot to mention. That was 7 years back.

Quote:
There are specific negative scanners out there that can scan negatives. However, I see some jugaad to DIY, on youtube.
How old are the negatives, are they in a condition that can be scanned. For me, the life of a negative had been not more than 5 years or so. Beyond that it becomes coloured (some weird coloured stains).

If your negatives are fine, you can try the jugaad from Youtube. Else, give it a shot at a photo studio. Atleast they can guide you on the options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
.... and I use my SLR camera to take pictures of the pictures. Mind you, one has to do this without using flash.... If not an SLR, you might need a decent quality digital camera though.
True that Stratos. This is the most cost effective and easier way to do so. Have done that too.

Last edited by Soumyajit9 : 22nd January 2015 at 11:24.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 13:48   #6
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Default re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
Scanning can be a very slow process, which is why I use another method. I keep the photos one-by-one on my desk, which is nicely lit, and I use my SLR camera to take pictures of the pictures. Mind you, one has to do this without using flash. If properly clicked they look as good as scanned ones. If not an SLR, you might need a decent quality digital camera though.
+1 to this - I have digitized more than few hundred photos like this. Click with DSLR and crop \ finishing touch with Photoshop. I use it so much so that I hardly use scanner for even scanning the documents.

--Anoop
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Old 22nd January 2015, 14:05   #7
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Default re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
Our family has a drawer filled with photos - they're not too many but they're there slowing rotting and deteriorating with each passing day. I'm sure a lot of you have huge collections of photos and negatives as well.
I did that 2 - 3 years back. Had negatives scanned from neighborhood shop. It costed me 100 Rs per role of 35 mm negatives. Got jpg files on a CD.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 16:16   #8
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Been there, done that. A couple of years ago, I got our old family photos scanned; memories for life. Couple of tips:

- Don't do it yourself. It'll take an awful lot of time.

- I sent it batch by batch to a local photo studio. Just ask and they'll give you bulk rates. IIRC, I was charged Rs. 6 - 7 per picture.

- Don't scan everything. Just pick the really special / memorable images. Else, the collection will get boring. Even after careful selection, I think I'd ended up with like a 1000 pictures.

Related thread: Link (Photograph Scanner)
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Old 22nd January 2015, 16:32   #9
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

My father got all of our old photos digitised, even the ones including his wedding.

We have put all of those as well as recent photos into a 10inch digital photo frame and kept it in the hall. It feels seriously good to see the old memories coming up one after the other
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Old 22nd January 2015, 16:50   #10
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Good points by GTO.

Currently, in Bangalore, you can check with the internet browsing centres. They charge Rs 10/- a scan of A4 size. So you can place multiple pics in one go.

@Soumyajit, - yes, you can scan negatives. Directly placing the negatives on the flatbed scanner's scanning surface wont work. You will need a scanner with a holder for the negatives strip.
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Old 24th January 2015, 12:43   #11
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

I bought a film scanner for this, and scanned many hundreds of negatives and slides.

There were very few options available for the hobbyist, at least in 2010. The scanner I bought was Plustek Optifilm 7200i. (http://www.silverfast.com/product/Pl...0i-535/en.html). Given the number of photographs I had to scan, I thought it would be a bargain to buy a scanner than give them for digitizing at a photo studio. There are still many more rolls of negatives that have popped up since which need to be scanned, but haven't found the time though!

The results are entirely dependent on the quality of the negative. The scanner software has some useful features like dust removal etc.
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Old 25th January 2015, 09:47   #12
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

You could try using scanner apps like CamScanner if you have an Android phone with decent camera.

Rohan
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Old 25th January 2015, 12:18   #13
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

We have a ton of Kodak color slides. Any suggestions for digitizing them?
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Old 25th January 2015, 12:54   #14
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Currently, in Bangalore, you can check with the internet browsing centres. They charge Rs 10/- a scan of A4 size. So you can place multiple pics in one go.
Unless images are only to keep in digital form, this is not the right way for sure. Mass images scanning is only possible (given all the scanned images are of same size) drum scanners.
Quote:
@Soumyajit, - yes, you can scan negatives. Directly placing the negatives on the flatbed scanner's scanning surface wont work. You will need a scanner with a holder for the negatives strip.
Any desktop scanner should come with negative/positive holder. Mind you, final result is often below the standard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- I sent it batch by batch to a local photo studio. Just ask and they'll give you bulk rates. IIRC, I was charged Rs. 6 - 7 per picture.
This is again Ok if you just want to preserve old memories. And yes, also greatly depends on scanner and person's knowledge.
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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
We have a ton of Kodak color slides. Any suggestions for digitizing them?
Check out who's having Nikon Coolscan scanner in Bangalore.
Also check out Universal Print System in Infantry Road, Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore. You can talk to them and probably workout a package deal.
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Old 25th January 2015, 15:46   #15
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Default Re: Digitizing your old photo collection?

My Thoughts,

1.Office scanner is a very good option for print scans

2.Epson has good scanners starting at 6-7 k for photo scans.they also have options for negative scans. you could probably rent one .call up the epson support and find out the cost/ places where they have installed these. I found one at a photocopy shop and rented it for a week.

3.If there are lots of negatives to be scanned ,consider giving your workload to a photography lab with a high end scanner and get bulk rates.

4.taking photos with a dslr is doable but requires skill and may have variable results cause of lighting etc.
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