Best practices for photo archive scanning?
September 3, 2005 9:51 AM Subscribe
I'm embarking on the task of archiving my family's collection of several thousand images, from prints, negatives of all sizes, slides and the odd tinplate. I've got what I feel is a good film/slide scanner (Nikon SuperCoolscan 9000 ED) and a half-decent flatbed scanner (Epson Perfection 1650 Photo), and I'm using VueScan on Mac OS X. I've read some of the other AskMeFi posts on similar projects, and I still have three questions about advice for making these the best digital archives they can be, specifically on colorspace, calibration and large negatives (and any other advice welcome):
posted by mboszko to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
1.) What colorspace (Adobe1998, Apple, ColorMatch, sRGB?) and file format (I'm thinking TIFF) would be best for archiving these images, that will give me the widest gamut and contrast? ...and should I be saving these as 48-bit images instead of 24 (I like the idea of additional information, but is the extra info worth the size it takes up)?
2.) I've been able to calibrate my flatbed scanner with a target, and creating a profile. Is it worth it to do that with the film scanner as well? I've heard that the difference in film stocks and age of the film makes it such a crapshoot that I'd be just as well off letting the scanner do its best guess and sort it out in Photoshop later.
3.)What's the best way for me to scan negs larger than 120 size? The Nikon will only really do up to 120, and I have some that are just a tiny bit larger (about 2.75"x4.5") and will not fit in the holder for 120 film (and no, I'm not going to trim the negatives to fit). Would it be worth upgrading the flatbed to something like the Epson 4990 to scan these?
Let me say, I will be keeping the old prints and negs, but I do need to get these digital so relatives across the country can share. Basically I want to archive them in such a way that I can get good prints made from the scans, and have them readable for a good long time to come. I understand the pitfalls in digital archiving, and plan to refresh the archive discs and formats every few years once the project is complete, but for now, I need to get these into the computer at the very best quality I can, given my resources.