Negative scanning services?
May 14, 2014 8:22 PM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of 35mm negatives from the 90s and 00s I'd like to get scanned, and I'm wondering what services people recommend. ScanCafe was recommended in a previous post, which sounds like it would work for me, but I'm wondering if other folks have better / cheaper recommendations. In particular the color correction seems unnecessary to me since I can color correct the few images I'll probably want to post myself in Lightroom.
posted by pombe to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Depends on how savvy you are with digital media and how many images "a bunch" is. If a "bunch" is not so much and you're not that savvy than use ScanCafe or similar.

However, if you have a whole lot and you're comfortable with Adobe programs than you might consider buying a film scanner. Smarter still: buy a used film scanner and sell it afterwards for what you paid.
posted by Murray M at 12:14 PM on May 15, 2014

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find anything cheaper, unless you were willing to consider shipping your film out of the US. Also, the problem with your suggestion is that everything is highly automated with these services, so color correction is automatically part of the scanning process; asking them to, for example, "Just scan everything, remove dust and scratches, and crop, but don't bother color correcting because I can do that myself." would actually be more labor-intensive and expensive, I'd imagine, since they'd have to treat your order differently than all of their other customers.

An alternate idea is to use one of these Wolverine scanners to process your film yourself. After they're all done, if you're not satisfied with the quality, you can pick and choose which images to re-scan manually on better equipment, or send them out to one of the pro scanning services.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:16 PM on May 15, 2014

Pombe, I ran across a well-written review called "Why I'm not using the online scanning services". Read it here.

Truthfully, I strongly agree with his conclusion: if you're the least bit picky and know your way around scanning equipment, you'll be better off doing it yourself. That's why I'm only halfway done with my own collection! ;) It's time-consuming and exhausting, but the results are worth it. I no longer bother scanning the images that aren't important to me though. When I first started out, I used to scan everything in the interest of keeping the collection complete. Nowadays? Screw that!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:38 PM on May 15, 2014

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