Scanning Slides & 35mm Negatives

It’s recently become apparent that I need to scan a bunch of slides and 35mm negatives into digital form. My church has a bunch of very nice slides from the 60s, my parents and grandparents have quite a few as well, and I have a bunch of 35mm negatives that I’d like to get digital.

It’s also quite obvious that flatbed scanners aren’t going to do the trick for me.

Scanners that start to approach the quality I’m after seem to start at about $1000. Does anybody know of a good scanning service? Or have some other ideas? Ideally, I’d like to scan hundreds of photos, but the $1000 is a bit tough.

I found this service, which looks decent.

6 thoughts on “Scanning Slides & 35mm Negatives

  1. Can’t you just get something like a secondhand coolscan IV?

    There’s a ‘coolscan2’ driver in sane.

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    jgoerzen Reply:

    There is *one* listed on ebay with a buy it now price of $400. So better, but still up there.

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    Matt Kay Reply:

    I went through this exact same process, and ended up getting an SCSI scanner, the LS 2000 by Nikon. Works with the Coolscan2 driver for SANE very nicely, and is allegedly better specified than the Coolscan IV. Since SCSI is so unpopular, you might be able to pick up an eBay bargain – I did! Try LS-2000 Nikon as the search terms.

    M

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  2. My dad bought a scanner that does negatives and also a scanner that does batch photos a couple of years ago. I’ve done a few rounds of photo scanning with him and it takes a long time even with the batch scanner.

    However, scanning in the media isn’t the only thing that takes time. Cropping photos, touching them up, organizing them, tagging them, and exporting them into some form that’s usable by people also takes a lot of time. We’ve done some work in automating the whole process a bit more, but haven’t had much luck yet.

    I know that this comment is sort of off the topic of your post, but I figured I’d mention things because they might help when figuring out what to do service/non-service wise.

    /will

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  3. I bought a coolscan IV from ebay for about $400 at the beggining of this year. It works great with Linux. I also had really old negatives to work with and I’m really happy with the results so far.

    I guess the only drawback is that scanning tons of photos as individual slides can be slow. 35mm film stripes can be batch scanned, but slides would be a one by one thing.

    Good luck!

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