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ESokoloff

Photo/Slide Scaner Advice

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ESokoloff

My buddy inherited "Thousands" of photos & slides.  

He wants to convert them to digital. 

From what he's discovered paying for this will be cost prohibitive so he's looking for a scanner. 

Its a bit overwhelming researching as everyone has a different opinion.   

 

Anyone here Been There/Done That?

Any advice/tips appreciated.

 

TIA

 

 

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DaveCinNO

I had the same situation.  I inherited over 5,000 slides and many other documents from my parents and wanted to preserve them.  I also had the same number of slides of my own and some were starting to deteriorate.  I did some research and as with most things you get what you pay for.  I invested in an Epson V850 Pro and also in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  You're probably going to need to do some editing on the ones you really like.  I found good online courses for PS Elements at lynda.com and did research on slide scanning, resolution and other settings to use, etc.  This started three years ago and all my and my parents slides and many paper prints and documents are digitized.

 

Word of advice...think long and hard before you start.  Do your research on how you're going to do it AND your file storage structure.  Once you start it's a pain to fix or start over.

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Traveler1

Same situation here too.  I ended up with a Plustek scanner which works well with a Mac.  I do the final editing with Photoshop Elements.   You can only go so far in restoring slides which have significant age deterioration.   Having said that, I'm glad I made the investment, and my kids (and their kids) have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the scans.  

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ESokoloff
On 9/30/2019 at 6:52 PM, DaveCinNO said:

...........  I inherited over 5,000 slides and many other documents from my parents and wanted to preserve them.

I also had the same number of slides of my own    ..........

.........  I did some research and as with most things you get what you pay for.  I invested in an Epson V850 Pro and also in Adobe Photoshop Elements. 

..........This started three years ago and all my and my parents slides and many paper prints and documents are digitized.

 

Word of advice...think long and hard before you start.  Do your research on how you're going to do it AND your file storage structure.  Once you start it's a pain to fix or start over.

 

Dave of the 10k+ artifacts, how many did you scan/save?

on average how long does each scan take to fully process using the V850?

 

Rome wasn't built in a day & it sounds like this project of yours has taken quite some time (but no doubt a worthwhile endeavor). 

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ESokoloff
20 hours ago, Traveler1 said:

Same situation here too.  I ended up with a Plustek scanner which works well with a Mac.  I do the final editing with Photoshop Elements.   You can only go so far in restoring slides which have significant age deterioration.   Having said that, I'm glad I made the investment, and my kids (and their kids) have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the scans.  

 

Thanks Thor. Same question to you....

How many images/pieces did you end up transferring to digital?

The Plustek unit is less expensive then the Epson but I'm wondering if it would be practical given the high volume involved?

how long does each image take to process?  

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Traveler1

I've done a couple of hundred scans.   About ¾ turned out really well.  The rest were marginal or just plain no good.   The Plustek model I have (OptinFilm 7600) provides two options.  You can scan directly into Photoshop and each scan takes about 1 minute.   If you use the included "Silverfast" software it can take up to 15 minutes, but the results are worth it, particularly if you find slides which need dust and scratch removal.   I'm sure the current models are much improved over what I have.

 

I've still got a number of slides to do, but haven't gotten back into it for well over a year now.  There's no question that it takes some time, particularly with slides which have aged.   

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szurszewski

To address the time question, my stepmom had been converting her photo album collection to digital for several years now. I don’t know how many images she started with, but to give you an idea she had a full size bookcase (approx 6’x3’) full of albums. She keeps the scanner on a work table and when she has time will sit down for a couple of hours and work her way through part of an album - which entails removing the photos she wants, scanning them two or three at a time and then sorting the resulting files. 
 

I think that the sort of project it should be. If you sat down and tried to go through all of them at once it would be a full time job for quite some time.  

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lkraus

My wife's parents died a few years ago, left 80+ photo albums and several boxes of loose photos, going back to 1895.  All eight children wanted the family history, but only one wanted to give up that much storage space for the original photos.

 

We found a used Kodak PS80 scanner for about $1400 (MSRP $3695), which can scan in batches at up to 80 prints per minute,  both sides. It does not scan slides. The software was designed for a retail operation, like a drug store or a do-it yourself kiosk. It also did a little (optional) automatic image enhancement, slightly improving contrast and sharpness.  The files could only be named by the date and time that the batch began plus a sequence number. Like this: 20170620090221_00023A, with A or B indicating front or back of a photo.  We were able to specify folders for the output, so we usually used a year and an approximate month range (1954 Jun to Dec).

 

Even with a high speed scanner, it took nearly two years to complete the project.  Not full time, but often several nights a week, 2-4 hours a night.  We started over after the first few albums because we learned it was easier to reorganize and rescan the prints than it was to rename and reorganize the scans.  There was a lot of manual work, emptying the albums, checking for photos that stuck together or fed crookedly, rotating a few pictures, etc. We kept the "B" sides that had notes or dates, but deleting the backs of photos that were blank took 40+ hours all by itself.  We did not try to further improve the 600dpi scans, there were just too many photos and life is short. We ended up with about 27,400 images (80GB), which we copied to ten 128GB hard drives.

 

We have many albums of our own that we will eventually digitize, but I'm not looking forward to the job. Maybe this winter...

 

There is a reason your buddy might consider having the work done "cost prohibitive" - it is a lot of work.

 

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szurszewski

I talked to my stepmom tonight and asked her how many photos she's scanned so far and how many years she's been working on it. 19,000+ photos so far, and enough years that she can't remember when she started. Partly because it's been long enough that's she moved on to a new laptop. (The old one apparently had a post it on it with the date she started...)

 

Good luck!

 

 

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ESokoloff
On 10/2/2019 at 8:58 PM, szurszewski said:

I talked to my stepmom tonight and asked her how many photos she's scanned so far and how many years she's been working on it. 19,000+ photos so far, and enough years that she can't remember when she started. Partly because it's been long enough that's she moved on to a new laptop. (The old one apparently had a post it on it with the date she started...)

 

Good luck!

 

 

WOW!!!

 

Truly a labor of ❤️ 

Passing it down to the next generations.  

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szurszewski

Indeed. But, honestly, I’d rather have the albums. Unfortunately I wasn’t in a physical position to house them when she decided they needed to go. 
 

Digitial stuff is cool, but you have to keep up with tech to be able to access it AND you have to actually access it. With the books you could just pick up a year (or part of a year) and idly flip through history. I’d do that from time to time. 
 

On the other hand, it was pretty cool a few years ago when we met in Santa Fe for thanksgiving and my son and stepmom started talking about nearby national parks - she pulled out her laptop and showed him pics of her trips to several of them spanning a number of years. 

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lkraus

Digital is a different experience, but even an album has to be pulled off the shelf for "access". In our case, it was the only way for a large family to have copies all of (Great and Great-Great and Great-Great-Great) Grandpa's years of picture-taking. 

 

We often run a slideshow of random pics on the big screen TV at family get-togethers. It spurs memories and generates a lot of safe "Do you remember....?" conversations to keep the political discord at bay.

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