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3334 days ago
all those b & w negs

I'm considering the archive of a few hundred b & w negs which I shot 25 years ago - I want to digitize them, scan them in to my hard drive. Does anyone have experience with this? Scanners? Any kind or technique better than another? my goal is to make a collection of prints, optical ones using an enlarger and chemistry, but I need a way to look at them all first to decide which are worthy. Thanks for your thoughts...

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3334 days ago
I tried to scan some negatives a few years ago, but it didn't work so well. It may have been my relatively cheap scanner. Good luck! (Sorry I don't have anything useful to say!)

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3334 days ago
If your main goal is to determine which ones to enlarge, I would recommend a light table.

Otherwise the Nikon Coolscan scanners work well though the old SCSI ones I used to work with were slow. You could also check with your local lab and see what it would cost to get them scanned for you. Scanning your own negs can be time consuming - especially with the scanners that use Digital I.C.E. which removes scratches, dust etc.. You'll need to make sure they are as clean as you can make them.

In true homebrew fashion I've heard of people using a macro lens with a rig on the end that held your slide. Light it from the back and you've got a simple way to convert negatives to digital. Though I haven't tried it, once everything was set up I'd suspect it would work quite well.

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shawn liu
3334 days ago
Hmm.  Using scanner to go through all the negatives would be a big pain in the arse.  I would recommend making some contact sheets - and then look through them.

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3330 days ago
Speaking of contact sheets....Does anyone have a good technique to create digital "contact sheets" of slides or negs? Quick thumbnails that won't require trying to scan each slide seperately. I had tried photographing slides on a light table but didn't get very favorable results (though it wasn't a great light table).


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3315 days ago
In case anyone is following this, it seems that a combination of the practical ideas that came from you guys in response to my first post will be viable. I go to the light table at SMC, spend as much time as I can organizing strips into pages of good stuff in neg carrier pages, then make paper contact prints of each page. I file these with the negs and choose a few images that show promise. Some of them are really thin, delicate, some scratches, some with dirt on or in the emulsion. I'm advised to have these scanned professionally at the highest practical resolution,(4000 or 5000 d.p.i.) and work on them in Photoshop off line. I haven't got to this point yet, but i see the rational sense: fragile negs can only give so much optically in the darkroom, without a large investment in time, paper, chemistry etc. Efficiency rules.

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