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View Diary: America Before Pearl Harbor - Early Kodachrome Images (321 comments)

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  •  NY Public Library might be (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, SallyCat, Halcyon, LNK, Lashe
    a good place to start.  If you're willing to release enough permissions for Wikipedia that would be a great place to put scans (  If you have a computer with a USB port, plugging in a film scanner and using it is no big deal, scanning is just kind of time consuming.  Maybe someone would be willing to do it for you.
    •  does the film scanner do negatives? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, wader

      I have a lot of old negs and transparencies I want to digitize and print out, but don't know how - what gizmos I need, etc.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

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      by hrh on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 05:24:06 AM PST

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      •  hrh: scanners can do all (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gpclay, hrh, wader, baccaruda

        Mine does negatives and slides as well as photos. It's Epson. I find it useful to upload images to save online...for the 'just in case'...........

      •  There are different kinds of scanners (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hrh, wader

        There are document scanners, "photo scanners" which are like document scanners of especially high resolution that can sometimes also scan negatives, and dedicated film scanners (which only scan film, not documents).  Of film scanners there is the CCD type (used for almost all amateur and semipro scanning) and the "drum" type (ultra expensive and hard to operate and used almost purely for high end professional work).  

        I would suggest getting a dedicated film scanner--these start in the $200 range and the ones at that price level are decent and reasonably adequate for this purpose (old black and white negatives).  I have a Minolta Scan Dual II (old model, 2700 dpi).  There are better ones (4000 dpi etc) starting around $500 but these may not be worth it, depending on the originals.  Operating these things is a bit slow, like a few minutes per negative, so scanning thousands of negs can be a time consuming process (you don't really have to pay attention to the machine while it scans though).

        It might be possible to scan a whole bunch of negs simultaneously with an Epson photo scanner (this has a page-size scanning area).  Quality will be ok, not as good as the dedicated film scanner.  Speed will be sort of slow, maybe 30 minutes per batch (?).  But again, you load the negs, push a button, then come back later to do the next batch.  If you can afford it I'd suggest getting the top Epson model whatever that currently is.  I think it's around $500.

        If you want to bang out a lot of quick digitizations in a hurry, you can set up a digital camera with macro capability over a light table, then take snapshots of all the negatives and flip them into positives with a batch operation in a photo editor (I think Irfanview can do that).  Quality will be lousy but would be ok for creating a web index of the images or something like that.

        If you want the absolute best possible scan of a specific neg, go to a service bureau for a drum scan, typically $50 or so per neg.  You'd only do that for specific negs for professional publication.  $500 desktop CCD scanners these days are almost as good as $25,000 drum scanners.

        I'd offer to donate my Minolta for this project (it's sat unused in my closet for years) but don't know how I'd get it to you, etc.  You can probably find one like it on ebay or craigslist for well under $200.

      •  My Epson 4490 scans slides or negatives easily (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hrh, kestrel9000

        and is reasonably affordable (well, relative to the price of typical scanners), IMHO.

        I've begun to digitize my parent's vacation slides from the 60s and 70s - the results have been quite a revelation to me.  I've never seen these images outside of a home slideshow; the details in their surroundings and expressions (plus, those clothes!) make me feel like a local observer of whatever they were seeing at the time.  Colour is likely a key element of that effect, even if it's from old and not-carefully-stored Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides.

        e.g., From a European trip in 1972, this scan offered me a clear view of my Dad and the background cars in that window's reflection for the first time.

        The original scan is about 1700x1200.

        Most scanners come with software and slide/negative holders to make the process repeatable and simple.  Software can also automatically remove certain kinds of defects that have crept into the emulsion, though I find one of these to be helpful in removing most of the dust that inevitably clings over the years in storage.

        The primary time-taker in my digitizing endeavour has been organizing all these slides by date and location - feeding them for scans is a simple, repeatable, mechanical process.

        Just a consideration for the do-it-yourself option.

        So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way.

        by wader on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 11:49:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! This is what I needed to know (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, kestrel9000

          Thank you!  I just checked out the Epson 4490 and it sounds like exactly what I need.  I'll get one.  Finally, after more than 40 years, I'll be able to get these pics printed out.  Cool.

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          by hrh on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 06:54:18 AM PST

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    •  Most of the photos were taken in NYC, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gpclay, wader, baccaruda, sap

      so the library is a good suggestion. I didn't know they had a photo archive. The NYC negs, at least, may be of interest. Thanks.

      I'll look into scanning, before I give them away, so I can enjoy the images myself.

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