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Digitizing negatives

bdbits

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Bob
I have a bunch of negatives collected over a lifetime I would like to get into digital form. I think there could be a few thousand of them, but at this time I have not counted them. In my looking into options thus far, I have found a few different ways to go about it and wondering what might be most effective, or if there is another approach I had not run into yet.

There are "shoebox" services, where you send your precious negatives off to who-knows-where-it-goes, possibly even overseas, and they do everything for you. This option makes me nervous, and I am unlikely to pursue it.

You can get a copy stand and use your own camera and a good macro lens. While this would likely yield high quality results and might be worth it for the best photos, I think this would get really time-consuming. So I may do this after the initial run for a few important photos, but probably not most of them.

Then we have the scanner option. The Epson V370 seems to get the most attention in this category. This would be faster than using my camera, and I think yield pretty good results in image quality. I am thinking either this or the last option.

Which is a purpose-built scanner. An example is the Wolverine F2D, which appears to be a popular choice in this class. Here is an affiliate link to what I am talking about on Amazon: Amazon.com: wolverine f2d mighty 20mp 7-in-1 film to digital converter. This looks to be quick and easy enough to use that my wife could assist with the scanning. The apparent ease-of-use means we would probably manage to get everything scanned, even more-so than the Epson V370 scanner mentioned above. And I think the image quality is probably decent, but I do wonder how it would compare to the V370.

So if anyone has gone through a scanning project like this for themselves, I would be interested in hearing of your experiences and the method you used.
 

JMM

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I have a duplicating set from pentacon that i've bought for 40 USD (tripod, tripod head, bellows, copier). It's working very well and it's eazy and fast with slides, slightly slower with negatives. Once you set it up, all you have to do is move the negative and press the shutter. I've copied about 200 slides and few negatives in below an hour.
 
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I have scanned all my father's and my own slides, started out with a Canon FS4000 scanner and continued with a Panasonic GH2, Leica 2.8/45mm macro and a Nikon ES-1 slide adapter (no optics in that one) because scanning was way too slow. With the GH2 the graininess of the slides was resolved very well so I figured 12 MP resolution was enough. I have now started to scan my old negatives, B&W and color, with the A7, Minolta Auto Bellows III + Slide Copier and the Minolta Auto Bellows Macro 3.5/50mm. So far that works well; I don't need to focus in-between shots when using f/8, the grain is critically sharp. For masked color negatives I have experimented with a blue filter to counteract the orange mask, I still have to see if that really works, first I have to scan some 400 rolls of B&W film :eek:.
 

davect01

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Like you said, this is a VERY time-consuming project.

We found a massive box of slides at my Mom and Dad's place. Found a local facility to digitize them all.
 

bdbits

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Well, I am surprised copying is faster than scanning. I may have to reconsider my options.

Yes, I know it will be very time-consuming Dave. But, I am not aware of any places here that offer this service without sending it somewhere or I would probably do that. I just cannot stand the thought of possibly losing the negatives.
 

davect01

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Well, I am surprised copying is faster than scanning. I may have to reconsider my options.

Yes, I know it will be very time-consuming Dave. But, I am not aware of any places here that offer this service without sending it somewhere or I would probably do that. I just cannot stand the thought of possibly losing the negatives.
Totally get the hesitation to ship them off somewhere. I simply did not want to spend the time doing this.

Best of luck getting this done :) It's fun going through old family memories.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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Back in '14 (wow, that's a long time ago, digitally speaking) I rigged up my D7000 with my newly acquired Micro Nikkor 55mm lens, a tripod, a piece of old PVC pipe (black), and a laptop computer screen with a piece of mylar over it for the back lighting, and I digitized some (100+) slides I had in a shoe box. It was tedious, but fun in a way as it gave me a chance to think about each picture and when it was taken etc. I've yet to try it with my A7ii and the newer version of that lens that I now have. I looked, but I can't find a picture of my setup. It was a real Rube Goldberg type affair, but it worked pretty good.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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I happened to find a picture of a set up I put together for slide copying. Just thought I'd update this thread with the pic. All of it except the camera-to-bellows adapter was purchased used.

OK. I'll go back under my rock now.

DSC05964 (Large).JPG
NEX-7       28mm    f/2.8    1/60s    ISO 1600
 
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