Can you do it yourself?
Yes you can. If you have the time, the equipment and the inclination. Photos are pretty easy. Any modern scanner will do. Given lots of photos though, it will burn up your time and you'll need to crop, correct colour casts, remove blotches and adjust exposures too.
By contrast, our Kodak PS80 scanners run at ten to fifteen times the pace that you will achieve. We correct each photo for you and we'll do the whole job for you, quickly, expertly and cost-effectively.
You've probably got better things to do with your valuable time.
Beware of cheap film scanners
Scanning slides and negatives is another matter
. Most of the film we get is 20-40 years old. Our US$5,000 film scanners are built to deal with the arch-enemy - dirt and grime. Intrigued by the recent influx of cheap film scanners, we went out and bought a couple - one for $200, plus a well-known flatbed brand for $495. Then we did some tests.
Even with spotless 10-year old Kodachrome, the results were mediocre. Then we scanned a 40-year old slide taken at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. This is the image below, reduced from a Nikon Coolscan 9000 scan using infra-red Digital ICE dirt and grime removal:
Our tests are shown on the right in close-up. They illustrate the painful truth - post-scanner work will not save a dirty image.
Some kinds of dirt and grime cannot be removed by physical cleaning. Simply shining light through film highlights any imperfections - alternative technology is required. Here are the facts as we see it;
All films will exhibit dust and grime to some degree. The older the film, the harder it is to obtain a clean, clear scan.
Low-end scanners are not equipped to deal with dust and grime. They cannot deliver the clean, high resolution images required.
A number of higher-cost scanners that claim Digital ICE infra-red detection also cannot cope, due to poor ICE implementation.
In our opinion, the Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED equipped with Digital ICE 4 Advanced (the last model released by Nikon) is the only scanner at any reasonable price point that can truly deal with this kind of film dirt and grime without significant image deterioration.
We process ALL our customers' negative and reversal films on these machines, producing scans that meet our customers' essential requirements - clean, error-free images with good tonal range.
100% crop from the $200 scanner, with ingrained dirt
100% crop from the $495 scanner, with ingrained dirt
100% crop from the $1,000 scanner with ICE, note image degradation
100% crop from Nikon 9000 scan with ICE, no correction