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Thread: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

  1. #21

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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Another way to "scan" is to downshoot the negs/slides with a digital camera set-up rather than a scanner... You would have to rig a copy set-up, light box, and with holders for materials...

    You would be able to "shoot" them at a short shutter speed, and move on to the next image, etc...

    The images could be batch processed in Lightroom, archived, categories, etc as a group...

    Check the archives for the ongoing (DSLR scanning) topic...

    Good luck!!!

    Steve K
    I really liked that idea and checked it out - I looked at Peter Krogh's book and a few videos on the process. I just don't think I'm tech-savvy enough to pull it off! haha. : )

  2. #22

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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Well, 'archival' can mean a bunch of things. One of them would mean to make copies to minimize the chances of loss. Scans stored on, say, M-discs in various locations would lessen chances of total loss due to flood, fire..... But is the archive simply to allow people to see the photos on a computer screen, or is it so large prints can be made in the future?
    The actual purpose is best answered by the OP, but my comment was cautionary -- archival implies a permanent storage and preservation objective, and digital media is not very permanent without periodic maintenance to ensure data integrity and readability by future hardware and software. Institutions are set-up for this, but a one-time, one-person scanning effort may not incorporate the long-term maintenance.

    These days, in my experience, original material (e.g., film, prints) at archives are considered to be artifacts after they are digitized, and the digitized version is what people use on a routine basis. Before digital media was operational, copy negatives of prints, or prints made from them, served the same purpose as today's digital copies. A rough distinction between an archive and a library is the sharing aspect.

    Copies are great, especially if the original is lost in a fire, but preservation of the original is of course prudent. Analog copies are a better long-term hedge against disaster than digital copies, because they need much less maintenance and have a naturally long shelf life if stored reasonably well. In the present context, the main advantage of digital files is sharing via the internet, or making numerous prints, and the original material has limited wear and tear from handling once a good scan is obtained.

    If it's worth scanning, it's worth saving, and the OP's material sounds like its worth saving.

    Hollywood film archivists have a lot of experience with these issues. See "The Digital Dilemma" by the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A more operational source is Frey and Reilly's "Digital Imaging for Photographic Collections", published by the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology.

  3. #23
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneH View Post
    Yes, I purchased a lightbox - a very thin one - and can easily slip it under all the transparency sleeves. It's fabulous! And fast! I have a couple of loupes already, so this works great. Thanks much!
    You are welcome. Please consider the process of paring down the collection, especially if you are considering publishing the best. The rest of the films will last another 100 years or better. Plenty of time to make another pass over the collection. We do what we can in our lifetime.

    Very Best,
    Jac

  4. #24

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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Decide, first, why are you scanning? The end result will determine what's the best/easiest/least expensive method for attaining that result. If you're scanning to share on the web you'll have very different requirements than if you're going to put on a gallery show of your mom's work printed large.
    You are absolutely right! : ) Thank you!

  5. #25

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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    I have a 1640XL out where I work and find it completely adequate. Archiving and cataloguing is one thing, scanning for museum prints may be another. But the 1640XL can do that first step just fine. Then if curators etc. want large prints at maximum resolution you can do the expensive scans shopped out to folks who have that expertise. The 1640 is plenty good enough resolution for magazine articles and posting things on the web. Does your scanner have the heavy lid that has the light inside it for transparency and negative scanning? All I've ever needed was the software that came with the scanner. You've got what you need to get started.
    Ok, cool! I'm glad to hear of someone else using the scanner. And, yes, this scanner has the transparency lid on it. I've decided to go ahead and keep it to get started. I wasn't able to use the software that came with it, but used the VuScan software and it works just great. THANKS!!!

  6. #26

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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    If you do go the "better scanner" route I think you should consider a large commercial flatbed rather than a drum scanner because the workflow of mounting is so much simpler and faster and results can be quite good indeed. Mounting is pretty simple - basically just laying or taping the film on the glass or on a mask sheet. Basically just load up the glass and let the scanner churn away. You could also get a mounting station and an extra sheet of scanner glass and just load up a couple of scanner carriers but the mounting time is so much faster than the scan time you might be OK with just one glass carrier.
    Hi, Jim - could you give me an example of what a large commercial flatbed might be? I'm assuming it's not the v850? I like the idea of loading up the glass like you say. It seems that could really speed things up! I'm a newbie at the scanning process...I've got a lot to learn.

  7. #27
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    I am concerned that some of our contributors do not understand the terrible burden of scanning everything. Simple arithmetic will show how unrealistic it it is to scan the whole collection. And to what end? The original media - slides, negatives will likely survive longer than their digital representations.
    .

  8. #28

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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by mmerig View Post
    The actual purpose is best answered by the OP, but my comment was cautionary -- archival implies a permanent storage and preservation objective, and digital media is not very permanent without periodic maintenance to ensure data integrity and readability by future hardware and software. Institutions are set-up for this, but a one-time, one-person scanning effort may not incorporate the long-term maintenance.

    These days, in my experience, original material (e.g., film, prints) at archives are considered to be artifacts after they are digitized, and the digitized version is what people use on a routine basis. Before digital media was operational, copy negatives of prints, or prints made from them, served the same purpose as today's digital copies. A rough distinction between an archive and a library is the sharing aspect.

    Copies are great, especially if the original is lost in a fire, but preservation of the original is of course prudent. Analog copies are a better long-term hedge against disaster than digital copies, because they need much less maintenance and have a naturally long shelf life if stored reasonably well. In the present context, the main advantage of digital files is sharing via the internet, or making numerous prints, and the original material has limited wear and tear from handling once a good scan is obtained.

    If it's worth scanning, it's worth saving, and the OP's material sounds like its worth saving.

    Hollywood film archivists have a lot of experience with these issues. See "The Digital Dilemma" by the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A more operational source is Frey and Reilly's "Digital Imaging for Photographic Collections", published by the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology.
    Fascinating! Thank you for the perspective. I'm actually shocked at how, after 10 years in dark storage, the transparencies look as if they were taken yesterday. Some of them are 30-40 years old!!! If there is fading or color loss - I cannot see it. Yay for analog! : )

  9. #29
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Large commercial flatbeds include the Screen Cezanne, Creo Eversmart series, iQSmart scanners, etc. - I have a Cezanne myself, as do several forum members. These are huge, heavy beasts that are about as good as it gets in terms of ease of use, throughput, and quality, but the expense, upkeep, difficulty in finding good working units, etc. is a problem. I wouldn't go down that route. You could pay for a lot of scans before you made it worthwhile, and you'd have to deal with the learning curve. Full disclosure: I have and continue to make scans for others on my Cezanne, so I might be slightly biased.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #30
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Scanning Huge Archives - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneH View Post
    Hi, Jim - could you give me an example of what a large commercial flatbed might be? I'm assuming it's not the v850? I like the idea of loading up the glass like you say. It seems that could really speed things up! I'm a newbie at the scanning process...I've got a lot to learn.
    Not Jim, but I can highly recommend Micheal Streeter who sells refurbished Creo's , I have one of his Eversmart Supremes and many here use the different levels of this system.
    He is extremely helpful in getting started and will maintain any problems online.
    The software Oxygen and the platform itself is very easy to use after your experience with the Epson.


    Bob

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