I've recently been given a mother lode of old family negatives (that had literally been stored in old cookie tins for the past 60-70 years) for the purpose of printing and archiving. There are hundreds of them.
I've been slaving away in the darkroom making prints of select negatives (on fiber paper, polysulfide toned for long-term image stability), but I also want to digitize the whole collection if feasible. I'm a darkroom kind of guy and do not own a scanner, but am considering buying one expressly for this purpose.
The negatives are in mostly good condition considering the fact that they were all jumbled together in the original envelopes from the corner drug store where they were processed during the '30's and '40's. At least half of the negatives are on nitrate base but have not decomposed. Yes, I have researched nitrate negatives and understand the issues there.
The biggest challenge I see for scanning is that there is a bewildering assortment of formats - many of them long obsolete.
They range in size from 4x5 sheet film down to 35mm (but only a handful of 35mm).
The majority are various sizes of roll film...127...6cm X 6cm.....4 cm x 4 cm....up to 125 format roll film, and many bizarre sizes in between. The 125 was a fascinating roll film format...the negatives measured about 3 1/4" x 5 1/2"! About the right size to contact print to post card size. Yep, the spools were nearly 4 inches high!
I'm thinking a flatbed scanner like the Epson 4490 or V700 might be the best solution.
Again, my biggest concern is the plethora of odd formats. Surely they don't make film holders for these crazy old formats. Can the negatives simply be laid on the glass (in an arrangement similar to the way you'd make a contact print on 8x10 paper) and still get a decent scan?
Any comments or recommendations?