Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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For some years I've been planning to scan a heap of old analog photos -- Kodachrome slides plus 35mm. color negs and a lesser number of b+w negatives -- and, maybe because I use Nikon, I've always planned to get a Nikon Super Coolscan V ED. However few years ago I bought an Epson V350 scanner and, altho' I hadn't bought it for 35mm. work, found I got pretty good results from a few Kodachromes.

Now I want to scan those old photos, in particular the 35mm. b+w negs., and I'd like to pass the results to Aperture -- maybe a hundred or two important b+w photos. But it looks like the only scanner Nikon now offers is their big expensive 9000. If this is so, should I look for a second-hand Coolscan V ED or will my old Epson V350 do as well?

It's because I've almost no experience with 35mm scans that I'm asking this question. They're for publication and while perfection's always nice, 9 out of 10 good would be okay.

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Hmm... the 9000ED is a $8k beast, then you need to invest your time in doing all the scan work. By contrast for less than $1 / neg (way less for slides) you could have someone like ScanCafe do it for you, on pretty much the same hardware. So do you have more than 8000 images to scan? If so it might be cheaper to do it yourself, but honestly, I think the cost of the hardware is probably the lesser of the two expenses here. What's your time worth to you?

You mention you have no experience with scanning... they do. Lots of it. And they have done it for some pretty high end pros.

disclaimer: I have no financial interest in scancafe, I haven't even (yet) used their services. But I recently contemplated the very same concept and came to the conclusion that doing it myself wasn't the right choice. Several of my coworkers have used their service, and the results I've seen have been quite stellar. I have a box on the shelf behind me that I keep adding negatives to. Eventually I'm going to send it to them.

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+1 Sane answer. It is also good to take into consideration if the scanning is "something that needs to get over with" or just one interesting aspect of the hobby. Like with printing, someone might do it cheaper, but it is still done by someone else. Ask yourself is photography (for you) just taking/making photographs or the whole process from photons to dots/pixels. –  koiyu Mar 6 '11 at 10:49
    
Thank you, cabbey, your point is a good one and no doubt there's someone similar to ScanCafe here in Australia. –  user4177 Mar 7 '11 at 0:29
    
I also acknowledged @kolyu's point, saying yes, I'd like to do the work myself. And to the above I added the question (guess all this was edited out): Can I get good/9 out of 10 results with my Epson V350 photo scanner -- using, say, some help from Photomatix -- or are the pros with experience and equipment going to do much better? –  user4177 Mar 7 '11 at 2:12
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