How to scan/digitize 100.000 photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Antti Heiskanen, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. What would be a sensible way to scan/digitize ~100.000 photos? We have
    a photo archive consisting mainly of 35mm slides and we need to get at
    least most of the images into an searchable online archive. The
    archive does not necessarily have to have hi-resolution scanned slides
    (scanning such amount of slides takes some time even with a scanner
    with auto slide feeder such as Nikon Coolscan 4000), as the goal is to
    get at least a lower resolution file online: when a customer wants to
    purchase it, we can always make a hi-res scan as needed. One
    possibility could be using slide duplicator attachment and external
    flash with Canon EOS 1Ds or 10D digital camera: that would be a fast
    method and should give us a digital image with pretty good quality.
    Would this work? Any better ideas?

    Antti Heiskanen, Oct 1, 2003
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  2. Antti Heiskanen

    Bob Salomon Guest

    The Braun SlideScan 3600 uses a circular Braun tray that holds up to 100
    slides at a time, in any combination of
    glass/glassless/cardboard/plastic and scans them automatically into a
    Mac or PC at an optical resolution of up to 3200 dpi. The scanner can be
    set up and left to run unattended, It retails for about $1000.00.
    Bob Salomon, Oct 1, 2003
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  3. So it claims 90 seconds for a 3600dpi scan. I'll be generous and say
    3 minutes is real world - that 5 hours per rack of 100. You can do two,
    maybe 3 loads in a day, so in 300'd have em all. And never
    mind the disk space requirements.

    Dare we ask what subject requires 100,000 slides? This is a nasty
    challenge - you don't want the work to set up the sales site to
    overwhelm any revenues you get out of it.
    Jason O'Rourke, Oct 2, 2003
  4. Those 100.000 fall into several hundred different categories - the
    same categories you can find in every stock photo agency (well, we
    might not need ALL those categories, but many many categories are
    still needed and additionally for every single image we need 20-40
    keywords that describe the subject, mood etc. well enough).

    Of course in 100.000 shots there are great shots, average shots etc,
    so we could begin with digitizing the best material (as you see I do
    not use the word "scan", as I still think that there could be another
    way to do it). The problem with scanning only the best material is
    that then we scan the pictures that are the best according to us -
    anyone who has been selling photos long enough knows that the customer
    does not always buy the photo you think is the best, but they buy the
    photos they like. If the digitizing could be done e.g. with a Canon
    10D with slide duplicator and external flash, we could get an
    assistant to do the digitizing and the costs would consist of the
    wages and probably repairing costs (neither 10D or an external flash
    are probably not going to withstand the 100.000 exposures).

    Antti Heiskanen, Oct 2, 2003
  5. Antti Heiskanen

    Barry Smith Guest

    In message <>
    Going back to your idea of a (relatively) low quality method to start
    with, based on a tip I read on this ng, use a standard slide projector
    and photograph the projected image with a (relatively) cheap digital
    camera (on a tripod). You wouldn't need the flash and if the camera
    fails it would probably be cheaper to buy another than paying for the
    repair of a 10D (I'm guessing here. I doubt that repairs are cheap).

    I guess with this method you could digitize them (allowing for loading
    of the slides in the projector etc.) at a rate of one every 15 seconds.
    That's still over 400 hours work though !

    Barry Smith, Oct 3, 2003
  6. Antti Heiskanen

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Simple solution: Set up multiple scanners/PCs. Buy/rent ten and you'd
    be done in a month.
    Ray Fischer, Oct 3, 2003
  7. Yes, that was pretty dense of me. The PCs are cheap to get, and one
    person could keep em all flowing. The scanners and loaders aren't so
    cheap though - probably not cost effective to buy that many, but if you
    could rent, or do an ebay buy/sell routine it could work out ok.
    Jason O'Rourke, Oct 4, 2003
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