Rent Film/Slide Scanner in Twin Cities area?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gavin, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. gavin

    gavin Guest


    I've tried looking everywhere but cannot find a company that lets you
    rent a Film or Slide scanner in the Twin Cities area.

    I (regrettably) took the project of digitizing 100 years of family
    history, so now occupying my downstairs hallway is about a dozen boxes
    filled with slides, 8mm reels, 16mm reels, negatives, photographs,
    paintings, newspaper articles, letters, cards,
    birth/death/marriage/military certificates, etc.

    With an eyeball estimate I'm thinking I need to render about 1000 to
    1500 slides and 150 negatives. To have this done for me (by a company
    like Ritz) would run around $800-$1500.

    So I have four options:

    1) Waste $800

    2) Buy a $400 slide scanner

    3) Rent a decent slide scanner that lets me batch process

    4) Buy a flatbed scanner (need to do this anyways since I broke the
    last one) that supports scanning negatives and spend about a hundred
    years individually scanning these slides.

    Option 1 seems rather spendy for a project this large.

    Option 2 is equally not in my interest because I will have no need for
    this scanner when I am done. Sure, I could return it to the store I
    bought it or try to sell it on eBay afterwards but that seems like a
    lot of added work.

    Option 4 doesn't sound the greatest either because these
    negative-scanner-addons for flatbed scanners do not look like they
    would produce anything worthwhile.

    But, there appears to be no store in the Twin Cities (or surrounding
    areas) that has a slide scanner for rent. Does anyone know of one?

    Any help would be appreciated
    gavin, Jan 26, 2004
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  2. gavin

    ericm1600 Guest

    Slide/negative scanners are finicky enough that I would be surprised if you
    could rent one cheaply.

    Your cheapest option would probably be to buy a decent one, and then sell it
    afterwards. just might find that it's nice to have around. :)

    ericm1600, Jan 26, 2004
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  3. gavin

    Freemale Guest

    Having Five years experience of film scanning and scanners I would say
    that the idea of renting one for a day is silly. You have to load softwear,
    learn how to use it and have a fair bit of experience (Say around 100 negs)
    before you get top quality results. Just look around you can buy a good S/H
    scanner for peanuts and your have the time of your life with it.
    Freemale, Jan 27, 2004
  4. gavin

    Will F. Guest

    So West Photo and National Camera Exchange don't do it any more?

    P.S. It would take a lot of time to scan all those slides, many flat
    beds will let you scan transparencies of 4x5" or larger at one
    time..or several slides at one time. I can't tell you how good the
    flatbed scanners are, certainly not as good as a dedicated flim
    scanner, but what do you want your end output options to be?
    Certainly flatbeds can have the necessary resolution (e.g. 3200 ppi),
    I don't know about color fidelity or shadow detail, etc.
    Will F., Jan 27, 2004
  5. gavin

    PhotoGeek Guest

    Sorry, but that's bull crap. I've rented a Nikon LS4000ED in Seattle
    area and scanned about 500 frames at 2000dpi over the weekend. The
    results were more than satisfactionary and I've only spent $45 (not
    $1100) to do this. That said, I had to scan pretty much non-stop because
    scanning times very pretty darn slow. And yes, software did take about
    an hour to figure out.
    PhotoGeek, Jan 27, 2004
  6. gavin

    gavin Guest

    So West Photo and National Camera Exchange don't do it any more?

    I tried West Photo with no luck, I don't remember if I called National
    Camera Exchange or not, I'll give them a try. Thanks!
    I guess I should at least try the flatbed.

    Most of these slides and negatives are at least 25 years old. So quite
    a few of the one-of-a-kind slides have the wear and tear of 25 years;
    scratched, ripped, melted (some were salvaged from a burned house),
    smudged, etc.

    Using a regular flatbed would probably work out fine with 85% of these
    slides. Even if they are not the best looking once scanned it won't
    really matter (hey another picture of the Eiffel Tower from Relative
    Y's vacation fifty years ago!)

    The reasons I wanted to rent one are as follows. First, I didn't think
    it would be this difficult to find one for rent! Second, it seems like
    I could get a good number of these slides done in a day, flatbed
    scanning really sounds like it would take forever to do this many
    slides. And finally, with some of these one-of-a-kind slides I really
    want to be able to get a super-detailed scan.

    I would assume that out of the 1500 (actually, after rummaging through
    a few more boxes I think the number is around 3000) slides there would
    probably be 100 that should be as detailed as possible, the rest of
    them should be standard, set to print well on a 4x6 (150 or 300dpi).
    gavin, Jan 27, 2004
  7. gavin

    Freemale Guest

    Thats good work a high resolution scan takes several minutes 500 minutes =
    8 hours 20 minutes plus your hour to sort out the software. Or one weekend 2
    days 48 hours = 5.75 minutes per neg, non stop. God you must have red eyes.
    I believe all Nikon scanner owners know the exact time it takes to preview,
    adjust and scan a strip of 6 good negs. This was some long weekend you had
    Freemale, Jan 27, 2004
  8. gavin

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Can't help too much, I'm in Winnipeg, Canada, but...

    I was in much the same boat as you are... wanted
    to see the old slides once again; and given that
    I'm getting a little long in the tooth, wanted to
    copy each and every one to cd's, so that all the kids
    and grandkids could have a copy for posterity.

    The compromise that worked out perfectly for us was
    to use a 1600 dpi (optical) scanner to do all of them.

    This is more than fine if any of them wanna print
    4x6's or 5x7's. Remember, too, that you can scan
    many at a time. Load the scanner, go for coffee.
    When you get back you just have a lot of cropping to
    do :)

    Then, after everyone had a chance to look at each,
    everyone had a few favorites - ones that triggered
    warm fuzzy feelings. So we took those, and had
    them professionally done; they can print those ones
    large as they like :) (came to about a CDN dollar

    Hope this helps you in making your decision.

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Jan 27, 2004
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