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06-26-2017, 06:52 AM   #1
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How can I scan my negatives for archival purpose ?

I want to get my old C-41 negatives scanned for archival purpose.

My friend owns a minilab with noritsu HS-1800 scanner and I convinced him for 3000 DPI TIFF scans.

I want to ask will the Noritsu able to give archival quality results with these settings ?

If not, what would be the best possible way to get super excellent results in your opinion ?

Thanks.

06-26-2017, 07:37 AM   #2
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And you can back them onto millenniata m-discs
They are not much more costly than ordinary blank dvd.A special dvd writer is needed which is not expensive either.

My idea is to discard negs after the files are successfuly archived, but not many on this forum will agree with that!
06-26-2017, 08:08 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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When you shoot film, the main question is not how you scan them for archive but how you physically STORE THE NEGATIVES, because THEY ARE the archival material.

This is why the first question when you put your film in for development anywhere is "Do you give me the negatives back?" If the answer is no, you WALK AWAY.

QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
My idea is to discard negs after the files are successfully archived, but not many on this forum will agree with that!
Mark me down immediately as one of the disagree-ers. IMHO the only negatives you should dump after copying are very ancient ones shot on the very old, unsafe nitrate base (which can catch fire with little provocation and disastrous results, as dramatized in the motion picture "Cinema Paradiso"). Those need to be destroyed by burning them in a controlled environment, but it should be noted that in the aforementioned movie the danger with nitrate-base film is that one of the known ignition risks was feeding them through a projector!!! (This IIRC is why the next generation of emulsions - particularly that intended for moving pictures - was sold as "safety film").
06-26-2017, 09:00 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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I'm voting with pathdoc -- film is much more archival than anything digital.

You may think TIFF will be around forever, but I would not bet on it. It's very very easy for digital file standards to change, for the popularity of different file formats to change, for software writers to change with them with the result that new systems can't read ancient variant or obsolete formats. You can't assume current day TIFF files (or the file system that is holding those TIFF files) will be readable by future operating systems.

Even worse are digital media that depend on special types of readers -- how many computers these days can read IOmega zip disks, Jaz drive disks, Sony minidiscs, laserdiscs, etc. A lot of PCs don't even have a CD/DVD drives and if current trends in broadband and cloud continue, consumer electronics makers will have less and less tendency to make or support removable media drives.

Scanning is a great way to make a backup of your images but I'd never trust it to be the only format.

06-26-2017, 10:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pushkal Quote
My friend owns a minilab with noritsu HS-1800 scanner and I convinced him for 3000 DPI TIFF scans.
I would have him do a few test images for you. My experience with Noritsu scans is that the results are often subpar. To be honest, those were enough to convince me to buy a $1000 Nikon scanner. Have him turn off the sharpening and auto-tune features. With any luck that will result in much lower artifact that is the usual result.

As noted above, even high resolution TIFF should be considered backup copies for your original negatives. The exception would be any image you don't mind losing and/or those with no potential as art. The reasoning goes as follows:
  • All negatives are subject to interpretation to create the final image for display. Even a good TIFF is a single interpretation, one that is not particularly amenable to additional processing.*
  • Options for digital archival media are limited. Even optical storage degrades with time.
  • While TIFF is an excellent choice in terms of being readable by future devices, nothing is guaranteed
  • A properly-processed silver negatives and slides are fairly immortal assuming protection from humidity, fungus, and fire. Dye-based negatives and slides are somewhat less stable .


Steve

* My experience has been that scans are rather "brittle" in PP
06-26-2017, 09:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
When you shoot film, the main question is not how you scan them for archive but how you physically STORE THE NEGATIVES, because THEY ARE the archival material.
This.

Your negs are what you archive. 100 years from now, do you think it will be easier to access a digital copy or an actual negative?

This is one reason I've made a point of photographing my kids with film every so often.
06-30-2017, 08:09 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Digitizing your film is something you really should consider in time. You may be in luck with the type of film you chose,
but the film will not look the same in a hundred years most likely. Perhaps the colors have completely faded by then.
Take a look at page 13 of this research on film persistence: Spain Paper

I can't tell if TIFF will still be around in 100 years, but TIFF is an open, non-proprietary format without any fancy encryption.
In my opinion, someone will be able to open those files...
07-24-2017, 03:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pushkal Quote
I want to get my old C-41 negatives scanned for archival purpose.

My friend owns a minilab with noritsu HS-1800 scanner and I convinced him for 3000 DPI TIFF scans.

I want to ask will the Noritsu able to give archival quality results with these settings ?

If not, what would be the best possible way to get super excellent results in your opinion ?

Thanks.
There is no such thing as "archival" digital.

07-25-2017, 12:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LSI_Horn Quote
I can't tell if TIFF will still be around in 100 years, but TIFF is an open, non-proprietary format without any fancy encryption.
Open as in controlled by and "owned" by Adobe? Still though, the specification is well-documented and widely published and is considered to be the archive format of choice as best practice for museums and official document purposes.

As for film permanence...the article is about color images and the salient points are well-known. Dyes degrade over time. Even fairly recent images may show shifts or degradation. For example, I am seeing such on my Kodachrome slides from the early and middle 1970s. That being said, a scan is an interpretation of the original and by definition, may not be truly faithful to the color or tones of the slide/negative any more than a print might be.

B&W negatives, OTOH, if properly curated, have archival qualities similar to or perhaps better than printed works.

BTW...thanks for dropping in on this thread. For those that are unaware, LSI Horn represents Lasersoft Imaging, makers of scanning software, and has made very valuable contributions here since joining PF about a month ago.


Steve
07-25-2017, 01:17 PM   #10
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Archiving is not a one-time task but an on-going process.

Maybe TIFF will be around for a long time, maybe it won't. The more likely problem is that the filesystem of the device or disk that stores the TIFF files will go obsolete or device interface standards will change resulting in a device that is unreadable even if there's still applications that can access the TIFF files. Thus a key part of the archiving process is forward migration of the files to newer media.

The big advantage of digital as tool in the archiving process is that the cost of copies is extremely low. That then enables duplication and off-site storage which can reduce the chance of loss due to fire, flood, theft, etc.
07-25-2017, 11:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Archiving is not a one-time task but an on-going process.

Maybe TIFF will be around for a long time, maybe it won't. The more likely problem is that the filesystem of the device or disk that stores the TIFF files will go obsolete or device interface standards will change resulting in a device that is unreadable even if there's still applications that can access the TIFF files. Thus a key part of the archiving process is forward migration of the files to newer media.

The big advantage of digital as tool in the archiving process is that the cost of copies is extremely low. That then enables duplication and off-site storage which can reduce the chance of loss due to fire, flood, theft, etc.
Yes, that's a very good summation. As one of the sidelines in my old "photographic" job, I was responsible for preservation management of photos sound and moving images in a substantial archives. One of the key strategies we developed was systematic migration of digitized content. In very simple terms, the digital masters are stored on drives and migrated to different storage as drive technology evolves, and can be readily batch converted to other file formats if necessary. Multiple backups are kept, including off-site. Backups included storage on CDs or DVDs as well as hard drives. We did keep originals.

If I was still in the business now, I'd be looking at solid state drives for storage of some backups.

It's relatively simple for professional archives, but quite a can of worms for the general public particularly if the intent is to preserve things for tens or hundreds of years. You might consider printing books of selected images.

Looking at the OP's question, there is no simple answer. "Archival quality" is a pretty nebulous term. For example, the standards for archiving the work of a master photographer where high colour accuracy and resolution down to the finest grain would be considered necessary are quite different from family snapshots where pleasing moderately sized prints could be a reasonable goal. We're talking a high end with drum scanning and very sophisticated colorimetry vs. middling level with a decent desktop scanner and eyeballing colour corrections on a (maybe) calibrated monitor. I'd recommend the simpler approach to the OP, as that is within the reach of an average person who is willing to put in the effort to learn a moderate amount about the technology.

Colour negs tend to be all over the place in terms of colour balance. Even scanning software with specific film profiles won't always work due to off-spec development and fading during storage. Unlike slides you cant use the original as a baseline for judging accuracy. You often just have to wing it.

My own standard for family photos is 3600x5400 pixel TIFF files. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for processing, and simply go for rendering that I find pleasing without worrying about absolute technical accuracy. I generally like to adjust tones that we perceive as neutral to be reasonably so, but otherwise just go for what feels right. I often use auto color in Photoshop and tweak from there. If that doesn't work I have to get my hands dirty. I've been using Photoshop since the early 90's and have a fast computer, so usually get OK results before I resort to setting my hair on fire.

I recommend getting a good Photoshop book, studying colour correction, and practicing, practicing, practicing.

Hang on to the negs as you may find that you will want to rescan some as you learn.
07-26-2017, 12:15 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Archiving is not a one-time task but an on-going process.

Maybe TIFF will be around for a long time, maybe it won't. The more likely problem is that the filesystem of the device or disk that stores the TIFF files will go obsolete or device interface standards will change resulting in a device that is unreadable even if there's still applications that can access the TIFF files. Thus a key part of the archiving process is forward migration of the files to newer media.

The big advantage of digital as tool in the archiving process is that the cost of copies is extremely low. That then enables duplication and off-site storage which can reduce the chance of loss due to fire, flood, theft, etc.
Thanks Stevebrot :-) It's been a little longer than a month, but thank you! I am trying to help our SilverFast users where they are looking for help, but I also have a personal interest in scanning.

The forward migration of digital files should be a lot easier and quicker than re-scanning a complete collection every 20 years or so - whenever the standards have changed significantly. Not to mention that film won't get any better with time...
07-26-2017, 05:08 AM   #13
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Yes,
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Open as in controlled by and "owned" by Adobe? Still though, the specification is well-documented and widely published and is considered to be the archive format of choice as best practice for museums and official document purposes.
Many, perhaps most (?) of international standards generally started out as proprietary property before becoming international standards.
For example the ubiquitous "coaxial cable" which is necessary for "everything" associated with communications these days was originally invented by employees of
American Telephone & Telegraph Co.
I am sure we would find a lot like that in photography and computer storage methods too.
07-26-2017, 01:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
Yes,

Many, perhaps most (?) of international standards generally started out as proprietary property before becoming international standards.
For example the ubiquitous "coaxial cable" which is necessary for "everything" associated with communications these days was originally invented by employees of
American Telephone & Telegraph Co.
I am sure we would find a lot like that in photography and computer storage methods too.
Yep...the world owes so very much to the researchers at Bell Laboratories. The list of foundational technologies is long...very long...a small selection:
  • C programming language
  • TDMA and CDMA mobile technologies
  • C++ programming language (early development)
  • Unix operating system
  • CCD
  • Key fiber-optic technologies
...and many, many things that along with contributions from a handful of industry, academic, and government labs provided the technical milieu we enjoy today.

Eventually, Adobe may also take their place in those ranks though their contributions are more tightly bound to their creator and represent specific business and product goals. TIFF, while still controlled by Adobe (they hold the copyright) will likely be eventually spun off to standardization entities in much the same way as the "C" programming language has. In the meantime, TIFF does what Adobe needs it to do.


Steve
07-26-2017, 01:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LSI_Horn Quote
Thanks Stevebrot :-) It's been a little longer than a month, but thank you! I am trying to help our SilverFast users where they are looking for help, but I also have a personal interest in scanning.

The forward migration of digital files should be a lot easier and quicker than re-scanning a complete collection every 20 years or so - whenever the standards have changed significantly. Not to mention that film won't get any better with time...
You are right! Sorry for the calendar confusion. Your comment regarding digital file and data migration is very true and represents a huge concern for curators of digital collections. A wrong choice made on the cusp of period of neglect (funding, alas, does not last forever) might orphan huge amounts of data.*


Steve

* On a personal note, the bulk of my Kodachrome slide collection is cataloged as a Lotus 1-2-3 file. I can still run 1-2-3 in a DOS emulator and should probably archive off the file as CSV while I can still do so.
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