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11-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
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Suggestions on digitizing old photos or restoring old photos


I have some old photos but they are in pretty good shape. I want to put them in digital form and some may need touch up.

First question:
Should I use a scanner to digitize them or a good macro lens and DSRL (Pentax K-r). I have a feeling DSLR is a better way but what kind of set up I should use? I think smallest aperture, lowest ISO and tripod.

Second question:
What kind of software techniques people use to restore and touch up old photos? I just know clone and heal brush.

Any other suggestions and hints.

11-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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I should think a scanner would be best--it's pretty well guaranteed that the original will be shot flat and parallel. A macro and dslr will also work, but it's much less convenient to get everything lined up.

Photoshop's content-aware fill is excellent for this kind of stuff.
11-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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How many?

In most cases this is worth sourcing out unless you have a great scanner and a ton of time on your hands.
11-17-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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I have done it both ways. I have a high quality Canon Flatbed scanner. The software allows multiple photos to be scanned and the F.A.R.E. Software is pretty good at fixing imperfections. Even with those capabilities it is a slow process. I have also used my DSLR with a macro lens in a well lit room using an easel. At first I tripod mounted the camera but found hand holding the camera was faster and as long as I was parallel gave great results. I simply cropped the excess (easel) in Photoshop Elements later and can do a lot of pictures quickly once you have the process down pat. I found vivid to be best for colour photos. My suggestion is try your DSLR as you probably don't need to buy anything. See if it meets your needs.

I use my DFA 100 Macro at F4-5.6. The room I use has white fluorescent lighting and It is bright enough. It does a good job and is fast. I use up to ISO 400 on my K5, likely the same with the K3 I just acquired. In my experience most people get frustrated with the slowness of scanning (that includes me) and end up avoiding the task. With a little practice, using the camera is more productive. Given the high pixel count of current cameras, you can crop a lot which means that you are using the sharpest part of the lens. Just use the lens with the least geometric distortion. A decent 50mm lens would also work well.

11-21-2013, 08:00 AM   #5
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I'm scanning all my parents slides.... luckily they are in cubes, so they don't take up much space. I just leave the scanner set up, and every time I walk by I reload and hit the scan button. Then use a batch type processor where I can quickly adjust them. I do wish I could do it in raw!
11-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by markdesmarais Quote
I do wish I could do it in raw!
VueScan Pro can scan in RAW.

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