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05-08-2010, 04:57 AM   #1
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Outsourcing Film Scanning ...

I have a Pentax 645 system on the way to me. I'm very excited to start shooting medium format film (both 120 and 220).

I have heard somewhere that you can mail in your medium format film to be digitally scanned - that some companies do it well and very inexpensively. Any feedback from those of you that may have tried this?

A good film scanner is hard to come by in the local used market and I'm getting more and more interested in something like this.


Last edited by Dubesor; 05-08-2010 at 06:31 AM.
05-08-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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I use these folks, but primarily because they're local. Good results though.

Oscars Photo Lab - Your Professional Full-Service Lab in San Francisco
05-08-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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I just got some 400H developed and scanned at Dwayne's - I've done slide film that way, but figured I'd try print. The price is about the same as CVS charges for 35mm "no prints, cd only". The scans from a 645 are 2774x2003 pix, and Dwayne's does well. I'll post a few samples over the next couple of days in the "post your 645 pix' thread.
05-08-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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Local labs with Noritsu processors will develop my C41 films and give me medium sized reference or web-quality scans on a disk for under $10/roll... if you want large print capable scans, they're going to be a lot more expensive but you won't want or need every frame scanned.

05-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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you should pm some of the vancouver people on the forum. there seem to be decent places around your city.
05-11-2010, 04:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan J. Eberle Quote
Local labs with Noritsu processors will develop my C41 films and give me medium sized reference or web-quality scans on a disk for under $10/roll... if you want large print capable scans, they're going to be a lot more expensive but you won't want or need every frame scanned.
This is an interesting approach. I was thinking of doing large detailed scans right away, that's why I assumed online / mail-in type places would be less expensive. But if doing web-quality scans and following up with detailed ones only for certain frames is cheap(er), I'll try it. The lab I already use has a big fancy Noritsu
05-19-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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Now I remember where I heard of this mail-in idea first, it was Ken Rockwell that mentioned it - the service he recommends is North Coast Photo in California.

While I am often skeptical about the stuff he writes, this sounds like a good idea. And the price for scanning is half what I'd pay here.

Has anyone on here tried these guys?
06-14-2010, 09:35 AM   #8
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I also found ScanCafe, seems like a good deal and comes well-recommended.

06-21-2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe ScanCafe outsources their film/slide scanning to Japan. I know they guarantee their stuff, but if I'm mailing my original work out, I'd rather have it in the post only twice, rather than 4 trips back and forth, with 2 of them being overseas.
06-22-2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
I believe ScanCafe outsources their film/slide scanning to Japan.
ScanCafe does not outsource. The scanning is actually done at their own facility in India (Bangalore I believe).
06-24-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dubesor Quote
But if doing web-quality scans and following up with detailed ones only for certain frames is cheap(er), I'll try it. The lab I already use has a big fancy Noritsu
When properly operated, the big fancy Noritsu is capable of better scans than you might expect. . . the Noritsu scans from my local lab (2510 × 2048 pixels from a 6x7 negative) are generally good enough for an 8x10 print, and with appropriate film (e.g. fuji 160S or 400H) the skin tones come out balanced at least as well as if I had scanned the film myself.

Usually, when I get a re-scan (which, these days, means an 3200dpi scan on an Imacon scanner), it's because I want to print huge, do a tight crop, or need more dynamic range than an 8-bit scan can provide (e.g. for dodging, burning, or contrast adjustments).

BTW, scanning at time-of-development for 220 film can significantly cheaper per exposure than for 120 film.
06-24-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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I've become the proud owner of a Screen Cézanne high-end scanner. Reportedly outdoes the Imacon by far. Graphic studios dump these monsters, which once cost you €50,000 without computer, so bargains are to be had (mine is in very good condition and cost me £700).
But I still need to work on my technique!
06-25-2010, 02:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
I've become the proud owner of a Screen Cézanne high-end scanner. Reportedly outdoes the Imacon by far. Graphic studios dump these monsters, which once cost you €50,000 without computer, so bargains are to be had (mine is in very good condition and cost me £700).
But I still need to work on my technique!
Congrats. Look forward to some results. What is the interface, SCSI?
07-11-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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scanning

I'm in San Diego and have used, North Coast Photographic Services for my wedding work and have beeen very pleased. I just wish they would supply a formatted mailer so I can get my pricing and instructions correct. But overall since I have several labs locally to pick from I'd give them a thumbs up!
07-12-2010, 06:25 PM   #15
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SCSI indeed. Attached to an old G4 tower. And a monitor, Barco, dating back to 1998, which is probably as heavy as the Screen itself!
I have made a newby scan with the Epson 4490 and Screen, but the latter scan may be too large to be acceptable to Snapixel, or in any case it refuses to be uploaded. Which is a shame because the difference is mind blowing. The Screen is SOOOO much better, not just in sharpness, but foremost in detail and tonality.

But I'm still relearning, having been out of it all for almost 15 years due to circumstances. (I'm seeing some pictures for the first time, having shot them 10-18 years ago without ever printing them. I wish I knew how I shot some of those.)

Edit: here is a screen shot, with the dirty scans (note: dust removal and PP not applied). The left is the Screen Cezanne, the right is the Epson at maximum dpi. The result speaks for itself. It is a crop of about 125-150%.

Last edited by Smolk; 07-12-2010 at 06:48 PM.
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