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  • Jun 13th, 2018 6:11 pm
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May 6, 2005
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Scanning old photos?

There are a number of photo album books at my mom's house that I'd like to digitize. I've got a Brother MFC-7460DN which has a flatbed scanner. Is this good enough or should I get some actual kind of "photo scanner"?

I haven't checked, but I'm sure some of these have negatives as well - although really these are just family memories and not high-end award-winning photos whereas the ULTIMATE quality must be obtained. Was thinking I'd just scan each photo page out of the album and then crop each photo that appears on the page.

Anyone done volume scanning? Any workflow tips?
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Nov 24, 2004
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The amount of resolution you can get out of a typical mini-lab colour print is not high, so even the most basic flatbed scanner should do the job. Negatives are another story, and you really need a decent dedicated film scanner to make it work.

Even the most basic process of queuing up photos for scanning will take a while. Cropping and sharpening will also be time-consuming. Plan on spending a long time on this project.
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Mar 17, 2004
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Apparently the best quality you can get with it is to setup a rig, light it properly and take a photo of it with a high resolution camera like a DSLR/mirrorless/equivalent. But not everyone has the skills/equipment to do it. I've also looked into this and there are autofeeding photo scanners but they are not cheap. If money is no issue you can buy one of those. I've looked into renting one but nobody rents them out in Toronto.

Looking at your profile it looks like you might have the gear. So it involves using something sticky like sticky tack to make sure your photos don't bend and are completely flat, a tripod that you can face your camera downwards, and building a kind of light box around it. I had found detailed instructions somewhere before but can't find them.
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Aug 29, 2006
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We recently did it for albums of my in laws and my all in one copier / scanner with the MacBook was fast enough that it took no time per scan. I found it even faster to scan multiple photos on the same scan and just crop the individual photos out one by one after... crop, save, undo, crop again, save, undo....
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
[OP]
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Oni-kun wrote:
May 14th, 2018 11:28 pm
Apparently the best quality you can get with it is to setup a rig, light it properly and take a photo of it with a high resolution camera like a DSLR/mirrorless/equivalent. But not everyone has the skills/equipment to do it. I've also looked into this and there are autofeeding photo scanners but they are not cheap. If money is no issue you can buy one of those. I've looked into renting one but nobody rents them out in Toronto.

Looking at your profile it looks like you might have the gear. So it involves using something sticky like sticky tack to make sure your photos don't bend and are completely flat, a tripod that you can face your camera downwards, and building a kind of light box around it. I had found detailed instructions somewhere before but can't find them.
Plenty of experience this as we pioneered the digitizing of flyers here on rfd Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes. Doing it for hundreds of photos would be crazy though. How come you recommend this over a proper scanner though?
[OP]
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soupmaster666 wrote:
May 15th, 2018 2:17 pm
Faster yet: use Photoshop, and the built in File > Automate > Crop and Straighten Photos tool. It automatically crops images out of the background, squares them up, and loads them into separate documents so all you need to do is hit save even if there are 6 photos on the scanner bed. I set up a Photoshop Macro to run the tool and to auto-save the images, so in the end all I had to do was put new photos on the scanner bed, hit one button, and wait.


Most industrial-scale book scanning operations use one of two methods - either they slide a book back and forth over a structure that keeps pages flat and well-lit, and flips them before passing them over a scanner, or they use fast cameras, lots of lights, and relatively complicated software.
Might give this a whirl! Does it create new untitled documents - how do you go about auto-saving them? Namely... Naming the files
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Mar 17, 2004
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Kaitlyn wrote:
May 16th, 2018 1:41 pm
Plenty of experience this as we pioneered the digitizing of flyers here on rfd Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes. Doing it for hundreds of photos would be crazy though. How come you recommend this over a proper scanner though?
Apparently the resolution/resolving power of a modern APSC or FF sensor+camera is better than a scanner. I guess you could try comparing it. You've got both the scanner and a camera.
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Nov 24, 2004
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^ The issue you may face is holding the photos perfectly flat and illuminating them evenly without glare.
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Edit - Removed the post - Disappointed that answering a direct question with valuable tips & content is met with an edit & violation - happy to share my experience I've gained from scanning 2+ million photographs and millions of slides/negs, but apparently not here. Find a way to call my office and I'll answer any questions free of charge :-)
Last edited by matdwyer on May 17th, 2018 9:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Sep 1, 2005
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I have a Fuji Scan Snap and the thing is fast and good. Even if the pic goes not quite straight it fixes it. Problem is the ScanSnap is pretty expensive.

Google has a new app to scan photos. Perhaps put you phone into somekind of tripod and do it that way.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... os.scanner

PhotoScan is a new scanner app from Google Photos that lets you scan and save your favorite printed photos using your phone’s camera.

Picture perfect and glare free

Don’t just take a picture of a picture. Create enhanced digital scans, wherever your photos are.

– Get glare-free scans with an easy step-by-step capture flow

– Automatic cropping based on edge detection

– Straight, rectangular scans with perspective correction

– Smart rotation, so your photos stay right-side-up no matter which way you scan them

Scan in seconds

Capture your favorite printed photos quickly and easily, so you can spend less time editing and more time looking at your bad childhood haircut.

Safe and searchable with Google Photos

Back up your scans with the free Google Photos app to keep them safe, searchable, and organized. Bring your scans to life with movies, filters, and advanced editing controls. And share them with anyone, just by sending a link.
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Mar 4, 2007
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Hi,

https://www.downtowncamera.com/photofin ... nd-prints/
Digitized film negetives will produce the highest quality image. Most larger photo shops will be able to digitizer your film negetives for you. Then you can scan & save the photos that yuu don't have negetives for instead of scanning all the photos & all of your negetives.
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Fraser River Rat wrote:
Jun 10th, 2018 2:16 am
Hi,

https://www.downtowncamera.com/photofin ... nd-prints/
Digitized film negetives will produce the highest quality image. Most larger photo shops will be able to digitizer your film negetives for you. Then you can scan & save the photos that yuu don't have negetives for instead of scanning all the photos & all of your negetives.
Difficulty with downtown camera & most labs is they will charge significant amounts for cut strips - if they are full rolls their Noristu 1800 is a beast for XL TIFFs but for cut strips you'll be paying a premium with a lab, as they'd have to sit and feed them in individually if they will even do it. We have a relationship with downtown camera and they've sent clients working with archives our way to save costs, but for smaller or uncut orders they're a go to.

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