Vintage Family Photos... Which scanner?!!!
Old 01-23-2017   #1
dave lackey
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Vintage Family Photos... Which scanner?!!!

Wow!

Just when I have begun organizing my personal family photos, I was "gifted" with an awesome responsibility today when visiting my sister in celebration of her husband's 80th birthday. That responsibility is a new project!

She gave me a century of old photographs, newspaper clippings, and hand-written poems from our mother. We have a ton of scanning to do in order to rescue and document this family treasure.

With all of that, I have only a Plustek negative scanner for my own personal work. Clearly I will need a flatbed scanner,

Any thoughts/recommendations for a scanner would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-23-2017   #2
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It seems the Epson V800 might work but has anyone had experience with this scanner?
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Old 01-23-2017   #3
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I've used the V700 which I believe has the same image capture capability.
I've done negs and slides from the 80's as well as prints and negatives from the 30-40's.
It's capable enough and actually pretty speedy considering how flexible it is.
The Epson Scan software is fine if you use the "professional" side of it's odd partition.
I'll add a couple images to this post in a bit.
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Old 01-23-2017   #4
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This is sounding very good!

It is going to be a daunting task!
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Old 01-24-2017   #5
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I've used an epson 3170, an 4990 and also my AIO nx300. For flat media they have all yielded similar results. I found that scanning at 600dpi was the sweet spot for quality and file size. At 600 dpi i could print out copy at twice its original size with good results. I scanned in color even old black and white photos because alot of the charm is in the discoloration, paper color etc. You can always convert to gray scale but not vice versa. Many times I'd scan the back of photos as well if there was any written notes, but you need to find a way to relate the front and back images to each other.

have fun.
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Old 01-24-2017   #6
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Honestly, why V800? Just because it is supporting LF negatives scans without stiching?

Any Epson flatbed will do, even without film unit. In 2016 I have scanned my mother-in-law photo archive with 150$ Epson V550 to let her have it on the computer screen and on backup prints. Worked just fine.

It is not the scanner, but software. I didn't feel like it was necessary, but if photos are damaged, where are some software to digitally retouch scans without time killing with PS.
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Old 01-24-2017   #7
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I'm another user of the V700 for the same task as you Dave (also for 6x6 and 4x5) - very satisfied with results for all these.
Good luck with the project
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Old 01-24-2017   #8
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FWIW, I have both a V700 and a V37; the latter is very inexpensive (cost me well under $100 new). The V37 is reflective scan only, and is very compact and lightweight. Leaving aside the software - I use Epson Scan with both of them - the V37 does a respectable job for the money, but the V700 is clearly superior optically. I can't speak for Epson's intermediate models, though.

I bought the V700 as a refurb directly from Epson and saved a few hundred dollars over the cost of a new V800. Out of the box it was indistinguishable from new, and it has functioned perfectly.

I've used the V700 to scan large format negatives and also to scan individual photos and full pages from old family albums.
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Old 01-24-2017   #9
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I use an Epson V600 for printed photo, my pola/impossible and old family and also for 120 negative. Cheaper than V700/800 and works well with betterscanning holders.
In case you are very serious now or in future about MF negatives in this case V700/800 could be a better idea.
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Old 01-24-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I use an Epson V600 for printed photo, my pola/impossible and old family and aldo for 120 negative. Cheaper than V700/800 and works well with betterscanning holders.
In case you are very serious now or in future about MF negatives in this case V700/800 could be a better idea.
robert
+1

A v700/800 series scanner is significant overkill for scanning photographic prints and documents. They'll do the job very well, but not any better than a v600. Actually, a v300 will likely be perfectly good for the task.

That said, I use a v700 for a similar project. I chose it years ago because I not only have old prints and documents, but also a significant number of old negatives in a wide range of "antique" film sizes ranging from sub-miniature up to 3-1/2 x 5-1/4".
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Old 01-24-2017   #11
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When my folks passed away several years back, I made sure to grab all of the old family pictures. I found everything from 4X5 glass plate negatives that dated back to 1915, 120 and other odd medium-format negs, and 35mm Kodachrome slides taken in the 1950’s. For the 4X5, medium-format negs and prints, I used my old Epson 4490 Perfection scanner. I used a Nikon Coolscan V scanner for the 35mm negs/slides.

Even more important, to me, than the scanner used, was the scanning software and post-processing software. I used Silverfast for the medium format stuff, Nikon Scan for the 35mm, and Photoshop to fine-tune the scan. It took me the better part of a year to scan the hundreds of family pics I have, but I’m very happy with the result.

Good luck on your project.

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Old 01-24-2017   #12
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Wow, great advice here! Thanks!

Now, IIUC. since I am doing more 120 scanning than ever before, I may be better off with a refurbished V700 and using my Silverfast software that is presently hooked up to the Plustek for 35mm work.

Just wondering how to switch scanners without unplugging and plugging each one in. Is there a switch available for that?
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Old 01-24-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Wow, great advice here! Thanks!

Now, IIUC. since I am doing more 120 scanning than ever before, I may be better off with a refurbished V700 and using my Silverfast software that is presently hooked up to the Plustek for 35mm work.

Just wondering how to switch scanners without unplugging and plugging each one in. Is there a switch available for that?
Umm, I'm pretty sure that Silverfast is hard coded to a single scanner.
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Old 01-24-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plummerl View Post
Umm, I'm pretty sure that Silverfast is hard coded to a single scanner.
Could be, I have no idea. Post #12 above indicates Silverfast being used. I presume the refurbished V700 would come with its own software?
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Old 01-24-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Could be, I have no idea. Post #12 above indicates Silverfast being used. I presume the refurbished V700 would come with its own software?
The SilverFast license code is tied to a specific scanner model. To use it with a different scanner, you need to purchase an additional license code, the price of which usually scales roughly with the price of the scanner you want to add.

The Epson refurbs come with Epson Scan, just like the new ones.
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Old 01-25-2017   #16
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Epson scan is not bad at all in my view, you can always make small adjustment later with any postproduction software. I would say you'll have to do it to get optimal result.
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Old 01-25-2017   #17
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V500 fine for all my needs and probably yours, easy to use and should be cheap.
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Old 01-25-2017   #18
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Timely post!

Using my Epson V500 I’ve just finished scanning 200-300 colour and black and white family photos for my brother-in-law. The originals are sized between 3x3 inch and 5x7inch.

I scanned all of them in colour using Epson’s software at 1200dpi, and then tidied them up with Photoshop, nothing fancy; I adjusted levels, colour and spotted really large scratches and dust using the spot brush etc.

The end results look pretty good on a 40 inch flat-screen TV.

Some of the originals were grubby, so I had to clean the scanner glass quite often.
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Old 01-25-2017   #19
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I had a similar job to do.

I bought the Epson V39 - it gives really good quality scans which allows small prints to be blown up by x4 and printed easily. But what's especially good about it is that it's portable and USB-powered. I took to a research centre on Friday and scanned lots of photos in situ, which was a boon, and if my parents discover new photos I don't have to take them away. The V39 is an especial bargain because it doesn't have the slide scanning ability - which you don't need. Same applied to me.

We did a Bobbooks of the family photos, going back to the 1920s, and the quality is outstanding, with 6x4 prints blown up to a full bleed of 20 x 20cm.
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Old 03-06-2017   #20
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Hello everyone one, I am also in need of scanning several 100's of negatives, dating back to the 1970's. I can't break the bank, due to finances. I've been looking at the Epson V39. Not knowing allot about "dpi X dpi", would the V39 be able to produce scans that can be printed to 8x10 size if needed? Or, if not, would it be better to wait and see if I can find something like a used V300 instead?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
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Old 03-06-2017   #21
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Absolutely. Depends on the original of course; but I blew up a few of my dad's 6 x 9 prints to a full page bleed of 8 by 8 inches and they look great.

There's plenty of resolution - I've been scanning at around 1,200 per inch which gives full resolution at that size, but it will scan up to 4,800 if you're starting with a smaller print.
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Old 03-06-2017   #22
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Thanks for your response, but one more clarification please. I'll be scanning about 70% 35mm negatives and the balance are printed photos of different sizes (negatives long lost).

I am most interested in being able to scan the negatives at an appropriate size, to then be able to print 8x10's from the snanned files. Would the V39 be capable of scanning the negatives to allow for this size of print size?
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Old 03-06-2017   #23
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Unfortunately no. Prints only - that's why it's so cheap.
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Old 03-06-2017   #24
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Thanks again for the info; I'll keep looking up scanner specifications. I have no set date by which to get them done, but I'll have to start sometime!
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Old 03-06-2017   #25
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The primary difference between the V700 and the V800 is The light source. The V800 has LED lights that do not require a warm up period. I have a V600 which also has the LED light source, a V700 and a Minolta ScanDual IV. For 35mm film scanning the Minolta has noticeably higher resolution than either of the Epsons even though the listed resolution on the Epsons are higher. For scanning film or documents, the V700 is better than the V600, but not by much. You really have to zoom in to see the difference. There is a shop in the town north of ours where the proprietor restores old photos and does a beautiful job. He uses a V700 to scan the originals. I would say that either the V600 or V700/800 would do the job exceptionally well for you unless you have a lot of 35mm negatives or slides to scan.
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Old 03-06-2017   #26
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I'll be keeping my eye out for a good deal on one of the Epsons. All I see are great reviews. Thank you!
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Old 03-06-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
+1

A v700/800 series scanner is significant overkill for scanning photographic prints and documents. They'll do the job very well, but not any better than a v600. Actually, a v300 will likely be perfectly good for the task.

That said, I use a v700 for a similar project. I chose it years ago because I not only have old prints and documents, but also a significant number of old negatives in a wide range of "antique" film sizes ranging from sub-miniature up to 3-1/2 x 5-1/4".
I haven't seen a small Epson scanner first hand but thought that they have a smaller platen than the larger models. One point that might sway someone towards one model or the other, could simply be the size of the prints they need to scan. A V300 might do a very good job but if one needs to scan larger photos, a larger scanner might still be the way to go.
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