We’ve assembled some of our most common questions and insights and included an effective search tool for your convenience. If we missed something or you would like more details – please don’t hesitate contacting us…
Photo & Film Scanning Services
There is always a fair amount of debate on best resolution and format for scanned images. The most important consideration is what you will be using the scans for… just quick scans for web based viewing, or more detailed for occasional printing, or online albums on HD televisions? Its ALWAYS best to have a higher resolution scan rather than not quite enough pixels!
Generally, TIFF images (.tif file extension) do not use image altering compression and are most commonly used for archival. This may be a standard resolution of 2000dpi and a more detailed 4000dpi. We use 48-bit colour (16-bits per channel) scanning for all archival film scans so you have maximum colour range and dynamic range.
The most common format for web based or television/display screen viewing of photos is JPEG (.jpeg or .jpg file extension). While CRT and older televisions were well served by 72dpi images – these days, with HiDef, HD, and ultra sharp televisions, computer displays, and portable devices alike – a higher resolution JPEG is desirable. We provide standard JPEG scans at approximately 300 dpi and high-resolutions of 600, 1200, 2400, or 4800 (as specified in your order).
Keep in mind, most standard digital and offset printers only print at 300dpi, photo printers are often 1200x4800dpi and the more dpi or pixels we capture – the larger your storage media for the images must be. For large volumes of scans these may add up quickly! (e.g. 35mm slide scanned at 3000dpi and 48-bit results in an approximate 65MB per TIFF image and a 300dpi 48-bit JPEG files is approximately 1.9MB per frame).
Our typical turn-around time is approximately 1-week. This may vary depending on the volume of work ahead of your order, any holidays or weekends, and specific requests or manual processing required. We will advise if we expect a delay beyond 1-week when we receive your order.
If you help prepare your order prior to sending it to us you can save yourself money and us time. Remove any photo prints from albums (be sure to label each bundle clearly). Remove slides from projector trays and turn them consistently for rapid feeding through our slide scanner. Be sure to sort them by type (and indicate if you know each bundles type).
Make sure your film and even photo prints are stored as well as possible prior to getting them digitised. The greatest enemies of film and prints are extremes in humidity or temperature.
- Store your film, both slides and negatives, in archival quality (high quality plastic archive album style pages like those pictured here – we have had great results from Print-File archival products).
- Make sure your photo print albums are suitable for long term storage – many inexpensive albums yellow, break down, or become an adhesive mess over time. Archival albums are good – yet storing prints in their original paper print envelopes seem to best maintain them.
- Store these Archive Preservers in near air-tight plastic tubs and place moisture absorbers for good measure (here in Sydney many days are well over 80% humidity… if your shoes are moulding – your film most certainly is at risk!)
- Avoid storing the tubs in direct sunlight or a room with temperature or humidity extremes. As many closets get damp – perhaps a pantry or other dry cupboard (if able, keep an incandescent light bulb on as it seems to keep humidity at bay).
Got other suggestions? Please share them with us
IMAGEOZ offers scanning of slide and negative film, photo prints of any size, photo albums, and other custom work using either film, flatbed, or feeder-type scanners, and digital camera capture depending on the original media and your preferred use and price point.
We primarily work with 35mm film and may quickly and in a rather automated fashion support both negatives (in strips of at least TWO images) and transparencies (slides – in plastic or cardboard mounts) at up to 4000dpi/48bit — this is our best value offering.
For an additional cost (which we are happy to quote), we also scan (in a more manual fashion) at up to 2400dpi/48bit scans of 110, 35mm single image negatives or unmounted slides, 2 1/4”, 645, 6”x6”, 6”x7”, and 4”x5” medium format negatives.
Please contact us for Kodak disc or APS film – while it may be done – being a manual process, it attracts a premium. We will also offer a 35mm film digitisation service for film makers wishing to migrate their archives from film to digital media – please contact us for more details.
We primarily work with standard sized mini lab prints including: 3″ x 5″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″ (up to A4) and are able to handle them in a rather automated fashion. Items larger than A3 are on a per quote basis.
IMAGEOZ uses what we consider the best of breed scanners offering excellent image quality and automation at a price point that our customers find suitable. Our scanning equipment includes:
- Kodak/Pakon professional mini-lab equipment for 35mm negatives at up to 3000dpi 14bit/channel colour and a range of Nikon film scanners for 35mm slides or negatives and 2 1/4″at up to 4800dpi 16-bit/channel colour + 8-bit infrared. These machines utilise Digital ICE image enhancement to remove dust, scratches, and most imperfections and create either up to 4000dpi TIFF archival files and/or lower resolution JPEG images suitable for online use.
- Canon, Epson, and HP flat bed scanners are used for medium-high quality photo prints and scanning of album pages. These may scan up to 4800dpi and generate either TIFF, JPEG, or PDF files.
- For high volume / medium quality image scanning (best for online viewing or small prints) – we use Fujitsu ADF scanners capable of jpeg files at up to 600dpi and generate either JPEG or PDF files. This provides excellent value and good representation for (perhaps) already faded images which are to be salvaged or when web/digital viewing only files are required.
All film scanning includes Digital ICE or Infrared dust and imperfection reduction. Photo prints generally do not require such multi-scan filtering. Film in bad condition may require more manual processing – if deemed necessary, we will make contact for your approval in advance.
Depending on your order, we either provide raw scans or optimise them with colour correction, exposure control, lighten or darken, and general image enhancement. We have two typical offerings a rather quick and automated colour, contrast and enhancement offer OR a more archival or print ready high quality manual optimisation – please indicate with your order. Photo restoration is generally on a per quote basis.
In addition to our customary JPEG and TIFF files, we can also save your scans in PSD (Photoshop). For photo print scans we are also able to save these images in Acrobat PDF format should you have a specific requirement or preference (let us know in advance!)
While we can support or supply RAW and DNG (Digital Negative) files – these are very specific and usually generated by camera capture archival – not our film scanners. Contact us should you require these formats for custom work.
For standard colour scans at 2000dpi, we use 14-bit / channel colour. For high res scans above 2400dpi we use 16-bit /channel colour. This is the best compromise between speed and smaller file size – yet maintaining ample detail for all but the largest of high quality printing (over A4). For B+W film we recommend and default to 16-bit with 8-bit Infrared.
Generally YES, please contact us to confirm availability and pricing. We try our best to accommodate you – yet are swamped from time to time (especially between September and December).
Of course, sending your photos or film by courier or Express Post (both directions) saves a few days in transit. This may be cheaper than a rush lab scanning service – yet for smaller orders we can usually always fit you in. Just let us know in advance!
The life span of film depends greatly on the care in storing and handling it… the two greatest enemies are significant temperature variations and either extremely high or low humidity. Not only are storage conditions important – yet the original film medium used impacts its life span too.
Degradation of colour, contrast and dynamic range is always happening… just faster with some films than others.
Of the most common films once available, B&W negative and Kodachrome slide film are perhaps the least affected by age. B&W film is basically silver crystals on an emulsion and as historical photos will prove, if developed and stored properly they may last decades. Kodachrome slide film had an additive-type film emulsion where the color dye was in the development chemicals, not on the film itself. It has been around since the 1930’s and there are reports of 50 year old Kodachrome looking like the day it was shot.
However, most casual photographers used regular color slide and negative film which was processed with quick and easy mini-labs, and stuck in cheap plastic sleeves. Even our stock photo film archives have definitely deteriorated over the past 25-30 years. Most noticeable is the colour shift (e.g. many are picking up a magenta tint) and for sure lost some saturation. Many of these images are now over 20 years old and some have lost detail and have become more grainy.
Standard consumer grades of film had the photo dye contained within multiple layers of emulsion. This dye fades over time. Dye used on this film and the development process it went through, was never intended to be archival in nature. As the dye fades, so does color and detail (i.e. sharpness and grain) – just check out the photo prints you may have to see this happening — yet luckily film degrades more slowly.
Capturing your images with high quality film scanners set to archival mode with a high resolution and appropriate bit depth for the size and detail you may later print is critical. Its always better to have too large a file rather than too small! (More details about the most desirable settings may be found elsewhere in our FAQs). These digital images may then be colour corrected, contrast adjusted, and further enhanced using the likes of Photoshop or Lightroom.
Once your film has been scanned and optimised — create a low resolution image for viewing from the high resolution archival image and at that point, you may then choose to get rid of your film. Be confident of your storage medium – CDs last ~20 years (if you can find a drive to access them in that time), USB sticks are generally stable for decade(s) – yet avoid moisture and magnetic fields. We suggest ALWAYS keep several copies on a few different mediums of your cherished memories and family legacy. Better yet – store a set at home, and another at a different location (just in case of theft, fire, flood – or who knows what!)
For overall reliability, accessibility, functionality and value… we cannot go past Dropbox. Its a phenomenal productivity tool allowing simple, reliable and FREE file sync, sharing and access across phones, tablets, desktops of nearly any OS. With the regular addition of extension apps its becoming even more powerful. Tools include: auto photo upload, Carousel photo gallery sharing, their Sparrow email client, website publishing and many other capabilities are on the way. Sign up and use Dropbox for free
Other more photo focused services abound and several have long histories (and perhaps ulterior motives in focused advertising, demographic profiling, and social engagement) which include: Yahoo’s Flickr, Google’s Picasso, Facebook’s Instagram, and the up and coming entrants: Pintrest, Tumblr and many others.
If social sharing and tagging is your thing – you’re in luck, use whichever service your friends are on! If simply storing, sharing and easily managing your photos is paramount — without the niggling social sharing pressure — Dropbox rules!
We are happy to upload your lower resolution scanned images to a private yet shareable area in your own Dropbox account (or allow you to download them to your desktop from our Dropbox – whatever you prefer). Sign up and use Dropbox for free