100 million Kodachromes

Kodachrome slide

I love a good coincidence.

Yesterday, Kodak announced its intention to retire Kodachrome – on the exact same day that we completed our 25 millionth scan.

The subtlety of this confluence is not lost on us here at ScanCafe: Kodachrome, long loved by photographers for its vibrant colors, is also pretty much the only Kodak development process that resulted in a relatively stable image, one that could be preserved well over a long period of time. Stored well in the dark, Kodachrome slides tend to keep their density radically better than other Kodak processes; however, it is still important to note that in the absence of archival storage conditions (cold storage, humidity controlled) Kodachrome images will still deteriorate, albeit more slowly. So by retiring their most stable film they have highlighted the need to digitally preserve your analog archive.

At ScanCafe, our interest is in the preservation of the photography of several generations of consumers, and as such we find it pretty sad to see Kodachrome go. Historically, many really wonderful photos were taken with it – check out this book for some examples.

Kodachrome was by no means the most popular Kodak film, but it is without a doubt the one we most love to scan, and we especially love Kodachrome slides. Not only do they give us a chance to show off our terrific manual color correction skills, but the resulting images always have really exciting results. While we don’t keep this stat, I wouldn’t be surprised if a third of all the slides we’ve ever scanned are Kodachrome, and we’re pretty sure there are plenty more still out there, waiting to be preserved. So Kodachrome, you will always have a home here at ScanCafe. And here’s to the day we’ve scanned 100 million of them, coming soon I assure you.

A Post About Our Dads, for Father’s Day

I’m guest blogging for Sam today, and what we wanted to do was start a comment chain about our Dads. The idea came from our Father’s Day Midlife Crisis promotion, in which folks send us pics of their Dad and we use our ScanCafe magic to digitally give their Dads a midlife crisis.

Over a hundred people have already entered, but what really surprised us was how so many people enclosed heartfelt notes about their Dads along with their entry. So we wanted to give folks a public place to talk up their Dads. Just post a comment below with anything you’d like to say about your Father, and we’ll have a nice chain of Father-honoring comments in time for Father’s Day.

I’ll start it off. That’s my Dad, pictured above, just a bit after he’d been diagnosed with cancer. He’s hamming it up for the camera, which was an old Bell & Howell SLR.  He was amazing, but never easy–the kind of guy who would listen to classical music and drink cheap beer, barechested, at the same time. When I graduated from college, he made a big fatherly show of how he was done giving me advice. Now he’s gone, these many years, and I never told him that I needed it.

What’s your father like?

UPDATE: The winners for this contest were Karen Straw, Dr. Felix Subervi, and Paul Brown, with Honorable Mention going to EA Greene.

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We ran a fun little promo in May where we offered to buy our customers a case of beer to enjoy at their Memorial Day BBQ.

It was quite a hit, as you can tell from this customer’s picture.

Our customer enjoying a premium German beer with friends.


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Help your friends and earn free scanning

If you’re a ScanCafe customer, you’ve probably noticed somewhat regular discount promotions come through your email mailbox. And while most customers are excited by the savings, some have asked us why we’re discounting our service on what seems like a regular basis.

Well, as a small company we manage our marketing budget very tightly, and make informed decisions on where and when to spend. Given the current economic environment, we don’t see any place better than on our own customers.

Some of our marketing budget goes toward advertising, but certainly nowhere near the amount or proportion as most companies—especially those in the Tax Services category: (Did I mention April 15 is coming up?)

“The Tax Services category spent $220 million in 2008 on ads, an increase of 11% from 2007. Over one-third of the 2008 total was spent on Cable TV ($76.9 million), followed by Spot TV ($40.5 million), and Network TV ($35.7 million).”

In these financially tough times, we’re as committed as ever to improving our customer experience. We take to heart all feedback regarding our service—image quality, website usability, service offerings, even price.

This leads me to an exciting new program we just launched based on numerous customer requests. ScanCafe customers can give friends 20% off their order, just for trying our service. That customer, in return, will get a scanning credit for 10% of all their friends’ orders.

For example: If 5 friends each place $200 orders (or 1 friend places a $1,000 order), that’s a $100 scanning credit for the customer that referred those orders.

If you’re a ScanCafe customer, check your email, we’ve sent you a unique discount code and details on how to participate in this program.

And if you’re not already a ScanCafe customer (and you don’t have any friends that are ScanCafe customers), that’s okay – you’re a friend of ours.

Here’s a 20% discount, courtesy of Sam Allen: FRIENDOFSAM

How to get 20% off your order

  1. Go to the order form by clicking Get Started below
  2. On the order form, look for “Enter Promo Code” at the bottom and enter
    • (Code not valid for current customers.)
  3. Place your order
Get Started

Orders must be placed by April 23, 2009, 11:59pm PST.

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Get up to 50% off your next ScanCafe order!

It’s officially Spring, and the annual battle against clutter and dust is almost here – Spring cleaning. So, here’s a special offer to help you with those old boxes of slides, negatives, and photos.

Get up to 50% off your next order, between now and March 31.

Think of the space you’ll save when you get all of your photos out of boxes and onto your computer!

How it works

  • Everyone gets 10% off, now through March 31 — use the code SCAN2CLEAN when placing your order
  • If your order is the largest placed by March 31, you get a total of 50% off — 10% when you order and the remainder discounted when you check out
  • If your order is the 2nd to 10th largest, you get a total of 25% off — 10% when you order and the remainder discounted when you check out
  • Multiple orders will count as one, for purposes of this promotion — be sure to use the same email address for all your orders
  • Order size is based on the number of scans you keep upon completing final checkout — for example, an order with 100 images and no scans deleted would be larger than an order with 150 images and 50% of the scans deleted

It’s that simple. We’ll notify you by email if your order is one of the ten largest.

Get Started

Remember, orders only need to be placed by March 31, 11:59pm PST, to qualify.

By placed we mean, simply complete the online order form. You can box up your images and send them to us later–but waiting longer than a few weeks would not be recommended, as final checkout needs to happen by May 31, 2009.

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