Frequently Asked Questions - ScanCafe

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Category: Negative Scanning
 

Q1: Is it better to scan the print photo or the negative?

 

It is always better to scan the negative because it is usually in better condition, and the scanner can produce a digital image at a higher dpi resolution. Furthermore you get to keep the photo displayed in your home during the scanning process. That said, we do offer great photo scanning and slide scanning solutions.

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Q2: How do I know which side of the negative to scan?

 

Theoretically, it is very easy, but practically, it is very difficult. You need to scan the side that has the photographic emulsion. This emulsion side is usually less glossy. However, it takes a long time to figure this out. The best option for telling which side is which is to look at the numbering scheme on the negative. When using a negative film scanner, align the negative such that you can read the numbering scheme. You are now looking at the opposite side of the emulsion.

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Q3: Can I use Kodak Digital ICE while scanning black and white negatives?

 

Actually, no. The infrared light that detects dust and scratches is not compatible with the silver halide emulsion on black and white negatives. If you scan with ICE, the digital image will look "silvery" and out of focus. The only solution is to disable ICE and manually restore the B&W scan at a later time using a clone stamping tool such as in Adobe Photoshop. However, using clone stamping requires a lot of practice. If you have more questions, feel free to contact our customer support team, and we would be happy to answer your questions.

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Q4: Can you scan my curled black and white negatives?

 

We use a "wet mount" process for the scanning of black and white negatives. We encase each of your negative frames in a special solution between two transparent surfaces, and then scan them using our Nikon 9000 scanners. The resulting scans have extraordinary image detail.
 
However, this process does not support significantly curled negatives. If you are not sure if your negatives are curled, go ahead and send us a snapshot of your negatives to admin@scancafe.com and our customer support team will be able to assist you. For more information on our black and white scanning, visit http://www.scancafe.com/services/black-white-scanning.

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Q5: Do you scan Medium Format negatives?

 

Yes, we do. Most commonly, this format comes from 120 or 220 film. But for us, really, it's any format that is larger than traditional 35mm and smaller than 4" x 5", which is where our Large Format category begins.

Common Medium Format frame sizes that we scan are 6x6cm, 6x4.5cm (sometimes called "645"), 6x7cm, and 6x9cm.

We scan these on our Nikon 9000 EDs. Also, for black & white medium format negatives, we apply our patent-pending wet mount process that virtually eliminates the scratches that affect so many old black & white negatives.

We scan, by default, at 3000 dpi. The file sizes created for each medium format scan depend on the exact size of the frame submitted, but are in general at least 7MB and as much as 25MB.

That translates to a recommended printing size range of up to 33 x 22 inches. At that size, the print would be rendered at effectively 300 pixels per inch, a common printing standard for up-close viewing. (If the print is intended to be viewed from many, many feet away, you might be able to print larger with no noticeable defects).

We can scan Medium Format slides if they are color, but we currently cannot scan medium format slides if they black & white, as they are incompatible with our wet mount process.

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Q6: Do you scan Large Format negatives (or positives)?

 

Yes, we scan both positives and negatives in Large Format.

We are very proud to offer Large Format scanning at an outstanding price for our professional photographer customers. There is a very rich tradition of Large Format photography that we're excited to help preserve.

For frame sizes of 4"x5" or even 4"x6", we charge one price, and for frame sizes of 8"x10" we charge a bit more, due to the sharp increase in scanning time.

We perform these scans on dedicated Epson 10000 XL's at 3000 dpi, which creates some very large files suitable for a wide range of uses. A 4" x 5" Large Format scan from us will be about 50 MB in size, and suitable for 36" x 46" prints. Similarly, an 8" x 10" Large Format scan from us will be about 200MB in file size and suitable for prints intended for up-close viewing all the way up to 75" x 96".

We do not currently scan Black & White Large Format because our patent-pending wet mount process, designed to virtually eliminate scratches, is not available for Large Format yet. However, if you believe scratches will not be an issue for your Black & White Large Format negatives or positives, contact us and we'll make arrangements.

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Q7: On a given strip of negatives, can I mark just the images I want scanned?

 

Unfortunately, no. We have found that our scanning process is operationally tighter and safer if we, as a matter of policy, scan all the images you submit. But this is one big reason we allow you to delete scans when you review your order: to help account for the fact that on a strip of negatives there may be images that you simply don't want--whether that's because of double exposures, duplicate or near-duplicate images, or frankly for any reason at all.

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