|Quoting 3DoorsDown (Thread starter):|
When the negatives and slides are scanned, what size digital image or print am I going to get? Is it going to depend on the quality of the slide?
Size depends on the resolution of the scanner. A decent film scanner will generate an image size comparable to the output of a current DSLR (this is not to say same quality!). There is no relationship to the size and quality of the original. A good slide will produce a good quality scan, a poor slide a poor quality scan, but they will be the same size.
As to the best scanner ... there is some very high end specialist equipment out there (eg. drum scanners) very expensive and challenging to use. There are a range of dedicated film scanners around (eg. plustek) which will produce good results at a reasonable price. You could also consider a flatbed scanner designed to scan film as well - useful if your originals are not all 35mm. In the UK, I would expect to pay around £300 - 500 for a decent scanner. Its been a while since I've been in the market, so can't compare latest products.
I use an Epson V750 flatbed and a Nikon 4000 coolscan film scanner. Both produce fairly comparable output, both have strengths and weaknesses. The Nikon range was quite popular round here back in the day. I think the last 35mm product produce was the Coolscan 5000, but I'm not sure this is still in production. May have some luck on eBay
I should warn you there is a world of difference between getting a scan of a slide/neg and getting a good scan! It's a bit of a black art and requires a fair bit of trial and error. It is also time consuming. Producing a max resolution scan at the highest quality may take 3-5 minutes per image and that's just the mechanical scanning process. On top of that you have to add the time taken to clean the original - you will at least need to remove dust (more difficult than it sounds!) and may have to deal with fungus or other forms of deterioration.
And then there's post processing - cleaning up the dust you missed or couldn't remove pre-scan, adjusting colour balance, noise/grain etc. etc.
In short, from start to finished file I figure I would spend an average of an hour per image.
So whether it is better to do it yourself or get it done commercially (which is not cheap if you want it done well) - really depends on how you value your time, the urgency and whether this is something you would enjoy.
Finally, you need to think hard about what is worth preserving. I recently went through a collection of B&W negs from the 70s and 80s. After I figured out how long it would take (and I am an experienced scanner) I reaslised a ruthless editing process was in order before hand. I suppose around 1 in 20 made the final cut and got scanned. The rest went in the bin.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel