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35mm negatives to CD?

Posted by jenn (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 30, 06 at 22:03

I hope this is the right forum to ask this question.

We have lots of 35mm negatives and I'm wondering if it is possible these days for a photo processing store to put the photos from the negatives onto CD so that I can use them as digital photos.

Or, is there another way besides scanning them? There are too many to scan, I'd be sitting here for the rest of my life.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?


Check out the web site below. This is one of many.


Here is a link that might be useful: Negatives to CD or DVD.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

I've done extensive reading and studying on this, and there is simply no good solution without spending a lot of money. Right now I have about a dozen slides at the camera store waiting to be scanned. It is costing me $6 for the cd and $1.50 apiece for each slide.

There are places you can send them on the web, one place I contacted had a $50 minimum order. I didn't want them in the mail system because they are irreplaceable even if I have tracking. Nikon Coolscans are great but expensive. There are also special other scanners, I don't want to invest in any more of that type of gadget for one drawerful of slides. There are attachments you can put on your digital camera, but the results are unpredictable, and I could not find one I had saved info on quite awhile back.

I read about some guy rigging up his own with materials on hand, but it sounded like way too much hassle, and he still hadn't perfected it to where I'd want copies like that.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

You can expect to pay at least $70US for a decent scanner.
The Wal-mart/Sams here offers that service at decent price.

Aliska - I would look into this as 1.50 per slide is pretty expensive.


RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

I did look at your link, thanks much, and when I can afford it (and cull out the ones that aren't worth scanning), I might use their service; it looks like they have state of the art equipment.

I'm leery of buying a scanner just for that even if it is only $70 because it might not deliver quality and there is always a learning curve. I have a perfectly good scanner for no more than I do now, don't need another one; it's not designed for slides and negatives. Some people buy the Nikon Coolscan and sell it when they are done. I don't want to do that either and take the loss.

I am having those few done because I am in a hurry to get some prints out for some old friends. We had a get together a couple weeks ago and it was nice that I found some with the same people over 30 years ago.

There were a lot more I wanted, but I pulled them out because $1.50 is too high.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

I agree, it is hard to justify a new scanner when you already have one.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

I got mine back today and am not happy with them, know how to color adjust and retouch to a great extent, but am asking for help elsewhere, don't want to pay to have them rescanned. Most of them have a reddish-yellowish cast to them. Maybe that cannot be helped because some are 40 years old, but I know Nikon Coolscan can be configured to correct a lot of that before the final pass. It does take a long time to do a high resolution scan right.

If I have any more done, I'll try that other place if they are still there.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

Eric, thank you for the link. That looks like an excellent resource. One of the prices I saw there was .89 and for an additional cost they also give you a nice bound book showing all the photos and which CD they are on. Nice!

Aliska -- sorry yours did not turn out. I hope they didn't come from the link above...


RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

No, no, I had them done locally because I was in a hurry and didn't want to mail them anywhere if I didn't have to.

I did get some help, they are better, a lot better, if the person emails me the instructions and I can follow them, I think I can get them even better on at least one of the two samples I asked for help with. That other place may use a more state-of-the-art technology, naturally their samples would be top notch. It should be comparable or better than the best consumer-grade Nikon Cool Scan.

If the color has faded, it is nobody's fault, but they didn't look that bad in my little viewer. If the color is gone, it is gone. Some of my slides in the viewer look as rich as the day I took them, all stored the same way (not real careful about that, but kept dry in a box or drawer). I started with slides in the late 50's and into the 70's, think the later ones are better generally, always liked that Kodak Ektochrome film.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

Walstreet Journal article:

Trying Out Photo-Transfer Services
Benefits of Saving Family
Pictures Can Be Worth Risk
March 1, 2007

(See Corrections & Amplifications item below.)

Slides these days are about as useful as eight-track tapes. But that's changing now with the spread of digital-transfer services available through national retailers and on the Web.

Such services convert slides, photos, videos, and negatives to DVDs and CDs. We worried, though, about sending our family treasures to unknown technicians. To find out if our fears were justified, we tested five digital-transfer services. We found the benefit of reliving our family history -- in funky hues that are characteristic of 1960s photography -- was usually worth the risk.

A stained photo circa 1943 (left) was cropped and restored by a transfer service.
We learned it is important to organize old photos in advance, since the ordering process is confusing. We also benefited from speaking with phone representatives at mail-in services, instead of store clerks who weren't as knowledgeable. They advised us on scanning resolutions (measured dots per square inch, or dpi). We found that increasing the resolution costs more. Scanning slides at a minimum of 2000 dpi and photos at 600 dpi is generally adequate.

A telephone representative from Brite Pix in Miami answered our questions about scanning resolution. The company alerted us via email when our order arrived for processing and sent a price for our restoration ($30). We received CDs of our slides and old photos and contact sheets (75-cents per page) three weeks later. But we were surprised when the completed order, including original slides and old photos arrived from Costa Rica. A Brite Pix manager said labor costs are cheaper there, but we weren't aware that our pictures would be making a second journey out of the country.

Our digital images from Digital Memories Photo & Video in Orient, Ohio, were worth the trouble of an eight-page order form. We received follow-up questions via email and an estimate for digital photo restoration (in our case, $45). Our images arrived on CDs in separately labeled cases. A custom DVD slide show proved worth the money as we relived the 1970s to our favorite classic tunes.

DigMyPics! in Mesa, Ariz., delivered prompt service and email that alleviated concerns about our photos' whereabouts. But our own haste in reading the instructions meant ordering a JPEG DVD instead of a DVD video. (JPEG files don't play continuously. We had to click "play" to view each one). We would have understood the difference if we called customer service ahead of time. But the reasonable price and processing time were good reasons to order again several months later.

At Wal-Mart, two clerks assisted customers while operating photo machinery. We wanted our slides scanned and burned onto CD. But after waiting 10 minutes, we learned the CD burner wasn't working. We ordered prints instead, which wouldn't be nearly as versatile as digital images. The pictures were fuzzy and some were printed backward. We returned to transfer a video to DVD and restore a family photo. Our DVD worked well. The restoration was lovely, but pictured another customer's family. Fortunately, a technician scanned our original photo and returned it when we placed the order. A manager was supposed to call about the mix-up, but never did. A Wal-Mart spokesperson offered free reprocessing.

We tried YesVideo, a service available via drop-off points at pharmacies and discount stores. An Eckerd clerk didn't know the service existed. We eventually spoke to a manager who vaguely recalled the service. We felt uneasy about leaving our slides and video, and with good cause. They arrived at YesVideo a month later, but we don't know where they were during that time. We received our completed order six weeks after drop-off. Eckerd discounted our order by 25%. A spokesperson said the employees would be aware of YesVideo in the future.

* * *
BritePix Slides: 39 cents for 1500 dpi. Photos 19 cents for 150 dpi. Transfer to CD or DVD extra. 3 weeks Phone reps answered our technical questions, returned calls and emailed. We sent our order to Miami, but learned the company sent it to Costa Rica for processing. Our slides and photos were neatly organized upon return. Free online gallery.
Digitial Memories Photos & Video Varies depending on level of color correction. Mid-level pricing for slides: 85 cents each for 2000 dpi (first 100); Photos 75 cents each for 300 or 600 dpi (first 100).** Transfer to CD or DVD extra. 4 weeks Owners answered our questions throughout the process. The work was performed in Ohio. We added extras to our DVD, which was worth the $61. Our completed order, including our originals, was well-organized.
DigMyPics! First 500: Slides, 59 cents each for 2000 dpi (first 500); 49 cents each for 300 dpi (first 500, original photos up to 5X7) ** Includes transfer to CD or DVD. 3 weeks Prompt service and email communciation about order status. We ordered the wrong type of DVD because we read hastily. But the reasonable price and U.S.-based service were reasons to use the company a second time. Free online viewing.
Wal-Mart 28 cents per slide (minimum 10) for 1300 dpi. Includes disk. Self-service photo scanning available at $2.47 per CD at 300 dpi (about 300 4X6 photos per disk). Slides were promised in about 1.5 hours but we went back the next day. Our video to DVD transfer was uneventful. But we couldn't get a CD of our slides because the CD burner was broken. We got mediocre prints and a restoration of another customer's family.
YesVideo Suggested retail: $49.99 for first 80 slide-to-DVD transfers. (1800 dpi). Or print-to-DVD transfers 300 dpi. Price varies by location. Transfer to CD not available. Usually 2 to 3 weeks, but more than 6 weeks for us. Same-day in-store service at some locations. Our drugstore clerk didn't know about YesVideo. Our slides and video disappeared for a month. YesVideo processed our order within two weeks following its arrival. U.S.-based processing.

*Higher resolutions may be available for extra charge. ** Volume discounts available


Corrections & Amplifications:

Dpi means dots per inch as a measure of resolution in photography and refers to the number of printed dots per linear inch. This column incorrectly says dpi was dots per square inch.

RE: 35mm negatives to CD?

I am very happy with my Epson V200 scanner - it was only $60. I can scan 4 slides at once or one negative strip. It will create a file for each individual picture. You can set up a folder ahead of time so you can find them easily.

There really isn't a learning curve - you select what type of media you are scanning, load the media holder, and press the button. If you aren't satisfied with the results, you do have a couple options and also some dust removal options.

This is a slide from WWII era - All I did was press the button to scan:


For the price of sending off the negatives or slides - you could certainly do it yourself, for much less money. I just load up the tray, press the button and let it work. Next time I walk by - I load up some more and press the button. Before you know it, you have a few hundred slides scanned.

They are awesome to have on the computer!

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