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Do you offer photo/negative/slide scanning and/or photo restoration in your shop?

Discussion in 'Photography Issues' started by FramerKat, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I am curious about this, as since we have just opened and are trying to draw business. I have done one photo restoration job and just picked up a pretty huge slide/negative scanning job. It's a very complimentary thing to framing, as most would want their restored images framed nicely.

    I don't have the optimal setup for slide & negative scanning, so it's pretty labor intensive, but I've found that my old workhorse Epson v500 does the job quite nicely. I am able to give the client some decent resolution for later display or printing while still keeping the pace up in my workflow. At least the scanner does 4 slides or 10 35mm negative frames at a time ;).
  2. troyveluz

    troyveluz MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I offer photo restoration and negative/slide scanning. Yes they are labor intensive but I charge accordingly. I also have an Epson V500, Photoshop and a 24" Wacom Cintiq for photo restoration
    There are times when a customer bulks at my price, I tell them it might be more cost effective for them if they buy a scanner and scan the slides themselves or restore the photos themselves.
    I tell them what software and scanner to use. Someone wise once told me, "You either pay with your time or you pay with your money"
    Carmichael, skye and FramerKat like this.
  3. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    30 years in photofinishing makes me a tech snob when it comes to negatives and slides. Prints are a different story.

    You just can't get quality results with a flat bed scanner. Dedicated Film scanners are fast, efficient and expensive.

    Find a local photolab that still prints 35mm negatives and ask them to digitize (and maybe a make a cheap print). Have them burn a disc and take the scan home and go to work.

    My $130,000. Agfa printer/scanner made excellent negative and slide scans and for $6.50 I could burn a disc if you purchased 32 cent prints.

    Separately I would charge $1.00 per strip per scan.

    Don't let the clerk at Walmart deliver a superior product at a fraction of the price you offer.

  4. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Actually, the Epson v500 is plenty for a job like this. If they need higher resolution, I would certainly job it out someone who has the higher end scanner. This particular job is simply archiving the images digitally for the client.

    It's just nice to be able to offer a complimentary service to the custom framing, and since I have the equipment, time, and capability, why not? ;)
    skye likes this.
  5. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's not just an issue of high or higher resolution. The numbers are almost meaningless.

    It's the ability to capture the dynamic range to get detail in shadows and highlights.

    I know some will argue that it's good enough but again its a place where an unskilled worker with the right equipment can offer better quality at a better price.

    I still have a Nikon 5000 for scanning film and slides and it does a pretty god job but not as good as my retired Agfa printer/scanner.

  6. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Actually, before I purchased the v500, I looked at comparisons to pro lab drum scans...it held up very well with comparisons of highlight and shadow detail, not quite as good of course, but for the price and ease of use, pretty well. But then, these are tools just like anything else, and the operator is going to make most of the difference.
  7. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    what kinda dMax does your agfa produce?

    my epson have 4.0 or 4.2 Dmax. yea you will get a little more out of for example a hassie virtual drum scanner, but less than 1k compared to 20k i don't think the difference justifies the cost, especially if you producing prints at less than A3
    FramerKat likes this.
  8. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I must say the newer epson scanners are outstanding for the price.
    FramerKat likes this.
  9. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I don't know what the now defunct Agfa D1 produced. The Nikon is rated at 4.6 but as I said earlier the numbers are often meaningless.

    High d-max is usually a measure used in printing and scanning positive images. You might get a very dark black but if the shadows are nothing but digital noise the results are poor.

    Negatives have a long dynamic range and it's hard to capture.

    The Epson Scanners are very good scanners.

    The results from scanning larger format (120 or larger) is better than 35mm on a flatbed.

    I used to have a flat bed Agfa Duoscan that did a very decent job with 120 negs. Had to scrap it when SCSI interface became impossible to work with.

    Technology on film scanners has kind of come to a standstill. Fewer and fewer people have a need for neg scanning these days.

  10. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    agree doug

    i understand the number mean nothing but are a good place to start comparisons, not the end of it, but a hint

    yea deff better at 120 etc. i rarely scan 35 stuff for print, normally 120 and above

    the 35 stuff i do tends to be for audio visual shows in visitor centres where the results from the epson are seriously more than enough
    FramerKat likes this.
  11. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Yes, we scan and clean up in PS and print. My employee that manages that is a photographer with pretty good eyes, so I simply turn that over to him. We also have a flatbed Epson scanner (he picked it out), and he has a Nikon D810 to shoot pieces that are larger than the 8.5 X 11 flat bed. The net result is that the customers are normally thrilled with the results and order multiple prints for family members.
    FramerKat likes this.
  12. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have Photoshop Elements and on a couple of occasions I have successfully scanned and cleaned up damaged photos for customers. The worst one was a graduation photo which had been left exposed in a cardboard presentation folder and was covered with fly specks.

    I scanned it with my home grade Canon flatbed scanner, which has a maximum resolution of 600DPI, dealt with the spots then saved the file onto a stick and printed it at a local photo shop. The end result was a pretty good 8 x 10 and a very happy customer. No doubt a pro using a better scanner could have done better but framed and hung on a wall under normal domestic lighting my effort was more than good enough.

    I think the most important step is to use a commercial printer as their equipment and inks are vastly superior to anything we have in our home computers and the cost is peanuts.
    FramerKat likes this.
  13. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Absolutely! I had done the same with my business Canon all in one machine...for a friend that needed something inexpensive and quickly (I didn't have my Epson out of storage yet). I cleaned up with PS5 on my laptop PC since my business computers don't have it and had printed at the local pro lab. Had a couple of test prints run in 4x6 to check everything, then tweaked a bit and ordered the actual size they needed. I got it done quickly and was able to give them a very good product and they were very pleased...so it was a win-win.
  14. troyveluz

    troyveluz MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I made a 3 minute video of me doing some photo restoration:
  15. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Wow! I'm jealous of your Wacom! That makes life much easier ;). I'm still using a mouse and regular screen. If we end up getting more jobs, I'll get some better equipment for this sort of work.
  16. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    If you have the excess capacity (time on your hands) you could probably pay for the large intuos pro after about 10 jobs. If you allow for the cost of shop time, then maybe 15-20 jobs. On the other hand, you can farm out complicated (and time-consuming) photo resto jobs for about $25-30.
    FramerKat likes this.
  17. troyveluz

    troyveluz MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I got my WACOM refurbished for about half the price of a new one as few years ago. I think I got it from macmall.com - they were having a sale at the time for refurbished wacoms.
    FramerKat and cvm like this.
  18. echavez123

    echavez123 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We also scan slides, negatives and glass plates. We have two scanners: Epson V750 pro and Imacon/Hasseblad Flextight scanner. Most of the time, the Epson is sufficient. Lets face it, most customers just want to bring their old negatives and slides to life. Since I am a photog, I scan my 4x5's and slides with the Imacon. Scanning is very labor intensive and most people balk at the price. That is fine with me. Restoration and scanning only contribute about 10% of our business. However, I do lots of printing and post framing from these images.
    FramerKat likes this.
  19. UzZx32QU

    UzZx32QU Administrator Staff Member

    I use a Nikon Coolscan 5000 and PS CS6 for 35mm transparencies and a Epsom professional ??1600 scanner for larger than 35mm negatives and prints.

    FramerInTraining and FramerKat like this.
  20. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    That's exactly why I thought we'd offer the service. We'll more than likely be framing whatever results we come up with.
  21. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal Grumbler in Training

    We are a photo lab that has moved into framing as an additional service, so we have always offered these services, however as skilled as I and my staff are in restorations I mostly farm them out. Good restoration work can be very time consuming. We use several artists on fiverr.com who charge way less than it would cost me to do it.
  22. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    We outsource to Photowonder, and previously used Digitalcustom. (both are built into the POS) PW charges a flat rate, regardless of how much work. (we cant talk about wholesale prices, so i wont say here, but its less than the number mentioned above) For easier jobs, we just do it in house with PS.

    All printing is done in house on Epson 4880 This has been a great addition to our shop for the past 10 years, and brings in jobs almost daily. I don't think we have ever had a request for slide conversion, however.

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We have been offering slide, 8mm, VHS conversions to CD or flydrives.
    Not big but it helps brings in traffic.
  24. Carmichael

    Carmichael Grumbler

    I also use the v500 and its fine for what I do too, restorations, negs, slides, and artwork is great too.. I do up to 20 x 24, doing several scans and then sewing together in Photoshop, larger than that I do a photography capture, also much of the time sewing together to get a big painting up to a reasonable resolution. Working with local artists represents about 40% of my workload!
  25. ali

    ali CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    We do alot of printing, we have 2 60 inch wide format printers. Even if i could and had the time to do it, i wouldn't offer any other photo related services because then the question would be is it worth my time?
  26. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I do and had a request today about slides to DVD.
  27. njw1224

    njw1224 CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    You've received a LOT of responses to your question, and I didn't read them all, so I'm sorry if I repeat anything. I am a photographer, who also owns a frame shop in the same building as my studio. My advice? Getting into slide scanning for people may be a lot of grunt work for not a lot of profit, unless the slides happen to have great sentimental value. But with photo restoration work, there can be good profit because people likely wouldn't even be inquiring about restoration if they didn't have a great sentimental connection to the photo(s). So they'll be willing to spend some money to restore them, plus may want them nicely framed (which they may not want with simple slide scanning). I say go where the money is and where you won't tie up a ton of time - restoration. Now, as a photographer, I'll give you an inside tip. Many pros don't do the retouching themselves, as this can be an enormous time suck. There are restoration services like hollywoodphotofix.com that, for a rather small price, will fix just about any damage done to a photo. All you have to do is send them a good, high-res scan of the photo and they do the rest. A few days after you've uploaded the scan, the finished retouch is available for download, and the only time you've invested is the scanning time. You can mark up your retouching cost by 3x-6x easily. Generally there is a standard price to have the photo restored by a service, but you can adjust what you charge the customer according to how badly it's damaged. So while it may always cost you $35 for a restoration, you could easily charge $70-$200+ depending on how bad the original is. Why does the client need to know that your cost is the same regardless? Just my opinion.
    DVieau2 likes this.

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