Digitizing slides....

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I have a friend who has 35mm slides, 3x3 slides and glass slides that she wants to have turned into digital copies and wants to know if jpeg or TIFF is the way to go?

My friend has about 1000 of this mix - her family's pictures - that she wants to have turned into digital images. My friend is very low tech and has a tiny computer...one of those Acer computers. Her brother, has a PC that is probably very good. My friend wants to know what value, if any, the TIFF versions would offer... And would she be able to get an external hard drive that would allow her to have these all in perpetuity? Give the low quality of her little laptop, I am wondering if a TIFF file would be worth while, however she is more concerned about her brother and his children who are more well heeled in the computer department.

She has found a local company that will charge about $2.00 (American) for each copy. The upside is that she can deliver the slides and not ship them.

Any opinions?
 

James Murphy

Rookie
Oct 2, 2010
3
Pittsburgh, PA
I have used Larsen Digital to slide ~500 35mm film negatives, and they were excellent. I had a Pacific Imaging Prime Film PF3650u scanner which could scan at 3000 x 3000 and it still wasn't as good as what Larsen could do. I'm about to send them another ~500 negatives.

Regarding TIFFS vs Jpegs. TIFFs are uncompressed and therefore huge. For jpegs with low compression, I can live with the very slight loss in quality...and it is slight. I view my scanned film files on my 58" plasma TV and they look great.

I perfectly understand the concern regarding sending off precious items, but this worked well for us. Their costs are very reasonable.
Slides Negatives Photos Scanning Movie Film 8mm Super8 16mm Video Tapes Transfer Digital Conversion CD & DVD Blu-Ray Video File
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
Jul 6, 2010
103
My friend wants to know what value, if any, the TIFF versions would offer... And would she be able to get an external hard drive that would allow her to have these all in perpetuity?
I have all my scans stored as jpgs. at the highest quality setting. For any kind of quantity tiffs just eat up disk space, plus they are slower to open up and view.

For storage, yes an external drive is a better idea than DVD or CD which are prone to error in time. If the images are important, its a good idea to archive them on one hard drive and store this away somewhere safe and dry and view them off another. Hard drives can fail with continued use after time, so its a good idea not to rely on one storage source.

Internal hard drives tend to last longer than externals, so the files could be viewed off a computers drive.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
TIFF every time here, with multiple backup. I have two hot backups and one offsite that is updated on a monthly basis.

JPG is just throwing data away. TIFF is lossless - every time you save, you save the same information. Every time you save a JPG the compression algorithm is applied and a little bit more data - a little bit more of your image - is thrown away, lost forever. Look at a JPG that has been saved a number of times and you will see a loss of sharpness.

PLEASE, if you value your images, save as TIFF or DNG or some other lossless format. Use JPG for final output, print or screen and check that you are saving to the correct colour-space for your usage when you do.

Memory is cheap, memories are priceless. Use TIFF. Please.
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
Jul 6, 2010
103
Picture Libraries, Magazines, the Publishing and Repro. industries are all now quite happy with jpgs. The difference between jpg. at the lowest compression rate and tiff is minimal at best and impossible to see at worst. I've been sending out jpgs. for use as cover images for glossy magazines, A3 double page spreads, billboards and high end advertising campaigns for years. Virtually every reproduced image you see is printed from a jpg.

Considering that the requirement is for the storage of scanned images, the grain and the inherent difficulties of getting a scan to look good are far more important factors than jpg. or tiff. and I would be very surprised if even at a 100% view, with a scan there would be any viewable or printable difference between the two.

I've done some serious testing to make sure that when I save all my scans, which after all contribute to how i make a living, I have not made a mistake by opting for jpg. I have seen no evidence to suggest that I have made such a mistake.

There are also serious implications for storage with using tiff, and there are read/write speed tradeoffs that have to be considered.

Finally the last point I would make is that in terms of preserving the images, the best idea is to make sure that once scanned the slides are stored in the safest way possible. Partly because this is how the real memories are stored, and partly because in the future who knows what we will be able to do with them.


TIFF every time here, with multiple backup. I have two hot backups and one offsite that is updated on a monthly basis.

JPG is just throwing data away. TIFF is lossless - every time you save, you save the same information. Every time you save a JPG the compression algorithm is applied and a little bit more data - a little bit more of your image - is thrown away, lost forever. Look at a JPG that has been saved a number of times and you will see a loss of sharpness.

PLEASE, if you value your images, save as TIFF or DNG or some other lossless format. Use JPG for final output, print or screen and check that you are saving to the correct colour-space for your usage when you do.

Memory is cheap, memories are priceless. Use TIFF. Please.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
I'd have 'em printed.
Of course it depends how long someone might want to keep things ...

digital technology changes fast ... really fast.
There are media which were being used only 20 years ago which are now effectively inaccessible.
File formats (TIFF, JPEG, DNG) change, and computer interfaces (such as those that connect hard drives to computers) change. #

There's no guarantee that what's usable in 2011 will be viewable in 2031.
 

Brian

Top Veteran
Jul 7, 2010
103
For 8-bit pixels on most software, JPEG has a lossless compression mode - the highest setting in Photoshop and others results in all information being stored, and the resulting reducion in storage required is about 3:1. At the highest setting it stores all of the fewquency information and uses huffman code to store the coefficients. SO: lossless compression, 3:1 reduction in required space.

JPEG has a 12-bit version, but is not royalty-free. JPEG-2000 has a 16-bit mode, buy never seemed to catch on. So we're stuck with the 8-bit, royalty free version of JPEG for "know future software will read it".

TIFF has many formats and options. Make sure that the software used to create it will be around for a long time. I have some TIFF files that I had to write my own FORTRAN software to unpack, many years after it was created. TIFF format files has a mode in it to store many images in the same TIFF file. This is supported by some software, not by others.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
BB, $2 per slide is wickedly expensive. I had about 500-600 slides digitized about a year ago for something like $125, total. It took a little while, I had to send them off, but the quality was very very good. I don't know if it could have been better, but I've played with those files, converted some of them to B&W, printed them fairly large, and they're wonderful. To spend $2000 for 1000 slides just sounds insane, unless they're the lost works of Ansel Adams or something and they need a lot of restoration work in addition to scanning and digitizing. I used an outfit called Scan Cafe and the process was painless - they sent the shipping materials with a very good set of instructions on how to pack and label, I sent it off and it took a few weeks (I think I got a discount based on lower priority timing), but I'd been sitting on them for 30 years, so a few extra weeks didn't matter. I got all jpegs, but pretty good sized ones. I couldn't be more satisfied with the process.

-Ray
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Thanks you all!

These are my friend's parents' slides, I believe. Her parents are long gone and she and her brother want to preserve these memories in a digital form. I, too, thought $2 a slide was awfully expensive.

I will show her what you all have written and if needs be come back with some more questions. James and Ray thank you both for giving me specific names of companies here in the USA who you've used. My friend lives in the NY metro area...for what that's worth.

I, too, keep thinking that they should print the ones they truly care about. Right, Ray - isn't that what I keep saying I am going to do with my own pictures?:wink:
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I, too, keep thinking that they should print the ones they truly care about. Right, Ray - isn't that what I keep saying I am going to do with my own pictures?:wink:
I wouldn't print them in lieu of keeping digital copies. I mostly print so I can enjoy some physical manifestation of my shots, and so I can see them with that nicer look of a print, relative to on a computer screen. But I'd definitely want to keep the digital copies around. For future prints, the option to manipulate, etc. I don't think there's any one perfect way to archive - I figure the more forms I can maintain a photo in, the better chance it has to survive longer than I will...

-Ray
 
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jim_khoo

Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
103
Kuala Lumpur
Bill,
you got me curious on TIFF and "lossless".

so i went to see if my processed photos with photoscape can be saved in TIFF and
the answer is a big "no" - only jpeg, png, gif and bmp. :frown:

is it possible to save my processed photos in TIFF format without using Adobe?

thanks.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Another issue - mildew?

I forgot to add another very important bit!

These slides were stored in a damp closet for at least 50 years and there is mildew on some... My friend was told by the local company that she "could try to clean them with a Qtip and lighter fluid but that the scanner and photoshop might be able to deal with the less severe damage."

Does this sound like a good idea to you?:confused:
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
I agree, but we are talking here about storage, not output. I too output as JPG; that is the last thing I do. But I store lossless. I stand by what I said.
I'm not sure whether you're responding to me or someone else.
I'm not suggesting either/or.
Fine to keep both, but my point is that if you are archiving on digital media for future retrieval, there is no guarantee that the digital media will be retrievable in the future ... whereas printed media have a better track-record (assuming decent quality paper (or whatever) and storage) ...

Lightmancer said:
I figure the more forms I can maintain a photo in, the better chance it has to survive longer than I will...
that's right on the money
 

AldPixto

Rookie
Jul 24, 2010
3
USA: CA and NY
mildew

I forgot to add another very important bit!

These slides were stored in a damp closet for at least 50 years and there is mildew on some... My friend was told by the local company that she "could try to clean them with a Qtip and lighter fluid but that the scanner and photoshop might be able to deal with the less severe damage."

Does this sound like a good idea to you?:confused:
Fujifilm has a web site, 写真救済プロジェクト : 写真・アルãƒãƒ ã«é–¢ã™ã‚‹ã”質å•ã¨å¯¾å‡¦æ³•ã®ã”案内 | 富士フイルム , that describes their efforts to help people recover tsunami damaged photos. The web site is is Japanese , I was able to read parts of it using Google Translate. There may be some useful information for you.
 

Brian

Top Veteran
Jul 7, 2010
103
I've scanned a number of slides with my Epson 3170 scanner. It has a holder, can scan 4 at a time. Later scanners are even better, run ~$100 but require an investment of time.

My first scanner was slides-only, a real SCSI beast. A Microtek 1850 slide scanner. Very, very slow! But it worked

InfoWorld - Google Books

OMG, more than 20 years ago. It still works...
 

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