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Taking photos of photos?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by cookme, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. cookme

    cookme Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    I have many old photos I want to convert to digital format. I do not have a scanner nor do I want to get one at the moment since I am in the process of moving.

    Is using a digital camera to convert these feasible and will it produce good results? or should I just find a scanner?

    I plan to use E-M5 with the 12-50 kit lens for this.
  2. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Lynne Ezzell
    You can get all in one printer/scanners for under $100 that do a decent job.
  3. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Find a photo-scanning service in your area.
  4. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Good stuff here.


    Something like 3-4 scans for $1.
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    If these are prints you are talking about, then I've got to think that a scanner is going to be a better solution. I would guess it would be difficult to get good, even lighting without any reflection when attempting to photograph prints (particularly if they are glossy).

    If you're talking about slides or negatives, then you might be able to get decent results using some sort of bellows attachment and a macro lens. Here are a number of threads that might be helpful:
    • [thread=20654]Copying slides with adapted Canon bellows?[/thread]
    • [thread=27037]What lens for scanning film?[/thread]
    • [post=270597]Minolta bellows[/post]
  6. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    cookme, that will take FOREVER and you won;t be satisfied with the results. sprinke offers great advice. One of our local camera shops offers the service and they have a set fee for a box. It's roughly the size of a shoe box. I don't know how much it costs, but I remember thinking to myself that I would never do it for that cheap.
  7. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Gee, I photograph originals all the time in my studio. You just need good even lighting. I know others that have had good results photographing prints and film.
  8. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I use to do a lot of precision copy work and it required a flat surface, a tripod and a camera parallel to the copy stand and two lights at 45˚ from the surface. Now days, as long as it is not a piece of art, a good scanner a cheaper and more compact way to go.
  9. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Well unless you do not feel your time is valuable and do not mind spending all day or a couple days scanning, I would say if you have more than 100 photos then you should definitely use a service.
    A couple years ago I purchased a vertical sheet feed scanner just for scanning 10 or 15 photos at a time. I had so many photos that after the 1st day of scanning I gave up and sent the rest out , returned the scanner for a 10% restocking fee, but it was worth it .
  10. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    see how long it takes you to get satisfactory results shooting 10 of them and then do the math. Giving someone $75 (or whatever it costs) to scan a whole box full of photos seems a better option to me.
  11. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I would get a negative scanner. You can get a good quality used Minolta from about 10 years ago for about $25 on CL. These are far better than the "cheap" $100 ones you get today.

    Otherwise, pay someone else to do it. Here's someone that does 200 for $18.

  12. cookme

    cookme Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Thanks guys for your advice. It sounds like using a scanner or a scanning service is the way to go, especially since I don't have a good lighting kit at home...

    I will try the local shop tomorrow and see if they offer any service, otherwise it's scanner shopping time...
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