I recently bought a Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED Slide / Film Scanner so I could scan in all my old negatives. Since early 2000 I started getting Kodak PictureCDs burned whenever I got a roll of film developed, but it added a lot of cost to the process, and I was never completely happy with the results. I tried using my old Epson Perfection 3200 Photo to scan negatives, but found it quite slow.
I don’t actually take film photos anymore – I stopped back in February 2006 after I got fed up with the cost. I’ve now gone exclusively digital, although I’m only using a Canon S50 – 5mp compact digital camera I bought in Hong Kong back in mid 2003, while I’m saving up for my digital SLR. The new Canon EOS 40D is due out next week … that is what I’m going to get (when I can afford it) !!
One nice thing about the Nikon scanner is that you just shove your strip of negatives into the slot and it works out where each frame of the film is – you just need to fine tune the cropping and then the scanner will scan all the photos one the strip at once. It’s all much faster than doing it on the flatbed, and at 4000dpi, the quality is very good too. It also does infra-red scanning to aid in the removal of dust and scratches.
I use software called Vuescan with the scanner – it’s faster and easier to use than the software that came with it, and I’m very happy with the results (although I’m somewhat disappointed with the condition of some of my negatives – quite scratched and faded, and some are even mouldy … next job is to research cleaning up negatives … I’m sure there’s some solution you can buy to clean them with.
Anyway, I’ve also taken the opportunity to sort through all my old photos and start cataloging them (sorting the negatives, putting them in labeled envelopes and storing them in chronological order). I’m using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to manage and edit my scanned photos as well as all my newer digital photos. According to Lightroom, I now have 15,673 photos in my collection, and I’ve still got quite a few rolls which haven’t been scanned yet!
It’s been good going back over some of my older photos – even finding some that I had forgotten I had!
I might start posting some of my best and favourite photos to my blog