My ScanCafe Experience

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I have a LOT of old negatives … not super old, mostly from the late 1990’s when I was in High School, but I took a ton of photos during those years. I also am somewhat of an organization-freak and kept pretty much all of them filed away in contact sheets and even have many of them labeled with the month/year and also some info on where the images were photographed. Stuff like that was important to keep track of since there was no such thing as metadata with film photos (unless you had a specialized camera attachment, which most photogaphers did not).

Ever since hearing about ScanCafe through podcasts and websites such as Photofocus and TWiP I have really wanted to try them out, since it would be nice to have my negatives digitized and backed-up on my computer. So a few months ago I did just that. I picked out about 10 contact sheets of negs and packaged them up and sent them to ScanCafe, and I have to say the process was smooth. I received a notification when my negatives arrived, were being scanned, and when they were shipped back and I even was able to track the progress via their website (see photo below).

Overall I’m really impressed. The image quality is pretty good and, like I said, the process was really simple and smooth. Here are some of the pluses that I experienced when using this service:

– When I received the disk of images each folder was labeled the same way that I have each contact sheet of negatives labeled … definitely a bonus I wasn’t expecting.
– The scanning progress was really easy to follow using their website … you never have to worry where your negatives and/or old photos are located.
– The prices are good and they always have good deals and discounts you can take advantage of.
– After I initially placed my order I decided I wanted to “upgrade” to the pro scanning service (basically just giving me a larger file). I contacted customer support and they were able to make the changes seamlessly.

This is one happy customer … it will take some time, since I have a lot of negs to get through, but I’ll eventually have all of my negatives safely scanned and archived on my computer, thanks to ScanCafe. :)

By | 2016-12-18T17:01:17+00:00 September 13th, 2010|5 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Nicole and I'm a photographer, author, & educator living in Portland, Oregon, USA. When I'm not making photos I'm writing books and tutorials for my online store, Learn more about me and my story here.

5 Comments

  1. Kristy September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I am happy to hear about this service … I also have many sheets of negatives that I would love to have transferred to digital files. Thank you for the recommendation and information!

  2. Matthew M September 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    I don’t know just the thought of sending my photos to India makes me a bit nervous, not India specifically, just anyone off shore.

  3. Burt September 14, 2010 at 2:11 am - Reply

    I used ScanCafe in the first quarter of this year, and was VERY happy. I tell everyone about it.

    In my case, I sent one scrapbook. Liked it, so sent 2 more. Liked it so sent 5 more. Like it so sent the remaining 20,000 images in 4 batches a couple weeks apart (I would have hated to have lost 40 years of photos in a single accident…)

    All came back great. Many were restored to look better than the decades-old photos and slides.

    The results are not microstock quality, but very good for personal memories.

    I even bought a slide scanner and photo scanner to do them myself, but it was just WAY TOO MUCH WORK to do them myself, and I knew the 25,000 images collected over 40 years of marriage and vacations was going to die.

    ScanCafe saved my images, and at a cost I never would have dreamed possible just last year.

  4. Burt September 14, 2010 at 2:15 am - Reply

    @matthew – I felt the same way about sending my photos overseas. That is why I first sent one scrapbook (we have one book per vacation, plus a few hodge podge scrapbooks covering the 40 years we have been married).

    Worked great, so I sent a little bigger batch. Worked great, so a bigger batch. Great again, so I split the rest in to 4 batches (so a single accident would not wipe out our collection) and sent then a couple weeks apart.

    Not a single problem in all those batches, and roughly 25,000 images (slides, negatives, mostly prints mounted in scrapbooks) they scanned.

  5. Uschi September 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I had the same great experience with ScanCafe, I sent 2 separate batches (about 5000 negatives) and everything went smoothly and the results were great, too.

    I agree with Burt, I tried scanning the negatives myself, but gave up after a few since it just took way too long….glad that I found ScanCafe and at a very reasonable price as well.

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