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Hello and welcome to our photo, negative and slide scanning service (scanning and digitizing are the same thing). Our prices are straightforward, there is no minimum order for most services and you do not need to open an account to place an order. We've been in business since 1985 and we've always taken great care of our customers. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating, so you can order with confidence.
You have a lot of memories and history in your photos. Unfortunately, your old photos will fade, change color and deteriorate over time. They could also get lost in a fire, flood or some other way. You can preserve your photos for all future generations by getting your photos scanned into high quality digital image file formats. With the digital image files, you can:
- Print the photos.
- View the images on your television, computer, phone and other digital viewing devices
- Post the images on social media.
We scan the following into digital images:
- Any size photo that has already been printed (photo prints), pictures or other items, up to 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch.
- Photo negative film formats: 35mm, 120, 220 and 4x5. We do not develop film.
- Most photo slides. For rectangle 3D stereo slides, we scan one side. We do not scan View-Master "reels" or round slide disks.
Which should you have scanned; your printed photos, film negatives or slides? It depends on their condition. If they are all in equally good condition, then the negatives or slides should give the best digital image. View comparison images HERE.
All printed photos are carefully placed by hand onto a photo flatbed scanner (not an auto-feed scanner and not a document scanner).
- Automatic machine feeder scanners can mark, crumple or tear the original photos before they get scanned. Be aware that some companies say "scanned by hand" even though they are using an automatic machine feeder scanner. If they request all photos rotated the same, facing up or sorted by size, they are probably using a scanner with an auto-feeder. If they don't accept curled, bent or thick photos, they are probably using an auto-fed scanner.
- Document scanners do not produce good quality digital photos.
All of our scanning services are done in the USA.
Only pay a $10 return S&H estimate upfront. Pay the rest after our services are complete.
Services and conveniences included in our scanning prices:
- Some of the following services and conveniences are not included in the Economy Slide Scanning price option.
- Personalized service. We take pride in treating our customers right and communication is key. We will give you order progress updates and contact you if we have questions. Please contact us if you have any questions.
- Sample scanned photos. If you choose, we can email you 20 sample photos with 150ppi resolution. Select and label 20 printed photos (no larger than 5x7), negatives and/or slides (any combination) for us to scan and email to you. After we get your approval, we will continue with the rest of your photos. What does PPI mean?
- Privacy and Security. Other than your sample scanned photos being emailed to you, your scanned digital images are never stored on an internet cloud or sent anywhere over the internet. Also, we will not send you junk mail, add you to a mailing list or sell your personal information to anyone.
- Clippings, cards, child's artwork, etc. (no larger than 8.5 inch by 11 inch). We can scan these for you also.
- Photo albums (no larger than 8.5" by 11"). We recommend that you carefully remove the photos and etc. from the photo album, group and label them before sending to us (for grouping and labeling, please read Packing Tips). If you want us to do it, no problem. We will scan everything in the album and put the digital files in its own folder. Please keep in mind that if it appears an item will be damaged by removing it, we won't risk it and we will leave it in the album. In that case, we will contact you before proceeding. We may be able to scan the entire photo album page and crop them into individual photos or leave it as one scanned page.
- Slide carousels. You can send us your slides in carousels if you want (no additional charge).
- We will scan individually cut negative film frames (within reason). Some companies charge extra for this. Standard practice for many photo-processing companies is to cut the negatives to fit into the envelope with the printed photos. This sometimes leaves individual frames. We do not charge extra for that. Please do not cut the negatives into single frames before sending them to us.
- High Quality JPEG (JPG) digital file format images of your photos. This is a standard compressed digital file format for viewing and printing. We also offer professional high quality uncompressed TIFF (TIF) digital file format images of your photos for a minor additional cost. Read about JPEG and TIFF HERE.
- Color correction on the Digital JPEG images of your photos. Photos fade and change color over time. The color correction makes those photos look much better. You can see comparison photos HERE.
- We clean minor dust off your prints, negatives and slides. If a print, negative or slide is really dirty, we recommend that you clean them before you send them to us. We will scan what you give us. If the photo is dirty when you give it to us, the scanned image will also appear dirty. Although, since you will have the digital file, some enhancements can be done later. If a photo's condition is really bad, we will get your approval before scanning.
- Optional Digital ICE dust and scratch correction for most color negatives. Old color negatives and slides often have dust and scratches. Digital ICE technology uses an additional infrared light scan to detect these defects. Special software is then used to mask a lot of the defects from the digital photo, making the photo look much better. You can see a Digital ICE photo comparison HERE. Digital ICE does have limitations and does make mistakes:
- Digital ICE does not work with printed photos, black and white negatives, black and white slides, Kodak Kodachrome and any negatives containing metallic silver. You will need to sort those out from the others and group them together. Dust and scratch correction for those photos will need to be done by someone with photo editing software later. We recommend you add the TIF file to your order because it's the best file format for photo editing.
- Digital ICE usually does a great job masking dust and scratches, but sometimes it also removes details in the photo that it shouldn't. Since the Digital ICE process is performed while the photo is being scanned, the details that it removed are gone and cannot be recovered. If this is a concern for you, you should not use Digital ICE. We recommend you add the TIF file to your order because it's the best file format for photo editing.
Printed Photo flipping. We will make sure the front side of all photos is scanned. Some other scanning services, that use automatic machine feeders, charge extra to flip the photo over or they accidentally scan the back of the photo.
- Photo orientation. All photos will be rotated so that the correct side is facing up (north).
- Scan photos in order. We will scan the photos in the order you sort and bundle. We will do our best to scan the photos in the order you request, but there will likely be some variations. If you don't want to take the time to sort and bundle now, you can transfer the digital files to your computer where they can easily be rearranged and renamed to your liking later.
- We will crop your photos as needed.
- Custom labeled folders. We will put the photos you sort and bundle into file folders labeled the way you indicate to us. If you don't have the time to do it now, you can transfer the files to your computer and easily rename the folders later. We will put the photos in file folders with generic names like "Photo-Slides-1". Photos that are grouped in an envelope or by other means will be put in their own folders. Please make the groups at least 80 photos.
- We accept curled / bent paper photos.
- We accept any paper photograph thickness.
- Fast turnaround. Right now, we should have your photos mailed back out to you in about 3 weeks.
Our scanning prices do not include:
- S&H to us.
- S&H to you. We will charge you the actual S&H cost plus $5.00.
- High Quality TIFF (TIF) digital file format images (uncompressed) of your photos. For 5¢ extra per scanned image, you'll receive the TIFF file in addition to the JPEG file. The TIF file size is about 8 times larger than an archive quality JPG file. Read about TIFF files HERE.
- Storage for your scanned digital image files. (This is how you receive your scanned digital image files.)
DVD Storage. One DVD holds 4.3GB. The cost is $2 for each DVD needed to store your scanned digital image files. DVD(s) for archiving should last 30-70 years if stored properly. All digital image files copied to the DVD are completely verified to be identical to the original before we send them to you.
USB Flash Drive Storage. The cost is $9 for each 16GB of storage space needed. The scanned digital image files will be stored and mailed to you on one or more USB Flash Drives (depending on the total data size of your digital files). Digital files stored on USB flash drives (thumb drives) are not recommended for archiving. Your photos will last on a new unused USB flash drive for a maximum of about 10 years if stored properly. Realistically though, it would probably be a lot less.
Important Note: Regardless of the storage media you choose, technology is likely to change in the future; (Will a DVD player be easy to find 30 years from now?). When technology changes, the digital image files will need to be copied to the most current and recommended archiving media. Not to worry though, that task should be quick, easy and cheap.
We recommend that you copy the scanned photos to another device (for a backup) as soon as you receive them.
Keeping the CD/DVD and/or USB flash drive stored in a cool, dark, dry location will help maximize the life of the data stored on it.
How does the order process work?