Featured Salvaging pictures from negatives

Discussion in 'Ephemera and Photographs' started by prestoncohunter, May 31, 2019.

  1. prestoncohunter

    prestoncohunter Well-Known Member

    This may already be know to many here but I thought I would share it anyhow. While you can get prints made from old negatives that can be pretty pricey if you have many or odd ball sized negatives.

    What I have been doing is:
    Put the negative on a light board.
    Take a digital picture and upload to computer
    Then use your photo software and use a negative affect filter and boom you have your picture.

    Here is a sample of a pic I did.
  2. Dawnno

    Dawnno Well-Known Member

    thx for the tip. Just curious, since I see what appears from your example the center seems sharper than the edges... which might be original to the photo. Do you notice any perceptible degradation of the quality of the final image from the original? There's always some reduction in pixel quality, but if you can't see it, or blow it up to poster size, who cares, right? Any issues with curled negatives?
    kyratango, antidiem and Christmasjoy like this.
  3. prestoncohunter

    prestoncohunter Well-Known Member

    That negative may have been curled slightly which caused that. Yes you do have some reduction in quality, but not horrible.

    Getting the negative to lay flat has been my biggest challenge since none of the negatives I have were improperly stored :(
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  4. Dawnno

    Dawnno Well-Known Member

    Add a few more :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:( imo.
    kyratango likes this.
  5. antidiem

    antidiem Well-Known Member

    Can't y'all just tape the negative to the light table to flatten it and fold the edge of the tape over for easy removal?

    @prestoncohunter what photo manipulation software did you use?
  6. antidiem

    antidiem Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking this is a really good idea! :happy: Thanks!
  7. prestoncohunter

    prestoncohunter Well-Known Member

    Yes taping probably would work.

    I use FastStone Image viewer.
  8. antidiem

    antidiem Well-Known Member

    I will look for a Mac version of that, thanks!
  9. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    You can buy non-reflective glass. A piece of that might help keep the negatives flat. I would guess that keeping the camera centered and straight is a problem.

    Some scanners are multi-purpose and have the capacity to process negatives. They come with templates that hold a variety of formats.

    I was looking through a box of negatives that I have and found, on a just quick peek, 5 different negative formats - from 2 1/4" (the old Kodak Brownie format) to more recent 35mm.

    I have taken negatives to the library to scan, as they have the equipment. I've also considered purchasing such a scanner, but find it difficult to justify the expense. Even though I have hundreds upon hundreds of negatives, the work involved would be hugely time consuming, few of the images have any aesthetic value, and most of the people are unknown to me.

    This is from a photo about the size of a 35mm neg, originally scanned at 2400 dpi. The scan took about 3 minutes. Before resizing it to post here, the file was 3.9mb.

    You'll get similar results from negatives, and scanning densities are available to rival the grain density in the original film (if you want to take the time).

    You can get good results with high-density scans, but they do take time and there's always a lot of post-scan editing
  10. prestoncohunter

    prestoncohunter Well-Known Member

    I also looked at scanners that could do negatives but 2 things held me back A) the cost of good ones (primary reason) and B) finding one that could do odd ball sized negatives.
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  11. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    You can always jury rig your own template.
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  12. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    A regular scanner will do the job if it's a decent one and the negatives are big enough. The new cheap all in one I use for printing labels isn't good enough, but some are.
    Dawnno and antidiem like this.
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