Not so positive results

A while ago I posted about bulk negative scanning services. I decided to take up the free test scan offers of three companies: DB Images, Slidescan4u.co.uk and PixStudio. There are some slight differences in the test scan services offered by the companies. DB Images and Slidescan offer to complete a negative strip of 3 or 4 frames, whilst PixStudio scan a single frame at each of their offered service levels. (The main difference between the PixStudio services is the resolution at which the negative is scanned).

The Slidescan service includes up to 4800dpi scans but no mention is made of any colour correction or scratch removal included in the price. Given that the price is so cheap at 27p per frame, this is perhaps understandable. The DB Images service does include colour correction and dust and scratch removal. Their prices range from 25p to 96p depending on resolution (1200dpi to 3200dpi). The PixStudio service doesn’t include any retouching as standard, and is quite expensive at 95p for a 1000dpi scan up to £2 for a 4000dpi scan. Dust and scratch removal and border removal adds £1 to the price per frame. Retouching (red eye removal, colour correction, major scratch removal etc.) is priced at £25 per frame. PixStudio do offer a bulk discount and this is calculated by their rather neat online quotation tool. Their bulk discount seems to be about 12% for orders of the magnitude I’m considering – over 1200 frames. They are still the more expensive service however.

PixStudio have a form that needs to be completed, printed off and included with the negatives when posted. I wanted to double-check the postal details of Slidescan and DB Images, so e-mailed them directly. Within two hours I had a personal reply from both companies giving the necessary details. Both companies also said that they could scan in 126 format negatives. (PixStudio “only” seem to do 35mm, medium format and 4″x5″ negatives.)

I selected a strip of negatives from my stock. I chose one that had different types of shot in it, but ones that I wouldn’t be heartbroken about should they go AWOL in the post or get damaged by one of the companies. One shot was a close up of a flower, another a wide-angle shot of the London Eye and City Hall. I scanned all four frames in using my existing negative scanner as “backup” and spent some time doing some colour adjustment and simple dust and scratch removal on the pictures.

I’ll post about each of the companies I tried over the next few days.

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    One Response to Not so positive results

    1. Andrew says:

      Thanks for these write-ups and the work you put in – they’re most helpful in trying to decide between companies that seem very similar.

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