Going Pre-Digital with Scan Cafe
By kaylal on in Scanning Secrets with 6 Comments
It started around November last year. I had the irresistible urge to get my house organized and all my completed projects finished. One of the biggest projects I’ve neglected for years? All my pre-digital photos. The collection of negatives spanned almost two decades.
So when a sale came up for 21 cent negative scans with ScanCafe, I jumped on it. I estimated I had about 1000 negatives to scan. I pre-paid my deposit and waited for the Scan Cafe shipping box in the mail. By the time it arrived, it still took me a few weeks to gather my photo negatives together. I boxed everything up and sent it off.
My First Mistake
The first mistake I made was choosing the Rush Service. It would save me 30 days of waiting and I thought for 14 cents a scan it wouldn’t be that bad a price to pay to get things back 30 days earlier. Big mistake!
Within ten days I had an email from ScanCafe that they were taking a bit longer because there were actually 3,731 negatives to scan rather than the 1,000 I had estimated. Yep, my mistake and totally my fault, which leads to lesson one:
- Make sure you do a quick count of your negatives. Don’t guess about what you send. That way you won’t be surprised later.
My mistake was costly – $418.04 to be exact – and I only had myself to blame. Trust me when I say it is worth the time to count the negative sleeves you are sending in! (I’m still cooking beans and rice! Well not really, but I probably should be! ) **One small positive item to note is that since I sent in my first group of images, the rush fee has been reduced to 7 cents a scan.
Even though ScanCafe’s rates are very reasonable compared to others in the industry, the cost was the most painful part of the process. It took me less then ten minutes to setup my order. My prepaid shipping box arrived in days and once they had my images, I received emails every step of the way until my originals were back in my hands.
One of the main reasons I didn’t do this sooner was my fear of something happening to my originals. The constant communication from ScanCafe completely put my fears at ease.
When I finally had the chance to view my images online, I realized that not only had they been scanned in, they were also auto color corrected.
Another thing I liked was being able to purge some of the scans online. ScanCafe allows you to browser your scanned images online and delete the images you do not want (as long as it is less than 20% of your order).
I Wish I’d Done This Sooner
I’ve had these negatives for years. I honestly thought I would get it done myself and save so much money… Five years and still no scanning! With the boxes and boxes of photos I’ve inherited, there was no way I could do this alone.
Another thing that motivated me to send these out was the quality of negative scanner that ScanCafe has. A few years ago I had purchased my own negative scanner with great intentions. Yet after a few sleeves scanned, the quality was so bad it just wasn’t worth it! Not only was the quality better with ScanCafe, they also ran simple corrections – saving me hours of editing.
There’s just nothing like seeing a treasured photo from years past in digital format all ready for metadata – nothing like it!
I couldn’t wait to get more digitized. Last week I ordered a ValuePack which includes 600 photo scans. I boxed up my Aunt Jana’s photos and sent them in.
I seriously cannot wait to get them back. This time I nixed the rush fee so it will probably be a month or so, but I am sure I can keep myself busy tagging and organizing the 3000 scans I just got back.
If you have a lot of photos or negatives you want to scan, I highly recommend creating a free account and then waiting for the discount emails to roll in. The usual price is 29 cents a scan but if you wait a few weeks you will probably see a code to get scans at around 21 cents. Or you can pickup a Value Pack right now for 22 cents.
I’ll keep you all posted how this next round with the ValuePack group I just sent in goes. It will be different without the rush fee as it will take a trip overseas and back. This definitely will be an adventure.
So now I’m curious – do you scan? Care to share any tips? We’d love to hear them!