Well this depends on a lot of things. How old are the originals, the quality of camera, the lens on the camera, film manufacturer and so on. What we do say is be realistic. There are many companies claiming digital restoration, dynamic enhancement, grain reduction and so on, this is consumer scanners sales talk, no different than made up resolution claims, to be honest most of it is bunkum!
The scanners cannot magic up information that is not there to begin with, if your slide has faded lost most of it’s image and turned magenta then it simply will not be fully restored to a pristine image. This is when we say be realistic of your expectations. Have a look at all the slide samples to see what is possible and the kind of images you will receive back. What we do say is that if your originals are good then you will receive excellent scans back, if your originals are bad, underexposed, faded or in poor condition, then the scans will usually be better than the original image, but we don’t perform miracles unless that is you want to pay for a full blown image restoration where we can then offer miracles!
At Karmaan we have been scanning old slides for over 20 years and have developed a unique workflow to combat some of the problems associated with old slides, the end results speak for themselves and this is why we have a queue of worldwide customers waiting to have their images scanned by Karmaan.
Yes it is for a consumer scanner, but at Karmaan we have the UK’s largest collection of heavyweight industrial scanners that blow the Nikon 5000 and 9000 clean out of the water, the reason for this is that the Nikon 5000 was only £700 when new and the Nikon 9000 was £1200 new, the Kodak machine we use was £57,000 new, there is no comparison!
The Nikons and all other scanners for that have only a couple of profiles for Negative and Positive, it’s a generic, one profile for all film types. We have over 100 different film profiles ranging from Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Fujichrome, Agfapan, etc etc. These hardware profiles make the difference.
To illustrate the difference, the below scans are a comparison Kodachrome Slide, Nikon 5000 on the left and the Kodak HR on the Right.
Above you can see how much better the Kodak Scanner is, you can also see the how much better the Kodaks Digital ICE dust and scratches is compared to the Nikon on the left where you can see artefacts left on the Chin, neck and the right cheek as you look at the picture.
You may have read about Digital Ice Dust & Scratches removal. This system was invented by Kodak Applied Science Fiction and owned by Kodak. Our Kodak Slide Scanner has the most sophisticated digital ice system ever built by Kodak far superior to anything ever licensed to Nikon, Minolta and Reflecta. The scanner has a massive 13 InfraRed LED bank and was especially designed to work with Kodachromes, unlike all other scanners that can mistake details for dust, our Kodachrome scans come out spotlessly clean. We are the only company in the UK that has this scanning capability designed especially for Bulk High Resolution Scanning.
Here you will see how our unique Profiling Workflow improves the final image. The Images on the left of the comparison slider are the ‘Raw Linear’ scans which we take from the scanner, they are then processed through our profiling workflow to correct colours and apply the film stock profile. In some cases the results are subtle as below in the first sample but you can see the difference in the whites and the red telephone box. The original has a slight Magenta tint which is common of 1980s film stock.
The below image is an old Kodachrome, you can clearly see the original scan has a very bad blue tint all over (typical Kodachrome over saturated blue dye), the image on the right after it’s been processed marks a considerable improvement in colour and much more pleasing to the eye.
The image below is an old Agfachrome Slide, again the original image on the left has a magenta tinge and the image has lost it’s vibrancy, after our processing just look at the difference in the road colours, the blossom and the greens in the trees and the bus looks as good as it did when the photo was taken all those years ago.