Negatives were once the part of photography that we never really paid that much attention to but were an essential part of the process. That same process now seems somewhat laboured, what with the aspect of having to extract the negative film before sending it off to be processed, when today it’s a much simpler effort to see the photos you take.
However these days, increasingly so, we’re hearing of business as well as individuals who have found themselves with thousands of negative clips from over the years which have become practically useless and would like to get them into digital format. The only real way to do this in bulk is send them to a professional negative scanning company.
The majority of document scanning companies will offer a negative scanning service in addition to their usual trade so it’s a good idea to try those companies out first. Negative scanning these days can be a process that is fairly automated so the beauty of it is that it shouldn’t cost you too much and, as with most things in business as in life, the most you send to them, the more you’ll save.
Companies that offer negative scanning also offer services for more obscure forms of negatives such as microfiche, microfilm and aperture cards so if you have any of those in addition to the negatives that you need converting digitally, it’s always worth asking.
When you send your negatives off to be scanned, they will be ran through a specialist negative scanner which converts the images on the film reel into a digital image on the computer screen, much like when you used to send the negatives off to be printed, only creating a digital image rather than a physical one on a piece of photograph paper. This process is not usually a very fast one as often there will be someone watching the images as they are produced in order to check that they have been transferred correctly and are the right way around. That way, when you receive the images back on a CD, DVD or USB stick, they will look the best they possibly can.
If the images produced from the negative scanning need enhancing, the same company can normally do this for you but at an additional cost usually.
Many businesses these days are finding that they have files that are now obsolete and need modernising for the future of the business including negatives, floppy disks and the aforementioned microforms. Technology has progressed so fast in the last 100 years that it makes sense that this is an entirely natural occurrence, but not one that needs to be expensive when it comes to updating. Because a lot of the processes in negative scanning, microfiche and microfilm scanning and others like that are now relatively automated, the costs immediately come down.
Individuals and companies are even requesting that they have digital slideshows made from the images produced from the negative scanning as a form of celebration of the company’s past or a particularly important birthday.
Either way, it’s good to know that there’s a service out there that can help you modernise all your files without breaking the bank.