Digitization of Photographs / Negatives / Transparency

The digitizing of photographic negatives demands a different approach to the digitizing of photographic prints. Whereas a print is a finished work and a negative is an unfinished one.

Digitizing a photographic negative requires as much skill in interpreting the negative as there has always been in photographic printing. To scan the photographic negatives needs special scanner with very good optical resolution.

Digitizing negatives can be for various purpose like archival or reproduce the images in print form in same size to larger size.

Purpose of digitization determines the actual scanning resolution of artefacts. For archival purpose the scanning can be done at resolution as low as 300 dpi. But for reproduction purpose scanning needs to be done at much higher resolution to capture every detail of the image.

Negatives are of different sizes ranging from 16mm to 120mm. Scanning of negatives are done mainly in either JPEG or TIFF formats. Main difference between the two formats are as mentioned below :

JPEG: Sometimes referred to as JPG. JPEG is probably the most popular and compatible image format around. JPEG is the standard file format of most of today's consumer quality digital cameras and is supported by almost all of today's imaging software. JPEG uses lossy compression, meaning that some image data is lost when the file is compressed. The amount of compression can be varied, the more compression the more data is discarded and the smaller a file becomes. JPEG is great for creating smaller file sizes for uploading on the Internet, or for use with e-mail. It's also a good choice because it's very popular and likely to be around for a long time. We use maximum quality JPEG compression settings that provide you with high quality images.

TIFF: TIFF format is the standard for most commercial and professional printing needs. We use the uncompressed TIFF format meaning that no image data is lost after scanning. TIFF is a great choice for archiving images when all detail must be preserved and file size is not a consideration. TIFF files are very large in size compared to JPEGs because no compression is used.