Results of the customer survey in April 2015

In April 2015 we asked our customers to provide feedback for the quality of our services. The purpose of the survey was to find out how our client’s rate our website, the quality of our digitised formats and our customer support.

We summarised the most important results of the survey for you:

Usability of the website

In terms of the website appearance and regarding the question how easy the order process at ScanCorner is, 53% of the customers rated the order process at our website as very easy. Furthermore 46% of our clients rated our website as very helpful to get an overview of the offers and prices of our services.

Quality of the digitised formats

For a more detailed analysis the results regarding the photo digitisation and video digitisation were considered separately.

In terms of photo digitisation, 44% of our customers were deeply contended with the quality of their digitised images, negatives and slides. Another 49% are deeply contented with the colour correction of the pictures.

In the field of video digitisation (VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Hi8, Video8, Super8, MiniDV) 50% of the respondents are satisfied with the image quality of their digitised videos. Furthermore 53% of our customers are satisfied with the sound quality of the videos.

Packaging

It is very important for us that the precious memories of our customers arrive safely and without any damages at their homes. This is why we package any analogue formats like slides, negatives, photos, APS and other analogue photographic material very carefully. Regarding the question of whether the received videos or photos were sufficient and carefully packed, 70% of respondents answered that they are deeply contented with the packaging.

Customer Care

According to the motto “The consumer is the boss” it is important for us to analyse how our customers evaluate our support. The results help us to find solutions how to communicate with our clients more effectively and optimise our services.

The proportion of respondents, who rate the customer service as very friendly is 62%. For good customer service, it is particularly important to answer customer inquiries in a timely manner. Regarding the questions of whether the customers received a quick response to their requests, 58% answered that they were deeply contented with the quick responses of the customer support. 

All in all, more than half of our customers was satisfied with our service. Overall, 66% of our clients would digitise their precious memories again at ScanCorner and 60% of the respondents would recommend ScanCorner to their friends and acquaintances.

ScanCorner thanks you for participating in the survey. We look forward to more orders from you, your friends and acquaintances.

Regards

Your ScanCorner Team

Scanning tips: Slide Scanning

Why digitise the slides?

You probably have many boxes of 35mm slides from vacations and celebrations taking up the storage space in your closet, attic, or your basement or garage. What are you going to do with all those 35mm slides and 35mm slide carousels as the slide projector you have is worn out and cannot replace it as there are no more manufacturers of the projectors? Get those precious 35mm slides converted to digital format and enjoy the new and easy way to view before they deteriorate.

Once you have converted your slides to digital image files, you can:

  • correct the brightness and faded colour
  • share your photos with friends and family via e-mail, web sites, and online galleries
  • make high-quality prints
  • create multi-media presentations with graphics and animation which you can put on a DVD and watch on TV or on your computer.

Below we have shared the best practice tips to digitise the 35mm slides:

Cleaning 35mm Slides

You really can’t effectively remove the dirt because you are mainly just moving the dust to the edges of your film. While we don’t recommend it, but in order to really clean the film to get the dirt off the film is to peal the cardboard carrier apart and take the film out and clean it that way. You will have to be very careful doing this or have new holders to put your slide film in afterwards.

If you are determined to clean your 35mm slides, we can recommend some methods and products that might work for you.

Microfiber Cloth Cleaning Method

This is the only cleaning method with simple light brushing with a very soft cloth that we recommend mostly. You have to be careful that there is nothing abrasive on the film or you will scratch it. It is good for brushing off loose dirt but don’t scrub with it.DSC_0383

Liquid Film Cleaners

We don’t recommend using liquid film cleaner but if you are determined to do the slide cleaning with a liquid, never clean film with a water based cleaner or water. Use a cleaner made for film. Film cleaner can be applied with a clean soft cotton cloth with very light pressure to avoid creating scratches.

Photographic Emulsion Cleaner has been trusted by the world’s most prestigious photographers, labs, museums and publishers. It removes grease pencil, adhesive residue, finger oils, ball-point pen, fungus, smoke & soot damage, laser separation oil and most permanent inks.

Let us now look at how to convert your slides to digital using the scanners and the types of scanners available to convert your slides to digital.

How To Setup Your Slides In The Scanner

Flatbed scanner delivers the best balance of high resolution and consistent high quality images.

  1. How To Load Your Slides Onto The Scanner

Here’s what to do if you don’t want to scan the wrong side of a slide.  Take out a slide, and bring it to a light source.  Now, look at both sides of the slide.

You will notice that a slide will have two different sides. One side will be dull and bumpy.  The other side will be smooth and glossy.

Side of the slide to be scanned

The bumpy/ dull side is called the “Matte Emulsion”.  Emulsion is the “ink” that was used to “print” your image onto the slide film.  That’s why it’s bumpy and dull.

The smooth/ glossy side is the “Reflective” side.  This is the side to scan. So, once you found the glossy side, make sure it’s facing down towards the scanner’s window. The bumpy/ dull side is facing up, towards you.

  1. Make Sure Your Scanner Knows That You Are Scanning Slides

Load up your slides onto the scanner, and start the scanner’s software. First, the scanner is going to ask if you are scanning Film or Print.  Film is your slides, negatives — anything that you can see through.  Print includes photos, magazines, newspapers — anything that is solid.

  1. Ensure Slides are straight in Mounts

Making sure each 35mm slide or film strip is straight in its mount prior to scanning will save a lot of time straightening the digital images during the post-processing stage.DSC_0365

Slide Scan Resolution

As we have noted in the previous Scanning tips guide, it’s important to capture at a resolution appropriate to the goals of the digitisation project. As a standard for 35mm slide and film collections, we recommend scanning to a minimum resolution of 3000dpi.

Digitising at this resolution provides an optimum balance of capturing enough pixel information for detailed display on monitors, whilst keeping scanning times and costs reasonable. This resolution also allows the images to be blown up to larger sizes, minimising the likelihood of any distortion appearing in the image.

How To Use The Scanner Software (Digital ICE) And Fix Your Slide Scan

Scanning isn’t perfect.  That is the reason why every scanner comes with software like Digital ICE to help you repair your scans.

What is Digital ICE?

Digital ICE (Digital Image Correction and Enhancement) is a technology that is built into all of film scanning hardware to remove dust and scratches from a scanned image. It uses an infrared lamp to detect the dust locations on the surface of the film. The infrared beam passes through the clean portions of the film, but is blocked when encountering dust or dirt. Once a picture of the dust locations is formed, the scanning software then digitally paints over the detected areas leaving a cleaner image.

Limitations

Digital ICE only works on colour films. Paper based products, such as photos or documents do not allow the infrared to pass through and therefore makes it useless. Black and white films containing silver halide also block the beam making it useless.

Why is it important to fix the scans?

Before you fix your scans, you need to know the 3 major problems.

Problem One: Too Much Dust, Debris, Scratches

When you look at your slide, you can’t see it.  But when you blow it up, you are going to see every minute dust, scratch, and other debris which will ruin the image. slide-scan-dust-scratches-digital-ice

Problem Two: Grain / Noise

The grain is because the old photo was taken long time ago using high quality film. Higher quality film has more detail and allows you to print at higher sizes (bigger than 4×6). We don’t need this noise as we are not printing.slide-scan-noise-grain-digital-ice1

Problem Three: Faded Colours

The scans of the slides come out too reddish/ Blue/ too light.

The technical term is called “Colour Casting”.  It may look like faded colours, but the fact is that the scanner is doing this.  Even if you have a slide that was developed 3 minutes, you’ll still get colour casting when you scan it.

If you look closely at a slide, you’ll notice the actual film is very glossy.   This gloss is also picked up by the scanner and the result is colour casting.slide-scan-color-fading-casting-digital-ice

3 Easy Steps To Fix These Problems Using Digital ICE

Once you have set your slides onto the scanner, and picked your DPI, you can now hit the Preview Button, and then find your “Adjustments” area.  This can also be called Digital ICE, or Scan Enhancements.

Step One: Repair Dust

To fix dust and scratches, all you have to do is click on the Digital ICE button

Step Two: Fix Grain / Noise

If you notice your scans look a bit grainy, you will need to use the “Grain Reduction” or “Digital ROC/ GEM”.  Just keep the different levels at medium.  If your levels are too high, then your digital images will look like a painting.

Step Three: Fix Colour Fading

Now for the biggest step! This step is very important because you want your colours to look natural and as close to the original as possible. Here’s how you can do it.

You can try the “auto” fix.  Look for “Colour Fix”, “Colour Restoration”, “Colour Balance”, “Image Enhancer”.

Use the image editing software like Photoshop to crop, rotate, fix the RGB values and exposure levels. When you have achieved perfection, save the final image in lossless TIF format, but for most, a low compression (high quality) JPEG is fine. Archive them on CDs/DVDs or Memory stick or Hard Disk.

Why should you get the slides digitised from the professional service provider?

A professional service company does the scanning job at a much lower cost than the cost incurred in doing it by yourself. Below are the reasons for the same.

  1. High quality scan equipment is very expensive. So, the cost isn’t justified for home use.
  2. Scanning is a labour intensive work. It requires a dedicated resource to perform the job.
  3. Quality scanning work requires expertise in Photoshop, image properties, colour enhancement techniques.

Using ScanCorner’s service, you not only save your valuable time and money incurred, but you also get a better quality scanning output. Image scanning is a one-time activity. So, go for the best quality. Your precious memories deserve the best.

Please follow the link for labelling and packaging tips: http://scancorner.com.au/packagingtips_slides

All about slides and different types of slides

Slides:

Back in the days before digital photography was the norm, there were generally 2 methods of processing film: prints, and slides. Prints were developed on a sheet of photo paper, while slides were small, transparent pieces of film in a cardboard sandwich.

‘Slide’ commonly refers to a 35 mm photographic positive image comprising chromogenic dyes on a transparent base held inside a plastic or card mount intended for projection onto a screen using a slide projector. Without this mount, the transparent film material would not be able to ‘slide’ from one image to another inside a carousel or magazine when projected. A 35 mm slide can be magnified by a factor of 100 (from 35 mm to 3,500 mm) and still maintain a crisp and detailed projected image. The size of what you see displayed on the screen is based on the distance from the projector. The further away from the screen, the larger the 35mm Slides will display.

Kodak advertisement in LIFE, 5 October 1959 p.68
Kodak advertisement in LIFE, 5 October 1959 p.68

Kodak’s commercial slogan during the 1950s was: ‘For sparkling pictures big as life … Kodak 35mm colour slides’. During the 35 years of their popularity, from 1960s to the mid-1990s, processing costs for slides to create high-quality projected images were relatively low and they were widely used in contexts ranging from domestic to commercial applications such as advertising, fashion and industry and arts. Slides were used to capture performances, journeys and the lives of artists.  No other medium could compete with the ability of slides to produce large-scale projected images of comparable excellence. Video technology, for example, could only produce a fraction of the quality. Alternative technologies such as 16 mm film involved a far more elaborate production process. The only other format that was readily available on a similar budget, without the need of professional post-production, was 8 mm film produced for the home movie market. Both 16 mm and 8 mm film are moving image media and hence produce a very different quality of image.

Many art historians still refer to slide-based artworks as slide-tape. This term dates from the 1970s when magnetic audio-tapes in cassette format were used to store a tone that cued slide changes alongside the audio track or spoken word accompanying the images.

Information About the different slides in your Slide Collection

The image advertisements many movie theaters show before the movies, are usually projected 35mm slides. Below, you will find some of the different types of slides:

135 Slide (35mm Slide)126 “Instamatic” Slide

35mmSlide

127 Super Slide

127-slide

126 Slide

126-slide

110 Slide110-slide

old “3D” or “Stereo” slides3dslide-cardboard

Medium Format, 120  slidemedium-format

Large Format Slide Transparencylarge-format

Airequipt slidesslide_types_10_metal

Glass Slidesslide_types_09b_glass

Why digitise the slides?

You probably have many boxes of 35mm slides taking up precious storage space in your closet, attic, or your basement or garage. Your 35mm slide projector is worn out and cannot replace it as manufacturers are ceasing production of hardware for viewing analogue 35mm slides. What are you going to do with all those 35mm slides and 35mm slide carousels? Why not get those precious 35mm slides converted to digital format before they deteriorate and make the collections more accessible.

Nothing beats the bright, sharp, wall-sized images you get when projecting a tray of slides onto a big screen. Before digital came around, making prints from slides was complicated, relatively expensive, and the print quality tended to be disappointing. Digital, however, can give your old slides new life. Once you’ve converted your slides to digital image files, you can:

  • correct faulty and faded color
  • share your photos via e-mail, web sites, and online galleries
  • make high-quality, relatively inexpensive prints at home or via most online or walk-in labs
  • create multi-media presentations with graphics, animation, sound, and transitions, which you can put on a DVD and watch on TV or on your computer.

Scan Images using the Digital GEM Technology

Digital GEM Technology or Grain Equalization & Management, which is developed by Applied Science Fiction, is capable of analyzing a film’s unique grain pattern pixel by pixel and extracting all data related to the image’s quality, sharpness and color. It also removes the grain from the scanned output of the image, which basically provides an improved look as a result.

Digital GEM Technology automatically enhances the clarity of the film image being scanned while preserving the image’s color, sharpness and gradations. This technology is equivalent to the noise reduction process in digital images.

This technology is basically very useful when you are scanning any type of film image into digital format. When this is applied, this technology will enable you to greatly improve the overall quality of the image that you scanned through the reduction or even the removal of unwanted grain in the output.

When you use this technology in conjunction with other forms of photo correction techniques or technologies you will surely be able to add a wow factor to your image.

Unlike the Digital ICE Technology which cannot be used on black and white films, Digital GEM works very well on these types of films.

The Digital GEM Technology is a part of the Digital ICE4 group of technologies, which include Digital ICE, Digital ROC, Digital SHO and Digital GEM.

PPI: Pixel Per Inch

What is PPI?

PPI or Pixels Per Inch is the number of the pixels located in every inch of an image.  In order to clearly understand PPI, let us discuss the term thoroughly.

Firstly, pixel stands for “picture element”. It is the smallest physical element that one can see in a digital printout that the eyes can see. Pixels are made up of “sub-pixels”, composed of red, blue and green light elements that the human eyes cannot see since additive colour processing will blend them together into a single hue that appears on the pixel level.

Always remember that pixels have a fixed size, thus the number of pixels per inch (PPI) on your computer screen is a fixed quantity. You cannot adjust the size of the PPI on your monitor. Most LCD monitors have PPI size between 67 and 130, which mean that an image with 70 PPI or 130 PPI will definitely look the same because your monitor has a fixed PPI.

If you want to determine the PPI of your monitor, you may set your browser’s zoom at 100% and then you may measure the squares displayed on the monitor – both the width and the height – in inches.

How does PPI affect your printout?

It is clear that PPI does not affect the display of the image, but it does affect the print size of the image.

During the printing process, all the physical pixels that compose the image will be translated into little square with different hues on paper. In this case pixels are projected in a more abstract sense of the word “square picture element”. This means that pixels on paper have no fixed size, unlike that of the monitor. So if you increase the size of your image by 300%, then the pixels on the printout will become three times larger, thus your printout will become bigger but it will look rougher.

There are two methods that you can use in order to change the print size of your image. You can either do re-sampling or not. Normally, not re-sampling will be done by most since this will only change the size of the printout. But, if you decide to do re-sampling, this will cause a change in the number of pixels, which eventually changes the size of the file, in order to match the print size of the image.

If you don’t do re-sampling, the change in the PPI setting will either increase or decrease the print size of the image. This means that if you decrease the PPI the print size will increase and if you increase the PPI the print size will decrease. This is the best method to use if you’re going to create digital printouts of your image.

On the other hand, during re-sampling, the change in the PPI may cause the loss or creation of pixels. This means that if you decrease the PPI you will be losing pixels and if you increase the PPI you will be creating pixels. Remember that it is not good if you create more pixels or if you increase the PPI, because they will be generated by the computer which will result to a poor printout. So if you decide to do re-sampling, better decrease the PPI. Most of the time, re-sampling is needed if you want to reduce the size of your image in order to fit your needs, like if you want to use a smaller size for online use.

Take note that re-sampling an image at a higher number of pixels is generally not a good idea because the computer will likely cram the image with lots of pixels that are out of place, meaning you will get a bad-looking printout.

If you have questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us: info@scancorner.com.au.

DPI: Dots Per Inch

DPI or Dots Per Inch is one of the commonly used digital imaging terms that people are getting confused with. It is an old term that has been used in relation to digital image resolution and size. Since there are many different situations where resolution is being used, it is quite understandable that using a single term is making people confused.

To clear out the confusion, let us discuss what DPI is all about. DPI generally refers to the printer. When a printer creates an output, the output is made up of different coloured inks, most of the time there are four to six colours, but some printers use more colours. Since the number of colours available is limited, the printer has to mix the inks in order to come up with all the colours needed for an image. Thus each pixel of the image is created through a series of tiny dots.

In general, if the DPI is higher then the tonality of the image gets better. The colours will look better and their blending will also be smoother. But, when you use a higher DPI, the printing process will be slower and you will be using more ink. If you need to save on your ink and time you will have to settle for a lower DPI.

One of the instances where your knowledge on DPI is important is when you are scanning old photos. When deciding what DPI to use you will have to consider the quality of the original photograph as well as the purpose as to which the scanned image will be used, either it will be printed or stored on a CD.

There are two basic types of photos, the sharp and blurred one.

Blurred photos are better scanned using 300 DPI, but if you are planning to print the scanned image using a larger size compared to its current size, then you will have to use 600 DPI to avoid seeing pixilation on the output.

Sharp photos, on the other hand, are better scanned and saved using 600 DPI. Once the scanned photo is printed, its quality will also be better no matter what size you prefer to have it printed.

If you have questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us: info@scancorner.com.au.