Search This Blog

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Flat bed and quality of scans

I am a lover of the flat bed scanners by Epson and Canon ( -the v700, v750 and 9000f ) for photo scanning.
These are great scanners but they suffer from one huge drawback - scratches.
When I get a scratch on the glass that area is covered and that part of the scanner will not be used for scanning again. This is an irritating process but necessary to maintain image quality.
So how do we get the scratches ? I use a velvet LP cleaning cloth to remove dust. This is effective but if there is a bit of grit carried on a photo it can potentially  damage the glass surface. It is a balance between removing dust and the danger of harming the scanner. Blowing the surface with an air duster is useful but not totally effective in removing particles. At Saturn Films 1969 we use a positive pressure cabinet to keep dust out of the working area and this helps reduce the need to physically clean the scanners. At the end of the day though there will always be a bit of dust carried that will result in scratching the glass surface. We have to be alert for this and to take action when it happens. Even when it means junking a scanner!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Being competitive in a tight market

Slide scanning is a specialist subject. Yes - anyone can do it....and lots of people are, and offering their services at increasingly lower prices. Those of us that have been around for a while (are you reading this you guy's in Farnborough and Warrington?) are being squeezed to offer lower prices but retaining our high standards. This is difficult when the staffing and equipment overheads are so high, scanners are not cheap!
The market is getting smaller as more people have their images scanned, this reduces the potential work available. If we produce an excellent product there is no need for the customer to come back, unless they have other pictures to scan of course!
At Saturn Films (1969) we have diversified to include 8mm and 16mm film scanning so you can have your old film footage transferred to DVD. We have taken on more negative and photograph scanning. We have invested in better equipment for VHS, Hi-8 and digital 8 transfer to DVD. We replaced our Reel to Reel tape recorders with upgraded machines. In collaboration with Mr J Bibby we are offering unique canvas prints of crystals.
And of course our prices. We have reduced our prices to remain competitive, but we have kept our standards and indeed improved them wherever we can.
Saturn Films (1969) aim to be here for some time to come but like so  many other small businesses at the moment we are feeling the squeeze and have had to respond. I hope we have achieved the right response.

Cwmgwrach, 30-04-11

Monday, 28 February 2011

Mouldy old slides

One of the hardest jobs I have done has just been finished. Several hundred heavily contaminated slides were cleaned and scanned. The results were better than I expected but not brilliant. I began restoring the pictures individually then realised I could spend months on them. In future in cases like this I will think long and hard before providing a quote for the task. Our current price list is available here