Drum Scanning. High resolution scanning in Portland, Oregon. Best photo scanning service in Portland, OR. High Resolution scans of Negatives, Kodachrome, slides


High resolution scanning done on a drum scanner isn’t just slightly better than other types of scanners; its an order of magnitude better in terms of resolution, sharpness and depth. Thats about what you would expect when comparing a $30,000 machine to one that cost less than a thousand dollars.

If you are looking for publication quality scans, you can’t do better than a drum scan. If you want National Geographic quality, you need to do like they do and use a drum scanner.

Since this is an archive of historic negatives, I have a substantial amount of experience with negatives and transparencies dating from the nineteenth century to the present including; Kodachrome, Polaroid 55-P/N, Nitrate, Autochrome, Finlay-color. Of the more modern types dating from the mid-century to now, I routinely scan faded Ektachrome, Kodacolor, Afgachrome and Agfacolor, and similar processes. For contemporary landscape photographers using Fuji RVP film, I’m experienced making book-quality reproductions of these transparencies. I also offer conservation services for deteriorating vintage film.

I have done scanning projects for many clients, including:
Arizona Highways
Getty Images
McMenamins (all locations)
McCormick & Schmick (all locations)
National Geographic
National Park Service
Oregon Historical Society
University of Oregon
University of Washington
Warner Brothers

I have four Howtek drum scanners at my studio in Portland, Oregon.

To summarize the benefits of a drum scan

  • Fluid mount eliminates most scratches and dust spots.
  • 1 f-stop more shadow/highlight detail than any other scanners
  • Greatly reduced visual noise
  • Much greater sharpness
  • Greater color accuracy

Cost is $30 per scan, any size or type of original. For large projects I usually bid a flat rate. Cost includes basic processing and electronic delivery.

If you have damaged film or prints requiring extensive repair or faded color restoration, it will cost $60 /hour to do that work on top of the $30 scan.

Compare my service to other companies. But make sure whomever you are comparing me to actually has a drum scanner. There are vendors offering drum scans who, when questioned, will tell you they have a “virtual drum scanner.”  What is that? Imacon brand scanners mount the film curved, hence the ‘virtual drum’. Ask the vendor what brand of scanner they have. Don’t be fooled, Imacon scanners share all of the disadvantages of ordinary scanners and none of the advantages of a real drum scanner. The difference between them is that real drum scanners use a photo-multiplier tube to see the image. The Imacon, Nikon, Cannon, Epson, etc., scanners use CCD (charge coupled device) sensors. And more importantly, it is impossible to realize the benefits of a fluid mount with that machine.

Cost includes removing 35mm film from slide mounts and replacing them with a new Wess mount. CDs are $3 each. Film can be picked up and dropped off during business hours, or can be mailed. Postage for returning film is $3 for the postage and mailer. I have a SAMS number and am currently enrolled in the award management systems of the the National Park Service, University of Washington and the University of Oregon.

If you have questions, please call 9-5 Pacific Coast time.


Whats New in February 2017

I just scanned 104 prints for Jonathan Brand’s photography book being published by PowerHouse Books in New York.  Last November they had submitted a sample print for scanning here, as well as the same print to other scanning houses.  On February 6, 2017 the photographer’s daughter informed me “Everyone was very impressed with the quality of your scan.  The publisher at PowerHouse Books said it showed more detail than the scan done by your competitor (PushDot).  We are hoping that you will be able to do the full job for my father’s book.”

I just scanned eighteen glass plate magic lantern slides for the Montana Geological Society. The slides were dismantled and cleaned first. They were scanned without the cover glass for maximum quality. I then re-taped them using vintage slide mounting tape that was identical to the original tape.


Historic photos and images