Frequently asked questions
Here are the most common questions we get from our photo scanning service customers.
How should I package my slides (or photos)?
Group the photos or slides into stacks, and secure these stacks with rubber bands, baggies, envelopes, cling wrap or aluminum foil in such a manner that they are held tightly together. Slides are particularly problematic, as it’s their nature to escape and travel about inside boxes. If you have a stack of slides held together with rubber bands that would come apart if you dropped it on the floor, it’s probably going to come apart inside the box during shipping. Limiting stacks of slide to 4 inches high and using two rubber bands to secure them works well. Slides are susceptible to damage if they are loose inside a box.
Photos travel safest in plastic bags, envelopes, or stacked up and held together with a rubber band. Most photos are not damaged by rubbing against each other during transit. However, some very old paper photos can be damaged in this manner, so use your best judgment. For these very old photos, a piece of padding between each photo ensures safe shipping. More info: SAFE SHIPPING or SHIPPING OPTIONS and PACKING TIPS
How does the ordering / shipping process work?
Here’s how the process works:
How are you different, why should I order from you?
We strive to offer the best image quality, best price and best service available anywhere, and our customers agree. Check out or testimonials, prices and equipment pages for more information.
How is this possible? We are engineers with the backgrounds needed to create new scanning equipment which takes advantage of......
What do I get back? Can I modify or print whatever I get back?
The digital images from slides, prints, albums or negatives will be JPEG-LS files. The movies will be DVD-VIDEO files, burned onto an DVD disk just like you used to get from the video store. VHS tape will be converted into MP4/QuickTime files. You cannot modify a DVD-VIDEO file, but the other files are not write protected, and you can therefore do anything you wish to them.
Will these play on my TV?
Our Movie Disks are designed to play on your TV through your DVD player. On the other hand, our Data Disks are designed to work on your computer.
Some DVD Players can play the Data Disks, and there will yellow oval sticker with JPEG in the center of the oval if your DVD player is designed to play from a Data Disk. No sticker, no luck.
Most Windows computer can play a Movie Disk. Apple computers will not play a Movie Disk without special software. We use Elmedia Player to make our Apple computers work with Movie Disks.
Now that I have my disk, how do I see my digital images?
Video available at: https://dpsdave.com/after_order_complete_support-2/moving-images-to-hard-disk/ (Windows)
Apple instructions at: https://dpsdave.com/apple-how-to-copy-files-onto-your-hard-disk-for-mac/
How do I organize my photos to be most convenient for you?
Carousels are super safe way to ship slides but add to the price. However, leaving the slides in the carousels and letting us deal with it saves a vast amount of your energy. The same logic applies to photo albums ane slides in sleeves.
What is the best way to ship my photos?
We encourage UPS, but FedEx and DHL are acceptable alternatives. We discourage the US Post Office, as 0.8% of the parcels that enter the USPO system get lost. On the other hand, UPS domestic has less than a 0.01% loss rate. When UPS packages are insured and Adult Signature Confirmation upon Delivery is required, the loss rate is below 0.001%. Your box has a better chance of getting hit by lightning than getting lost!
What resolution do you use?
Our 6,000 DPI for slides is the highest resolution money can buy. Fine grain film used for slides back in the day had 5,000 “grains” per inch, so we digitize at 6,000 dots per inch to capture all the detail in the film. Scanning at a resolution that is less than the grain in the film creates jagged edges in the digital images, and we see that as being out of focus.
Prints were usually printed on papers with 600 grains per inch, or were digitally printed at 600 DPI, so we advise using our Hi Def print scanning service, which digitizes at 600 DPI. However, portraits printed in a photography studio or similarly high value photographs are exposed the fine grain papers, and our 1200 DPI digitizing service matches the fine grain papers.
Will you make TIFF files if I want?
With our special JPEG files, you can make your own TIFF file if you need it. If you load one of our JPEGs into a TIFF capable program such as Photoshop, the document size will be 100MB, not the 3 to 5 MB size of the JPEG. This is because we’re using JPEG Loss-Less, which preserves all the detail of the original RAW file in a manner that it can be fully recovered in a JPEG Loss-Less compliant program such as Photoshop. If you need a TIFF files (for import to a vector graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator), simply do a Save As Tiff from Photoshop. However, importing the JPEG Loss-Less into Illustrator does the same thing, so why bother…..
Will I be able or rearrange the order of my digital images after I get the order back?
You will be able to change everything on a digital image that has anything to do with how your images are displayed on your computer. However, how your computer sorts and displays your images is determined by the setting on your computer, not the settings on the image.
If I have both a print and a negative of the same image, which is better to get scanned?
Most of the time it is better to get the photo scanned. Negatives fade a lot faster than photos, and although we can correct the fade, some of the edge sharpness will be lost. Plus, negatives cost a lot more than prints to get scanned. Finally, the prints are magnified versions of the negative image, and the optics and chemistry which did that evolved or 150 years, so it really works well. Scanning has a long way to go to catch up!
May I drive to Oregon and drop off my photos to be scanned?
Of course! However, you must come to our processing center which is located at 125 Main in Philomath Oregon. It’s the old City Hall, and we occupy the first floor. We work odd hours, so please let us know when you’re coming so we can make sure to meet you.
Why does DPI matter?
Up to a certain point, DPI (Dots Per Inch) has a powerful influence on the quality of your digital image. A good, sharp original will look fuzzy if the digitizing process uses too low of a DPI setting. This is because the lower DPI setting makes the sharp edges slightly jagged, and we see that as out of focus. Therefore the DPI of the scanning process should be equal to or greater than the grain size in the original.
Can I send my own USB and have you put the images on it?
Unfortunately, no. This jeopardizes our network security by providing a mechanism for invasion. Even if the USB is in it's original packaging, we will not plug it into our network, as this is a scheme thieves can use to access personal information.
What DPI should I choose?
For slides & negatives: 6,000 dots per inch
For prints: 600 DPI unless it's a glossy portrait
For printed portraits: 1200 DPI
For medium format negatives: 2400 DPI
For "granny grabbers" that aren't really important: 300 DP