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How To Restore Photos and Photo Negatives

Find out how to restore and regenerate your old photos and photo negatives using your scanner. 

Some photos mean a lot and while a lot of images are now kept across electronic devices and social sites, there’s nothing better than holding and looking at a physical copy. But hard copies fade, wear and wilt, so sometimes they lose their luster.

Fortunately that needn’t be the end of your visual memories and it is entirely possible to restore and regenerate your old photos. In this article we’ll discuss how you can restore photos and photo negatives using your home scanner. 

Your Old Photo Collection

You’ve probably got drawers full of old photos and negatives from years ago that were taken to the local Boots or supermarket and printed. These are likely to look old, worn and possibly damaged. You may even have reams of negatives that you can’t even find the prints for. You never know, there could be some oldies but goldies in there. Don’t fear, you can regenerate and restore these images. 

What Equipment Do You Need?

There are a range of photo negative scanners that won’t just restore aged and damaged prints, but that also turn your negatives into positives.

The Epson Perfection V360 photo scanner is one such example. This nifty piece of kit is available at a reasonable £136.32 inc VAT*. It has a number of key features that make it ideal for photo restoration. 

Key Features

  • – Image clean-up – Removes dust, scratches and general wear and tear for a new fantastic looking print.
  • – Backlight correction – Balances shadows in a heavily backlit picture.
  • – Colour restoration – Reads the colour temperatures in your original image and restores the saturation, hue and vibrancy.

Scanning Negatives vs. Scanning Prints

In terms of scanning negatives vs. scanning prints, it’s generally considered better to scan the negatives if you have them or they’re in a good enough condition to scan.

Scanning the negatives rather than the prints could lift more detail into the final photo with some examples of photos showing more elements and range in the original negatives than what was in the resulting print version. Go back to an old negative and compare it to the print version and see if you can tell the difference.

However, scanning prints can still deliver a superb result and that’s why picking up one of these great machines can benefit a wide variety needs.

Another great possibility with these scanners is the ability to make larger prints. If this is your goal, make sure you look at the resolution, which is usually expressed in dots or pixels per inch. Look for a higher resolution for the more detail and larger the print you’d like to achieve.

Image Quality

The remaining key thing to consider is the actual quality of the image. When you start reading product descriptions including phrases such as D-Max or Optical Density figures then this is what it’s referring to.

A rating between 3 and 4 will usually give you a higher quality image but it’s safe to say that the higher spec, more expensive models will deliver better results for larger prints or high resolutions.

There’s a range of negative scanners to choose from though – from entry-level models with entry-level prices to the top of the range all-singing, all-dancing models.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up one of these fantastic machines now and start restoring and reminiscing.

(*Prices may change – correct at time of writing.)

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