This topic has come up somewhat regularly, but rather than building on one of those old threads, I am starting a new one and will link to some of the older threads.

This is a bit of a work in progress. My back story is that I inherited a series of albums and loose photos from my father's side of the family back around 2013. At the time, I started this thread and followed some of the advice and bought a copy stand. The set up I used back then were two off camera flashes with the copy stand with the print under a piece of glass to keep the print smooth. You do have to play with the angle of the lights to avoid glare, but if you can do so, this works very well with glossy prints. But as soon there is any texture to the print, I was finding peaks/shadows to the light.

I am working on an update to this method where I bought a light box so I can pass light through slides and negatives. Slides will stay flat in the slide, but you do need something for negatives. I have seen some people use scanner trays, but this where film carriers from Negative Supply Company come in. They have basic, MK1 for 35 mm negatives as well as a variety of other holders for other formats as wells as a complete kit (copy stand, light box, etc). Prices are a bit high, but reviews I've read are that these are fast and when looking at 1000s of negatives, I am willing to make the investment (especially since I am using inheritance to fund this). But, if you think there may be DYI options out there, I think the same thing. But my time needs to be invested in digitizing. I haven't yet really started on the negatives, as I just received some of this equipment a week ago. But I will update this thread as to how I think this works.

So, option 1: Copy stand, digital camera taking a picture of a picture, off camera light for prints and light box for slides/negatives.

Option 2: Scanning. As I was very slow in my prints project I picked up an Epson FF-680W. Then, for a variety of reasons, last summer I added an Epson V850 flatbed scanner.

Honestly, to finish off my Father's side print project, I used all three extensively. Each had their place and each was the most efficient tool for certain scenarios. So, this was an investment, but not one I am regretting.

The Epson FF-680W allows you to load up a stack of prints and then it just scans the whole stack. It scans front and back which is amazing considering my Grandmother wrote on the back side of many of the prints. It also gives you the front of the print as scanned but also auto-enhanced (and it does a nice job). The software is good, but not intuitive for the way I think, but I was able to get it to do what I wanted. I ended up scanning at 600 ppi to jpgs and the IQ is good. I could have scanned to TIFFs (maybe I should have?). The primary issue I had with it was the prints needs to be flexible as it does bend them (many old prints I have are on cardboard backing) and it has moving parts so it can scratch a print. So, before each batch, I did my best to clean the scanner as well as the prints and after I added some basic cleaning steps did not have an issue.

The V-850 is a flatbed scanner so it can scan any print (cardboard backing not an issue) up to a large size, has greater resolution, and has infared scans/angled scans that help detect and digitally remove dust (called iSRD, Digital ICE, etc). Overall, it just does more. It isn't as slow as I was worried about, but it definitely gives me time to watch videos/process images/something while it scans. One reason I went with the V-850 was speek. It has trays for many formats. I am scanning slides at usually 2400 ppi to 3200 ppi. Most of my sldies are 1x1"s so that shoudl put me easily in the 8x10 range if I wanted a good print. I believe the V850 will natively go to 4800 ppi (after that it is digital interpolation), but the slides I am dealing with just do not have that type of detail.

Its funny, but I see many seem somewhat down on flatbed scanning preferring a version of a copy stand method as the next step up, higher end scanners, and ultimately drum scanners using wet methods.

But, the reality I am coming too is that for the material I am working with, these digitizing methods are more than enough. I do not think the V850 is even necessary as I've seen many people working with the V600, etc.

I can post some examples if people want to see what each method will do. But, suffice to say, they are more about memories that photo quality.