I read about ScanCafe in O Magazine, and was curious to check it out. It is relatively new service that scans your photo negatives, slides, and more at great prices. I had previously looked into scanning some of my old slides and negatives at a local shop, but it was too expensive to do more than a few at a resolution good enough to make prints (if I was just interested in viewing the pictures on the computer it would have been okay).
I should explain that I would really like to most of my boxes full of negatives and slides, as well as my parents' archives. A number of years ago, I took possession of the family photos, since the rest of my family doesn't like to deal with this stuff... took everything out of yellowing adhesive albums and put it into archival storage from The Container Store, one of my favorite organizing resources. I also made a beautiful (if I do say so myself) scrapbook for my dad for his 60th birthday. However, I have been dreaming of transferring everything to the computer and putting together a family history.
I was intrigued by the low cost and impressive website of Scancafe. The site has received some excellent endorsements, including from Money magazine. The site tells you exactly how to pack your media, and provides a cool tracking feature that shows you where your order is in the system. I was all ready to send off my slides when I read the fine print and noticed that everything is sent to Bangalore, India to be scanned. This alarmed me at first, as it seemed to greatly increase the likelihood of my family photos being lost. The company states that it has never lost any orders and being the risk taker that I am, I decided to give it a whirl with a set of slides. (I figured I was more likely to lose the slides in my own house as I am a bit of a pack-rat). I also sent a set that I would not be devastated if I lost.
So, I sent off my slides in late March, and am watching my order in the tracking system. One negative (which I was aware of) is that the process takes at least 8 weeks, much longer than other mail-in services. However, according to the research I did, the quality of the scans was rated much higher than the other sites. Stay tuned--I will update you on the progress of my order.