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Too many negatives

Eric GwinneBay Inc.Nikon Corp

Q: I've been putting off converting my 35mm photos (negatives) to digital.

I've been looking for something I can load a stack of negatives (or photos), push a button and voila!

Know of anything on the market?

-- Steve

A: You want a flatbed scanner, which can scan photos, negatives or negatives mounted as slides. These images are saved to your computer's hard drive so you can improve the contrast, crop them for better images or just save them for later. People have had a lot of good luck with the Canon CanoScan 8800F, which goes for $150 at bhphoto.com. (It is very reputable outfit based in New York, but you can find it in other stores too. Call around.) Here's a link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/518510-REG/Canon_2168B002.html

It can scan 12 negatives at a time or three slides at a time. If you have hundreds -- or thousands -- of negatives or slides, that might be too few. If that's the case, you can buy an $800 to $1,500 scanner. That range of scanners comes with an automatic feeder that lets you scan 50 slides at a pop. Use it for a few weeks to scan all your images and then sell it on eBay to get your money back.

Q: I do have thousands of negatives and would be interested in one of the more expensive scanners. Do you have one or two to recommend?

A: Sell your car and get the Rolls Royce of dedicated negative scanners: the $4,500 Nikon Super CoolScan 9000. Don't forget to add the $400 slide feeder SF-210 attachment that will let you scan 50 slides at once.

Although you could sell it for about $3,800 or more, you might struggle to find a buyer right when you're ready to sell.

The $850 Epson Perfection V750-M Pro Scanner (epson.com) has lots of fans, but it can scan only 12 negatives at a time.

Please let us know what you choose and how it works out for you.

egwinn@tribune.com

Do you have a tech question? Send a note to Eric Gwinn at egwinn@tribune.com, or use this form http://chicagotribune.com/asktribu. Be sure to include your name, location and a way to reach you if we need more information -- and your question, of course.

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