FilmScan NZ's leading film, photo and video scanning service
Photo scanning special offer! Reproduction-quality wide format scanniing using our Contex 2500 series scanners...

FilmScan FAQs, support & assistance

We've tried to provide answers here to the most common technical questions we get asked.
If you don't find your answer here, please just call us during working hours on 0800 474748!

What do you actually do with my films and photos?

Good question! When they arrive, we first log them in. Working from your order, we remove each original from its protective wrapping (if any) and mount it in the chosen scanner's precision film holder. We then air-dust and scan each image to a disk on our workstations. We then open each image in Adobe Photoshop. Each scan is checked for correct exposure, colour and tonal range. Where possible we correct and repair any major blemishes we see. Your images are then stored and finally written to the computer media of your choice.

What scanners do you use?

We use Nikon Coolscan 9000 ED and 5000 ED for film, Epson V750 and V700 for reflection copy and film over 6 x 9 cm, plus Kodak PS80 and Contex 2500 series scanners for photos and larger documents.

What film sizes and types do you handle?

Our scanners will accept 16mm, 35mm, APS, 100, 126, 127, 120, 220 and 620 film sizes, positive or negative. 35mm negative strips of 3-6 frames are accepted. Individually cut 35 mm frames are acceptable but may be subject to an extra handling charge. We also accept 76 x 26 mm mounted slides, 16 mm film and plate film up to A4. Our largest scanner takes flat copy up to A1.

What scanning resolution will you use on my images?

Our standard colour scanning resolutions are 2,400dpi and 4,000dpi, but you can specify any scan resolution up to 6,400 dpi using Pro Services.

What output file size will I get?

Your file sizes will vary depending on scan resolution, film size and file format. Typically a 35mm film frame will scan to 40 MB at 2400 dpi and around 135 MB at 4,000 dpi in 48-bit TIF format. Compressed 24-bit JPGs of the same frame could be one-tenth of this size depending on content. We recommend TIFs for best quality.

What is Digital ICE and when do you use it?

Digital ICE4

All our scanners are equipped with Digital ICE scratch and blemish removal technology, which works well on colour negatives and most slide film. The exception is Kodachrome, which requires the ICE Professional version only found on the Nikon Coolscan 9000 ED scanner. ICE does not work on monochrome film and we use other methods. See ICE at work here.

What is Digital ROC and when do you use it?

Digital ROC

If your files are old and faded, we can apply the Digital ROC process option during scanning to correct and restore image colour. This is a subjective process and our ROC sample files indicate a typical result from a 35-year-old negative. Typically, results are good but not guaranteed.

What is Digital GEM?

Digital GEM

GEM is an in-scanner post processing operation that reduces colour noise and film grain. The trade-off is often a slight loss in image detail.

What digital file formats do you provide?

We can provide any common digital file format but we prefer to provide you with TIF format files to avoid losses due to compression typically found in JPG files. We will provide JPG copies if you wish.

How can I safeguard my valuable negatives and slides in transit?

We use a fully trackable courier service for delivery throughout New Zealand and FedEx for international orders. You can deliver your films personally if you live locally - just pop in! Ordinary post is not recommended - we will have no way of tracing them if they don't arrive. Always use a trackable courier service.

Are my images safe from unauthorised copying and use while with you?

Absolutely, one hundred per-cent. With thousands of our own images in photo libraries, we know your concerns and fully respect your copyright and ownership. Your images are confidential to you. They are scanned and kept on secure internal systems. Your images will never be re-copied except to the media we provide. We delete all files after thirty days unless you specifically request us not to.

Where are my images kept while they are with you?

Your images stay right here, with us, in our Auckland offices under lock and key. We don't subcontract (but if we have to, we'll tell you), we don't use home workers, we don't send them off abroad. Each and every image you send us is scanned by us - the team at FilmScan.

Do you have samples of your work that I can see?

Yes, right here at the top of each page, and we have a Samples page too. You can download the samples we've provided to view and print, but please respect our copyright and don't use them on the Internet or for commercial purposes.

Will you crop my scans?

We set our scanners to cover the extreme edges of the film so nothing is lost from the frame. This leaves a black border, which we usually crop unless you tell us otherwise. If you prefer to have your scans delivered uncropped (that is, with the edges of the film frame still visible) then please tell us when you place your order.

What is interpolation and do I need it?

When there are not enough pixels in your image to achieve a quality image of a given size, interpolation can be used to 'invent' pixels. This works by copying pixels from adjacent ones. Interpolation cannot improve detail and will invariably soften the image. That's fine if you want to use your image for a poster that will be viewed from a distance, but avoid it for work that will be viewed close-up. We use Perfect Resize by onOne Software - talk to us if you need this service.

What form of Colour Management do you use?

We calibrate our workflow using IT8 targets and use the Adobe 1998 colour profile by default. We calibrate our workstations and printers for correct colour management.

How you deal with Curves, Colour Balance and Saturation?

We automatically do our best to produce great images via our standard service. For Pro customers however, we'll focus on delivering maximum resolution and tonal range in the belief that you will wish to make your own adjustments.

How about image sharpening?

Very simply, we don’t, unless you request it. Once sharpened, the effect is irreversible and can create unwanted artefacts during later editing. Take a copy before sharpening.

What image size do I need to get best quality from my colour printer?

A simplistic answer to this question is the more pixels the better. There are a number of variables to take into account, not least your printer's capability and frankly, your PC's ability to handle large file sizes. For professional use, our scanners can produce file sizes of 135MB at 4,000 dpi from a 35mm frame, but this is probably unnecessary unless you have a high-end print device such as the Canon PIXMA or Epson Stylus Pro devices.

Should I have my images on CD or DVD media?

The choice is yours. We’ll deliver your images on CD (600MB), DVD (4.7GB), USB stick or other portable media. Larger orders and file sizes will obviously need more disk space

Do you provide Contact Sheets?

Sorry, no, because we have to scan the images anyway to achieve that.

Can I download my images from your Web site when my order is complete?

Yes, you can, but you'll need to ask us for this service option. We don't load images to our web server unless you request it. Remember that as a rule, you'll need a high- speed Internet connection such as broadband to download your images in a timely fashion. Even if you order our lowest resolution scan in JPG format, these files can be 4-5 MB each.

Still looking for answers?

Just give us a call on 0800 474748 or send us an e-mail at - we are here to help!