Spend Your Money Wednesday

Spend Your Money Wednesday

The next chapter of the Shut-Away Saga involves finances. If yours are dire you might think of skipping the week, but bear with us. There is light and loose change at the end of the tunnel.

How much is this going to cost? Well, reading this column costs you nothing – and boy, do you get value for money. But if you are going to look at the digitising business it will cost something. You’ll have to look at the cost of scanners, cameras, lenses, and ancillary supplies. or consider Plan C.

Ancillaries first – FVE fluid is about $25 a bottle – surgical spirits or IPA about the same, I should say. Swisspers are about $ 5 for a big pack.The slide files are under a dollar apiece if you get a pack of 100.

We’ll assume you have a laptop or desktop, and some hard drive storage already, so you’ve already paid out for that.

If you opt for Plan A – the scanner – you’ll be confronted with a cost of about $ 999 for the Epson V 800. More if you go for the more featured models…though these features will hardly make a difference to small-scale scanning. That’s about it for the  outlay as you can connect up, configure the scanner, and start whirring away.

If you go for Plan B you’ll need a camera and lens – one that is capable of doing 1:1 imaging. You might get it with a macro lens alone or you may have to add an extension tube to the mix. You pick your brand, but figure $ 2000+ for camera and lens if you go the new route.  Of course, if you already have a digital camera you just get a lens – anywhere from $ 377 to  $777 depending on your brand. If you have both, you might just need an extension tube for a couple of hundred.

The light box can be as expensive as $ 250 if you go for a commercial example or $ 30 if you build your own.

A note for those people who have smaller compact cameras – these frequently have very good close focus or macro capability built into their design. Experiment – you may find that unfashionable compact is ideal for this task.

In both these cases you are essentially going to be set up and the only ongoing expense would be hard drive memory space, film cleaning, and new slide storage of you opt to keep the originals. ( I would…).

In both cases you are going to spend another commodity – time. We may have a lot of it on our hands shortly, and value it very cheaply. Or we might be immensely busy and unable to afford the hours spent cleaning and copying. This is where Plan C comes in – Third party copying connections.

Essentially, you bring the slides to us, we get them copied onto digital media, and you collect them. It is a pay-for-copy exercise so you’ll need to speak to staff at either store about the costs. You can also extend this sort of thing to digitising old motion picture reels and video cassettes as well as audio tapes. Once you get your digital results you’ll likely have to do your own post-production corrections if, like I did, you committed the images onto corruptible film in the first place.

Take heart – you’ll get good at it.

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