Scanning old 35 mm negatives and Kodachrome slides with Scan Cafe

The image above is my mother, taken in 1968. A few months ago I sent off a box of slides and negatives to be scanned by Scan Cafe.

These were all personal images of family and friends, that I wanted scanned, archived and backed up. I like the idea of having a copy of my images stored in a couple of different places in case something would happen to them.

It was nice especially for all the old Kodachrome slides that really can’t be viewed without an old projector. Now they can be shared online, or digital frame, or you can even make prints.

The price was great – $0.29 for 35 mm slides and negatives, and a little more for black and white and medium format. You can send prints as well. The quality was pretty good.This is my dad, an image was also taken in 1968.


The process was pretty easy. You start by giving an estimate of how many negatives you have. I had over 1000. You make a payment for 50% of the estimated total.

I like that I did not need to count every negative and could send them in rolls or strips. They scan everything, then later you can eliminate what you don’t want.

Scan Cafe then creates a label you can print and ship your negatives to them in California, then from there, they are sent to India.

Your negatives are scanned, and uploaded to an album where you can sort, and decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. You can also share them on Facebook, which I did not realize when I had signed up – there’s really no mention of it anywhere on the site. Which surprised me a bit because the social sharing part is a great feature.

It was really easy to sort through and view the images. Once you select the images your keeping, they burn them to dvd, and ship it back to you along with all your originals.

The turn around was VERY slow – like months. It took about 2 months to scan, then another 3 weeks from the time I selected the images until I received them back. I wasn’t in a big hurry since these were old images that were just sitting around.

Overall I was happy. I really like that I now have backups of my images and having them electronically. I still have some more slides and negatives to be scanned that I’ll be sending off to be scanned.

Scan Cafe

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