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Currently with increased viewing of videos on tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops, more and more people are asking us to convert video tape recordings to MP4, the standard representation playable on all of those devices.
Other people wish to play videos on DVD players that are connected to the TVs.
Here are some reasons why you might prefer conversions to DVDs discs:
Here are some reasons why you might prefer conversions to MP4 files:
If, when we start a video tape conversion, we detect in the first 30 seconds that there is no content, we will mark this videotape as blank and will not charge you for it.
If you normally leave significant blank tape at the beginning of your recordings, please let us know when you place your order.
Cost Estimate for Typical Orders
On the Pricing page ( towards the middle of the menu bar above ) you will see the complete price list for our services. We charge for orders as the sum of:
Some examples of charges for orders that are well organized returned on standard storage media are (please see Pricing for exact pricing) :
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, let us describe what you see above. Here is the list of media types we can scan or convert for you.
Weebly is a web-hosting service featuring a drag-and-drop website builder. Weebly's online website creator uses a simple widget-based site builder that operates in the web browser. All the site elements are drag-and-drop, and it automatically generates a mobile version of each website.
Weebly is simple to use, yet is extensible by embedding HTML code if desired. It is not as powerful as WordPress, however it is much simpler to use.
In addition to Lexington Photo Scanning, we do a lot of web development with Weebly. The website you are currently using is created using Weebly.
You can find more information about Weebly at:
Whenever you deal with a large number of files, at some point you will need to rename them. These two utilities (one for Mac, one for PC) are the ones that we use.
You can find more information about NameChanger at:
You can find more information about Bulk Rename Utility at:
Handbrake is a program that reads video files (from a DVD or the file system) and writes out a transcoded file stored in the filesystem. It's one of these swiss army knife all-purpose programs with can do a lot of things in a narrow area of functionality. We use Handbrake to convert DVD representations of video into MP4 representations. We also use a similar program, VLC, which has even more functionality.
Who could dislike a piece of software aimed at the Jimmy Buffet generation? When the program finishes transcoding a DVD, it issues the following alert:
We use Google Sheets for a lot of the management and record keeping of our business. It has replaced Microsoft Excel largely because of it's ease of use, it's extensibility and it's ability to share information.
You can find more information about Google Sheets at:
Picasa is a simple, all-in-one photo management and processing application which we use when the exposure and white balance of photos is pretty good. Picasa can do a lot of operations needed in our work and do them very fast.
Several years ago (2016) Google decided to discontinue support for Picasa. They did this in favor of Google Photos which is a more user friendly system than Picasa. But, for those of us who had become very good at using Picasa, this was bad news. Understanding what was about to happened, we saved copies of the last revision of Picasa for both Macs and PCs.
You can find more information about Picasa at:
Paintshop Pro is the program in which we learned how to process digital photos 20 years ago. As a result, we have grown up with it, learning new features as they were added to the program over that timespan. This learning investment has made us a loyal customer.
We use Paintshop Pro in two primary ways. First, when we need to combine different photos together to form one photo, Paintshop Pro is our go-to program. For example, if a photo is larger than any of our scanners, we can still scan it by taking multiple passes with a scanner over different areas of the photo, and then stitching the parts together into one photo.
The second area where we use Paintshop is not in the production of scans, but rather in producing all of the little graphic elements needed to build a website.
If someone asked us which program should they learn to process photos, we would not say Paintshop Pro, but rather Photoshop, which has surpassed most other photo processing programs. But for us, the cost of learning all of the things we already know how to do in Paintshop Pro in Photoshop is a bit daunting.
You can find more information about Paintshop Pro at:
Just as we need a photo processing and editing program to clean up raw photo scans, we also need an audio processing and editing program to clean up raw audio conversions. Audacity is an excellent program to trim audio recordings as well as filter out artifacts in digitized recordings due to things like tape hiss in tape recordings or the impact of scratches and dust in Vinyl LP recordings.
You can find more information about Audacity at:
What more can be said about Photoshop? The word photoshop has been adopted as the generic name for all photo processing programs.
Photoshop indeed is the gold standard for processing digital photos, although it has so much in it that many people find it too complex. We use Photoshop for one tool that they implement better than any other program: automatically separating multiple photos from a single scan of an album page. For most other processing tasks we use either Lightroom, Picasa or Paintshop Pro -- largely because we have learned those programs inside-out. We have never taken the time to learn all of the details of Photoshop.
You can find more information about Photoshop at:
Adobe Lightroom is one of two main tools we use for processing photos. (The other is Google Picasa.) Lightroom is a soup to nuts program that can manage all aspects of the workflow of a photo business. From PCMag.com's review:
Converting Vinyl LP Records to CDs or MP3s is one of the harder conversions to make because of several reasons:
So, what can be done to get the best conversion from a Vinyl LP Record to a digital CD or MP recording? Several things that we do in our conversion of your records:
The Sony PSLX300USB is identical to normal turntables, with one exception. In addition to having standard RCA phono outputs, it also has a USB output that instead of emitting an analog phono level signal, sends a digitized version of the analog level signal. When this turntable is connected via the USB connector to a computer running an audio capture program ( Audacity ), a digital conversion of sounds coming from the record on the turntable is saved. Subsequent to the digitization of the recording, addition tools in Audacity can be used to remove imperfections resulting from surface dust and scratches from the digital representation.
For more information about this conversion device, please see:
We are very excited about this new service-line for us. Our newest acquisition is the RetroScan Universal multi-format scanner. This beautiful machine (dark wood base with brass fittings and large takeup reel) is unique in that it does not have sprockets in the film path. This is much gentler on film. Instead, the film is pulled by the takeup reel through the film path. In the center of the film path there is an LED illuminator underneath the fil. Directly above the illuminator is a high speed digital camera that takes pictures of the illuminated film. The individual still pictures are analyzed in software to determine the position of the discrete frames. A digital MP4 movie is created out of this stream of still pictures.
Our service offering covers three original film formats (8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm), two output resolutions (480i and 1080p) and two output formats (DVD and MP4):
As with Video Tape conversions, we are happy to do further editing on your Movie Film conversions to create more polished digital movies at our standard manual labor rate.
In order to keep our prices down, we use as many automated processes as possible. Looking at a videotape to determine where it ends, and then combining that recording with another on the same DVD takes up a significant amount of time. So normally we do not do this. If you want us to do this we are happy to combine multiple tapes on a single DVD. as well as do further editing on your Video Tape conversions to create more polished digital movies at our standard manual labor rate.
There are a wide variety of formats for video tape cassettes probably due to the rapid advancements in technology between 1980 and today. Less change happened in audio cassette technology and 33rpm Vinyl LP records.
We are able to convert the following formats of video and audio:
There are two output representations for converted video: DVD or MP4. DVD is the traditional encoding that can be played back on a DVD player. MP4 is a more modern representation that can be played back on computers, streamed to web browsers, or even played directly on a HDTV. You have a choice of DVD or MP4 or both.
There are two output representations for converted audio: CD or MP3.
With our newly acquired Epson V800 scanner, we can now efficiently scan negatives and positive transparencies at an optical resolution of 6400 dpi. The difference in scanning a positive print and a negative or positive transparency is while a positive print is scanned with reflective light, transparencies must be scanned with transmitted light -- light that passes through the photographic object. The Epson V800 has a light in the cover to illuminate the transparency so that the imaging bar traveling the length of the flatbed receives light transmitted through the transparency.
We offer three different services for scanning negatives and positive transparencies:
In general, we use the following rule about estimating the number of prints neatly arranged in a stack: A pack of photo prints that is 1 inch thick is about 100 prints. So, just put your photos in a box (like the one below), measure the number of inches of photos and multiply by 100.
Photo Album Pages
We need four numbers: the dimensions of the page (width and height), the number of album page sides you wish to scan, and the average number of photos per side.
35mm film usually comes/came in rolls of 24 or 36 exposures and so if you have boxes in which the developed slides were returned to you, they will come in boxes that hold 24 or 36 slides. Of course many people have put their slides in special plastic and metal boxes which hold slides. Since each of these boxes hold different quantities of slides, you will just have to count them yourself. Finally, some people have slides in various types of packages. A stack of slides 1 inch high is about 25 slides. Kodak Carousels hold either 80 slides or 140 slides.
Negatives or Positive Transparencies
35mm negatives usually come in strips. Since we scan an entire strip, it is the count of such strips that we need.
Medium format and large format negatives and positive transparencies usually come as individual items. Just count the number of these items.
Video Cassette or Audio Cassette Tapes
The number we need is the count of the individual cassettes.
8mm, Super8mm or 16mm Movie Film
Conversion of Movie Film is charged by the foot. Film reels carry the following amounts of film.
The SlideSnap Pro is a combination of a modified Kodak Carousel slide projector plus a high resolution camera coupled to the projector by a control box. The original illuminator of the projector is replaced by an LED array light source for even lighting. In addition, the lens of the projector is removed, allowing the camera which is outfitted with a macro lens to directly capture the image of the illuminated the slide. For more information about this scanner, please see our SlideSnap Pro page.
Prior to scanning slides, Carousel trays must be loaded with 35mm slides in a precise orientation.
Arranging Slides in Trays
For economy slide scanning, one of the tasks that the customer takes responsibility for is arranging slides in the proper order and orientation in Carousel trays. If you don't already have your slides in Carousel trays, we have a lot of empty Carousel trays that we can loan you to put your slides into.
Note: If you are bringing Carousel trays that have been used with a Carousel projector to project slides on a screen, the slides will be in the trays upside down and backwards. You will need to do two things to get them in the proper orientation:
Here is another way to describe the second step above:
Slides should be placed in order so that if you look from the top down on the carousel in the above illustration, the slides at 7 o'clock come before the ones at 8 o'clock in the sequence of slides. Slides should all be placed in the landscape orientation and have their tops or left sides be headed upwards. Also make sure that the slide is correctly viewed from the front as shown (not reversed so that the letters PQR are reversed). Once you figure out the right up/down, left/right, front/back for a particular brand of 35mm slide processing, it should be the same for all slides produced by that particular photo finishing processor.
Once a photo is scanned -- whether it is a photo print, the individual photos on an album page, a 35mm slide, or a negative -- the same corrections are performed either by automatic or manual methods. These corrections include: