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I have always felt apologetic about asking customers who come at the last moment asking if I can complete their order quickly. I have always tried to accommodate such orders, without any additional compensation, not realizing the havoc this causes me and my business.
Recently, I have been tightening up the processes so that we can produce our scanning services on time, high quality, at an affordable price, sensitive to the needs of our customers, and respectful of the lives of the people doing the work. Rush orders were brought up to me as a disruptive force to accomplishing these goals.
So, I posted the following query to Google to see what the world had to say about this issue:
Google: "how much should I charge for a rush order?"
One of the top results was this article which made a lot of sense to me. Since I want to stick to the estimates I give people who have already placed orders with us, to squeeze in a rush order, I am going to have to ask one of our existing workers to spend extra time working in order to accommodate the rush order. The normal rate for such work is time and a half. Since our rate per scanned item reflects the amount of time we spend using our equipment to scan the item, it thus seems perfectly reasonable to charge 1.5 times our normal rate, including our minimum order size, which is currently $60 for the scanning part of an order.
So, if you want your order sooner than the current backlog of work, then we will charge your 1.5 times our normal rates, which make our current minimum order size $90.
To understand why I have come to this conclusion, please read the following article:
We have a minimum charge for all orders -- with the provision that you can use up the excess between the minimum charge and the actual amount of your order on one additional order.
We have this minimum because it takes us a certain amount of time to start and finish each order. These are the tasks for a typical order:
As you can guess, steps other than 4&5 eat up a lot of time that we do not get paid for. And, small orders take up the same amount of time in steps 1-3 & 5-9 as do large orders. For this reason, we have a set minimum for all orders.
Currently that minimum charge is $60/order.
Yes, we can -- but we need to charge you for our time spent to do this on your behalf. We are willing to do this, but if you are handy with using your computer to purchase services online, you might want to do this yourself. See our article about Online Photo Printing.
Once you have the scans of your photo print, album pictures, negatives or slides, it is very easy to generate new photo prints from those scans. Several different national businesses with local outlets provide online services for printing photos using state of the art machines. You can also go to the retail store and hand them your USB stick and they will print them for you. Although it is easier to make a sub-selection of the prints you want from all of you scans if you do this through their online interface, it is also possible to do this at the store.
Here is a list of such three such businesses in the New England area and websites you can go to for their photo services. Contrary to what you might think, for photos up to 8"x10" the equipment used by these retail stores is as good as used by professional color labs on the Internet, and the nice thing is that your prints will be printed at the local retail store, not at some centralized location. You normally can pickup your order within one or two hours. If when you go to pick up your prints you are not satisfied, you have the ability to get them to correct any mistakes they have made -- although in our experience, this is rare.
Although we give both the homepage of the photo site and, for your convenience, the area of the website to go for photo prints, we recommend that you take a look at the homepage for any specials they offer. Usually they discount the price of photo prints on the homepage but frequently fail to repeat the discount on the photo print page.
Once you decide which local online photo printing store you want to use, just take the USB stick on which we have delivered your photo scans and upload the scans to the photo printing service. Within an hour or so, your prints will be ready to pickup.
Of course, we are willing to do this for you, but we will have to charge you for our time taken to interact with the photo printing service. The cost of having us do this for you will often cost more than the prints themselves. But, again, we are willing to do this for you.
Digitize Those Memory-Filled Cassettes before They Disintegrate
A discount is given based on the charges for Content Organization (if needed) and Scanning and/or Conversions.
Minimum Order Value. Unless the sum of the Content Organization and Scanning and/or Conversions costs exceed the Minimum Order Value , that value will be charged. The Minimum Order Value is found on the Pricing page. The customer will be given credit for one additional order of the difference between the sum of the Content Organization and Scanning and/or Conversion and the Minimum Order value. The customer should come back with the original USB memory stick so that we can add scans from the second order.
Some examples of charges for orders that are well organized returned on standard storage media are (please see Pricing for exact pricing) :
Cost Estimate for Typical Orders
- Photo prints: Individual photo prints any size.
- Album pages: When possible, we try to scan entire album pages and then use programs to separate the individual pictures
- Slides: We have an excellent automated scanner for 35mm slides. In addition, we can scan most other formats using one of our manual scanners.
- Negatives: We can scan strips of 35mm negative film as well as Medium and Large format negatives.
- Video Cassette Tapes: We can convert VHS, VHSC, 8mm, Hi8, Digital8 and miniDV cassettes to DVDs and/or MP4 files.
- Audio Cassette Tapes: We can convert Audio Cassette Tapes to CDs and/or MP3 files.
- Vinyl LP Records: We can convert Vinyl LP Records to CDs and/or MP3 files.
- Movie Film: We can convert 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm film to DVDs and/or MP4 files.
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:
You can find more information about NameChanger at:
You can find more information about Bulk Rename Utility at:
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:
You can find more information about Google Sheets at:
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:
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:
You can find more information about Audacity at:
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's Photoshop Lightroom remains the gold standard in pro photo workflow software. It's a complete package, with top-notch organization tools, lens-profile-based corrections, local adjustments, and plug-in support.
- The difference between the quality of used vinyl recordings and modern digital recordings is significant due both to modern production techniques used in digital recording as well as because of the scratches, dirt and wear of vintage (nice way of saying "old") records.
- Our ears, even our aged ears, are very sensitive to such differences and imperfections. We also have an audio-emotional relationship with original recordings we grew up with and remember fondly.
- Although a lot of imperfections can be reduced using digital signal processing on the audio signal, such filters also impact the portions of the recording that do not have such imperfections. This can lead to digital recordings that have a different feel than the original vinyl recording, proving once more that You Can't Go Home Again.
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:
- First, we gently clean your LP Record with cleaning system that includes a Vinyl Record Microfiber Cleaning Pad, a Mini Dust Brush, along with D4+™ Fluid which is safe to use on Vinyl records that removes dust and dirt from the record surface without scratching.
- Next, the signal sent from our turntable via a digital USB cable to the computer insures that no additional noise is introduced to the original signal by things such as ground levels differences between the turntable and the computer. This eliminates the introduction of hum in the conversion process.
- Once in the computer, we trim the recording so that you get just the sound from your recording, not the introduction and ending introduced by the turntable.
- We use programs ( Audacity ) to process the MP3 recording that can spot unusual high frequency sounds introduced by scratches and dust, and remove just those sounds. To insure that we are just removing the sounds that weren't in the original recording, we listen to the records to make sure that the identified sound is actually an imperfection, not part of the music.
- Once we are satisfied with the results, we write the digitized recording to a DVD and/or a MP3 file, depending on your wishes.
For more information about this conversion device, please see:
Our service offering covers three original film formats (8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm), with two output formats (DVD and MP4):
- 8mm/S8mm and 16mm to MP4
- MP4 to DVD
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.
We are able to convert the following formats of video and audio: