Slide scanning service – a short history
Saturn Films 1969 scanning service, which provides 35mm slide, negative photo, video and cine digitising, was established July 21st 1969. It was started by two young lads with an avid interest in photography and filming. David remembers “July 21st 1969 Alan and I were watching the moon walk early in the morning at Barclay School in Stevenage. The ‘Don’ set up a video player for us so that we could watch the recordings. We were talking about our ambitions and the moon landings were inspirational.
We decided we would go into filming and photography. Initially the business name was Saturn Five Films, inspired by the mighty Saturn V rocket motors which lifted the spacecraft for the moon landings. That lasted about a day, as I remember Alan did not like that so Saturn Films it became. Later we added the date so we became Saturn Films (1969) and now just Saturn Films 1969.
Our early films have the Saturn rocket as a backdrop to the titles, though in later years we switched to images of the planet. I do remember one very cold evening we were in Alans garden watching Saturn through Alan’s telescope. That was one cold night but inspired our love for astronomy!”
We began with short films on standard 8 and super 8, and 16mm. Our first sponsored movie was a film of the 1973 Rye House go-karting nationals. This was for the ‘Barclay School, Stevenage, Karting Team’. Our Chemistry teacher, James (Jim) Hardy, paid us to make a six minute standard 8 short – it was pretty good! I still have the super 8 film we made at the same time. Several short films followed including animated shorts. Over time we gathered a vast quantity of 35mm slides and photographs plus thousands of feet of movies.
In 1984 we moved into Beta movie. Betamax was a superb system, the colour was good and the cassette was a handy size. As history tells however it was VHS that dominated the home video world and in 1988 we upgraded to include VHS. Later developments included s-vhs, vhs-c, Hi-8 then digital-8. Our first digital ‘capture’ card was the Matrox Rainbow Runner (I still have it in a Pentium PC). Today we use a variety of up to date equipment.
In 1997 we started transferring negatives, photos and slide images to digital. The first results using somple scanners were quite impressive. Initially we used a flatbed scanner but these were replaced by dedicated slide and negative scanners – we were blown away! As time went by we invested in better quality equipment. In 2002 video digitising and 35mm slide, negative and photo digitising became our focus (no pun intended). Our slide scanning service became our main business closely followed by the negative and photo scanning and the video conversions.
Oh – those were the days! Alan and I remain the best of friends though our lives have taken us in different directions with different businesses.
Alan is now producing high quality paints and sprays used for Movie work and amateur and professional modellers. His products have been used on ‘blockbusters’ such as World War Z, Spectre, Skyfall and more! He can often be seen at model railway fairs and other events:
Alan – www.dirtydown.co.uk.
Today Saturn Films 1969 offers a high quality slide scanning service. We scan photographs, slides, colour and black and white negatives. Also, on the cine front, we convert super 8mm and standard 8mm cine film to CD, DVD, Blu-ray and to memory cards. Our video conversion includes VHS, Hi-8 and Digital 8 with editing and transfer to DVD and MP4.
Our scanning capabilities have recently been upgraded with new equipment and software. A significant improvement has been the introduction of advanced artefact reduction for silver based film.
We pride ourselves on our professional service. We provide high quality images at competitive prices to professionals, clubs, historical societies, amateurs and to the general public.
Our mission is to digitally preserve historical film and images in a way that they can be protected, shared and appreciated now and in the future.
Saturn Films 1969 is based in the Neath Valley in South Wales. We rely essentially on recommendation for our work although we keep a minimal advertised presence too. One of my customers told me recently that he chose us for his scanning project because we demonstrated a care and attention that other companys could not provide. Our service is geared toward the client and delivering a personal service that you will be happy with and that we can be proud of. We have maintained low overheads and are able provide you with excellent quality scans and prints at low prices.
Our slide scanning service, negative and photo digitising, video and cine transfer services are constantly reviewed. The market is changing and we keep an eye on the market for technical updates and upgrades. You are always welcome to visit us at our workshop to discuss and drop off your project. If you or your family or friends have an interest in knitting or cross stitching then please come along to browse in our associated shop Neath Valley Wools and Cross stitch.
Currently with Covid restrictions in place we are able to meet in our garden (Welsh weather permitting) or outside our shop maintaining social distancing.
Privacy and GDPR:
As many of our customers know Saturn Films 1969 do not do remarketing or data capture. We keep your e-mail address to let you know we have received your project, how we are getting on, your bill, and final communications. We occasionally use Google Adwords to advertise and they have their own GDPR compliance policy.
When you perform a bank transfer it is with your bank and we do not capture any data, save for the date, who it is from and the sum transferred to us.
We do keep your e-mail address on record, this is on Google Mail and archived on our secure backup drives. Also we endeavour to keep copies of your project while we can so that you can always request a copy. We do charge for provision of copies when we can provide them – we cannot guarantee that this service will be available though. Returning customers benefit from a loyalty discount and we use the information is this context.
If you wish us to delete any personal data we hold about you, (this includes: Name, address and e-mail address) we will gladly do so. We do need to keep a written record of transactions for HMRC purposes.
As for Trust pilot and other feedback platforms we are sceptical about the ‘True’ feedback, we have seen sites where the feedback appears to be too good to be true – so we do not use them. We have our own feedback page which is occasionally updated with genuine customer comments – we do not obsess on these, most of our work is from returning customers and customer referals a fact we are very proud of and quite frankly speaks for itself..
Now the wordy boring but worth reading bit:
At Saturn Films 1969 we offer an extensive digital transfer service and consider ourselves among the top 10 providers in this country for quality of the final image and at the lower end of the price spectrum too. We scan slides, photographs and negatives, we copy VHS, VHS-C, Betamax, Hi-8, Digital 8 video, standard 8mm and super 8mm cine film movie. In addition we digitise Vinyl records, reel to reel tape and audio cassettes with transfer primarily to USB memory sticks but also to to DVD, CD, Blu-ray disc or portable hard drive for you to view and listen to, on your TV and computer.
We maintain a simplified charging structure so that you know what the digital processing will cost. The only variable is postage, postage of the digital products is included but the return of the original material is charged for at the insured and tracked postal rate. Prices are subject to change without notice but we will hold a quotation for up to two months for you.
Our Standard service is suitable for the vast majority of customers and includes:
Scanning 35mm Slides and Negatives – up to 4000 dpi
APS scanned at up to 3200 dpi, medium formats 1200 dpi as standard but higher by request.
Photos, 6×4, 7×5,10×8 scanned at up to 1200dpi and A4 at up to 800dpi
Each image with dust and scratch reduction and colour correction. All images are individually reviewed, cropped and colour adjusted, we us digital ICE, as standard, and other high quality software. All images saved as Jpeg to DVD (a DVD copy is included) or to usb.
We can produce prints of your images and these are individually priced bespoke orders. Contact us with the size of print and numbers and we will happily provide a quotation.
If you choose to have your images returned on dvd we include a disc copy so that you have a backup should it be required. Your slides, photos or negatives will be scanned, and an invoice generated for you for the payment of completion of the project.
We transfer VHS, VHS-C, SVHS, betamax, Hi-8 and digital-8 video formats. They are saved primarily to usb or to DVD disc plus a backup DVD disc or to other appropriate digital media. For larger orders of over 20 video tapes we include an external hard drive in the package, you are welcome to provide one for smaller orders or I will purchase one for you.
For additional copies of your project USB or DVD add £7.50 per stic or disc (remember 1 backup DVD is already included).For slide show discs with or without copyright free music add £10.00 per disc. For a slide show with the music of your choice send a CD containing the music together with your order and £10.00 for each slide show disc ordered.
If you wish to collect your materials thats absolutly fine (and we love to meet clients and chat over a coffee).
Send your slides, negatives, photos, cine or video by recorded delivery to:
We do not bill you until the project is completed (unless this is a massive project being paid for in instalments). We accept payment by bank transfer ideally but can take a cheque if you do not mind waiting for it to clear!
This service is provided to individuals, businesses or clubs and societies following a discussion of your requirements.
We can scan at up to 9600 dpi providing 24, 48 and 64 bit TIFF, RAW, BMP etc. images of up to 350mb. We have successfully provided images for TV and for billboards over the years. Please contact us if you wish to use this service. Please contact us with your requirements for us to provide a competitive quotation.
We can give you an estimated time when you ask for a price quotation letting us know your number of photos, slides etc. Once we have your order we will be able to give a more accurate estimate. Factors which affect turnaround time are:
The amount of editing required for the project – some slides suffer more than others with colour deterioration and with mould contamination.
The urgency of the order. Discount is offered for very large orders when the timescale is relaxed – If we have to drop everything to do your order we may have to add a little to the quotation.
Professional level scanning editing large TIFF files. These files take more time to load and edit and consequently increase production charges and the time take for completion.
We pride ourselves on our friendly, professional service providing high quality digital transfer and editing at competitive prices. Our staff are always prepared to discuss your slide scanning, photo, cine, video or audio project with you either on-line or by phone.
We respect our serious competitors and will price match where the quality of the service and final product is comparable. There are a lot of people out there providing a digitising service but few I would recommend!