Updated 19 June 2003
How do I transfer images?
It's easy! Bring a completed roll of unprocessed film
to a service provider (also known as a transfer site). The service provider
may have the equipment to do both the film processing and the image
transfer. If not, they may process the film and send the negatives
or slides elsewhere to have the disc made, or they may send the
film elsewhere for processing and transfer the images to the disc
themselves. The images from your original film are scanned onto
Photo CD Disc using a
Photo CD Imaging Workstation (PIW).
When you pick up your order, you will receive (1) the disc in
a jewel case, (2) an index print showing thumbnail-sized pictures
of all the images on the disc, (3) your original film.
What is the cost?
All service providers in the United States, and most of those
outside the U.S., are independent companies who establish their
own prices. Kodak does not establish pricing for transfer services.
Prices vary by provider, scan format, and level of service (for
example, consumer versus professional). Consumer scan prices can
range from US $0.50 to US $4.00 per image. Some
service providers offer value-added services such as film cleaning,
custom scanning, etc. Professional labs may offer scans using the
Kodak Professional PCD Film Scanner
4045, as well as additional services such as encryption, watermarking,
and advanced adjustments.
Usually it is easier, and therefore more cost-effective, for
the service provider to transfer the images to the disc immediately
after film processing (before the negative film has been cut into
shorter strips or the slide film placed into individual slide mounts.)
It may be less expensive to use a service provider who does both
film processing and image transfers. Shop around to find the most
suitable blend of services and prices.
Note: You do not need to have prints made if you only want the
Photo CD Disc.
What types of film can be transferred?
Negative or slide
High-quality scans are possible from either negative film or
slide film. Negative film is easier to scan.
Advanced Photo System (APS) film can be transferred to a
Photo CD Disc. Contact one of the service
providers listed below for information.
APS cameras do not crop images. The camera encodes the film so
automatic photographic printers "know" which format the
photographer wants. The
Kodak Professional PCD
Imaging Workstation equipped with the APS Film Gate transfers all
the image content to the digital file. Any size format can be created
with this data.
Advanced Digital Imaging, Inc. (ADI)
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Colortron Photo Services
175 Barton Street East
Stoney Creek, Ontario L8E 2K3
1450 Research Blvd.
Rockville, MD 20850-6101
3036 Commerce Way
Processed negatives or slides (both color and black-and-white)
can also be transferred to a disc. Find a service provider who does
the work themselves or can arrange for it on your behalf.
Pictures on larger film formats, such as 120 or 4 x 5 sheet film,
can be transferred onto a
Photo CD Pro Master
Disc by using the
Kodak Professional PCD
Film Scanner 4045. Films can be scanned at 6144 by 4096 pixel resolution,
depending on the image format.
Photo CD Pro Master Disc may hold as
few as 25 pictures because the Image Pac File for each picture can
optionally contain six resolutions: Base/16 to 64 Base.
If only five resolutions are written, a Pro Master Disc could contain
up to 100 images. Each Image Pac File on a
CD Master Disc contains only 5 resolutions -- the highest
resolution, 6K x 4K (64 Base), is not available. See Resolution
Will the transfer quality always be the same?
A hallmark of the
Photo CD system is
color and exposure control. The system produces optimumly scanned
images the first time, every time, despite inconsistencies in the
original image. In some instances, however, a skilled PIW operator
can improve the results. Additionally, how individual service providers
maintain their equipment and handle your original film can vary
greatly. The same is true of photofinishers who use the same equipment,
but the quality of the prints you receive may be different.
Are PCD Film Scanners calibrated?
Kodak Professional PCD Film Scanners are color
calibrated to a defined set of aims using targets that are more
tightly produced than other generally available calibration targets.
In addition, the "dark" and "gain" levels
are verified and adjusted every time the scanner is started and
after every 2 hours of use to help ensure consistent results. If
changes are made to the film scanner, Kodak service personnel can
calibrate the systems.
Do film scanners produce the same image quality
as drum scanners?
The answer depends on the type of film being scanned and how
the scanned image will be used. There are relative limitations in
the current density range of the PCD Film Scanner but not in the
In reversal film (slide) images with high densities, you will
see a difference in high-quality reproductions if the information
in those dark densities is critical. In many situations, however,
if the image on the
Photo CD Disc is processed
correctly, it produces the same result in the final printing as
an image made using a drum scanner.
There are no practical density limitations when scanning color
negative film because of its inherent lower density range. In addition,
the Kodak technology in the system helps ensure consistent results
because it contains important information pertaining to the unique
tone scale and reproduction properties of the film, information
that many other scanning systems do not include.
You should always use a good conversion to CMYK rather than using
the defaults in some applications.
What is Scene Balance Algorithm?
scene balance algorithm (SBA) is included with every
Professional PCD Imaging Workstation. The service provider
may use the SBA to correct camera-exposure variations caused by
the picture-taker. Optical printers automatically use a similar
technique when making prints from negatives.
images are assumed to be correctly exposed or may have scene content
that is atypical for the algorithm. Ask the service provider to
reduce this SBA correction or turn it off entirely.
Can my pictures appear in a particular order?
Organize your pictures before submitting them to your service provider.
Specify your needs to your service provider when you submit your
film. This may affect the cost of the transfer.
Does a multi-session disc contain fewer images
than a single-session disc?
Yes. There is a certain amount
of overhead (roughly 16 to 18 megabytes) associated with each session
on the disc. This information takes the space of 3 to 4 images.
I have a single-session CD-ROM reader so I must
put all my images onto a disc at one time. I recently sent my service
provider enough negatives and slides to fill a single disc, but
they put my negatives on one disc and my slides on another. Now
I have wasted space on each disc that I cannot fill. How can I
prevent this in the future?
Because single-session CD-ROM readers are used less frequently,
your service provider probably assumed that you have a multi-session
reader and that you could fill the discs at a later date. When you
submit future orders, specify your needs and always mention that
you have a single-session CD-ROM reader.
Do Service Providers need special instructions?
you want the service provider to perform additional manual corrections
to your images rather than relying solely on the automatic scene
balance algorithm? (See previous question). Additional corrections
may reduce the lab's productivity and may increase the
cost of a transfer. However, the extra care taken in scanning an
image may be worth the extra cost. For scanning reversal images,
typically the lab will use the
Film Terms to retain the look of the original transparency.
Can I photograph a gray card?
service provider can use a gray card to obtain a good initial balance
to use with your order. Be sure to:
Expose a gray card properly.
Use the same exposure conditions for ALL of your exposures.
Process the film with consistency.
Instruct the service provider to turn off the SBA and prescan
your gray card. The service provider can adjust the gray card to
be 79, 156, 137 in
reproduce the gray as an ideal neutral. If you want your images
slightly warmer or cooler, ask the service provider to bias the
gray card balance and then hold this balance for the remainder of
your order. The same correction will be made to each image. Keep
in mind that you may not always want a neutral to be exactly neutral.
How are the images compressed?
Several techniques are used to compress the images onto a
Photo CD Disc. All of the techniques have
been carefully analyzed to produce visually lossless results. Briefly,
the image is converted to a luminance-chrominance (luma-chroma) storage
chroma information (CC) is then subsampled because there is less
need for color detail information since almost all of the detail
is retained by the luma channel (Y). A hierarchy of resolutions
is created and stored on the disc, with the higher resolutions stored
as residual or detail maps.
The other reductions in file size are realized with these residuals.
These residuals are reduced in size by quantization (a visually
lossless process of grouping together similar information) and by
Huffmann encoding, which is numerically lossless. The amount of
the compression step is controllable on the latest
Professional PCD Imaging Workstation 4220.
Viewing your images
Can I view my images on my computer monitor?
You must have a CD-ROM XA drive and an imaging software package
Photo CD Discs. Your imaging
software must be capable of reading the .pcd file format.
My disc contains files other than my images.
How can I view them?
The additional files on a
Photo CD Disc (in addition to the Image Pacs)
provide image file information to
Photo CD Players,
CD-I Players and computer systems. These files contain very detailed
binary information and are not useful to the user.
I burned photos on a CD-R but they won't
Photo CD Players were
designed to read image files in the .pcd format only. They do not
recognize image file formats written by common authoring packages
(for example, jpeg, tiff, bmp).
Photo CD Players
can also read audio files.
I make my own CDs but my DVD player won't
play them. Where can I buy a Kodak Photo
Photo CD Player is discontinued. Most DVD players do not
play image files.You can write image files in several different
file formats to a blank CD-R, but a true
CD Disc is written in the .pcd format. The software to create
.pcd files is provided only to Kodak service providers. You can
write your images to a blank CD-R using the Video CD file format.
Video CD version 2.0 supports high-resolution still images but not
all authoring software packages support this Video CD option, and
not all DVD players are compatible with CD-R media.
Kodak, Kodak Professional, and Photo CD are trademarks
of Eastman Kodak Company.
Technical Information Bulletins provide information of limited or specific application. Responsibility for judging the applicability
of the information for a specific use rests with the end user.