Of all the benefits to learn and practice the art of photography, the number one objective held sacred among professionals and enthusiasts worldwide is the preservation of memories; those occasions of importance that are meaningful in the eyes of even the most modest of subjects, from the least to the greatest.
Countless attics and basements around the globe are holding within their walls today the vast records of personal triumphs large and small, and the everyday chronicles of life shared with those we love and cherish along the way.
As box upon box of these treasures lie partially forgotten in the bustle of 21st century life, new tools have emerged to resurrect these distant memories and bring them back into the much-needed light they deserve.
21st century, meet the Jumbl High Resolution 14/22MP All-in-One Scanner & Digitizer. Today we’ll be exploring this compact, on-the-fly approach to digitally converting film slides and negatives at your own pace from the comfort of home, office or on the road.
Let’s jump in and take a look at what this handy device can do, starting with a quick look at a few specs and a bit of prep work.
Jumbl Sensor Specs
The Jumbl scanner boasts a native 14 megapixel sensor that produces a high-resolution scan in excess of 4K image resolution – that is, more than 4,000 pixels on the long side of a given image.
Added interpolation capably raises the quality to an impressive 22 megapixel resolution with no visible loss of detail in the process.
When a slide or negative is scanned, the real-time pixels-per-inch (ppi) is between 4,000 and 5,000 pixels at the slide’s native size of 1.5 x 0.9 inches. When re-sized in post-production to a normal 240 to 300ppi print range, the image will expand to a 19×13-inch full-resolution (JPEG) print dimension – making the images highly usable in terms of full-scale printing or downsizing for web-viewing applications.
We’ll get more into resolution and re-sizing in further detail when we take a look at a few basic restoration and retouching techniques in the next article.
Preparing Media for Scanning
Before scanning, it is strongly recommended to carefully clean the scanner’s internal glass element and each side of the slide surface via the flat cleaning brush provided for best results. The brush is flat with a soft microfiber tip that slips easily into the light-housing to remove any dust and debris adhering to the internal glass element.
Lightly rub the brush a few times with a clean fingertip before inserting to generate a slight static charge to help attract and adhere any loose dust particles, being mindful not to apply too much pressure to avoid scratching the emulsion surface.
Taking time to properly clean these surfaces up front will dramatically minimize any unnecessary spot-removal in the retouch process.
Saving to Memory Card
While the Jumbl scanner is equipped with 128MB of on-board internal storage, the device accommodates convenient saving to any size SD-card via the back panel.
No need to be hooked to a PC here, just insert a card and go. Users have the added option of viewing their high-resolution scanned images on a TV via the cable provided as well. Final file sizes will vary per image based on the degree of color and detail contained within each exposure.
Internal storage is sized ideally to contain a few average boxes of slides, or a few rolls of film. Opting to go with a class-10, 8 or 16GB card will make the transfer process much easier with far fewer offloading trips to the workstation for larger projects.
Loading Slides & Negatives
Admittedly, I was so excited at first to try a few test slides with the Jumbl that I initially overlooked the ease with which the media loads into this device. As my daughter and I quickly found ourselves locked in an assembly line of sorts, in which we were individually loading each slide one at a time, we learned this is a completely unnecessary way to go..
Jumbl is conveniently packaged with (two) sleeves designed and adapted for both slides and film. Whether loading individual slides or negative strips, both are designed to be loaded for a continuous side-feed workflow, as pictured above.
Whether scanning or viewing individually on a television, when one slide or strip is completed, simply feed another in from right-to-left and keep the save-train rolling as needed via the arch-shaped cut-away on the adapter.
Simply retrieve the completed media (on the left) as scanned and place in a separate stack to keep organized. Before you know it, the box is finished and you’re ready for the next batch.
Supported Media Types
The Jumbl scanner is designed to accommodate a variety of positive and negative slide and film media formats. At the outset of each scanning session, navigate via the Convert/Mode button (located on top) to the corresponding film type before scanning.
Positive Slide & Negative Media
Jumbl supports the scanning of both color and black & white 135 (known commonly as 35mm), 110, 126 and 127 slide film and negative media, including smaller Super 8 (8mm) film via the Super 8 & 110 (13mm x 17mm) adapter inserts pictured below. Once again, file size will vary from slide to slide depending on size and complexity of each exposure.
Super 8 & 110 Inserts
For those in need of processing Kodak’s Super 8 and 110 film sizes, Jumbl has you covered there as well. Just slip the corresponding insert provided into the Negative Adapter, start feeding your media from the right and you’re good to go.
Due to the significantly smaller image dimension, Super 8 and 110 film formats will generate a considerably smaller scanned file size than the larger 35mm format – in the neighborhood of 6 megabytes, as noted in the image above.
Scanning Media – Basic Walk-Thru
Having thoroughly covered what the Jumbl scanner can do, let’s take a look at how to get started scanning images, and what we can expect from the device interface as we go.
Step 1 – Verify Language & Film Type
Plug-in and power up the Jumbl scanner. Via the Selection buttons on top, scroll and verify that your Language and Film Type are properly selected for best results.
Step 2 – Verify Resolution
Before loading media, scroll and verify the final Resolution desired. 35mm applications allow for native 14MP, or 22MP interpolated (loss-less) options.
Step 3 – Load Media
Load the adapter with a slide(s) or negative strip and insert via the side-feed at right (see arrow), as discussed above..
Step 4 – Adjust Orientation
As the image loads and becomes visible in the display, select the Right/Flip or Left/Mirror buttons to adjust the image as needed if loaded at the incorrect orientation.
Step 5 – Adjust EV & Color
Before scanning, press OK/Enter to adjust EV (exposure) and perform RGB (red, green, blue) modifications as needed for each image.
Step 6 – Scan Media
Having verified the steps above, press the Convert/Mode button at upper-right and – provided all is well and ready – press Enter scan and save the image to the card. If no CD card is present, the image will save to the Jumbl internal memory. When scans are completed, the images can be safely transferred to your computer for final storage and/or editing.
Is Jumbl Right for Me?
As each new piece of gear will inevitably come with a distinct set of pros and cons, the Jumbl scanner has received a lot of attention – both positive and negative (all puns aside) – in terms of the overall quality produced compared to its more expensive competition. But is it worth the investment? Will it work for you?..
While I certainly had my own doubts at first based on a few varying reviews I had read, this highly-versatile device far exceeded my expectations in the end – and especially so with positive film slides – but not without a caveat or two relating to post-processing for best results.
We’ll dive into these topics in the next article, such as spotting color-casts common to certain films and how to mitigate them with ease, spot-removal and other useful enhancements as well.
There are few one-and-done solutions in the world of photography, and Jumbl is certainly no exception. If we want to take our images to the next level, they need as much help as we can give them in terms of matching what we see with the human eye.
If you’re seeking a powerful solution to reclaiming the boxed-away memories of days gone by, the answer is a resounding yes.. The Jumbl scanner certainly worked for me, and very likely will do the same for you as well.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you find the information useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or drop me a line at [email protected] any time.