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Let's face it, there is a lot of bad advice here. Basically you should consider 2 formats when scanning: JPEG which uses a lossy compression and TIFF where you may use one of the lossless compressions. Consider TIFF as the archival format at 16 bits/colour/pixel. JPEG, besides the compression, has the disadvantage to store only 8 bits per colour channel. That's enough for a final picture but not one where you intend to do still some adjustments. with TIFF you are filling up your disk space.
So now scanning: Best is to use the scanner software's possibilities to do a basic adjustment of your scan, like histogram adjustments. As with your digital camera, if you get the settings right immediately with the scan you will be ok. If you want the data to be archived, what is my understanding of this, then you need to use the best physical quality your scanner can do. Use dust removal carefully and it's best when there is hardware support for this.
If dust removal is done by software, you're best using your post-processor (GIMP, Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Corel Paintshop (?),...) for this. Your Post-processor should be able to work non-destructively. Use colour management through the chain to stay consitent with your colours. The best profile to use is ProPhoto RGB. The final JPEG, however, should be saved as sRGB. If your scanner and post-processor is not able to handle colour profiles then you are using the wrong tool.
The whole process, until the final JPEG for viewing/printing/fast access takes a lot of time. You shouldn't be in a hurry for the scan job or the clean-up job.
Your quality is going to depend upon your scanner to a large part. Jpeg is fine if your initial scan is good. Try using Vuescan software. It will allow you to adjust the brightness at the time of scan. This will reduce your detail loss better than any file format option.
Next if things still seem to dark or washed out then I would suggest the software package LightZone not to be confused with LightRoom by Adobe. LightZone is free and has the ability to lighten and darken certain zones of light. I have had wonderful results with this software.
Imagine a world without computers, without monitors where you had photographic prints and pretty lousy resolution television pictures. For a relatively small amount of money you could purchase a fold up screen and a projector and blow up your photos to 3' x 4' or larger.
They were ubiquitous. Often you just had to show up for a business presentation with your tray of slide and you were good to go. Everyone had projectors and screens on site.
They brought terror into homes all across America as the dreaded invocation was heard. "We'll fix some snacks and you can see slides of our trip across the Rockies and from San Diego to Vancouver with two of the cutest little poodles in the world!"
I know you have the hardware, but my experience back a few years ago was that under $2000 equipment just didn't cut it. Over that price I didn't try.
And the scanning services were not up to snuff except for one.
I found ScanCafe and ended up doing 10 to 12 thousand slides, some photos, and a tiny number of 8mm movies from the 30's over the course of a couple years. The whole thing was a rare, rare excursion in to very-happy-customer land for me.
They regularly have sales where the price for one media or another is way-lower than normal. Get on their email list and wait a few months to save 1/3 to a half. My slides were in the 20 cent range, some more, some less.
I sent them 50 or 100 or so slides as a test before boxing thousands of slides. The test runs were done on high importance slides that had been scanned other ways. ScanCafe's scans were clearly superior.
Answer to the parenthetical question: Slides were the only way to go back in the day. Printed pics were flat, comparatively speaking. Also, a lot of pics just work better at a big size in the distance. But that's like, do you want to see your pics on a 75 inch monitor or on a phone? Glowing or dim? Life size or tiny?
He probably just came to realize the gravity of the situation.
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