Since the store re-opened, I have been doing a lot of photo restoration. Like these two, today:
And these examples illustrate two things. One, I do it all in Adobe Lightroom. With a bit of inventiveness and experience, it can handle this. And that brings me to the second point: there is a big difference between “good” and “good enough”.
Of course in the ideal world, you only do “good”. But that can easily mean several hours on one image. Which means a couple of hundred dollars – which puts the restoration beyond most people. So instead, you do what is warranted. It does have to be good enough, as these are, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Whatever you do – do restore your old pictures. Or have an expert do it for you. When I fix old photos, I also print them as giclée prints, using pigments on permanent media. So that they will last an awful lot longer than the orginals.