Scanning Film Using Your Mobile Phone or Tablet PC

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Do you have rolls and rolls of processed films waiting to be scanned, but you can't attend to it because your flatbed scanner doesn't support film? Well, PetaPixel says you can work with that scanner if you have a large-screen mobile phone or tablet! Find out how in this article!

If you have rolls and rolls of processed films that haven’t been scanned yet, it’s best not to keep them waiting. Get that flatbed scanner of yours and turn it on. What, it’s not film-compatible? PetaPixel says that's not an excuse, as you can scan your film strips with it perfectly fine.

It’s simple: take your film strip and place it on the scanner mirror. Next, if you have a large-screen mobile phone or a tablet computer, you need to somehow make the screen go completely white (a “flashlight” app could do the trick). Once you’re done with that, place it facedown over the film strip, and scan as usual. All you have to do next is to invert the result if you’re scanning negative film.

Photo via PetaPixel
Photo via PetaPixel

Or, you can try the other nifty and more analogue way that PetaPixel found before this one.

So, what do you think? Show us your results if you decide to try this tip out!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2012-09-24 in #gear #tipster

22 Comments

  1. pollyarts
    pollyarts ·

    You just had me get a flashlight app for my Android... neat!

  2. 110isnotdead
    110isnotdead ·

    THis is amazing!!! Thanks :)

  3. feelux
    feelux ·

    Now why didn't I think of that! Awesome! Thanks! :D

  4. mrmaart
    mrmaart ·

    brilliant idea. I'm about to test it right now!

  5. mmoya
    mmoya ·

    Cool!

  6. littlemisslove
    littlemisslove ·

    genius!

  7. soundfoodaround
    soundfoodaround ·

    nice!

  8. carmengraphy
    carmengraphy ·

    nice idea!

  9. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    Soon, as I read this I grabbed my iPad and film! this is color slide 120 film (which is so much better than negative film) but... i think there's something wrong ): no matter how many times i tell my scanner to scan in color, it's black and white
    help ---> www.lomography.com/homes/itsdebraanne/photos/17104752

  10. kokakoo
    kokakoo ·

    Good!

  11. alexheffs
    alexheffs ·

    Great tip, thank you!

  12. anamachado
    anamachado ·

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I've bought a Digitaliza but my scanner wasn't backlight!... I thought about buying some kind of lamp and never remembered I had the perfect lamp: an iphone or ePad with a white screen! Genious!! Thanks thanks thanks!

  13. roxanneross
    roxanneross ·

    amazing idea, i wish i had thought if that! thanks!

  14. olutek
    olutek ·

    Haha I had idea to did it year ago, it works but I had small mobile and bad scaner so photos was very small even big dpi :(

  15. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    @plasticpopsicle Soon, as I read this I grabbed my iPad and film! this is color slide 120 film (which is so much better than negative film) but... i think there's something wrong ): no matter how many times i tell my scanner to scan in color, it's black and white
    help ---> www.lomography.com/homes/itsdebraanne/photos/17104752

  16. gatorchick
    gatorchick ·

    Android phones have an app called lightbox, used to view negs or slides. Should do the trick here!

  17. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @itsdebraanne Hey, sorry for the late reply! I'm not sure why it only appears as black and white...maybe you can try using your image editing software to import the image from your scanner, instead of using the scanner software. Just make sure your image editing software is in color mode! I'll try to look for more explanations/solutions for your scanning problem!

  18. walasiteodito
    walasiteodito ·

    i think it only works for black and white, but its a cool idea anyway, i tried it. :)

  19. elgonz
    elgonz ·

    this works GREAT for black & white. For color i have foun this: www.jeffreysward.com/editorials/colorneg.htm

  20. bomberegn
    bomberegn ·

    I can't get this to work. It barely shows anything and it seems just blinded by light..

  21. 110isnotdead
    110isnotdead ·

    Awesome, I wonder if you can do this with a dumb-phone like mine? I bet if i take a picture of something completely white it just might do the trick. Thanks for the tip :)))

  22. stwyford
    stwyford ·

    This is sheer brilliance. I used an ipad flashlight screen and was able to scan 6 2.25" slides at a time. Thank you for saving me a couple thousand dollars!

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