Three Alternatives for Film Scanning with Masks


Which is the best solution for film scanning? Here I’m showing three alternative procedures: the film guide that comes with most scanners, the home made Plexiglas solution and the new Lomography Digitaliza film scanning mask.

When you buy a transparency scanner, it comes with several film guides. My HP Scanjet G4050 have guides for 35mm and 120mm film strips and one 4- by 5-inch sheet. This solution is enough when you use standard frames but if you want to include the perforations of the film it is insufficient.

An obvious solution is to scan your film strip placing it directly on the scanner glass. But it’s not easy to avoid film from bending. You could try with some adhesive tape but it is really dirty for your film and scanner. I recommend to use a piece of Plexiglas (or an other transparent material like a CD box) placing it over the film, making some kind of lomo-sandwich. This allows me to scan the entire frame including the film perforations and “legends”. But this method have two major drawbacks: film scratches and Newton rings (an interference pattern caused by the reflection of light between two surfaces). The Newton Rings are more evident in 120mm film.

Finally Lomography comes to the rescue with the Digitaliza film scanning masks for 35mm and 120mm strips. The mask allows you to scan the entire film strip including the perforations without Newton rings and minimizing possible scratches. But nothing it’s perfect and you will lose a part of the cool film legends.

So, I hope this could help you guys!

written by megustastu on 2011-02-11 in #gear #tipster #home-made #scanning #film #mask #flat-scan #tutorial #tipster


  1. zoezo
    zoezo ·


  2. teaandcoffee5683
    teaandcoffee5683 ·

    does the scanner fix the photos for you? i tried scanning some negatives, but when i tried to invert the color in photoshop and it didnt work

  3. megustastu
    megustastu ·

    Hi, almost film scanners have the option to scan as a positive or negative, you should select the appropriate option for your film (negative color or black and white)/(slide)

  4. jessiedinan
    jessiedinan ·

    Can someone please help me out with this, i just purchased the Canon 9000 scanner and when i scan using the holders that came with the scanner it works but it cuts off part of the image i cant seem to scan in one continous strip. I have looked at all the settings and cant seem to figure it out, i did see that if was highlighted at 35mm and ive tried to change it to 120 but it wont allow me to. So i tried the digitaliza and that doesnt seem to work either, for some reason the scanner only picks up part of the image and they are blue.
    Can anybody help me out im new to all this and its getting really fustrating, im sure its prob something easy but im not picking up on it. Cheers

  5. isnapfotos
    isnapfotos ·

    try this link....,2817,2367877,00.asp

  6. b2377
    b2377 ·

    @megustastu I have the same scanner!

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