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!