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How to Scan Film Without a Film Scanner

If you're just starting in analogue photography, like me, it's probable you don't own a film scanner. Well, no worries, I found a cheap way to scan your film using your old multifunctional scanner or any other simple scanner.

Materials:

  • A sheet of (8 ½ x 11) thick, silver card stock
  • Template
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Adhesive tape

Directions:

Step 1: Print the template on the back of the silver card stock (white side)
Step 2: Cut around the shape with the scissors and fold the triangular wings upright so that the shiny sides of the card stock face each other.
Step 3: Now fold the longest part of the rectangle so that it touches the edges of the triangles, so that the whole thing resembles an open-bottomed, triangular wedge with the shiny side of the card stock to the inside.
Step 4: Tape the corners of the adapter together, and it’s ready to use!

To use:

Place a slide or negative onto the scanner, and then place the adapter over the top. For the best results, line up one side of the slide with the center of the adapter. Leave the lid of the scanner open. If your scans have an uneven brightness, try adding a thin piece of paper between the slide and the adapter. The paper will diffuse the light and stop the scanner from seeing the space behind the slide.

The higher the resolution at which you scan, the more detail you will get. I recommend setting the scanner to at least 1200 DPI. The image below shows the raw scan on the left, the inverted scan in the middle, and the final image on the right.

written by a1con

21 comments

  1. superlighter

    superlighter

    wow! nice results!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. skrutt

    skrutt

    Need to try this with my 120-film! Its so expensive to scan them at a photo-shop!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    Very good results.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. guanatos

    guanatos

    Here's the original article: http://blog.craftzin(…)egativ.html always remember to post your sources! ;)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. itsdebraanne

    itsdebraanne

    soon as i can figure out my scanner i'm doing this! thanks!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. chtiman

    chtiman

    what about color films? how do you process them to get the real colors?

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. pandaisdead

    pandaisdead

    niiiice trick!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. a_bes_song

    i use a camera and my window and ps to take off the blue. Results: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ppfurtado/
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. nivo

    nivo

    the same question as @chtiman

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. a1con

    a1con

    @chtiman, @nivo I have not tried with color film, but I recently got some developed, will try and give you feedback.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. twinklecat

    twinklecat

    This explains so much! I have had a hard time finding articles that show scanning negs w/o fancy masks and things.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. nivo

    nivo

    @a1con exc! thnks

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. hervinsyah

    hervinsyah

    @guanatos : Absolutely agree. Thanks for the info :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. guanatos

    guanatos

    @hervinsyah no problem :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. 9gag0

    Wow, it looks so easy!
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. goomba

    goomba

    Wow, this looks much better than the other scanner tricks out there! Nice work!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. dudizm

    dudizm

    great technic!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. fpc

    fpc

    im gonna try that, thanx
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. itsdebraanne

    itsdebraanne

    yea this ain't working for me...

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. doomanks

    doomanks

    Nice tip! But do you have a pattern for 120 film??
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  21. doomanks

    doomanks

    Template I mean, sorry!
    over 2 years ago · report as spam

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