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Scanning Film Using Your Mobile Phone or Tablet PC

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

22 comments

  1. pollyarts

    pollyarts

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

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. 110isnotdead

    110isnotdead

    THis is amazing!!! Thanks :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. feelux

    feelux

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

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. mrmaart

    mrmaart

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

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. mmoya

    mmoya

    Cool!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. littlemisslove

    littlemisslove

    genius!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. soundfoodaround

    soundfoodaround

    nice!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. carmengraphy

    carmengraphy

    nice idea!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  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 ---> http://www.lomograph(…)os/17104752

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. kokakoo

    kokakoo

    Good!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. alexheffs

    alexheffs

    Great tip, thank you!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. roxanneross

    roxanneross

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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 :(

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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 ---> http://www.lomograph(…)os/17104752

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. gatorchick

    gatorchick

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. walasiteodito

    walasiteodito

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. elgonz

    elgonz

    this works GREAT for black & white. For color i have foun this: http://www.jeffreysward.com/editorials/colorneg.htm
    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. bomberegn

    I can't get this to work. It barely shows anything and it seems just blinded by light..
    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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 :)))

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  22. 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!
    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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