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Scanning 35mm Negatives with a Flatbed and a Couple of Nifty Apps for Android and Mac OS X!

I'm a complete newbie who worked on a tip submitted by a fellow Lomographer on using a flatbed scanner and negatives! This article includes sources of the free applications for Mac OS X and Android that helped me out, as well as sample images from the process of scanning, inverting, and in comparison to the scans I got from the photo developing shop!

I came across this tipster by plasticpopsicle and decided to try it out! I followed the steps but in this article I’m going to include a couple of applications I downloaded to help me out with the scanning, as well as a sample of the negatives scanned, in comparison to the ones my professional photo developing shop did for me. I used a Brother flatbed scanner, a Samsung Android phone and a Macbook running Mac OS X 10.6.7.

The two applications I downloaded:

1) Lightbox – for Android phones

2) GIMP – the GNU Image Manipulation Program for Mac OS X

Steps taken:

1) Placed my 35mm negative strip on the flatbed scanner. Opened the application, Lightbox on my Android phone and placed it over the negative.

2) Scanned the image onto my computer. Image looked like this -

(Say hi to my dad and mum! Nikon L35AD and Efiniti Uxi 200.)

3) Launched the application, GIMP on my Mac OS X. Opened the scanned image, clicked Menu > Colour > Invert. Got this!

(Didn’t adjust any other colour settings for the above image.)


Results of two other scans – uploaded the primary scan, the inverted image, and the images scanned by the photo developing shop I frequent.

Now, will someone teach me how I can get these scans in colour? Haven’t figured that out!

written by myloft


  1. jaszee


    for Xpro films, after you 'invert' it, what are the tools you usually play with to get the result above?

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. myloft


    @jaszee the ones which I included are scans by the photo developing shop I visit after they develop my films that are cross processed - haven't done any edits on them on my compute with any apps! hope I understood your question correctly?

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. marcosnava


    To get to color you need to adjust the color levels. On Gimp is possible at Menu -> Colour -> levels.
    Just put the little triangles near the begin and end of the graphic to each color (red, green and blue). But the mais problem is scanner quality. I tried myself but I give up using my home scanner, I'll buy a better one.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. myloft


    thanks @marcosnava :) for the likes too!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português & Deutsch.