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.


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


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 on 2011-12-12 #gear #tutorials #film #tutorial #scanning #tipster #how-to #scanning-film #without #top-tipster-techniques


  1. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    wow! nice results!

  2. skrutt
    skrutt ·

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

  3. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Very good results.

  4. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    Here's the original article:… always remember to post your sources! ;)

  5. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

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

  6. chtiman
    chtiman ·

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

  7. pandaisdead
    pandaisdead ·

    niiiice trick!

  8. a_bes_song
    a_bes_song ·

    i use a camera and my window and ps to take off the blue. Results:

  9. nivo
    nivo ·

    the same question as @chtiman

  10. a1con
    a1con ·

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

  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.

  12. nivo
    nivo ·

    @a1con exc! thnks

  13. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

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

  14. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    @hervinsyah no problem :)

  15. 9gag0
    9gag0 ·

    Wow, it looks so easy!

  16. dudizm
    dudizm ·

    great technic!

  17. fpc
    fpc ·

    im gonna try that, thanx

  18. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    yea this ain't working for me...

  19. doomanks
    doomanks ·

    Nice tip! But do you have a pattern for 120 film??

  20. doomanks
    doomanks ·

    Template I mean, sorry!

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