A Quick Guide to Film Scanning


Film scanning sounds intimidating, but it's quite easy to do. You might even find it enjoyable as you go over your scans and take charge of the final output. While sending your rolls off to a film lab for scanning seems a more convenient option, you are left with no choice but accept what the film lab has given you. But if you do the film scanning yourself, you'll get the results that you want.

The Pros of Film Scanning

Be in control of your shots
Like previously mentioned, you get full control of your shots until you're satisfied with the final photographic results.

Instead of shelling out money to let the photo lab do the work, do it yourself and you'll save money (that you can spend on more more film).

Scan all formats
Special Lomographic formats such as sprocket hole photos and endless panoramas are usually refused by photo labs, but with the help of scanning masks and a flatbed scanner you'll be able to do this.

Credits: maximum_b, kleeblatt, thegroundabove, mizzfonky & lomography
Credits: lomography, larahacefotos & galatea

Film Scanning tools

First, invest in a good scanner. There are plenty of these in the market, so which one should you choose? For scanning all kinds of film formats, we recommend backlit flatbed scanners.

Take note of two things:

1) The scanner resolution should be at least 3000 dpi.
2) Get the scanner with at least a rating of 3 for dynamic range.

Read this comprehensive article to go in-depth about this.

As for the other tools that you need, Lomography has got you covered:

From L-R: DigitaLIZA 120 Scanning Mask, DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask, Lomography Smartphone Scanner

DigitaLIZA 120 Scanning Mask

This medium format mask is for scanning endless panoramas and overlapping exposures.

DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask

This mask is for scanning 35mm photos with sprocket holes, endless panorama, and overlapping exposures.

If you prefer to scan your negatives on-the-go:

Lomography Smartphone Scanner

Ideal for traveling photographers, this scans all kinds of 35mm negatives using your smartphone.

Further reading:

Tutorial: All About How to Properly Scan, From Equipment to Technique
Why every Lomographer should use a Photoscanner
A Guide to Lomography Films and Formats

Visit the Lomography Online Shop and check out our film scanning equipment. For more details on scanning, head on to the Lomography Guide to Film Scanning microsite.

2017-03-11 #tutorials #videos #scanning #digitaliza #film-scanner #film-scanning

One Comment

  1. cb1
    cb1 ·

    I want to see those scanning masks in use. They peeked my interest.

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