Digitalize your negatives the ghetto way using the Lomography DigitaLIZA and a digital camera


Want to “scan” your negatives on the cheap? It’s easy to digitalize your photos when you hold your negatives against a window, snap them with your digital camera and convert them to complete positive pictures on your computer. Find out how.

Recently I discovered this really cool tipster about the “Ghetto Scan” technique by falsedigital

The basic idea is to digitalize your film just by holding the negatives against a window, snapping it with your digital camera and converting it to a complete positive image on your computer. I was captivated by the article and couldn’t wait to get my hands on all the developed films laying around on my desk.

One thing that I was worried about was causing harm my beloved and sensitive negatives by sicking tape on them as recommended in the tipster. That’s the reason why I used the DigitaLIZA to hold them. While holiding the negatives in one hand while applying stress I snapped a photo with the other. To my surprise the results turned out impressively well.

This is how you do it:

• Load your film into the DigitaLIZA, hold it towards a bright light source (like your window during day time
or even your computer screen) and point your digital camera at it.
• Take some pictures of the negative and try to get rid of reflections or birds flying by.
• Now all you have to do is open the photos with the photo application of your choice, invert the negative
then set the black and white points.

Voilà, that’s it! It’s likely the fastest, cheapest and sexyest way to introduce your analogue photos to the digital world.

Just try it out, tell me what you think and don’t forget to share your outcomes.
Go for it! Yipieyeah!

written by lomoluxlux on 2010-07-09 #gear #tutorials #film #diy #negatives #window #screen #scanning #tipster #scan #ghetto-scan #digitaliza

Mentioned Product

DigitaLIZA 35 mm Scanning Mask

Hold your negatives in place through the innovative magnetic mechanism and easily scan special formats such as sprocket holes, endless panoramas and overlapping exposures.

View in Shop


  1. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

    Where can we find that digitaliza?

  2. saintjacques
    saintjacques ·

    yeah, it says lomo on it but it's not in the shop.

  3. beanieboi
    beanieboi ·

    now it is! :)

  4. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    love this accessory. good job lsi

  5. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    why is it called liza?

  6. elede
    elede ·

    This is so cool.

  7. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Smart and cool. Now I will seriously consider the camera Spinner....

  8. whoohoo
    whoohoo ·

    Lol, I didn´t knew this had a name.
    I scan my films the same way.
    But without the frame, just by holding it against the sky.

  9. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    I'm getting one of these...

  10. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·


  11. bohlera
    bohlera ·

    any way to do this with 120mm film?

  12. lloyd_ay
    lloyd_ay ·

    Bohlera, check out the original article he was talking about.

    If instead of the Digitaliza, you use to sheets of glass (take them from an unused photoframe or something), put a sheet of paper in between the glass, place a negative on one side of the paper, and put a lightsource behind all of it, it works in the same way.

    That's how I get ALL of my negatives into the digital realm.

    I'll do a step by step tipster about it soon.

  13. lomoluxlux
    lomoluxlux ·

    Vivian, check this link out:

    This can be done with most photo applications like gimp or photoshop.

    Hope I could help you :)

  14. ruprect
    ruprect ·

    I took my first roll of 120 film 14 days ago, all images except one was overexposed.

    I held the filmstrip up against my monitor and snapped a shot with my HTC Desire (mobile phone).

    This was the result:…

    A double exposure of my daughter taken with my Fisheye lens.

  15. lomoluxlux
    lomoluxlux ·

    Ruprect, I wouldn't have thought this was possible with a mobile phone cam. Cool result and I also like the photo.
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. desta1972
    desta1972 ·

    Nice article. Here are my first experiments with this technique. Hope you'll enjoy them.

  17. pushkar
    pushkar ·

    Thanks a ton. Can u do a tipster about steps you take after you scan? i mean step by step in photoshop. Thanks in advance.

  18. marv89
    marv89 ·

    :D had the same idea yesterday, but the camera on my mobile-phone sucks. Will try it today !

  19. spannywannydooda
    spannywannydooda ·

    This is great. Seems like the best way I'm going to get accurate digitals if I'm not happy with the CD I get from the lab. Will cross my fingers that I can get a nice looking image from inverting in GIMP. Gonna check that tute now.

  20. celiabc
    celiabc ·

    This is great! I just "scanned" my photos using this method, thanks!!!!

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