How to scan my film negatives at home
Depending on the method you’re going for, you will be needing some of the following to scan your film negatives:
• A digital camera with macro lens or your smartphone along with a tripod
• A scanning mask or film holders
• A flatbed scanner or a dedicated film scanner
• A light table/LED panel or scanning kits
You will also be needing a photo-editing software and tools like Photoshop, Lightroom and Negative Lab Pro if you’re scanning on your computer, or a photo-editing app if you’re scanning with your phone. We recommend using our free in-browser Lomo DigitaLIZA LAB tool.
1. Scanning with a flatbed scanner or a dedicated film scanner
For these widely-used methods, you will be needing film holders or scanning masks to use with a dedicated film scanner or a flatbed scanner that has film scanning capabilities. Scanning masks like the DigitaLIZA 35 mm Scanning Mask allow you to conveniently fit your film on a flatbed scanner. The scanning masks are also available in 120 and 110 formats. You can scan without a film holder or scanning mask by using an anti-newton glass on top of the film to keep it in place.
2. Scanning with a light table/LED panel
The use of light table and LED panel to scan film negatives has been on the rise and for this method, you will be needing a digital camera equipped with a macro lens, or your smartphone, and a tripod.
3. Using scanning kits
Can’t find an answer to your question? Or do you have some useful advice to add to one of our courses? We want to build the world’s largest analogue learning space, so please send any further requests or information to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take a look!
The LomoLab is our film developing and scanning arm of Lomography. Found in Vienna and only available for mainland Europe, you can send in your rolls directly to us at Lomography – LomoLab, Kaiserstraße 34/12, 1070 Vienna, Austria.
Film processing labs that offer film development services will typically also offer scanning services.
Like other film formats, you can scan a 120 film using a flatbed scanner, a dedicated film scanner fit for the 120 film format, paired with a scanning mask like the Lomography DigitaLIZA 120 film scanning mask, or scanning kits like the Lomography DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA MAX which comes with a 120 film holder.
If you’re looking to invest in your own film processing equipment, or simply want to try out scanning on your own, here are the most common methods and what you will need to scan your film negatives.
The answer is yes! You can scan 35 mm and 120 film negatives using just your smartphone with scanning kits like the Lomography DigitaLIZA Max and our free in-browser Lomo DigitaLIZA LAB tool or by installing a film scan app on your phone to invert and enhance the images.
You can scan panoramic film images using a flatbed scanner, medium format scanner, a scanning mask like the DigitaLIZA scanning masks, or the DigitaLIZA scanning kits.
You can scan film negatives with overlapping frames with a film holder or a scanning mask, a flatbed or dedicated film scanner, or a scanning kit like the DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA MAX.
There are a few ways to scan 110 film, such as with Lomography’s dedicated DigitaLIZA 110 Scanning Mask, or Lomography DigitaLIZA+ and Digitaliza Max with a modified frame.
Much like other film formats, you can scan sprocket holes and film borders using regular flatbed scanners or dedicated film scanners like the Lomography DigitaLIZA scanning kits.