With advances in digital photography and the limited life of 35 mm negatives, converting your archived film into a digital format is a great way to preserve and organise your images. There are several ways to convert a 35 mm to a digital format.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
If your scanner has a film-carrier tray, set the film up. Open the tray and align the film's sprocket holes with the carrier's teeth, then snap the tray closed. Place the film-carrier tray in the designated area of the scanner.
If your scanner does not have a film-negative tray, carefully lay the negatives flat on your scanner. Do not close the scanner's lid fully on old negatives, as they may be damaged.
Select the "Film Scan" setting in your scanner's editing software. Scanning a negative without this setting will result in a negative image that needs to be inverted; if your scanning software does not have a film setting, you will need to convert the images later in a photo-editing program.
Scan your negatives. Save the digital files on your computer. If necessary, use the "Invert" function on your photo-editing software to convert a negative image to a positive image.
Tips and warnings
- Home scanners with negative carriers are relatively inexpensive and widely available. A dedicated film scanner costs more, but works faster and may produce better results.
- Take care when handling old negatives, as the film can become brittle with time. If in doubt, ask your local photo lab if they offer film-scanning services.
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