Even if you are a novice-level photographer, it should be evident that using conventional scanners, you won’t be able to scan your films. That is because to scan a negative film, scanners need to have a bright source of light that would hit the film from the back.
However, when you want to be a professional photographer being able to scan and digitally store films from a negative film, a special scanner is absolutely necessary! So, get those multi-tasking scanners or hack up some silver board and place it on your scanner.
Either way, in this article, you will be learning how to scan 35mm film. Furthermore, we will also be providing you with all the relevant information on the topic.
How Do Scanners Work?
Before we jump into scanning, a photographer should be aware of how scanners work. So, let us begin with that!
Scanners have a source of light, which emits bright light on the document or picture that you are planning to scan. When the bright light is shown on the object, it is reflected back. The reflected light is passed through a couple of reflectors and is then received by a light-sensitive material.
And the sensitive sensor then converts the received light into electronic data, thus, enabling you to store the picture digitally. A better 35mm film scanner will do perfect job in reflecting light resulting in better output and the fewer quality items will not satisfy the needs.
Types of Scanners
Now that you have a short briefing on how a scanner works, let us review the types of scanners that are available. And generally, the market has 5 types of scanners:
These types of scanners tend to be a little costly (they could cost from 300$ to 800$). In this type of scanners, the data is delivered by the scanner, which moves along the beam to collect the data.
Now, these are rising to be the most common form of scanners and are a great option when you want to scan images.
If you want the best resolution and quality for the picture or document you are scanning, then this is the best option.
We are quite sure that you will find these in your office as this is the most common form of scanners in the market.
This is the last form of scanners, and if you are looking for a scanner that is capable of scanning negatives and numerous other forms of scanning, then this is the one!
How to Scan a 35-mm Film
Here’s the step-by-step process for you.
Step 1: Ensure Dust-Free Workstation
The first step of scanning a 35-mm film is making sure that your workstation is dust-free. You see, dust can cause unwanted distortion during the scanning process. So, make sure that you are carrying out your work in a dust-free area. After that, use the rocket blower to remove any dust that may be around.
Step 2: Wear Gloves
Make sure that you are wearing gloves as they will prevent you from leaving unwanted fingerprints on the film. Now, your scanner should come with film holders and be sure to use the rocket blower on them as well.
Step 3: Place the Film Holders Properly
Furthermore, make sure to accurately place the film holders and lock them properly. After that, firmly place the film into the holders. This will provide you with an accurate and clean scan every time.
Step 4: Get the Corresponding Scanning Software
You should have the corresponding scanning software for the brand of the scanner you are using. For example, if you are using Canon scanners, then you should have the built-in Canon software that you can install on your laptop or computer.
Step 5: Get the Settings Right
Check and adjust all the required settings. If you are wondering what resolution setting you should opt for, then you can go for the 2400 DPI (Dots Per Inch) as it is ideal for all kinds of work and is also known to enhance the quality of your pictures. However, this is ideal for 4-6 pictures.
Different mm sizes of scanner work in a different way depending on the size of the film. The light emits from the scanner will be various, resulting in differences in resolution.
If you want to go higher, we recommend you go for a higher resolution. By the way, the higher the DPI, the longer it will take for the scanner to scan the picture. Now, choose the file type. Go for JPEG or TIFF, and you can commence the scanning.
However, if you do not have a scanner that has an option for scanning films, you can resort to a different method. For that, you would be needing silver cardboard or something similar.
Firstly, you would have to build the silver card into a triangular prism or pyramid. Then place it over the picture or image that you want to scan. Nevertheless, it will not be as good as using a scanner that will scan negative films.
Storing pictures is the task that every photographer has to go through, and if you want to do that digitally, then using the scanner is the best option. Now that you know how to do that, we hope that you will be able to save your work digitally and make your magic happen!