Convert Film Images to Digital Files with a Negative Scanner

Whether you are a fan of traditional photography methods, or just have some old negatives that you would like to preserve for posterity, a negative scanner is a useful tool for converting images on film to digital. Once scanned, images can then be printed, shared or archived as desired. If you are looking for a negative scanner, you will find a massive selection on eBay, and with both new and used models available, there are options to suit all budgets.

How do negative scanners work?

Negative scanners use a light source to illuminate photographic film or slides and an image sensor to record the details and create a digital image. The digital image can then be saved on your computer to use as you wish.

What features do negative scanners have?

The exact features of each scanner will vary according to make, model, and price. Some common features to look out for include:

  • Internal storage: To store scanned photographs without the need to be connected to a PC. Some scanners also feature expandable memory via an SD, or micro-SD, card.
  • Frame recognition: This feature can automatically distinguish between separate photographs.
  • Automated film handling: To make feeding film through the scanner easy.
  • Dust reduction technology: This automatically removes any stray dust from the film.
  • Digital noise reduction: This produces cleaner, sharper scans.
What should be considered when choosing a negative film scanner?

As always, choice depends on intended use. Scanners are available with different scanning resolutions, and the higher the megapixels, the sharper the scanned images will be. If you are someone who would like to merely scan some old family pictures to share on social media or print out, then a basic entry-level model should fulfil your needs. If you are a professional photographer who wishes to create large-scale art prints, however, then you may prefer a higher end model. Also consider how many images you plan on scanning, if you have a large catalogue of images to archive, then a scanner that allows multiple images to be scanned at once could save you time.

Will the scanner be compatible with my computer?

Most new scanners will work with most newer PC's. If you have an older PC or are thinking about purchasing a used scanner, however, then it is worth making sure that your scanner and PC will work together. Always check the manufacturer's website before purchase to ensure compatibility.