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Convert Your 35mm Negatives to Digital Images Quickly and without a Scanner

By Edited Mar 21, 2016 0 1

Now that we've all pretty much converted to digital photography, you may have boxes of old 35mm negatives that you'd like to convert to digital images so you can store them in your computer for yourself and your family. However, Negative Scanners can be expensive and they take a bit of time, usually a minute or two to scan each negative. Here you will learn how to Convert 35mm Negatives to Digital Images quickly and without a Scanner.
Convert Film to Digital

Things You Will Need

A Digital Camera

35mm Negatives

Light Table

Framing Card

Static Free Brush

A Computer

Photo Manipulation Software

Step 1

Brush
You will need a digital camera with a Macro/Magnifying Glass setting, with at least a 6 Megapixel resolution. Also, a light table is advised to illuminate and support the negative. Using a Static Free brush, available at most photo supply stores, carefully brush each side of the negative to remove dust particles. (See photo)
Brush

Step 2

Framing Card
Place the negative on the light table, and, using a black framing card (available at most photo supply stores), place the framing card over the negative. The opening on the framing card is the same size as a 35mm negative. (See photo)
Framing Card

Step 3

Frame and Shoot
Now, using the Macro setting on the digital camera, carefully frame the image and photograph it. Make sure your camera is level with the negative. If the camera is tilted in relation to the negative, you will get parallax distortion. (See photo)
Frame and Shoot

Step 4

Software to Invert
Continue this process for each of your negatives. Then transfer the images from your camera to your computer. The resulting images are negative and need to be converted to positive. Using photo manipulation software such as Photoshop, invert the image, which will create a positive from the negative. (See Photo)
Software to Invert

Step 5

Inverted Image
Once you have positive images, you can color correct, crop, rotate, and adjust them as you wish. (See photo)
Inverted Image

It's a good idea to label each photo for categorization and archiving and to save them as .jpg files. As .jpg files they will take up less memory to store, plus the .jpg standard will be with us for a long time. This means that in the future, you will most likely be able to view them even if digital technology advances.

Tips & Warnings

Since you are preserving these images for the future, take care in properly focusing and adjusting them.


You can make your own framing card using stiff black paper and an Xacto knife.
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Comments

Jul 7, 2010 2:35pm
divaonline
Another brilliant article! I never would have thought of inverting the image to get a positive!
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