One of the latest entrants in the at-home film scanning game is the Plustek OpticFilm 120. Just announced a few months ago and made available for pre-orders earlier this month, the OpticFilm 120 is a professional caliber scanner that can digitize both 35mm and 120mm medium format film. With a price tag of $2,000, it’s not exactly wallet-friendly for the average film shooter, but is quite affordable when compared to other medium-format pro-grade scanners on the market.
The iPICS2GO Negative to iPhone Scanner is a simple device that lets your iPhone double as a scanner for photos, both film and prints. It works with 35mm negatives and slide film, as well as 3×5 and 4×6 prints.
Just plug your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S into the top, fire up the powerful editing app and feed a photo, slide or negative into the PICS2GO. With the app’s easy-to-use controls you can scan your pics in seconds, and save them as a digital file that’ll last forever. Or at least until the next technological revolution.
Battery-powered and designed purely for the iPhone 4 and 4S, the iPICS2GO is a handy little gadget that you can use anywhere in the house. Scan your family album while you’re watching the telly; or take it round your Nan’s house and go through her black and white snaps. There’s never been an easier or more convenient way to save your precious, perishable photo prints.
The scan quality is, well, iPhone camera quality, but it’s a pretty cheap option considering the $63 price tag.
Shoebox is an app by 1000 Memories that lets you turn your iOS or Android smartphone into a scanner for digitizing old paper photos (the photos don’t have to be old, of course). The app goes far beyond manual snapping and cropping: it uses edge detection to help you crop, color balance to compensate for lighting, and auto-flattens the resulting image to adjust for your camera’s tilt. You can download it for free through the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
Want to made giant prints of your tiny phone photos? Instead of doing the enlargement purely with Photoshop, Photojojo suggests using a scanner for high-quality enlarging. Simply resample the small photo at 360dpi, print it out on high quality matte paper, and then re-digitize it using a scanner at 360dpi and the print size you want. It’d be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of this technique versus simply resizing in Photoshop and printing that image directly.
In the future, after you print photos onto paper using your camera, you’ll be able to scan them and share them on Flickr using your mouse. At CES earlier this year, LG showed off an amazing new mouse that lets you quickly scan images and documents by simply waving the mouse over them. Now it’s available — if you live in the UK, you can buy one from Dabs for £90 (~$150).
We shared a couple weeks ago that it’s possible to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner and a DIY cardboard adapter, but did you know you can also use a large-screen cell phone or tablet computer to provide the necessary backlighting? All you need is a way to turn a large portion of the screen entirely white (e.g. a “flashlight” app). Simply place the device facedown over the film on the scanner, and scan it with the cover open. Read more…
If you’ve tried to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner as you would a piece of paper, you’ve probably discovered that it didn’t turn out very well. The reason is because film needs to be illuminated from behind, while conventional scanners capture light that’s reflected off what they’re scanning. Before you give up hope and shell out money for a film scanner, here’s some good news: you can build a cheap and simple cardboard adapter that turns any scanner into a film scanner! Read more…
If you have an old or broken flatbed scanner lying around and gathering dust, a neat thing you can do is convert it into a cheap, do-it-yourself lightbox for viewing negatives and slides. Photo-enthusiast James Wilson did this as a weekend project:
It was a simple process; gut the scanner, hook up a light fixture inside it, and paint the inside of the glass white. Total cost was around ten bucks for the light fixture, wiring, and paint. [#]
Did you know that flatbed scanners make fun portrait cameras as well? Just place your cat on the glass, do a quick scan, and you’ll have a strange looking portrait shot from below! Apparently this is pretty popular among cat lovers — a Flickr search for “cat scanner” returns thousands of results! This gives “cat scan” a whole new meaning!