Kodak $40 Mobile Film Scanner is Like Google Cardboard for Scanning Film

If you’re looking for the cheapest possible way to digitize your 35mm Negatives and Slides, the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is probably it. Costing just $40, this cardboard contraption lets you digitize 35mm film using just your smartphone and a couple of AA batteries.

The Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is made up of a foldable cardboard stand for your mobile phone, a base that allows you to slot in either 35mm Negatives and 35mm Slides, and an LED backlight. This, combined with the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner app (available on iOS and Android) allows you to use your phone’s camera to digitize your old film quickly… if not exactly “well.”

In other words: what Google Cardboard is to Virtual Reality, the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is trying to be for scanning film.

Most of the heavy lifting is done by the app, which has options for scanning Color Negative, Color Positive, and B&W Negative. Once you assemble the cardboard platform and switch on the backlight (batteries not included), you can insert a slide or film and start taking pictures of your negatives or slides.

Once taken, the app lets you do a little bit of post processing on the digital file by adjusting things like exposure, contrast and vignetting or adding text, borders or stickers.

Assuming you own a smartphone, this is quite possibly the easiest and cheapest way to digitize those heaps of 35mm negatives hiding in a box somewhere in your attic. It is not, however, going to produce mind-blowing results.

Hillary Grigonis over at Digital Trends recently reviewed the cardboard ‘scanner’ and called it “good enough for the ‘gram,” but not much else. “If all you want to do is get those old family photos out of the attic and onto social media or perhaps a digital picture frame, the scanner gets the job done,” writes Grigonis. “But I wouldn’t recommend it for people still actively shooting film.”

Still, if you’ve been wanting to digitize your film for ages, but the cost and/or hassle of a proper scanner or more advanced DIY setup like this one aren’t for you, then the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner might not be a bad choice.

Worst case, you spend $40 on a film stand and backlight that you can use to digitize your negatives with a better, higher-resolution camera.

(via Digital Trends)