Convert Prints and Film to Digital

various forms of film: slides, negatives, movies, prints

I have shot film for many years. So I have thousands of photos that are still on film that I have not yet converted to digital format. This film includes some 8mm film my dad shot when I was a kid (and before). It also includes thousands of negatives and thousands of slides. Then there are all those prints for which I have long ago misplaced the negatives, and the prints I have been given that I would like to be able to catalog. The negatives are mostly 35mm, but there are also some other sizes, like 126 and 620. Most are color, but I do have some black and white. What a challenge!

Scan from Prints

Prints are, with the exception of Polaroid prints, not the original images. Most prints are a "copy" of a negative, or possibly a slide. Prints are generally not as sharp as the negative or slide from which they were made. They also don't have as much brightness range. If you have the original negative or slide, it is always best to digitize that instead of the print. However, many of us have long ago lost the negatives. So the only option is to digitize the print. I have more discussion about doing that here.

Scan from Film

If you have the original negative or slide, you can get better quality scans from that than from a print made from that negative or slide. To scan the negative or slide, you will need a scanner capable of scanning film. Many flatbed scanners now have built-in lights for scanning film. These scanners are probably adequate for many scanning needs. You will find more information about scanning film (slides and negatives) here.

Convert Movies

You can convert your home movies to DVD. If you have a video camera, just project your movie onto a white wall, and record the movie. The results won't be perfect, but they may be acceptable to you. I found this wasn't good enough for me. So, I paid to have mine converted.

For more about converting your home movies to DVD (and other formats), click here.