Like many of you, I have a large collection of 35mm slides and negative film that I have taken over the years that are currently pretty much invisible. I ditched my slide projectors with the last house move (they were 240V and hadn’t been used in 20 years!) and so all the slides were stored in their boxes for some sort of future viewing! In my early years, I took a lot of black and white films and so have all those negatives in those paper holders filed away. I’m not saying that these will be great for stock photo images, but there is a lot of my life stored in those boxes! So I’ve always wanted a way to scan them to digital and perhaps pick the best to share with family and friends.
In this age of the fight against plastic, cardboard has become a common construction material again. Coffee places the world over have switched out to cardboard straws, Google Cardboard remains one of the most popular VR “headsets” for your phone, and now Kodak is using cardboard to make their new Mobile Film Scanner.
“Scanning” film with a phone or digital camera is not a new idea, but it typically comes at a heavy expense. But for those who want to scan with their phone, they usually don’t want to spend a lot of money. Kodak’s new Mobile Film Scanner only costs $40.
Scanning film is one of the biggest issues with shooting film today. It’s not that it’s particularly difficult, it’s just a pain because most of us tend to do it so little. Maybe a roll or two every few weeks. Pulling out the scanner and hooking it up can be a chore, so we put it off and just never get around to it. I’ve got plenty of rolls here that have been developed but not scanned yet.
Photographer, Matt Day, however, has a simple solution to this problem. A solution that’s compact, quicker to set up than a scanner on your computer, as well as being faster and easier to actually “scan” in your images. Using a simple copy stand and an LED panel, he can get through a lot of film through very quickly and easily.
A couple months ago, we had a family friend who got a hold of some really old family photos. She came over and asked me if there was any way that I could convert her old slides to digital images. Since I do not own a slide scanner, I was about to tell her that there was nothing I could do, that was until I came up with a plan B.
I was holding one of her slides up to a light to see the image, when I came up with an idea.
I knew that I needed to backlight the slide to see the image, and I also knew that if I could get in close enough, I could capture a digital image of the slide. In order to get a good solid backlight, Here is what I came up with