Cassette Film photo of dead flowers

9 Easy Steps for Scanning Film Negatives

David Tau

Scanning film negatives


Scanning film negatives using a digital camera is a process of converting the physical film into a digital image that can be stored and edited on a computer. Here are the steps you can follow to scan a film negative:



  • Determining the film size holder: Cassette Film offers a multi-format system that's easy to set and use right out of the box. 


  • Level the diffuser: The built-in rubber leveling feet are a beneficial feature of the Cassette Film Diffuser, providing several advantages such as stability, vibration reduction, easy leveling, and aesthetically pleasing. 


  • Clean the negatives: Before you start scanning, it's essential to clean the negatives to remove any dust or scratches that could affect the quality of the scanned image. 


  • Load the negatives: Load the negatives into the film holder, ensuring they are in the correct orientation. 


  • Adjust the camera settings: As a starting point, try these settings. ISO 200, f8 aperture priority focus on the grain (I use focus peaking use it if you have it)!  use a cable release/remote to limit camera shake.


  • Digitize the negatives: Camera Settings and focus should remain consistent throughout the entire film role. After some practice, scanning a whole role in under a minute is possible. Have you tried flatbed scanning lately?


  • Invert the image: After scanning, the image will appear negative. You'll need to use image editing software to invert the image, making it a positive. 


  • Adjust the brightness and contrast: You may also need to adjust the brightness and contrast of the scanned image to improve the final result. 


  • Save the scanned image: Once satisfied, save it in a format you choose, such as JPEG or TIFF. Don't forget to print your image as well. I’ve made a habit of printing 4x5
Shop the film holder for scanner from here.


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