Scanning prewar Negatives


Link Posted 04/02/2004 - 12:00
I'm keen on genealogy and have inherited shoeboxes of prewar negatives which I would like to scan to disk, but because of the range of sizes (of the negatives) obviously a 35mm slide/negative adapter will not do the job. Can anyone suggest another way?

George Lazarette

Link Posted 04/02/2004 - 17:11
Many slightly more expensive flatbed scanners come with transparency adaptors for a range of sizes, not just 35mm.

My Epson Perfection 2450 Photo will scan negs up to 4"x5", and you may find that you don't need a very high resolution (depending on the size of the neg and the intended use).

If it's just for the web, then you might find that even quite low resolution scanners will do the job.

For instance, a 35mm neg scanned at only 150 dpi gives a final image of roughly 900x600 pixels; sufficient to fill most of an average computer screen. If that's good enough for your purposes, then any old flatbed scanner with a transparency adaptor will do the trick, and there's lots of them about.

Here's a link to a review of the Epson:

If you've got lots to scan, you might want to do the whole lot at low resolution, then select a chosen few for doing again at higher res. Scanning lots of pictures takes a long time, and it is best to avoid using a resolution higher than the one you need.

Andrew Cunnington

Link Posted 05/02/2004 - 12:22
Also look at the Epson Perfection 3200 Photo - This A4 flatbed scanner comes with all the parts needed to scan slides or negatives - and can cope with a wide variety of sizes - including custom (I think). The software is easy to use and produces suberb output. Quality wise it compares with some dedicated slide/negative scanners. I am also a keen genealogist - and the scanner also serves me very well copying certificates, photos and other documents.



Link Posted 20/02/2004 - 09:28
I've successfully "scanned" medium format negatives with my point and shoot digital in macro mode, using a light box. It gives me 1200x1600 images which are much better than needed for the web. Using Photshop, PSP or Irfanview will convert the negative images to positives.


Link Posted 24/02/2004 - 11:53
hello chris, did you create your own lightbox? can you share to us how you created the box? i have a point and shoot digital camera and i want to scan some negatives too but i have no budget for a film scanner, im planning to make my own lightbox to scan my negatives too, any inputs would be greatly appreciated


Link Posted 28/02/2004 - 08:25
I have a very cheap Jessops lightbox I use for sorting slides. The useful area is about 6x4", although the corners are not quite as bright as the rest. I mount the digicam vertically over the box, slide or negative in the centre, and use the autofocus and autoexposure.

If I need to come closer than the macro facility of the camera will allow (9cm), I use a 4 cm focus achromat lens placed 4cm from the slide, with the camera as close to the lens as I can get. This will allow me to fill the frame with 35mm slides or negatives.


Link Posted 29/02/2004 - 22:54
I use an Epson 1240 Flatbed Scanner to scan my mediun format negatives.
It does an excellent job and the files can be printed to A3 size.



Link Posted 01/03/2004 - 08:38
2 chris, thanks alot for the info

2 grahamwalton, good for you got the Epson 1240 Flatbed scanner
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