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11 Best Scanners For Pc Negitive And Film Scanning We've Tested 2023

Brandon Forder
  Jan 30, 2023 9:03 PM

To those accustomed to using digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs), the idea of film cameras must seem nothing short of fantastic. Photos taken with an SLR camera have unparalleled tonal range, contrast, and texture, but the lack of shot previewing is an insurmountable drawback. You can use a film scanner to turn your negatives into fine art prints for display in your home or as desktop wallpaper on your computer. Film scanners can digitize film negatives so they can be seen, modified, and shared digitally while retaining the original image's look and feel. You can choose from a wide variety of film scanners, each with its own set of technologies and features, just as there are many different kinds of film. You may use our 2022 guide to the best film scanners to convert your negatives, edit your photos, and upload them to online galleries.

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Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Flatbed scanners

Flatbed scanners, which are among the most flexible, use intense white light to scan an image's colors and tones. Because of this, they can create line-by-line digital reproductions of the image for improved quality and refinement.

They can scan negatives, despite not being dedicated film scanners. Despite their many applications, flatbed scanners are quite inexpensive.

Negative scanners

Negative film scanners, also known as slide or transparency scanners, are built to scan whole negative films by shining a focussed beam of light through them.

By scanning the image frame by frame with CCD image sensors, they ensure a higher quality and more detailed scan than flatbed scanners. The LCD display allows you to see your photographs in real time and makes the camera very user-friendly.

Drum scanners

Drum scanners have a speedier track record of scanning each image as it goes through the optic and transferring the recorded image to the computer, hence they are an improvement over their contemporaries. Since they capture high-quality images quickly, they also tend to be more expensive and difficult to operate.

Film or Flatbed Scanners?

A flatbed scanner is the way to go if you're looking for flexibility. You can scan slides, film negatives, medium format film, large format sheet film, prints, and documents with just one device. If you want high-quality scans with more information, though, a dedicated film scanner is the way to go if you don't care much about adaptability.


That the more expensive options are necessarily superior has not always been the case. A good film scanner can be found in any price range. You may find a selection of film scanners available at varying price points in the table up above. Pick the one that serves your purposes the best.

Color Depth and Dmax

The scanner's color depth indicates how much information it can gather about each individual color. Dmax, also known as optical density or dynamic range, is the maximum amount of contrast between the brightest and darkest areas that a scanner can detect. A 3 Dmax or higher device should be your go-to choice.


It's a measurement of how much information a scanner can record per square inch. A better quality scanned image can be achieved with a higher resolution. Negative film scanning should be fine at any resolution above 3000 ppi.

Scanning software

If you want to get the most out of your film scanner, you'll need solid picture editing software. Even while most scanners come with useful software, if you're unhappy with the results, it can be worthwhile to invest in picture editing software to adjust things like sharpness, color, and exposure.


How do I choose a film scanner?

Which scanner you choose will be determined by how much money you have, how often you plan to scan, the size of the film you plan to scan, and how much room you have. The most common film scanners are either flatbed, drum, or film strip models. The most common and inexpensive type of scanner is the flatbed variety.

They can scan an entire roll of film at once, and the results are quite high quality. The price of a drum scanner is more than that of a flatbed scanner, but the results are clearer, higher-resolution photos. You can use a film strip scanner to scan individual frames, or you can use it to scan slides or negatives.

Is it worth buying a film scanner?

A film scanner can be defined as an apparatus that scans film or slides to create digital images. If you want to try your hand at film photography but don't want to break the bank doing it, this is a fantastic buy.


Whether or if you should invest in a film scanner is a question only you can answer. The answer is positive if you intend to scan your negatives and produce prints. A simple negative scanning solution does not exist.

Can I scan negative films with a regular scanner?

It is true that negative films can be scanned using a common flatbed scanner. Images scanned with a conventional scanner, however, may not have good dynamic range or subdued colors if the illumination isn't of sufficient optical resolution.

Can a film scanner scan old negatives with scratches and faded color?

Scratches and color fades on negative films can be eliminated with the use of the infrared channels built into most high-end film scanners.

What is the highest image resolution a scanner can offer?

The standard resolution for professional and consumer film scanners is 6400 dpi. Since they are so much more costly than consumer-grade film scanners, their primary application is in the business sector.


Although learning the fundamentals of film scanning may seem daunting at first, it quickly becomes second nature. Still, you need put in some effort into study and instruction to get the most out of your negative scanner. The more you do it, the quicker and more precise you'll become, and the less mess you'll make of things.

All of the film scanners on this page are capable of scanning a wide variety of film types, allowing you to save precious memories in the form of high-resolution digital images. Still, it's important to keep in mind that every photographer has slightly different requirements, so if you buy something, be sure you can return it if it turns out to be a poor fit.

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