What is a negative scanner and how much should a decent one cost?

January 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Questions

slide scanner questionsA negative scanner is a piece of equipment which allows you to scan slide negatives and film negatives and turn them into digital images, in a similar process to that of using a traditional scanner.

If you need something to let you scan in old 35mm negatives or slide negatives to the computer, a negative scanner is the thing you need.

How long does it take to scan in negatives with one?

Negatives can usually be scanned in small batches of around 4-6 depending on the scanner involved and the capabilities of it.  Scanning can take between a couple of minutes per batch, upto 10-15 minutes again depending on the scanner and also the results you are looking to achieve.

Is the quality good and how much should a decent one cost?

With prices ranging from around £40 upto many hundreds of pounds you should expect to get quality in comparison with the price.  Like many things in life you get what you pay for, however having said that if you are a novice to photography or negative scanning then the lower end of the market may still be more than adequate for your purposes.  You could always upgrade at a later date should the quality not be up to your required standards.

Many PC scanners come with negative holders that may do the job also so consider looking for a holder if you currently have a normal flat bed scanner.

For those into photography that use a negative based camera should consider converting to a Digital SLR such as the entry model EOS 1000D from Canon.