Film scanners are very convenient devices because they can eliminate the step of printing copies of photos to photo paper either at home or by taking the film for development at a local store. Film scanners actually scan the film into the computer without the need for printing. One of the main advantages of scanning negatives, slides, or photos is that it gives you total control of your images. A scanner may have software that allows the photographer to lighten or darken the images or to improve their color. There is also specific hardware available with the capability of removing scratches and other imperfections from the film. Dust and scratches can be a major problem when scanning because of the high resolution capabilities of the modern scanner which can make these defects very noticeable. Although scanning is the best way to preserve your photos, it is time consuming and can be expensive.
Large format film scanners are often used by engineers, fabricators, and architects as well as for AutoCAD. Film up to 8 inches by 10 inches can be scanned on a flatbed scanner. Some of these are very expensive, costing thousands of dollars, which is not an issue for a large business, but it is very costly for an individual. With these scanners, film with images of buildings, architecture, and other large devices can be scanned to provide images with sharp details.
The Epson 4490 is a highly recommended model for scanning negatives and slides. The Epson Perfection V300 Photo Flatbed Scanner is another highly rated model that has scan resolution comparable to more costly scanners. Software that is included gives the photographer choices of how much control he or she wants to have over the final scan. This scanner can also scan slides and filmstrips. Another popular model flatbed scanner often used by businesses is the Fumitsu fi-6130 scanner. It has the capability of scanning 60 images per minute in color or 80 images per minute in monochrome and grayscale. This model sells for around $1,000, whereas the two previously mentioned models sell for under $200.
Some flatbed scanners have an attachment so that slides and negatives can be scanned, but film scanners are specifically made to scan slides and negatives, and they make the best images. The downside of a film scanner is that it can cost several thousands of dollars. Two brands that are highly rated are the Nikon 9000 ED and the Nikon 5000 ED.
There are negative scanners available for anyone who wants to scan negatives without the use of a computer. The Old 35mm negatives and slides, as well as photographs as large as 5 inches by 7 inches, can be scanned and converted to digital photos. High-resolution images can be created with a 5.1 megapixel scanner such as the Ion All-inOne Slide Negative Photo Converter. A film scanner like this model is ideal for preserving old photos without the need to print and store paper prints. This model is good for home use because it costs under $100.
Another model, the Pandigital 4 inch by 6 inch Personal Photo, Slide, and Negative Scanner/Converter is another film scanner that is good for home use. The cost is also under $100, and it can make digital copies of photos and save them to a card that can then transfer photos to a computer to be printed if desired. The memory card comes with the film scanner when you purchase it. Also, once the photos are in the pc, it is possible to adjust the color and imaging to make them look like they are new.
There are many reasons to use a film scanner on your photos. These devices eliminate the need for storing thousands of prints, they enable you to use software on your computer to edit them, and they keep your digital photos safe for a long period of time.