Negative Scanner – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
When working with photographs and negatives, it is important to have a scanner capable of handling and digitizing this type of format. This tool gives you the possibility to apply filters, edits and improvements to the original capture in order to obtain a greater appreciation of details. Among the models we recommend could be the Kodak RODFS35, a device with compatibility for several film formats and a color LCD screen that offers you preview. Another good option might be the Plustek OpticFilm 8200I SE, a professional-grade scanner capable of building 7,200 x 7,200 dpi scanned images.
The 8 Best Negative Scanners – Opinions 2022
To convert old printed photographs and negatives into digitized images that can be edited and improved, scanners are a good tool and here you can find a selection of models specially designed for it. Focusing on the most important aspects, finding the most practical one should be relatively easy:
Negative and slide scanner
1. Kodak Digital Negative Film Scanner for JPEG
Kodak is one of the best-known photography equipment brands in the world, so its RODFS35 negative and slide scanner model could not be missing from this selection.
This device is useful for those who do not want to use a computer, since it has its own 3.5” TFT LCD screen, where you can view the image of the negatives in full color.
It has dimensions of 13 x 11.9 x 11.5 centimeters with a weight of approximately 467 grams. This will allow you to easily place it on your desk, as well as store it when you do not need it and, in case you want to use it outside the home, it is quite convenient to transport.
On the other hand, it is noteworthy to mention that it can work with both negatives and slides of different formats, being able to take them to digitalized JPEG images in just a few seconds.
Kodak might have the best negative scanner around and here are some more interesting details:
Design: The scanner has a compact size and light weight, as well as an intuitive design for easy use.
Compatibility: Support for negative and slide formats expands usability considerably.
Screen: Its screen, in addition to being of good quality, is also tiltable for your comfort.
Connectivity: The equipment has USB, HDMI and video output ports for the connection and transmission of images.
Resolution: Its resolution is low compared to other models, but keep in mind that it is a device designed for home use, not professional.
2. Veho Smartfix Portable Stand Alone Scanner
A model that stands out in this selection for being among the cheapest is that of the Veho brand.
The Veho VFS-014-SF negative and slide scanner is a compact size option that is intuitive and easy to use. Its measurements are 10.9 x 14 x 9.9 centimeters, being able to hold it without problems with one hand thanks also to its light weight of just 363 grams.
It features a black plastic case with a matte finish, which gives it a professional look. It also has an integrated 2.4” TFT LCD screen that will serve as a monitor to view your processed negatives before taking them to digital format.
In addition to this, if you want to use the negative scanner through a computer, you can connect it via USB cable to computers running Windows or Mac OS as the operating system, thanks to the fact that it offers compatibility and drivers for both.
When you don’t know which negative scanner to buy, you can consider the Veho alternative as a good option:
Compact: It is a compact size scanner that you can handle comfortably and that will not take up much space.
Supports: Includes various types of support so you can use different formats of negatives and slides.
Screen: Its screen is in color and on it you can easily view the digitized image before saving it.
Compatibility: You will be able to connect this scanner to computers running Windows or Mac OS.
Adapter: It does not have a power adapter for the USB cable, so it must be charged connected to the computer.
Professional negative scanner
3. Plustek OpticFilm 8200I SE Scanner
In case you are looking for a professional negative scanner, the Plustek OpticFilm 8200I SE model probably catches your attention.
The Plustek scanner has a resolution of 7,200 x 7,200dpi with which images can be processed for maximum prints of 36” x 24”, more than enough for family or souvenir photos.
Another detail that could make it the best negative scanner is that it has an infrared system to remove scratches and dust that may exist on the negative. This increases the purity of the film for quality scanning without lines or smudges.
As for its design, the scanner has dimensions of 12 x 27.2 x 11.9 centimeters with a weight of 1.6 kilograms and its purchase includes a carrying bag, where you can take it safely wherever you need.
Plustek could one day become the best negative scanner brand, which is why we invite you to learn more about this option:
Programming: You can configure this model to digitize the negative with the push of a button.
Resolution: It offers a maximum resolution of 7,200 x 7,200p, more than enough to obtain a good image quality.
Software: You will get a copy of SilverFast SE Plus 8 software for scanner operation and photo editing.
Compatibility: Thanks to its compatibility, you can use this model on Windows or Mac OS computers.
Time: To obtain a scan in the maximum resolution offered by the scanner, you will have to wait up to 2 minutes.
4. Reflecta RPS 10M Negative and Slide Scanner
Another good professional negative scanner could be the Reflecta RPS 10M. This model has a size of 18.3 x 27.4 x 9.7 centimeters, being compact in size for convenient handling and location. In addition, it should be noted that it weighs 1.4 kilograms, so it is easy to move when you want to store it.
Aesthetically, the scanner features a dark gray plastic casing along with a sturdy frame with feet to lift it off the table. The buttons for its operation are located on the right side and are clearly identified to avoid confusion when using the scanner.
Regarding its performance, it works with an optical sensor with a resolution of 10,000 dpi, with which you can scan 35 mm negative strips or 5 x 5 centimeter slides. In this sense, it should be noted that the strips can be up to 36 frames long, allowing a large number of images to be processed in a short time.
Considering every detail of the negative scanner will help you decide whether or not it is the equipment you need to work:
Design: The Reflecta negative scanner is comfortable to use and compact for easy handling.
Resolution: The sensor has an optical resolution of 10,000 dpi to digitize images with quality, detail and contrast.
Automatic: It has an automatic entry for the negative strips so you don’t have to slide them one by one.
Instructions: You can learn to use it easily thanks to its instruction manual in Spanish.
Software: Although it includes the license for the use of special software, it is considered that there are programs that are more complete and better suited for editing.
Epson Negative Scanner
5. Epson Perfection V550 Photo Photo Scanner
Epson is a well-known brand in the computer and electronic device market, so a negative scanner could not be missing from its catalogue.
The Perfection line offers you a kit with which you can easily handle your strips and slides, making use of the supports specially designed for it together with the ReadyScan LED technology in charge of preparing everything in a few seconds.
In addition, it should be noted that there are those who classify it as one of the best negative scanners of 2022 because its acquisition comes with supports to mount transparencies, films, and slides, becoming one of the most practical models on the list.
On the other hand, the Epson negative scanner has access to a storage cloud, where you can save the processed images or share them online wherever you want, for example, uploading them to your social networks or emailing them to a friend.
If you want to know the pros and cons of Epson equipment, we invite you to read the following information:
Design: The Epson scanner has a modern design with good manufacturing finishes for a long life.
Resolution: It has a resolution of 6,400 x 9,600p with which you can appreciate a good level of detail in your images.
Storage: It has the option to send the files to be stored in the cloud or also share them online directly.
Media: Your kit purchase includes media for transparencies, slides and, of course, negative film.
Size: Compared to other alternatives, this scanner is considerably larger and heavier.
Scanner for photos and negatives
6. Mersoco Digitnow HD 22MP Photo & Film Digitizer
From the Mersoco brand we present a practical scanner for photos and negatives that you can use with relative ease thanks to its ergonomic and intuitive design.
The Film Digitizer model has a size of 21 x 25 x 14 cm centimeters and its weight is 1.3 kilograms, allowing it to be placed on the desk comfortably and without taking up too much space. It has a practical color screen that you can use as a monitor for previewing, as well as an interface for handling the scanner.
Its operation is simple, since it uses a method similar to that of any scanning device for photos and it has a slot to insert the negatives, preventing them from moving. Likewise, in its button panel you can adjust the parameters and save the image when you are satisfied with the result. In addition, it should be noted that it is very fast, being possible to scan each negative in less than a second.
In case you have been interested in this equipment, below, you will find more details regarding its operation:
Practical: With this scanner you can digitize negatives with standard 135 and 110 Film with a resolution of 22MP, making it versatile.
Screen: Its screen allows you to preview the scan, to verify the result.
Resolution: You can achieve a good resolution and sharpness for your files, getting sharpness in your photos.
Storage: It has 128 MB of internal storage to speed up the process.
Cost: You could find devices at a more affordable price, but the versatility and speed of the device can compensate for this inconvenience.
Photo negative scanner
7. DigitNow! Film Scanner For 35mm
For those interested in possibly the best value for money negative scanner, we recommend the DigitNow! FilmScanner.
It is a photographic negative scanner that you can use on its own or connected to a computer. In the first case, you will have a practical screen available to view the negatives, as well as the buttons for managing the scanner’s functions and settings. If you prefer to use a computer, you won’t have any compatibility problems, since it can be installed on both Windows and Mac OS.
Another striking detail is its design, since the scanner has compact dimensions so that you can have it practically in any corner or take it with you. The good manufacturing finishes of the scanner also stand out. Although it has a casing made of plastic, it is pleasant to the touch, robust and durable.
If you want to save money by choosing one of the cheaper alternatives, you will probably be interested in the pros and cons of the DigitNow! product:
Design: The choice of DigitNow! offers an easy-to-use control panel along with a handy preview screen.
Capacity: He is trained to digitize both negatives and slides to get the most out of it.
Adjustments: The exposure control can be changed to manual in case you want to further adjust the photo.
Accessories: The purchase of this model includes the USB cable with its respective power adapter, a cleaning brush, an AV cable and the supports.
Retouching: Depending on the quality of the negative or slide, you may need to retouch the images on your computer afterwards.
Canon negative scanner
8. Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 Desktop Flatbed Scanner
In case you still haven’t been able to decide which is the best negative scanner, we have one last option to recommend, the CanoScan LiDE 400 model.
Here we are faced with a desktop computer equipped with technology for digital enhancement of scanned images. These were specifically developed by the company, so their compatibility and performance are up to the equipment.
In addition, the Canon negative scanner is practical at the time of installation, since it includes a support to place it in a vertical or horizontal position. Its dimensions are 25 x 36.5 x 4.2 centimeters, while its weight is approximately 1.7 kilograms.
Visually, it is discreet, but modern, since its casing is metallic in black and has a brushed finish. For its part, you will have a control panel at hand to choose the image format, activate automatic scanning, make a copy or send the file.
Being a good negative scanner alternative, we recommend you evaluate its advantages and disadvantages:
Design: The Canon scanner has a robust, elegant design and good manufacturing finishes that make it attractive.
Multifunctional: It can be used with negatives, slides and other documents thanks to its size.
Technology: It has Document Fix and Photo Fix to apply automatic adjustments to scanned files.
Buttons: It has 5 buttons on the front dedicated to perform specific functions to facilitate the operation of the scanner.
USB: If you want to enjoy the maximum operating speed, it is necessary to connect it to a USB 3.0 port.
Negative scanners are a handy tool for any photography enthusiast or simply to bring old family photos back to life. In this guide to buying the best negative scanner, we will help you correctly evaluate each of the most important features of this equipment:
Negative Scanner Design
According to any comparison of negative scanners, it is common to find design as one of the first aspects that are usually reviewed by buyers before deciding which one to buy.
Considering the options available in the market, you can opt for a team designed solely to work with negatives, which offer the advantage of having compact sizes that make it easy to work with them. In addition, they can be easily transported in case you need to use them outside the home in your studio, for example.
On the other hand, if we consider the scanner models that can work with other types of documents apart from negatives, you will find larger equipment, but which, in return, are multifunctional. Likewise, this capacity will allow you to work with photographs of different sizes for digitization, which increases its practicality in case you need to use it as a work tool.
The negative scanner sensor is one of the essential components for its operation, so its type can be decisive in evaluating how much each model costs.
In the case of scanners, the sensor is the device in charge of capturing the image for digital processing, as well as determining the maximum resolution that a negative or common photograph can have.
In order to choose the right negative scanner, we advise you to verify that its sensor meets your requirements while offering appropriate performance for the type of film you plan to use.
Depending on the type of scanner you will get access to work with a limited number of negative formats, but don’t worry, it is possible to find a cheap model with which you can meet your needs.
In this sense, if you only plan to use the equipment to digitize negatives and films, you will probably find it more practical and comfortable to use a scanner designed solely to work with these formats.
However, having a model at hand that can digitize various alternatives will have fewer restrictions. They are usually a bit larger, but compared to other office equipment, they are just as manageable.
These types of scanners have the right design, size and sensor to digitize negatives, films, old photographs and more, being classified as multifunctional.
The management of the scanner refers to the controls and access that the equipment offers you to work with your negatives and photographs. Some can be more complicated than others, so this is an important detail if you want to avoid confusion when using your device.
When reviewing the alternatives that interest you, look at the controls. Some can be physical, while others will be available through a screen that can be touch or connecting the scanner to an external monitor. These details will give you an idea of how intuitive the equipment is to use, so that you can choose one that suits your knowledge, needs and skills.
Taking into account that the main reason why you decide to use a negative scanner is to digitalize physical images, it is important to consider what editing software will be available to you based on the scanner model. Some options may include licenses for the use of professional software, which will give you access to a wide variety of tools for your photos.
For example, if you’re looking for a negative scanner from a well-known brand like Epson or Canon, your purchase will likely include access codes or licenses to use editing software. These have useful tools for scanning these types of formats, as well as for general editing and digitizing. However, it should be noted that it is not necessary that they be from well-known brands, since you have alternatives available that, without the need for fame, have their own programs and offer them for free.
By making use of programs developed for the scanner itself, it will be possible for you to take full advantage of the capacity of the equipment while obtaining the best possible quality in the processing of digital images.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a negative scanner?
You must first identify the appropriate media for the type of negatives you want to digitize. Place the film strip in the holder compartment and carefully close it. Turn on the scanner and insert the media into the bottom slot so you can see the enlarged, digitized image on the screen. In this step you can change some settings of the photo before saving it in the desired format by selecting the corresponding option.
Q2: How to scan negatives without a scanner?
Whether you use Android OS or iOS, the respective digital market of each operating system has applications with which you can use your old photos to obtain a digital copy that you can edit in the program of your choice.
In general, this process is carried out by placing the negative on a highly illuminated white surface and running the application that, using the mobile camera, will identify the negative to digitize the image.
Some of the recommended apps for Android OS and iOS are Photo Negative Scanner, PictoScanner, Kodak Mobile Film Scanner, among others, all offering tools to bring back your negatives.
Q3: How to adjust a negative scanner?
To adjust the parameters of the negative scanner directly, it must have a control panel and a screen where the information is displayed. Enter the Settings menu where you can change some settings regarding the film scan, whether you want it to face a wider margin or offer the result with a certain resolution.
In case you want to change the settings through the computer, go to the Start button and write in the search engine “Printers and Scanners”, click on the section to go directly to the configuration of the connected equipment.
Select your scanner to open the settings app. In it you will be able to see options similar to those you would find on the same device. Choose the parameters of your preference, save the changes and that’s it.
Q4: Why does my negative scanner scan with streaks?
If you ever notice streaks or lines in the scanned images your scanner produces, it’s very likely that the sensor, lens, cover, or negative holder itself is dirty.
The presence of stains, dust, fingerprints and general dirt on these components can affect the image and cause annoying lines.
Q5: Which is better, an Epson negative scanner or a Canon one?
Both brands are known worldwide and have a good reputation in terms of electronic equipment, so in their catalogs you can find negative scanners of all kinds, varying in design, resolution, capacity, functions and more.
This makes it difficult to determine which would be better, since it must be based on meeting the specific requirements of each buyer, but both Epson and Canon have very good performance models for working with negatives.
Q6: How to connect a negative scanner to a PC?
Negative scanners offer a variety of connection ports, whether to connect them to a PC, a single monitor, or even a printer. If you want to make any of these links, you will need to use the negative scanner’s USB cable.
Take the cable and connect it to the USB port on your scanner and the port on the PC. After this, the computer’s operating system should recognize the newly installed hardware and search for the necessary drivers to use. In the event that the base wizard does not identify the appropriate software, you can visit the website of the manufacturer of your negative scanner and look in the Downloads section for the corresponding driver.
By having the drivers installed, your PC will be able to recognize the scanner, as well as allow you to work with it using the available programs, either for image digitization or capture.
Q7: What resolution should a negative scanner have?
Specifically, a definitive resolution cannot be indicated for the negative scanner, since this is influenced by several factors: the format, the size of the expected photo and the printing system in case it is going to be needed.
For example, a typical negative is 24 x 36 millimeters and can be scanned at 1200 dpi, which will result in a 1200 x 1800p digital image that can be printed at 13 x 18 centimeters.
If you want to obtain a larger physical image, you must use a higher capacity equipment, as well as work with a negative that meets the requirements.