In this digital age, many photographers have switched to using digital cameras. However, some still love the feeling and quality of shooting photos on film. If you’re one of those photographers, then you’ll want to know about scanning 110 negative films.
Scanning 110 negative films is just as important as scanning other types of negatives such as 35mm and 120mm roll films. While you might be able to get away with projecting the image onto a lightbox using an enlarger, we do not recommend it as you’re not getting as accurate results as possible.
The best way to get great-looking scans is by using a flatbed scanner. There are many different scanners, but getting one that can handle the 110 film format shouldn’t be too difficult. From there, you’ll need some software to process and edit your images. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what it takes to get high-quality 110 negative film scans.
What is a 110 Film?
Before we go into the process of scanning 110 negatives, you’ll want to know what precisely this kind of film looks like. The film’s frame is size 13 mm × 17 mm (0.51 in × 0.67 in). This size makes it tiny compared to other film types, such as 35mm and 120 formats. Because of the small size, it’s often called microfilm.
The film was initially developed and used by Kodak in 1972 and was popular for a time due to its small size and the fact that you could use it in cameras that were also small. However, with the growth of digital photography, 110 films eventually fell out of favor. While the format might be small, don’t let that fool you into thinking the images it produces are low quality. When the film was first released, it made some of the highest-quality photos seen at the time.
Today the film is still used on the consumer market by photographers enthusiasts. You can purchase 110 cameras from many different brands, and you can use the film for various purposes such as family photos, nature shots, and even artistic compositions.
How to Scan 110 Negatives
Now that you know more about 110 negatives let’s look at how to scan them. The process is pretty simple and only takes a few minutes to complete, but you’ll need the right equipment to get good results.
1. Sort Your Negatives by Subject Matter
Before you do anything, decide on the general theme of the photos. It will help you determine what size to scan them and how much time to spend with each group of photos. For example: if your negatives are primarily from one event or trip, scanning them all at a high resolution would be more rewarding than scanning some family shots and a few pet photos at a lower resolution.
2. Use a Good Quality Scanner
If you use a flatbed scanner, make sure it has good glass. The reason for this is that the negative needs to be held very flat (if your negatives curl or bend at all, they will show up in the scan). The best way to do this is to use heavy-weight glossy photo paper under the negative. Another critical factor is your scanner’s DPI (dots per inch) setting. The higher the DPI, the better the scan will be. However, scanning at a high resolution takes longer and uses more memory on your computer. If you are only scanning for viewing online, a resolution of 1200 DPI should be acceptable. We recommend scanning 110 negatives with an Epson v600 scanner.
3. Use a Negative Film Holder
When using a flatbed scanner, it may be necessary to use a negative holder. It sits on the glass of your scanner and holds the negative in place while scanning. If your scanner doesn’t have a negative holder, you can purchase one from many online retailers.
4. Scan at the Highest Resolution Possible
It will give you a higher quality scan, and it’s a good idea to save a copy of the scans at this high resolution, so you have them if you need them later. Just be sure to use a larger/external hard drive since each file can contain several dozens of megabytes of data. You can also reduce these images to a lower resolution if you need to email them or put them on a website.
5. Use an Image Editor to Correct Any Color or Exposure Issues
The best image editor is a program called Photoshop. You can buy it from Adobe or download a free trial version from https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html. There are many other great image editors, but Photoshop is the most common and has a vast online community to help with any problems you may have.
6. Save Your Scans in Standard Image Formats
After scanning all your negatives, it’s time to save them. The best format for saving photos is a high-quality JPEG file. Many people may tell you this format degrades the digital image. Still, high-resolution jpeg files are pretty good for sharing and printing since you can reduce them to a smaller file size without too much loss in quality. If you want to keep the quality of the scans at all, save the files in TIFF format
7. Label Your Scans Appropriately
When you save your images, it’s a good idea to name them something that tells you about the picture. For example, “Jim_picnic.jpg” is better than “img00702448”, which doesn’t mean you much without opening it first. If you take notes as you are scanning, you can use the date, location, and other information in the filename. It will help you keep track of your scans and find them later if you need to.
8. Store Your Negatives in a Safe Place
Negatives are sensitive to light and dust. The best way to store them is in an archival safe storage box or envelope. You can find these at most photography stores or online. Also, make sure you always put the negatives back in the correct order after scanning them.
Using a flatbed scanner to scan your negatives is much easier and cheaper than using a film scanner (especially if you already have a computer and flatbed scanner). You can adjust the color, contrast, and exposure using Photoshop or one of the many free image editors available online. I recommend saving the images as high-quality jpeg files when scanning for digital use. You can also save them as TIFF or Photoshop PSD files if you need to print them later on or if you want to have a higher resolution scan. Just label your scans appropriately and store your negatives in a safe place.
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Office equipment seller since 2011. Started writing in 2018 and sharing his experience and knowledge with love and respect.