How to Convert a Scanner to Scan Film Negatives

By Lina Schofield
Turn negatives into full-size photos after you scan them into your computer.

Flatbed scanners have the capacity to scan film negatives, and you may have many reasons to do so. Whether you are making copies of your family photos to pass along your most cherished moments or if you need to replace original photos because they were lost or damaged, scanning negatives isn't a difficult process if you have the right scanner for the job.

Select the negative you want to scan and cut it out with scissors.

Open the door of the scanner. Position the negative on the scanner bed. Cover the negative with a sheet of printer paper.

Hold the flashlight six inches directly above the negative and sheet of printer paper. Turn the flashlight on and shine its beam of light directly at the negative.

Set your scanner to its highest resolution and put it in the preview setting.

Close the door and scan your image. Open the scanning program on your computer and select the "Negatives" mode to convert the negative exposure to positive. Use your mouse to crop the image and in turn capture the negative image by itself.

Scan the image and save it as a TIFF type file for the clearest image.

Choose color settings for the image. Most programs offer black and white, full color or sepia tones. Select "Done" or "OK."

About the Author

Lina Schofield began writing professionally in 2005. She is a professional freelance writer who has worked on a variety of projects, including the founding of the quarterly publication "Propaganda." Schofield also has been published in several student collections. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English at University of Wales Trinity Carmarthen.