Top 10 Best 35mm Film Scanners & Adapters (Reviews)
Still, a reemergence of film photography has brought about the necessity for photographers to scan physical film originals.
The best 35mm film scanners come with advanced processing softwares to invert the colors, remove dust marks, scratches, and more.
Additionally, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about these scanners. Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
- 1 Plustek OpticFilm 8200i – Ai Film Scanner – Powerful Scanner With Great Resolution
- 2 Nikon CoolScan V LS-50 ED – Workhorse But Expensive
- 3 Epson Perfection V600 – High Resolution
- 4 Pacific Image PrimeFilm XE Scanner – Ideal For Large Prints
- 5 Wolverine Titan – Portable Film to Digital Converter
- 6 KODAK SCANZA – Simple To Use LCD Screen Film Scanner
- 7 Jumbl 22MP All-in-1r – Scan Negatives On A Budget
- 8 DIGITNOW – 135 Film Negative Scanner – Cheap and easy to use
- 9 ZONOZ FS-3 – All-In-1 Film & Slide Converter
- 10 Sharper Image Slide and Negative Converter – Portable Photo And Slide Converter
- 11 Best 35mm film Scanners Buying Guide
- 12 Final words
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i – Ai Film Scanner – Powerful Scanner With Great Resolution
This means faster scanning and clearer images all of the way around. It has a sharp optical system that is capable of producing exquisite detail in shadow areas. It also gives out an impressive tone and color range.
We particularly like the built-in infrared channel which helps users to remove scratches and dust on original negatives and slides without the necessity of additional post-processing.
This feature can save you lots of time in the long run.
It includes an IT 8 calibration slide assisting in the delivery of clear and accurate colors with plenty of in-depth detailing.
Now for the negatives, and we don’t mean photo negatives. One of the main drawbacks of this scanner is the ordeal you might possibly be put through as you try to install its software and drives.
The instructions simply aren’t good and the entire process is very time-consuming.
However, once you get this thing up and running, you’ll find it’s a good medium-range product that comes at a pretty fair price. The resolution is also really impressive considering it’s half the price of many similar options with lower dpi.
Nikon CoolScan V LS-50 ED – Workhorse But Expensive
This is a high-performance machine designed by Nikon, leaders in the photography world.
It can give you high quality 35mm slide scanning, easy 35mm film strip scanning, APS film scanning with its optional IX240 film adapter, and prepared slide scanning with the optional medical slide holder.
With this scanner, you’ll get 4,000 dpi optical resolution.
The 3,964-pixel linear CCD image sensor and combined 14-bit A/D input (8-/16-bit output) will give you brilliant and true-to-life image results every time. Nikon has also equipped this scanner with LED illumination technology.
This ensures that accurate colors are given with no warm-up time or heat damage risks. The fast scan times are another bonus, you won’t have to wait around for digital imaging.
This doesn’t account for the fact that you’ll get an image preview in as few as 14 seconds. You can finally restore old slides to their original glory and vibrancy with the ICE4 advanced digital image correction suite of technologies.
Lastly, the software is comprehensive and user-friendly so it isn’t tough to install or operate.
This scanner has two main disadvantages. The first is the fact that it isn’t comprehensive when it comes to black and white slides. You’ll need to configure your own presets. Additionally, this thing isn’t cheap. This is an expensive scanner considering the resolution you get for your money. However it is built to last.
Epson Perfection V600 – High Resolution
You’ll be able to scan slides, medium format panoramic film strips, and negatives easily and at a reasonable rate.
This scanner also features the DigitalICE restoration and editing software that lets you make everything look almost like new. You can remove tears, scratches, and small water stains from old photographs easily.
You can also scan documents and full-color photos for clear and crisp images.
It features DIGITAL ICE which is a type of creative editing feature that lets you achieve one-touch color restoration and utilizes Arcsoft Photostudio.
Included Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software allows you to convert scanned document text into editable text making this scanner a great option for any office.
Four customizable buttons can instantly copy, scan, create PDFs, or scan to email. With Epson’s exclusive ReadyScan LED technology, you’ll find that productivity can be streamlined to save you time and effort.
The only downside to this scanner is that it doesn’t have a lot in the way of instruction.
You may find yourself needing to watch an online tutorial or two. We should also add that while it has decent scan rates, compared to some of the other higher quality scanners, it’s a bit slow.
That being said, this is a versatile photo and document scanner that creates quality images and comes at a reasonable price.
Pacific Image PrimeFilm XE Scanner – Ideal For Large Prints
With scanning of 35mm negative film strips and transparencies at 10,000 x 10,000 dpi, you’ll find that this scanner truly knows the meaning of enhancement.
Photographers who wish to use old photography methods but find that they must digitally convert their work to keep up with mainstream business tactics will appreciate the clean and clear images that this scanner is capable of producing.
In addition to this, the scanner has a USB 2.0 port for fast data transfer and convenient computer connectivity. It works well with both Windows and Mac and is compatible with all of the latest operating systems.
The ImageFolio V4.5 software bundle is included so you’ll be able to edit and restore images easily.
As far as speed rates go, you’ll find that the Pacific Image PrimeFilm XE Scanner is pretty fast. You can get slides from 72 seconds at 3600 dpi and at 82 seconds at 7200 dpi.
Negatives range from 63 seconds at 3600 dpi to 91 seconds at 7200 dpi.
It offers a dynamic range with over 3.9 A/D converters. Other specs include 16 bits per color outputs, full color or grayscale at 8 or 16 bits per channel, built-in digital noise reduction, magic touch, and automatic color correction.
As far as drawbacks, this scanner can be difficult to find parts for or make repairs to if it breaks.
It isn’t one of the mainstream brands so you’ll end up paying more for replacement pieces. Additionally, the tray alignment is a bit off.
Wolverine Titan – Portable Film to Digital Converter
Though it isn’t exactly designed for professional photographers, it can be utilized in a number of ways.
Easily scan in stacks of 35mm photos and archives, 127, 126, 110, old slides & negatives, regular 8mm, and super 8 movies for quick digital conversion and sharing.
With digital JPEG conversion, you will be able to digitally convert everything you need and use it any way that you wish. This scanner is very simple to set up and operate.
It may just be one of the most user-friendly options out there.
With the push of a button, you can begin scanning and sharing. Crisp 20-megapixel digital images will be processed and ready in seconds.
You also won’t need to install any kind of computer software. This scanner is ready to be used straight out of the box. Just plug it into an AC outlet or any USB port and begin scanning.
All of your images will be saved into the internal memory or directly to an optional SD/SDHC memory card for your convenience.
If you do wish to connect to a computer, that’s not a problem either.
This scanner connects to any Windows PC or Mac so you can offload images on your computer with ease.
Want to show images immediately? This scanner can connect to a television or other digital monitors as well.
No computer software will be required for any of these function which really makes this entire system easy to use.
On the downside, images aren’t the highest-quality so this may not be the ideal scanner for professional photographers using classic methods.
In addition to this, there isn’t much in the way of color correction or editing software included with this scanner.
KODAK SCANZA – Simple To Use LCD Screen Film Scanner
Simply scan in film, save, and share. This is a very versatile that converts film to JPEG digitals in seconds.
It optimizes all sorts of photographic film formats. You can scan 35mm, 110, 126, Super 8, and 8mm negatives with the SCANZA.
After images are scanned in, you’ll be able to transfer the digitized files to any Mac or Windows PC computer. You can save, share, enhance, print, edit, and more.
This all-in-one package includes everything you will need to get scanning right away.
It comes with many film adapters and inserts, an easy to use operating system and interface, built-in full-color LCD display system, and all of the cables you’ll need to connect the device.
Kodak has been a giant in photographic innovation for decades.
This scanner is a way for you to share the Kodak moments of the past. As far as downsides go, this scanner can only scan film rolls that have been developed professionally already.
It cannot develop or scan raw film. It is not designed to be utilized for film development of any kind.
Additionally, this scanner does not produce images with extremely high resolutions as many professional scanners do.
Jumbl 22MP All-in-1r – Scan Negatives On A Budget
This scanner digitally converts 35mm slides & negatives, 110, 126 KPK, and super 8 slides and negatives.
It’s a great option for anyone who has film rolls that they want to look at without breaking the bank. It also doesn’t require any software and can be used immediately.
It saves film to its internal memory or to an optional internal memory card.
You can also plug it into a TV or monitor for television display.
This scanner lets you transfer files to your Mac or PC as well so you can edit, process, or enlarge your now digital images.
It also has a 2.4-inch built-in color LCD display so you can easily view scans as soon as they are digitally converted.
The whole kit has everything you need to get going right away including 1 Digital Scanner, 1 Negative Adapter, 1 Slide Adapter, 1 110 Insert, 1 Super 8 Insert, 1 USB Cable, 1 Power Adapter, 1 TV Cable, 1 Cleaning Brush, and the user manual.
This is a cheap and easy way to scan images and share them.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a premium quality piece of equipment, it’s really only designed to get film scanned as easily as possible. We don’t recommend it for professional photography or art use.
DIGITNOW – 135 Film Negative Scanner – Cheap and easy to use
It really isn’t anything particularly special, but it will save you money. This is the cheapest working 35mm film scanner that we have come across so far.
Though there may be a few less expensive options out there, this is the only one we have found that actually functions decently in this price range.
It does exactly what it claims to do, scans 35mm film and displays images through a tiny LCD screen on the top.
It also has a USB 2.0 interface and TV/Video output for viewing. It can be used with Windows operating systems from 7 and up and Mac OS. Really, this is just a simple and easy little scanner that doesn’t require any software and can convert your physical 35mm film to JPEG images with minimal effort.
It’s a great way to save money if you just need to convert film. However, if you want to enlarge or edit images, you’re going to have to find something with better processing.
The dpi resolution rates of this scanner only reach around 1800. That’s enough for many people but if you’re doing professional work, this little guy simply won’t cut it.
Still, if you want to save money and scan your 35mm film, this may work well.
ZONOZ FS-3 – All-In-1 Film & Slide Converter
It is easy to use, simple to set up, scans reasonably fast, and converts everything to a usable digital format. It does a good job of scanning of 110, 126 film slides, negatives + Super 8 Film, and obviously 35mm film rolls and slides.
You don’t need any software to use this scanner either. It’s compatible with most operating systems.
This scanner also has features that let you enhance the brightness and resolution of images on the device itself without having to connect to a computer.
It’s a nice mid-tier option that works better than many of the name brand 35mm film scanners out there. Still, it isn’t one of the most dependable or streamlined options.
This ZONOZ scanner requires quite a bit of fiddling with. You’ll have to adjust images for a while for them to be usable in a large format. This can be frustrating.
Sharper Image Slide and Negative Converter – Portable Photo And Slide Converter
It works well, process slides at a decent rate, and then converts negatives to a useful digital format.
The Sharper Image Slide and Negative Converter has a built-in 2.4-inch color screen that allows you to view images as you go. It also lets you easily adjust color balance and exposure.
It has a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor with an LED design interface that allows you to access high-quality digital images.
It also converts color and black and white 35mm film slide to a JPEG format.
This makes it awesome for processing antiquated images for documentation.
It comes with a 4GB SD memory card that holds around 4,000 images.
It can be easily connected to a Mac or PC computer so you can share and edit the images you’ve converted.
You can play with the images as a slideshow on the LCD screen or connect to a TV for larger image viewing. It comes with the TV cable as well which is a bonus.
What makes this slide processor most unique though, is its portability, you can plug it in with the AC adaptor, or use a rechargeable battery to carry it with you on the go.
It’s the most portable slide converter that we have seen so far.
Best 35mm film Scanners Buying Guide
Here, we are going to answer questions that a buyer might have when looking for one of these products:
Dedicated scanners VS DSLR adapters, how do they compare?
The image quality of a film scanner is superior to that of a DSLR adapter.
If you don’t already know, A DSLR adaptor can let you get the unique quality of using film with your digital camera and then, will usually allow you to share digitized film images to a computer for editing and printing.
However, in most cases, DSLR adapters simply can’t give you the image quality that a dedicated scanner will be able to.
Film scanner vs enlarger?
Scanning images and processing them digitally is one of the best ways to guarantee the quality of an image with the least amount of effort and time spent. Enlargement works, but it simply isn’t as efficient or as easy.
When enlarging wet prints in a dark room, you must not only have a large amount of dedicated space but also be experienced in the many techniques of film development.
Even then, you may not achieve the image quality that you desire.
Many people enjoy the process of enlarging wet prints in a dark room and we agree that it is a great hobby, but in this day and age, if you wish to engage in professional photography, you will most likely have to keep up with the technological wave and get a digital film scanner of some kind.
Can I scan negatives with my smartphone?
While you can not scan images with a smartphone directly, there is a way.
The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner available on Amazon is an example of a digital scanner which allows you to scan and share photo negatives with your smart devices.
So there you have it! These are some of the best products for 35mm film scanning on the market today.
From simple and inexpensive home scanners like the Jumbl 22MP All-in-1 Small LCD Scanner to the premium Nikon CoolScan V LS-50, these are all top ranking scanners that have positive reviews and ratings.
We hope that at least one of them will be what you’re looking for.
What do you think? Are there any scanners missing on our list that we haven’t included? Please feel free to leave your feedback and let us know!
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