Scanning Developed Negatives

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When I started shooting film a little over a year ago, I needed to find somewhere to get it developed. Luckily, I live in a big city and found a local photo place located between where I live and where I pick up the bus to and from work. It has been convenient for me to drop-off and pick-up my film on my way home from work.

I have been getting my film both developed and scanned there. I have had no issues with their developing, but I have had problems with their scanning. They share the completed scans via Dropbox, but there have been a few times when that didn’t work, and I had to get them to share them again.

I have also had issues with them not scanning all of my photos. In those cases, the photos were either very dark or somehow otherwise imperfect, but I was able to still get images when I scanned them myself.

When we were going through my mom’s house after she passed, I found an old Minolta Freedom 101 point and shoot camera that had film in it from who knows when. I was curious what photos might be on that roll so I finished it and had it developed and scanned.

All of the scans were blank, but when I looked at the negatives, I saw faint images for a few of the pictures. Yes, there was something seriously wrong with the film (which I’m sure was very very old) or the camera (which seems like a piece of junk) and even the few faint images look awful, but there were some images so I was disappointed that my photo place was unable to scan them.

I was able to scan nine pictures, three of which were too blurry and/or dark to bother with. Six had fairly clear images which is why I was annoyed that none of the scans from the photo place turned out. Certainly, the images were in bad shape. I converted them all to black and white because the color was so far off. A few lack contrast and details.

Of the ones that were on the roll when I found it, two were retrievable: one of me going into my mom’s house and one of my mom’s Lennox nativity scene. Both seem to be from the same Christmas season. I have no idea exactly what year and am assuming based on the way I look this was sometime after I moved back from Las Vegas in 2011. The other pictures are from a walk around our neighborhood.

You can click on any of the pictures to open up the gallery.

I had bought a flatbed scanner (Epson Perfection V370) a while ago with some intention of scanning my own film from the developed negatives but was seduced by the convenience of having someone else do it. However, given my recent frustrations, I scanned my last roll myself after having the photo place develop the film.

These photos from around the city taken with my Canon Rebel EOS 2000 with Lomography Color Negative 400.

Doing my own scanning is extra work, but I like having the ability to make my own decisions about resolution, cropping, and file type, and to ensure that all the photos get scanned. Plus, I justified buying the scanner by figuring I’d save money by not paying to have my film scanned. I may have to do a little research about best practices, but I like the idea of being in more control over the process, and, so far, I like the results.

Perhaps one day, I’ll develop my own film as well, but I don’t feel quite ready to take that leap yet.

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