How to convert negatives and 35mm slides into digital images

How to convert negatives and 35mm slides into digital images

This is a task I am constantly asked about.

First you need to scan photographs or negatives, then convert them into digital images.


You need to scan your negatives or 35mm film slides into a format you can use on your computer. To do this you need a specific type of scanner – they are readily available and made for the job.

(Note: I am aware of many, many home-made versions that include cutting up cardboard, creating light boxes, downloading apps, or involve scissors and silver paper, and other hit and miss would-be techniques. Personally I was intrigued by some of these and thought I’d give some a go  – but then I thought whoah!! Time is too precious why not just get a gadget designed to scan – then give or lend it to friends).

So I’ve sourced some great products with excellent product reviews – in fact they’re top selling items within Amazon. These devices have various trays to hold your negatives, slides or photos so each one can be scanned and captured as an image. This is then usually saved on a memory card so you don’t even need to be connected to a computer.

Top Selling Negative, 35mm Film or Photo Scanners

Product Name Details & Price Benefits
Wolverine F2D20 20MP 35mm to Digital Converter

* Convert 35mm NEGATIVES and SLIDES, to 20 Mega Pixels (5472_3648 Pixels) Digital (JPEG) image with just a push a button
* Unique stand-alone operation, no computer or software required to operate
* Extremely Fast, takes less than 3 seconds to convert an image
* Saves images to internal memory or optional SD/SDHC memory card
* Video-Out to TV connection (cable not included), Mac and PC Compatible
Veho VFS-002m Slide & Negative Scanner for 35mm & 110 Instamatic Negatives * Scans slides and negatives easily
* Windows & Mac compatible
* Create digital images of all your old slides and negatives
* Scans 35mm Slides and Negatives and also 110 instamatic Negatives
* Plug and Play, No software drivers to install and compatible with PC (XP, Vista32 & 64, Win 7) and Mac
* Includes Media Impressions 6 Software for Image capture and editing
* Perfect gadget to Facebook all the old school negatives or holiday slides!
Kodak P811BK 8×10 Personal Photo and Negative Scanner * Scan any printed photo from wallet size to 8×10 inches
* Scans photographic negatives and delivers crisp, clear positive image ready for upload, printing or emailing
* Scanner has a 5-in-1 card reader and ships with a 4 GB MicroSD Card and SD adapter to make sure you have plenty of space to hold your photos
* Scans printed photos at high resolution 600 DPI (selectable to 300 DPI)
* Ultra portable and battery powered with 4 AAA batteries (not included) allow you to take the P811 where you go
Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner * Fare Level 3 delivers automatic dust and scratch removal as well as fading, grain and backlight correction
* Zero warm-up time and lower power consumption with White LED
* “Auto Scan Mode” automatically adjusts settings by detecting what you are scanning
* Maximum Document Size: 8.5 x 11.7 Inch (21.6 x 29.7cm)

Negative to Positive

Once you’ve scanned your negatives you need to convert them into ‘positives’. Simply open a program – my favourite is and upload your image. Click on “Adjustments” and “Invert.” Tah dah! One colour image. Save and you’re ready to do something positive with your images. Hope that helps to demystify the task of how to convert negatives and 35mm slides into digital images.

If you need more step-by-steps check out my Courses page.

Hope this helps.