Best 35mm Film Scanner for Automatic Scanning – Buying Guide

best film scanner

If you’ve been a camera and photography aficionado for some time, you probably know that the best 35mm film scanner has been the staple of photography for a long time.

That said, this way of creating photos has become obsolete.

It’s been replaced with digital cameras with which you can create thousands of photos that can all be placed on a single chip the size of your pinky fingernail.

Now, while the 35mm film is not the primary weapon of choice for most photographers nowadays, this type of photography is still alive, and you can still get your hands on 35mm films and cameras on the market.

If you have some excellent 35mm footage, but you cannot transfer it on your computer, getting one of the best 35mm slide scanner models on the market could be the solution.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best 35mm slide scanner.

Read on to learn more!

Our Favorite 35mm Slide Scanner

Top 12 Best 35mm Film Scanner- Buying Guide

1. KODAK – Slide ‘n’ Scan Film and Slide Scanner

KODAK Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner with Large 5” LCD Screen, Convert Color & B&W Negatives & Slides 35mm, 126, 110 Film Negatives & Slides to High Resolution 22MP JPEG Digital Photos

Featuring a large LCD screen where you can see all of your favorite 35mm photos come to life, this KODAK slide ‘n’ scan model is the best 35mm slide scanner, a compact contraption that anyone can use with ease.

That said, the gingerly nature of handling old 35mm film means that you will have to handle and clean it carefully, but this is just due to the nature of the transfer of 35mm images to a digital format. 

Here are some of the most important features of this model:

  • Easy transfer to PC – … in either 14 or 22MP quality.

After you’ve cleaned the piece of film you want to transfer to your computer, you can scan it fairly easily and then decide whether you want to save the new file in 14MP or 22MP quality.

This works on both your color and black & white negatives.

As far as saving these files is concerned, you can decide to go with a computer via USB cable or the SD card this model comes with.

  • Comes with a cleaning brush – Cleaning brushes represent an important accessory of slide scanners.

As we said above, using a side scanner can be challenging if the film is dirty or otherwise compromised.

Therefore, using a brush before every scan is an important part of the preparation process because the quality of the end photo is at stake, so to speak.

  • Gallery mode – The LCD screen on this model is not just quite large, but also it features the so-called gallery mode – a special mode that allows you to use this scanner as a photo frame.

The screen itself is crystal clear, allowing you to view all images easily.

This also comes in handy when spotting any potential smudges and other imperfections with the film. (Which tends to happen, especially if the film is old.)


  • LCD screen
  • Settings for time, date, and color and brightness
  • Quick-feeding tray
  • SD card compatible
  • Comes with a cleaning brush
  • User manual


  • Fairly expensive

Buy on Amazon

2. Magnasonic – All-in-One High-Resolution 22MP Film Scanner

Magnasonic All-in-One High Resolution 24MP Film Scanner, Converts 35mm/126KPK/110/Super 8 Films, Slides, Negatives into Digital Photos, Vibrant 2.4' LCD Screen, Impressive 128MB Built-in Memory

Featuring a simple build and a relatively straightforward button configuration, this model from Magnasonic represents a film scanner that you can use to revive some of the memories you have captured on film on your camera over the years.

When it comes to saving the images you just scanned, the process is simple, and you can complete it easily using the built-in memory of about 128GB.

Below are some of the most important features of this model in more detail:

  • 2.4 LCD screen – Featuring a large screen that will give you an accurate visual representation of the image on the film you just scanned, this Magnasonic model can serve as a digital picture frame as well as a scanner.

Thanks to the addition of a TV port, you can even connect this model with a TV set to broadcast the picture onto your TV screen.

  • SD slot – Although this model comes with a memory card where you can store 128MG’s worth of images, you can also add an SD card to expand this space even more.

With this addition of an SD card, you can get some pretty decent results, so you needn’t worry about running out of space for your favorite images ever again.

  • Fast scanning process – One of the best features that this model comes with would certainly be the quick scanning process you can count on.

The way this works is that all you need to do is load the film you want to scan into the tray this scanner comes with, then do some button-pushing, and have a ready scan in seconds!

As far as the editing of the already scanned images is concerned, you can rest assured that this won’t be a problem because you can adjust brightness, rotation, and some other parameters directly on this device with the help of a couple of buttons. This thing comes with.


  • Converts to 22MP image quality
  • Fast scanning (takes only a couple of seconds)
  • Can be connected to a TV via a special cable
  • LCD screen for quick viewing
  • 128MB of stock memory
  • SD card supported


  • The editing controls on this device are fairly limited

Buy on Amazon

3. Rybozen – 35mm Slide Viewer

Rybozen 35mm Slide Viewer, 3X Magnification and Desk Top LED Lighted Illuminated Viewing and Battery Operation-for 35mm Slides & Positive Film Negatives(4AA Batteries Included)

Featuring a build reminiscent of one of those old-timey optical illusion contraptions they would sell at fairs, this Rybonzen slide viewer combines fancy construction with some interesting features.

A word of warning for folks looking for 35mm scanners they can connect with their computers – This is NOT a scanner, only a viewer. 

The construction of this model is simple enough.

When you insert a piece of 35mm film in it, you will get a simple 3x magnification, so you can immediately see the quality of the photo in question!

Here are some of the most important parameters of this model:

  • Compact & Portable – Whether you have a photo studio you’re using, or you’re making 35mm photographs in your study or bedroom, you can rest assured that this model won’t present a problem to you.

The reason for this is its small size, which means that you can place it wherever you want and carry it with you comfortably, without needing a separate backpack for it.

  • 3x Enlarged Photo – … using a simple magnifying glass.

Thanks to this relatively simple design, the cost of this model is significantly lower than most of its competitors.

While the magnification that this model gives you is not as prominent as some of the other models out there on the market, 3x the original image on the film is often more than enough to determine if the image is good enough to be printed or otherwise further edited. 

  • LED-lit Box – This box where you can see your piece of film in its full glory can be used in a low-lighting environment, too.

Thanks to the built-in LED’s that this model comes with, you will be able to view the photos on your film clearly and easily every time, no matter how bright it is outside.


  • Simple build
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Great for desktop or studio uses
  • 3x Magnified Glass screen
  • LED illumination
  • Slide-style feed tray


  • This model is not a scanner, but only a viewer

Buy on Amazon

4. DIGITNOW – All-in-One Film & Slide Scanner

DIGITNOW 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Scanner, Converts 35mm 135 110 126 and Super 8 Films/Slides/Negatives to Digital JPG Photos, Built-in 128MB Memory, 2.4 LCD Screen

Allowing you to transfer your beloved 35mm slides to one film, this model from DIGITNOW represents a great option for folks who want a 35mm reader that you can use without a computer.

This thing can convert a wide variety of images of all sorts of formats into JPEG in seconds.

Therefore, this model can be an excellent option for a person who has a pile of old films that need to convert to digital files and saved on digital storage.

Here are some of the most important features of this model in more detail:

  • Stand-alone function – Probably one of the best features of this model would be the fact that you can use it without a computer.

The reason behind this is that this model does all the scanning on its own.

When it comes to saving the new scanned digital file, the process is fairly straightforward, as all you need to do is save it to an SD card that you inserted in this model.

  • Color viewer – If you wonder how are you going to view and edit the photos you put in this thing, the LCD color screen will be there for this purpose.

This screen is large enough to allow you to easily view the photos in great detail while also compact enough not to make this contraption too large and chunky overall.

  • TV or computer outlets – As we said, you don’t need a computer to either view, edit, or save images.

If you want to use a computer, whether for editing images or saving them, you can.

This model comes with a USB port which you can use to connect with a computer, and it also comes with a TV outlet so that you can view your photos on your TV set in large resolution!


  • Standalone scanner design (no need for a computer)
  • USB port
  • TV outlet
  • The cables for the USB port and TV outlet are included in this offer
  • 2,4” LCD screen
  • SD card slot (supports cards up to 32GB)
  • 128MB internal memory


  • Some users were dissatisfied with the clarity of the instruction manual

Buy on Amazon

5. DIGITNOW – 135 Film Scanner High-Resolution Slide Viewer

DIGITNOW! 135 Film Negative Scanner High Resolution Slide Viewer,Convert 35mm Film &Slide to Digital JPEG Save into SD Card, with Slide Mounts Feeder No Computer/Software Required

In terms of the necessity to use a computer, this model from DIGITNOW can be a great option for those situations where you don’t have a computer nearby but still need to digitize your favorite 35mm photos somehow.

Once you decide to transfer the files in this unit, you will be able to do so on either PC or Mac, as this DIGITNOW model supports both of these operating systems.

Below are some of the most important features of this contraption:

  • Quick scanning process – To scan an old piece of 35mm tape with this thing, you won’t have to go through any previous training, so to speak.

All you need to do is insert the tape into the scanner, then press ‘Scan,’ and the rest is a piece of cake.

As you push a film into this scanner, the picture will show on the LCD monitor.

The rest is just a matter of deciding when to press the ‘Scan’ button!

  • SD card supported – What makes this model a standalone film scanner and viewer would be the fact that it comes with its internal memory.

In this respect, this slide scanner is similar to a mobile phone – it has its internal memory, but it can also be upgraded by an SD card, so you can have even more space to work with.

Once a scan has been completed, you can transfer the images you want to either your computer, the internal memory of this unit, or an SD card you inserted.

(A word of warning, though: The internal memory of this unit is fairly limited, so you won’t be able to store that many images on it.)

  • Cleaning brush – This slide scanner comes with a special cleaning brush, so you can clean the pieces of film you want to scan before you, well, scan them.

As anyone who’s ever scanned 35mm films with one of these contraptions can tell you, this brush represents one of the most important parts of your scanning kit.

This is because even the smallest imperfections or dirt on these images can mean the difference between a high-quality scan and a terrible one.


  • Adjustable slide feeder feature
  • Standalone slide scanner (no computer needed)
  • TFT LCD screen
  • User manual included
  • Comes with a cleaning brush
  • SD card supported


  • This model is a bit bulky

Buy on Amazon

6. plustek – OpticFilm 35mm Film & Slide Scanner

Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE , 35mm Film & Slide Scanner. 7200 dpi / 48-bit Output. Integrated Infrared Dust/Scratch Removal. Bundle Silverfast SE Plus 8.8 , Support Mac and PC.

Representing one of the most advanced film and slide scanners on this list, this Plustek model can be a great solution for anyone interested in getting a high-quality scanner they could use to resurrect some of their old 35mm photos.

Thanks to its 69 megapixels of digital image quality, so to speak, you can rest assured that whatever piece of 35mm film you put into this thing, you will be able to reproduce it in great quality with ease.

Here are some of the most pronounced features of this model:

  • 69 megapixels of zooming power – Come up with scans of excellent quality using this model is a piece of cake.

Of course, to make sure that the images you are scanning with this Plustek model will be clear and without any smudges, you need to use a brush first. 

The way to do this would be to get rid of any dust particles that may be still hanging around on the film after you’ve cleaned it the first time.

  • Infrared channel – … which serves the purpose of detecting any possible scratches on the surface, including dust and old tiny cracks and other forms of damage on the film you’re using.

As this infrared channel picks up some small black dots on the film, for example, the powerful imaging software of this unit will mark these imperfections and then automatically fix them for you.

This way, as long as the damage to a photo isn’t too great, you can use this model to fix these quickly and easily.

  • Powerful software solutions – Other than the excellent hardware that gives you 69 megapixels of imaging power to work with, this model also comes with a set of great software solutions you can use to edit and further enhance the images you’ve scanned.

For example, one of the programs you will get as a part of this deal would be Plustek QuickScan.

Silverfast SE Plus 8 would be another example of a great imaging program that you get with this slide scanner model.


  • Infrared channel that’s inbuilt
  • Plustek QuickScan & Silverfast SE Plus 8 imaging software
  • Color output in 48bit
  • 69 megapixels of imaging power
  • 7,200 x 7,200 dpi
  • Simple installation by DVD


  • Fairly expensive (suitable for professional photographers, but not so much for beginners or casual users)

Buy on Amazon

7. Magnasonic – All-in-One 22MP Film Scanner

Magnasonic All-in-One 24MP Film Scanner with Large 5' Display & HDMI, Converts 35mm/126/110/Super 8 Film & 135/126/110 Slides into Digital Photos, Built-in Memory (FS71)

A compact build and a large screen where you can view all of your favorite photos made way back in 35mm are what makes this film scanner from Magnasonic such a beloved contraption.

Even though this model is fairly small, you can use it completely independently of a computer, as all you need to do to make this thing work is an SD card where you can store all of your images.

These are some of the most important features of this model:

  • SD card slot – As we said in the paragraph above, you don’t need a computer to make this thing run and scan as many images as you want.

The only thing you will need is a full battery and some film to scan!

Of course, if you don’t have an SD card, you will only have 128MB of internal memory to work with.

On the other hand, you can add an SD card that’s up to 128GB, which is more than enough for storing a myriad of images before transferring them to a computer.

  • Fast scanning – To scan a piece of film with this contraption, all you need is a piece of film and pushing a couple of buttons.

Scans typically take less than five seconds to complete if you use the fast-loading tray that comes as a part of this offer.

  • Simple settings – You can perform some of the most basic settings on the images you’ve scanned without even connecting this model to a computer.

You can make some simple adjustments to the image, such as fixing the RGB, flipping the image, or adjusting the brightness using the buttons and options on this scanner!


  • 22 megapixels of image quality
  • Can be used without a computer
  • Internal 128MB memory
  • SD card supported (up to 128GB)
  • Connectable to a TV set (via an HDMI cable)


  • Some users reported that cleaning the lens can be a challenge

Buy on Amazon

8. Minolta – Film & Slide Scanner

MINOLTA Film & Slide Scanner, Convert Color & B&W 35mm, 126, 110 Negative & Slides, Super 8 Films to 22MP JPEG Digital Photos, 16GB SD Card, Worldwide (Black)

A simple cuboid design, ease of use, and excellent functionality are the features that make this model a great choice for both photography enthusiasts and beginners alike.

What makes this model such a great choice of beginners and casual users, in particular, would be that this thing falls into the category of standalone models.

This means that you don’t need any special software, a connection to a computer, or any previous experience to quickly and easily make excellent photos with this film slide scanner.

Here are some of its most important features in more detail:

  • Color displayWorking with this slide scanner is truly a pleasure thanks to the fact that it comes with an LCD screen where you can see all the details on a photo, no matter in what shape the original film is.

When paired up with the software that’s onboard this thing, you can use this screen to view a slideshow of the images you recorded and edit the images with ease.

  • SD memory card – In case you don’t want to use this model with a computer, or you don’t have a computer nearby to which you could connect this thing, no worries – you can use it completely independently from it whenever you want!

Thanks to the SD card slot this model comes with, you can store the images you scanned on this card and transfer them to a computer later on.

For the record, a 32GB SD card can house over 4,100 photos!

  • USB & TV cables – In case you do decide to transfer some of the images to a computer, this would be one of the best 35mm slide scanner models in terms of connectivity because you can connect it to a computer via USB as well as to a TV set via a TV cable.

(Of course, if you connect it to your TV, you won’t be doing much other than simply viewing the slideshow of the images you scanned.)


  • Comes with a 16GB memory card (32GB supported)
  • Cleaning brush
  • Comes with a USB and TV cable
  • Super 8 film insert
  • 110 film insert
  • Color display (2,4”)


  • Quite expensive

Buy on Amazon

9. ZONOZ – FS-3 All-in-One Film Scanner

ZONOZ FS-3 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Converter Scanner, Speed-Load Adapters for 35mm, 126, 110 Negative & Slides, Super 8 Films - Worldwide Voltage 110V/240V AC Adapter

If you need a scanner to scan and preserve not only 35mm films but also other types of films, this model from ZONOZ would probably be one of the best slide scanner models out of all 35mm slide scanner details on this list.

As far as the supporting equipment is concerned for this model, you don’t need anything other than perhaps an SD card onto which you can save the images you just scanned.

Here are some of the most important features of this model:

  • Able to scan various formats – … including 35mm, 110, 126 film slides, negatives, as well as super 8 films.

The great news about this is that you can scan all of these different types of film using a single scanner and, what’s more – without even having to connect it to a computer!

  • SD cards supported – … or, if you don’t scan that often, you can simply scan the couple of images you want and then save them on this device’s internal memory.

Of course, for extended storage, adding an SD card is recommended.

For the record, this model supports SD cards up to 32GB in size.

  • Standalone design – As we said above, one of the things that set this model apart from its competitors and what makes it so attractive to so many young photographers and editors would be its versatility when it comes to formats.

Another great thing is that you don’t need a computer immediately to perform edits on this thing.

So, for example, what you can do is go to a location where you need to scan a bunch of films with different formats, get the scans done, and then transfer the digital image files to a computer when you get home!


  • Standalone design, no computers required
  • High-resolution image output
  • SD card supported
  • Internal memory (only enough for about 50-ish scans)
  • 22MP scan output
  • Can scan formats such as 35mm, 110, 126 film slides, negatives, as well as 8 film


  • Some users complained that the angle of the screen makes it difficult to view it if you place it on a table or some other flat surface

Buy on Amazon

10. WOLVERINE – F2D Saturn Digital Film

Wolverine F2D Saturn Digital Film & Slide Scanner - Converts 120 Medium Format, 127 Film, Microfiche, 35mm Negatives & Slides to Digital JPEG - Large 4.3' LCD w/HDMI Output (Blue)

With an appearance of a vacuum cleaner attachment and the functionality of an automatic slide scanner, this model can be described as one of the best film scanners, as well as the best negative scanner models in its price range.

This model does belong in the upper price range, so to speak, but for the money you’re investing here, you’re also getting some pretty interesting features.

Here are a couple of these features in more detail:

  • Fast scanning – Whether you want to use this thing to make slides or negatives, this model from Wolverine can be an excellent choice.

Thanks to its powerful scanner, you can complete high-quality scans in 35mm, 127 slides and negatives, as well as 120 film negatives fairly easily and quickly.

  • 4,3” LCD screen – … helps you easily view all of the most recent scans and other options quickly and easily.

Thanks to this screen, editing the images you scan and performing other smaller adjustments before you save the images to your SD card, for example – will be a piece of cake.

Also, this screen can be used for simply viewing the photos, for example, as a slideshow!

  • TV output – In case you want to be able to view the images you just scanned on a large screen and in a bigger resolution, you can always connect this slide scanner with your TV set.

You will need an HDMI cable to do this, but the rest of the setup is as simple as connecting the cable to the scanner on one side and the TV itself on the other.


  • Built-in color display
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Easy image viewing and scanning
  • Connectable with a TV set (via an HDMI cable)
  • LCD screen


  • Fairly pricey

Buy on Amazon

11. DIGITNOW – Wireless Digital Film Scanner

Wireless Digital Film and Slide Scanner with 22MP, Converts 35mm, 126, 110, Super 8 Films Slides, Negatives to JPEG, Tilt-Up 3.5 Large LCD, Transfer Pictures to Phones Via WiFi Connection, MAC PC

Representing one of the most technologically advanced devices out of all the slide scanner details, this model from DIGITNOW can be a great solution for anyone interested in acquiring a high-quality scanner for a range of old film formats. (Not only the 35mm)

To be precise, with this model, you can scan films that belong to the category of 35mm, 126, 110, and super 8mm films. Also, you can count in film negatives and slides into the formats that you can tackle with this scanner.

Here are some of its most interesting features in more detail:

  • Wireless connectivity – In addition to the SD card that this model comes from, just as with any other film scanner, you can connect this model to a computer to transfer and edit images in more detail.

What makes this model stand out from the rest is that you can establish a connection with a computer via Wi-Fi.

This means that you don’t need a cable and won’t be limited by its length in terms of where you can work with the scanner.

As long as you’re in the range of the Wi-Fi router, you will be able to transfer the images from this scanner to your computer easily.

  • Standalone scanner – Not only do you not need a cable to make this thing run, but you also don’t need to connect it to a computer via Wi-Fi, either!

Of course, if you want to perform some advanced editing, a computer is a must, but when it comes to simply saving the photos, you’re scanning, inserting an SD card might be all you need to make this work.

  • Collapsible LCD screen – The manufacturers of this model made sure that it doesn’t take up too much space on your table or some other location where you want to keep the thing.

For this reason, the large, 3.5-inch LCD screen that comes with this thing is made to be collapsible. That is, if you’re not using it, you can collapse it into its slot.


  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • TFT LCD screen
  • SD card supported up to 128GB (not included in the offer, though)
  • TV cable and HDMI cable included
  • Can convert 35mm, 126, 110, and Super 8mm film
  • Tiltable, 3.5” screen
  • Comes with a cleaning brush


  • Fairly expensive

Buy on Amazon

12. Plustek – OpticFilm 8100

Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Negative Film/Slide Scanner with 7200 DPI and 48-bit Output. Bundle Silverfast SE Plus 8.8, Support Mac and Windows

We’re possibly the best 35mm slide scanner on this list; we’ve got a model from Plustek that is best suited for professional photographers.

Its rather bulky build is justified with a pretty impressive roster of features and properties, so you can rest assured that whatever your needs are as a photographer or some making an effort to preserve 35mm films – this model will have all the tools you need to help you succeed in what you’re doing.

Below are some of the most important characteristics of this model:

  • Mac & PC supported – When it comes to the sort of operating systems you can use this thing with, you can count on Mac and PC.

Of course, the software capabilities of this thing don’t just end with it being able to run on both of these operating systems.

What you get together with this device is a bundle of editing programs you can use on these two platforms.

To be precise, Plustek Quick Scan, Worldwide Professional Scanning, and Silverfast SE Plus 8 are the pieces of software you can use for this purpose.

  • High-resolution imaging – One of the reasons why this model is so beloved by photographers would be its excellent imaging and high resolution.

This gives you almost 69 megapixels to work with, which is about 7,200dpi – giving you sharp and clear images you can edit easily.

  • CCD sensor – … enables this device to scan with clarity and ease, and give you high-quality low-noise images.

Also, this sensor means that the scanner will be able to pick up colors in the 35mm pieces of film with great detail, which will bring back these photos with ease.


  • 69MP, 7,200×7,200dpi resolution
  • PC and Mac supported
  • Features with a professional software bundle
  • Software bundle
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • CCD sensor


  • Quite expensive (suitable for professional photographers)

Buy on Amazon

Best 35mm Slide Scanner Buying Guide

best 35mm slide scanner


Not all advanced 35mm scanners come with a display, but those that do make the viewing experience much simpler, so to speak.

The models that don’t have a display, for example, can scan, but you need a computer or some other device to see the scans.

On the other hand, slide scanners with displays enable you to immediately see the 35mm film scans after you’ve made the scan, which can be a great way to see if the scan works or not.

SD card support

Most modern-day 35mm slide scanners feature an SD card slot.

Depending on the model and the manufacturer, there is a top limit to how large (in terms of memory) this SD card can be.

The top value is 32GB in some scanners, while some allow you to insert cards up to 128GBs.

Typically, most models feature internal memory that is no greater than 128MB (again, this value may vary from model to model), but if you want to save more than a handful of images on your scanner without having to connect it to a computer, inserting an SD card is a must.

Feeding tray

To insert the 35mm film pieces into the scanner, you need to have a proper feeding tray.

The way this works is that you connect the tray to the scanner itself at a designated location, so to speak, and then you can place the film into the tray where it can be loaded and scanned correctly.

Having these trays is important is because, if you don’t have them, you risk loading film incorrectly or at an angle, which can lead to jams or, worse – damaging the film itself.

Editing options

As far as editing and slide scanners are concerned, the consensus among users, especially the professional users, is that it’s not that important to have a ton of editing functions on the scanner itself.

Of course, this may come in handy if you just want to scan a lot of 35mm images and you don’t have the time to perform any advanced editing.

On the other hand, if you want to scan a piece of 35mm film and then spend some time editing it, you will have to use a computer or other similar device to do the heavy-duty cropping, saturating, highlighting, contrasting, and so on.

Wireless connectivity

Some of the newer models of 35mm slide scanners feature wireless connectivity.

This option gives you the ability to connect to a PC wirelessly, so you won’t have to worry that much about any cables or even having to be in the same room as the scanner.

As long as you’re in range of the router you’re using for this purpose, you will be as well connected as if you were using a cable.

Of course, this feature is not that important, but if you are already surrounded by many cables, finding a model that features wireless connectivity can be a great idea.

How to easily SCAN and EDIT 35mm film?

There are several ways to scan and edit 35mm film, but the most efficient one would involve a 35mm slide scanner.

As we explained above, these contraptions make scanning 35mm film easy, even if you’re not a professional photographer.

Alternatively, you can also make a setup with proper lighting, camera positioning and then use some editing software to fix the various details of the piece of film later on.

Here, we will roughly describe the process of scanning and editing 35mm film using a scanner. As you will see, doing this is a piece of cake with a scanner, as the lighting and positioning are taken care of by the inside of the scanner itself, so to speak.

Get a 35mm slide scanner

You can get these contraptions in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Whether it’s a model of wireless variety or a model that enables you to scan and edit other formats, too, what’s important is that you’re using a scanner that supports 35mm scanning as its primary purpose.

Use a tray to correctly load your films

35mm scanners typically come with special loading trays that help you simply load the pieces of film you want.

It’s important to use these trays because if you don’t, you run the risk of getting your film stuck in the scanner, which can damage both the scanner’s insides and the piece of the film itself.

In case the scanner you bought supports several different formats, you will have several trays for every sort of film.

Scan the film

After you’ve correctly loaded the photos in the scanner, scanning them correctly is just a matter of pushing a button or two.

Depending on what sort of loading tray you have, or what sort of mechanism is present in the scanner itself, you can get the film to either run continuously so you can make a lot of scans in rapid succession, or you can load the pieces of film one by one.

Also, before you make a scan, you have to use the brush that comes with the scanner to clean the film before you do the scan carefully.

Since these pieces of film are so small, even the tiniest speck of dust can blow up into a large smudge on your photo, so cleaning the photos carefully is a must before you do the scan.

Save & Edit

After you’ve completed the scan, you can save it or discard it and try again if you’re not satisfied with the result.

When it comes to editing, you can choose to edit your images on the scanner itself (although the scope of editing is fairly limited, allowing you to tamper with brightness and some other features of the photo), or transfer the file to a computer or a similar device where you can edit it in detail.

For this purpose, some manufacturers have developed their software, but you can get excellent results by using Photoshop or a similar photo editing program.

What is a 35mm scanner?

Ever since computers and chips, in general, replaced the old ways photographs were made, edited, and printed, there was a gap between the old 35mm film and modern-day editing programs such as Photoshop.

How can you take a beautiful image sitting on a 35mm film and transfer it to your computer where you can edit it in a program such as Photoshop or something similar.

Well, before the invention of film scanners, the answer was that you’d have first somehow to print the photograph, then scan it, and only then transfer it to the computer.

Thanks to these 35mm slide scanners, transferring images from a piece of film to a computer has become a piece of cake!

All you need to do is feed the film into the scanner, push a button or two, and you’ll get a digital representation of the photo on the film.

Some of the issues that can slightly hamper this procedure would include dust particles on the film and any potential damage that’s making the film not look as good as it could.

Dust and scratches, what’s more, can present quite a big problem, specifically because the scale of the scan is much larger with 35mm film than with general scanners.

To tackle this, many photographers opt to edit these smudges in postproduction, so to speak. Many programs such as Photoshop, or GIMP, for example, have features that allow you to fix such issues.

Frequently asked questions:

1) How do I scan 35mm slides into my computer?

If you’re using a 35mm slide scanner like the models we described above, transferring files is as easy as using a USB cable. (You will typically receive these as a part of the package.)

Alternatively, you can use an SD card reader to achieve the same result.

If you have a slide scanner model that can be connected via Wi-Fi, you can also use this option to transfer your images and files onto your computer easily.

2) Can you scan 35mm slides on a regular scanner?

You can, but it’s a bit tricky, and the quality may not be that great.

The thing is, flatbed scanners aren’t built to scan 35mm film, and the biggest problem is getting enough light to the film to be properly scanned.

To do this, you can try to either buy a light diffuser or make it yourself.

3) What can I do with old 35mm slides?

If you have a lot of old 35mm slides, you don’t want to get rid of them, but you aren’t sure how to preserve them, going digital can be a great way to save them fairly easily.

Whether you pay someone else to do this for you or simply get a slide scanner, converting your 35mm slides to JPEG or some other digital format represents a great way to save them.

4) Can you digitize slides?

Yes, you can.

You can do this in various ways, but probably the simplest and the most reliable one is to use a slide scanner. This way, you will get excellent results fairly quickly, and the editing options after that are endless.

Alternatively, you can also try flatbed scanners (with some help of light diffusers), various iPhone models with special apps, and so on. 

5) How do you clean 35mm slides before scanning?

If you’re using a 35mm slide scanner, it’s important to clean the pieces of film, so you can ensure that the images come out in great quality.

This is because even the smallest dust particle can look like a big smudge when it gets magnified by the scanner.

Typically, most 35mm scanners out there on the market come with a special brush you can use for cleaning film, so you don’t have to worry about having to do this some other way.


All in all, the best 35mm slide scanner represents a great way to preserve your memories and convert your beloved 35mm films into a digital format.

We hope you found this article helpful, and we wish you the best of luck with your 35mm scanning ventures!

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