How To Digitize Small Memories Trapped in Film

Photography began to go digital about 30 years ago, so if you are older than your relatives may have written part of your childhood on movies, such as slides or copycats. out of the negative. Or maybe you have a bunch of your old slides and bad pictures from long gone photos packed in the ceiling or garage. Although not as easy as scanning old photos, digitizing film saves family history from the media and makes it easier to share memories. Here are a few ways to get the job done.

According to the printout, you can “scan” a slide or a defect with your smartphone by taking a picture of it or using one of the many slide / film-scanning apps. To get the most out of it, make sure the original is dust-free, and the lighting is consistent below. Inexpensive measuring devices – which provide lighting along with resting your phone for a stable shot – are an option.

Kodak’s Mobile Film Scanner kit ($ 40 or less) is an option. It works with the free Kodak Mobile Scanner app for Android or iOS. Simply place the slide or defect on the battery using the LED backlight, then point the camera phone at it above and snap a picture. Depending on your phone and its camera, however, you may have to experiment with distance and focus to capture beautiful images.

Credit …JD Biersdorfer

Rybozen makes a smartphone-like scanner. You can make your own slide scanner out of the device to capture images with your smartphone or a camera alone with a macro lens for focus. YouTube hosts a few videos on the topic – just search for “DIY film scanner” or similar terms to find more information from people interested in do-it-yourself.

Photomyne’s SlideScan inventive app ($ 40 for two years; free trial) is another option. You hold the slide in front of the laptop showing the free website and take pictures of it; The software automatically fixes and crop the image, or you can edit the manual. Photomyne’s separate FilmBox app does the same for the negative. FilmLab ($ 6 a month) is another smartphone scanning app that has both Windows and Mac versions.

Smartphone scanning has some downsides. You do not get the best results, and it can be difficult if you have a lot of photos. But it is still cheap.

Smartphones can be devices for every purpose, but using hardware designed for a specific task often brings better results. If you have transparent paper boxes to replace, investing in a compact printer (such as those from Wolverine or Kodak) can simplify and speed up the process for around $ 150; Plustek makes higher standards.

A flatbed printer that can process movies as well as print and print files is another option, like the Epson Perfection V600 (nearly $ 250 online). Wirecutter, a product review site published by the New York Times, also has a recommendation scanner.

If you already have a flatbed printer for documents and photos, check your sample book to see if it can do the same for slides and videos, due to some of those capabilities. . If your printer is not equipped to control transparency, you can make your own adapter out of silver cardboard to diffuse the scanner light and illumination; Do: The newsletter has free samples and instructions online, just like any other DIY site.

And be sure to scan the images at a resolution high enough for them to take a good look at the size and print; 3,200 pixels per inch is more.

If you do not have the time, patience or resources, sending photos to an exchange company such as Memories Renewed, ScanMyPhotos or DigMyPics is another option. Most stores pay by the slip – prices can start at 21 cents each.

For your money, you get great photos. Some companies allow you to preview the results and even skip some dud shots in your collection. Your old documents are returned after the scan is complete and your copy is ready.

Slides and defects can fade over time, especially if they are stored incorrectly. Many video-scanning smartphone apps also include simple editing tools to adjust color and crop. And you can use Apple’s Photos and Google Photos for mobile and desktop quickly, adjust photos for free to get ready-made photos.

Credit …Google; Apple

All the time, effort and (possibly) money you put into digitizing old videos can bring another benefit in addition to the easy-to-use video files. You can keep it in a safe place online as a backup – and based on the latest information if you decide to join the administration during the spring cleanup.

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