I have been pursuing photography as a hobby for over 30 years. As such I have amassed a lot of images shot on photographic film prior to my moving to digital a SLR in 2006. Most of these older images were shot on: B&W negative film, E6 colour slide, and Kodachrome.
Despite having a slide projector and the ability to print out B&W and colour prints, in reality it was always too much hassle and thus I never tended to ever look at these old images. Digital photography is so much easier as viewing is just a click away, and printing is trivial with a good colour inkjet. Thus I decided it was time to start scanning my old film stock onto the computer so that I could begin to enjoy those images.
This section describes the processes I have developed to do this scanning (which is an ongoing project).
The equipment I use to scan photographic film consists of:
- A PC running 64-bit Windows 10.
- A Nikon Coolscan 5000ED film scanner connect to the PC by USB.
- Nikonscan and Vuescan film scanning software.
- Adobe Lightroom 6.14 and ON1 Photo RAW 2022 software.
- Adobe Photoshop CS4.
- A Giottos blower and a soft brush for cleaning film before scanning it.
The key (and most expensive) item was the Nikon Coolscan film scanner. I mainly bought this partly for the high dynamic range it offered at the time, needed for slides, but also because it allowed the use of a bulk slide adapter to scan multiple slides unattended.
I have a number of different Nikon film adapters for my Nikon Coolscan for scanning different types of media
In the following sections for scanning individual film types I will describe how I use the above.
Installing Scanning Software
For scanning software on the PC I use both the Nikon Scan software that came with the Nikon film scanner and also the Vuescan application.
The process I used to install this scanning software into Windows 10 is detailed in this article: Install Vuescan and Nikon Scan
Scanning Traditional B&W Film
Scanning Colour Negatives
I don’t use colour negative film so have no experience in scanning this type of film.
Scanning Colour Slides