What Can You Use to View Old Negatives?

Ways to view old negatives include the use of a scanner to turn them into digital files and taking backlit photographs of them with a digital camera, which also turns them into digital files. A user gets better results with a scanner, but photographing them properly also gives good results.

The best scanner to use to view old negatives is one that is specifically designed for film scanning. All scanners successfully scan film, but one with 4,800 dpi or better is preferred for scanning negatives. Before scanning, the user needs to ensure that the negatives have no dust or dirt on them. When negatives are scanned, any debris becomes extremely magnified. To take photographs of old negatives, first place the negatives on a sheet of frosted glass. The negatives on the glass also need sufficient light behind them in order to create backlighting. Using a mobile phone or smartphone camera is not recommended, as the camera must have a macro viewer to properly catch the negative. When taking the photo, the negative should completely take up the viewfinder of the camera. To transfer digital photos to a computer, use software like Adobe Photoshop that has a built-in “negative” function setting.