Scanning Negatives, (films)


Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
A quick question

when scanning a colour negative dose it matter, (in terms of sharpness, colour etc, etc.), which side you scan the negative from "the shiny side" or the "less shiny side" - sorry don't know the technical terms but one side is maybe the "emulsion" side and the other ??

(if you scan them the "wrong way around" it is easy to flip them horizontally in LR or whatever to get the correct aspect)


quite a few of my negs are really not as "sharp" as I remember

using an Epson perfection V350 Photo with the negative loading window


Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
I should add - that I cannot see any difference from either side - but I do find most of the scans disappointing - I'm using using 300 dpi keeping the file sizes under 400 KB


Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
I don't recall which side I use either Bill, when scanning (it's been over a year since I scanned negatives during my "film" phase). But most of my scan jobs (also using the Epson, but I don't remember model no., but it's for sure one of the entry level ones) don't look as sharp as a pure digital image. If I recall correctly, I get much bigger files than 400 KB though. I typically scan them into TIFF files, and they get really big. The good news is that once I downsize the image in LR and convert to JPG, the image looks much better, while still retaining the "film" look.


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
I'm sorry that they're disappointing Bill. I know you've researched this whole thing more than I have but I hear that that one really needs a super duper scanner for negatives... Where is Kevin/summerki? I think he has had some good luck. Perhaps send him a PM?

Ooops, missed your post Armando!

James Murphy

Oct 2, 2010
Pittsburgh, PA
My 2 cent....

I used a Pacific Image PrimeFilm 3650-U scanner to scan several hundred (~500 - 600) images. I scanned them at either 3000 or 4000 dpi. I was quite satisfied with the results until my wife suggested I send some slides to a professional firm for scanning. There is a noticeable difference. I ended up sending ~300 of the images to the professional firm for scanning, and for me it was a good move. These were treasured pictures, though, not casual, and I wanted them digitally archived and backed up.


Sep 1, 2011
Generally I tend to resize down to about max width of 1920 which helps then just an unsharp mask via PS if I need to. If I get really anal, I will sit there and work on section by section. I went down the Canon scanner with negative plate. I will try to try it when I get home again and post my workflow.


Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
One thing that I have noticed

In the past at one time, (a few years), I was seduced by a mail order photo lab(s) that offered a free film
plus "cheaper film" from Boots, (a UK chain Chemist)
- now the negs are say 20 years old - cheap film sucks

I am getting far far better scans from the Kodak, Fuji film etc.,


Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
Bill, I use my friends Nikon 9000 scanner.
Shiny side up, that's the base side.
I get file sizes around 60 MB for a 35mm B&W.
Tack sharp... Expensive but excellent scanner.

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