How to Get Your 35mm Negatives to Digital

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Working with images online has become as easy as falling down these days. Myriad services are available to make keepsakes and memory books look like top-quality publications, instead of simple photo albums with plastic sheets. Many of us have shoeboxes full of 35 mm negatives, collecting dust. Why not preserved your negatives digitally, and then use them to create beautiful, lasting treasures instead?


It is natural to be nervous about sending your original negatives out to someone you do not know. In addition, you will want the certainty that you are getting a good deal. Here is a review of available negative scanning services, focusing on those two factors.


Many providers are available that may be perfectly trustworthy with your precious memories, but did not present the image of professionalism one would hope to find in such an important service. Such providers do not appear in this review. All the sites listed here have easy to navigate and professional appearing websites. They were all able to provide customer testimonials to their services and helpful information about digital imaging. The two sites that are of recent origin (in business since 2007) have asterisks next to the name.


Including only those services we trust leaves us with a comparison mainly focused on value. The sites reviewed appear in order of best pricing policy.

Scan Café

Clearly, Scan Café has a jump on its competitors in price at 24¢ per print. Their website is professional and includes an impressive press gallery and community. The limit Scan Café puts on quality of 3,000 DPI simplifies the process, since this quality is more than enough for the needs of the average consumer. However, there are two drawbacks to Scan Café. One is that the business has only been around since 2007. Second, some might be concerned because the company ships negatives to India for scanning.


DigMyPics provides an excellent website and easy to use services with simple pricing. DigMyPics has the advantage of being in business since 2002 and performs all operations within the United States. Still, at a savings of 11¢ per image, and likely hundreds of images to scan, Scan Café is the better choice.

Digital Memories, PixMonix, Brite Pix, Scan Digital

Digital Memories, PixMonix, Brite Pix, and Scan Digital all require that you sort through your negatives to see which ones you will want scanned before you send them in. This presents a challenge for time-strapped individuals.   The other providers allow you to view all scanning images on-line and pay only for the images you choose to keep.

Larsen Digital

Although Larsen Digital is the priciest competitor, it may be a good alternative.  Larsen has been in business since 1995, longer than any other providers reviewed. In addition, there is bulk pricing available, which could result in savings. Like DigMyPics, Larsen provides domestic scanning.

Do It Yourself

Some people recommend buying a scanning device that works with your computer to scan negatives.  For about $70, it is a cheaper alternative if you have more than 300 images to scan.  However, you will still have to do the manual work of scanning the images yourself; not a good choice if you are strapped for time.

However you choose to scan your negatives, you will get the freedom and pleasure to make the old new again and relive the special moments in your life.


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