The Clothespin Hack, How to Scan Photographic Film Without Slide Carrier.


Introduction: The Clothespin Hack, How to Scan Photographic Film Without Slide Carrier.

If you play with pinhole, uncommon or old camera
you will sometimes have a problem to scan your negatives with your slide carrier:

*you may want to scan them with their borders.
*maybe, your negatives are not fitting in your slide carrier
*or like me, you don't like the 6*6 carrier, who can't get the negative flat !!

Step 1: First Idea

the easiest way would be to directly put your negative on the window's scanner
but strange pattern like that could appears ...
newton ring ...

you negative mustn't touch the window's scanner...

it would be ok for 35mm negative if you put them upside down
not perfect but it's enough for most case.

but this don't work for 120 negative, they don't stay flat ...

Step 2: The Clothespin Hack

Simple idea, use small decorative clothespin to hold the negative.

*they will handle the negative 1mm above the window's scanner.
*they are enough heavy to get the negative flat.

Step 3: How To

now, put clothespins all around your negative on transparent area.

Step 4: And Scan

put your negative with clothespins on your scanner and scan !!

hope this will help in your creativity :)



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    Hope this works ..Trying to do negatives from ww2 ..That dad sent home...I can't find a cheap Negative scanner it would be great if this does the trick.

     I'm like heaps late... but does this work with cross-developed slide film?

    Does this method needa back light? Your Flatbed scanner looked like it has a back light, most don't.

    3 replies

    Yes, you need a back light. With negative you always need one. but it's also possible to make a back light with translucent glass and a uniform illumination. (and lots of test)

    Thanks, that make more sense, I thought this circuvent the back light needed. Duhhh... not a smart one I am. I'll just have to build a back-light now.

    I know this is 1 year PLUS late, but it is possible to scan without a backlight. Just do it in the noon with an open window. The sun can provide the light ;) I tried it, it works. In fact the scanner was at the centre of the room when I discovered this. Hope it helps

    hi, just like to ask, is that a canon t90 on the table on your picture?

    1 reply

    yes :) a really good camera, I sometimes using it as a lightmeter when I take photo with old camera (a TLR here)

    Thats pretty cool. I haven't had much luck scanning film... Probably because I was sandwiching it on the bed. What camera do you use for your 120 film? Looks like a pinhole from your scans but I can't tell.

    1 reply

    this photo was taken with a yashica MAT, an old TLR. for pinhole camera, i didn't try yet with 120 negatives, hope to do it soon :)