Scan Photo With Your Mobile Phone

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About: Make it yourself if you cannot buy one!

Intro: Scan Photo With Your Mobile Phone

This instructables show how to use a mobile phone to scan the photo in your old album.

Your mobile phone have a mega pixels camera with auto focus. It is a very good photo scanner, you just need a light source and some aids to make the mobile parallel to the photo.

Step 1: Preparation

White corrugated plastic sheets (or called PP carton board)

White LED strip (around 1 meter)

Step 2: Measure, Draft and Cutout

Every type of mobile camera have some variant, such as focal length and minimum focus distance. You need perpare a maximum size photo, say 5R or 4R, you want to scan. try to use your mobile camera take that photo, reserve some margin and measure the distance between camera and photo. The distance is the light box height.

The light box width and depth depends on the photo dimension and add few cm margin.

Here is my measure for iPhone 6s taking 4R photo:

height: 16 cm

width: 21 cm

depth: 16 cm

The light box has 4 side surround and a removable top side, the bottom are placing photo so no need to made a bottom.

At the top it has a hole at the center for placing mobile camera, I also make a plate with a big hole for fixing the mobile camera fit to the center hole.

P.S. Thanks to user cafemiguel point it out, the word "hold" in the picture should be "hole".

Step 3: Cut the Edge Pit

Cut the pit for each folding edge for easy folding.

Step 4: Stick the Mobile Fixing Plate With Light Box Top

Step 5: Stick the Box Side

Step 6: Stick the LED Strip

Stick the LED strip outside the Light box, the LED facing interior and leave around 4-5 cm from the bottom.

Step 7: Slot the Light Box Top

Fold the top side lip and slot it into the light box side.

Put on the mobile to the mobile fixing plate.

Step 8: Turn on and Check the Light Source

Turn on the LED, turn on the mobile camera, place the light box on a white paper and check the light well distributed. Adjust the LED strip height if needed.

Step 9: Happy Scanning!

The photo scanner is ready!

You may not need to take out the photo from the album, try direct place the light box on your photo album and scan it.

It require crop the photo after scanning. If you don't want to crop after scan, try searching app with keyword "photo scan". You may find some good app for free.

Step 10: Storing

After scanning, you can remove the top side and unfold the light box for easy storing.

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    148 Discussions

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    tincho1962

    1 year ago

    Contagem de algo util para fotografiar negativos de 35mm

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    陳亮

    1 year ago

    this one seems good:
    http://searchingc.com/collections/lightcase/

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    PoProbot

    2 years ago

    Thank you! I have a question about using the led light strip, as I have never used one before: 1.) how does one attach the cord to the strip? Is there soldering involved? I don't get it.

    I would really like to make one of these. We have a scanner as part of the copy machine, but if you can't remove the photo from the album safely, it doesnt always scan the ones on the edge of the page very well, and throws shadows, etc.

    This looks like a great alternative to trying to detach old photos from one of those old albums which used a sticky surface to hold photos in place. I have tried carefully pulling them off but they usually get damaged and bent.

    5 replies
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    zackerPoProbot

    Reply 2 years ago

    don't worry about the LED's if you make this you can get 1 or two small table lamps with led bulbs in them and try putting one on either side of the box and letting the light shine through the sides. if the white board this box is made of does not let the light pass through, cut a "window on each side of the box just a bit larger than the light and then cover the "windows" with either white "tracing paper" or something else that's white yet see through like white Vellum (sold at craft stores in the paper / scrap booking sections) al you want to do is provide white, smooth lighting that doesn't reflect off the photos. you don't want the light to shine directly on the object so the light should "bounce" around inside the box and cover the whole inside evenly. if you get some lamps that are on some type of adjustable, gooseneck type stands, youll be way ahead of the game!

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    PoProbotzacker

    Reply 1 year ago

    I FINALLY got around to buying the corrugated opaque plastic board and the lights. I'm nervouse about making it so I'm going to make a paper template for all the parts first. I'm used to sewing and using patterns, so it will give me confidence and I wont make a mistake when cutting the corrugated opaque board.

    I'll post a photo once it's "done" and read to use !

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    zackerPoProbot

    Reply 1 year ago

    cool... let us know the outcome and take lots of pictures!

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    zackerPoProbot

    Reply 2 years ago

    also... go up to the top of the page and type in Light box into the search.. youll find a lot of other options for making something that you can use...

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    陳亮PoProbot

    Reply 2 years ago

    I have ordered a 5V 1 meter LED strip with USB plug.
    I also cannot remove the photo from the album, so I made this light box.

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    doktor3616

    1 year ago

    Tebrik ederim.Harika paylaşım.

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    enjoydiy

    1 year ago

    I like it, I will refer to the production, for the remake of ole black and white photos, thank you!

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    kariswg1

    1 year ago

    Great idea, but I took a clear, dollar store shoebox, discarded the lid, turned it upside down, cut a hole for the camera lens, set the phone on it, and it worked perfectly.

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    Wrrr 10-G

    1 year ago

    Wow, simple and practical, and even storing is included! In spite of the comments below: you created a very standardised illumination method.
    Very nicely done, thank you sir.

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    dook

    1 year ago

    Great idea for an inexpensive light box for jewelry photos. Thanks for sharing.

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    diydiva

    1 year ago

    The best light is on a sunny day in open shade. You will get true color and no shadows. My $1200 Epson sits in the studio mostly unused these days.

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    OpusG5

    1 year ago

    Seems like to much work, just download Google scan free and you can save old photos in high resolution, works great on my iPhone

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    patytrico

    1 year ago

    Great PORTABLE idea to save all that old photos just from the album! I would try it soon, thanks for share it ;) Actually I'm doing it holding the phone in my hand and the results could really be improved! :p

    I use Genius Scanner for the crop, it's free and works like a charm.

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    vijji

    1 year ago

    Now google has an app for scanning pictures. It does a very good job.

    2 replies
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    I have used CamScanner (on an Android phone). Works brilliantly, and there are special deals for educational use.