Scanning a Film Negative with an iPhone and an IKEA Lamp

5 - Step 5 Final image

All images by Kasper Vandermaesen. Used with permission.

Photographer Kasper Vandermaesen ran into an interesting problem after taking his negatives to the lab and getting them back. Unfortunately, the lab forgot to scan one of the images. And as he told Reddit, he decided to get crafty.

“I’ve been shooting digital for the last couple of years, but film photography caught my attention when I saw what great results you could get with even a cheap analog camera. It sparked my motivation to shoot more, or must I say ‘less’, since it makes me visualize the shots in my mind first.” says Kasper. “Since I’m only up to my third roll of film, I haven’t yet invested in a scanner or macro lens to digitize my shots. I don’t even develop my own film (yet).”

As a result, Kasper figured that it would be cool to play with his iPhone 5 a bit. He fully knew it wouldn’t give him the resolution to hang on a wall, but he turned out very surprised by what he got. Mr. Vandermaesen tells us that the biggest loss in quality comes from the fact that he couldn’t focus close enough. “That got me thinking that a clip-on macro lens would boost the quality.”

Editor’s Correction: Kasper tells us that he didn’t actually use a macro lens.

1 - Step 1 capture negative

His hack involved using an IKEA lamp and holding his phone as close as possible. Of course, Kasper also used a macro lens attachment. This is much easier as you can tell because of the fact that there is so much space in-between one image to the next. Additionally, it also looks like Kasper’s negatives were cut.

3 - Step 3 tweak exposure and contrast

After this he put the image through Photoshop express and tweaked the exposure and contrast. Then he was able to get the image above–which in our opinion works out quite well.


Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.