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8 Best Film Scanners in 2024 (Negative and Flatbed)

Last updated: January 18, 2024 - 19 min read
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Using the best film scanner is the quickest and easiest way to digitize your film photos. You might have a dusty archive of old film negatives you want to reorganize digitally. Or maybe you’re riding the wave of popularity of film photography.

But whether you’re old or young, a film scanner is a must-have item for analog photographers. And the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE is the best film scanner around.

Its high scan resolution gives you breathtaking digital representations of your images. It brings out more dynamic range in your images. And the infrared feature identifies and removes scratches and dust marks. It’s the best choice for digital film scanning.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Film Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
 

What Is the Best Film Scanner?

The best film scanner gives you beautiful digital versions of your film photos. Our top three choices are the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE, Epson Perfection V600, and the Plustek OpticFilm 8100.

In the old days, you would develop your film in a photography shop. They’d then provide you with the developed negatives and the prints of your photos. And if you wanted to digitize them, you’d have to scan the photo prints.

Film photographers have realized this isn’t the most efficient or cost-effective system. A film scanner streamlines the digitization process. These film scanners generate digital images by scanning the negatives. That means you don’t need to print them before you scan them.

This saves money on printing costs. And it means you can scan the negatives instead of the printed photos. Also, a film scanner gives you more creative control over the final digital image.

If you have a backlog of printed photos that need scanning, look at our list of the best photo scanners. They still give you the best results when scanning prints. But to streamline your film-to-digital process, keep reading to find the best film scanner.

Here’s a rundown of our list of best film scanners. Keep reading to see each film scanner in detail. You can skip to the FAQ section for more information on film scanners.

Our Top Choice
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
  • 7200 dpi resolution for sharp, clear images
  • 48-bit color depth for true color reproduction
  • Automatically removes dust and scratches
  • High-speed scanning of up to 7 frames/min
  • One-touch scan button for easy operation
Best Flatbed Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
  • 9600 dpi resolution for sharp, detailed scans
  • Scan slides, negatives, and medium format film
  • Photo repair and enhance features for prints and negatives
  • Create amazing enlargements up to 17 x 22”
  • Built-in transparency unit for scanning up to 12 slides, negatives, or medium format film
Best Film Negative Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
  • High-resolution scanning up to 7200 dpi
  • Fast scanning speed of up to 6 frames per minute
  • SilverFast SE Plus 8.8 software included
  • Versatile film types supported (35mm slides, negatives, and medium format films)
  • USB connection for easy connectivity
Best All-in-One Film Scanner
Kodak Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
Kodak Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
Kodak Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
  • High-resolution scans up to 22 MP
  • Fast and easy scanning process
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Convert slides to digital images
  • View and edit images without a computer
Best Budget Film Scanner
Magnasonic All-in-One 24MP Film Scanner
Magnasonic All-in-One 24MP Film Scanner
Magnasonic All-in-One 24MP Film Scanner
  • High-quality 24 MP resolution
  • Support for multiple film types
  • Fast and easy scanning process
  • Built-in LCD display
  • Includes memory card slot for direct digital storage
Best Professional Film Scanner
Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII Scanner
Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII Scanner
Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII Scanner
  • High-speed and high-resolution scanning
  • 9600 x 9600 dpi resolution for prints and negatives
  • Auto Document Fix feature
  • 4 EZ Buttons for easy operation
  • Includes film adapter unit
Best for Casual Film Shooters
Kodak SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner
Kodak SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner
Kodak SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner
  • High-resolution scans up to 22 MP
  • Scans 35mm, 126, 110, Super 8, and 8mm film
  • Converts film into JPEGs for easy sharing
  • Built-in LCD for previewing scans
  • Easy-to-use controls for quick scanning
Best Basic Film Scanner
ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 Film & Slide Scanner
ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 Film & Slide Scanner
ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 Film & Slide Scanner
  • 22 MP resolution for sharp images
  • Fast and easy to use with no computer necessary
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Scans 35mm slides, negatives, and photos
  • Automatically color-corrects images
 

8 Best Film Scanners

Film photography is all the rage right now. Photographers are dusting off their old SLR cameras and shooting roll after roll of 35mm film. The film vs digital debate is hotter than ever.

But in my opinion, there’s nothing quite like a film photo. And the best way to take control of your film photography results is to get a film scanner. So, here’s our full detailed list so you can find the best film scanner to maximize your film photography.

1. Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner

Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Brand
Brand
Plustek
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Negative Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
4.7 x 10.7 x 4.7 inches / 12 x 27.2 x 12 cm
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negatives, 35mm slide positives
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
7200 DPI
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Dust and scratch removal, advanced companion software, 48-bit color output
Best For
Best For
All film photographers

The Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE is the best film scanner on the market. It’s a dedicated negative scanner. That means you can’t scan prints. But you can scan 35mm color and black-and-white negatives. Plus, you can scan 35mm slide film.

The results are fantastic. And the companion Silverfast software gives you more control over the digital version.

The OpticFilm 8200i SE gives you beautiful digital renditions of your film photos. You can scan the negatives with a maximum resolution of 7200 DPI. This is equivalent to 69 MP digital images. That’s the image quality you expect from the best full-frame mirrorless cameras.

The level of detail is incredible. And you get much more than if you take the film straight to the printing shop.

This is the best scanner for scanning old or damaged negatives. The infrared scan feature identifies and highlights scratches and dust spots. You can then use the software to remove them.

You’re left with an image that’s as good as new. That’s why the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE is the best scanner for old and new film photographers.

Silverfast SE Plus 8 software comes with this scanner. And it’s another tool you can use to maximize your film photography results. You can adjust exposure to reveal more shadow detail. You can adjust the dynamic range settings to bring out more from lighter and darker areas of your image.

You can also tweak the color rendition and color temperature. And it gives you a histogram for detailed photo adjustments.

Editing film photos is becoming more popular. We recommend Adobe Lightroom or Capture One if you want to take your film photo editing further. These are two advanced editing programs that give you complete creative control.

 

2. Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner

Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Brand
Brand
Epson
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Flatbed Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
19 x 11 x 4.6 inches / 48.3 x 28 x 11.7 cm
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negatives, 35mm slides, medium format negatives
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
9600 DPI
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Digital ICE for negatives, digital ICE for print, built-in transparency unit
Best For
Best For
Scanning negatives and prints

The Epson Perfection V600 is the best flatbed scanner for film photographers. As a flatbed scanner, you can scan printed photos.

But it also has specialist holders for 35mm and medium format camera film. That means you can digitize your old photo library. And you can scan any new film rolls you get developed.

The film holders allow you to scan your negatives without damaging them. The holders keep them in position so they don’t move when scanning. And they protect them against any damage.

They also allow you to scan an entire strip at a time. This saves you a lot of scanning time compared to ones that scan one negative at a time. It also uses a Ready Scan LED light that requires no warm-up time.

The scan quality is excellent for prints and negatives. The max resolution is 9600 DPI, giving you all the detail and vitality you could ask for. You can also enhance and restore old or damaged photos.

There’s a Digital ICE feature for negatives and prints. And for both, you get one-click blemish removal. It also enhances faded colors so even the oldest photos look brand new.

The companion software is basic in terms of editing tools. It removes dust spots and enhances faded colors. But you might need other photo editing software for more significant enhancements.

But if you’re a film photography purist, the Epson Perfection V600 gives you gorgeous images that don’t need editing. It’s the best flatbed film scanner for film photographers.

 

3. Plustek OpticFilm 8100

Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Brand
Brand
Plustek
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Negative Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
4.7 x 10.7 x 4.7 inches / 12 x 27 x 12
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negative and slide film
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
7200 DPI
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Silverfast companion software, built-in ICC profile, HDR enhancement
Best For
Best For
Pro-level negative scanning

The Plustek OpticFilm 8100 is a fantastic scanner for film negatives. It’s an older version of the OpticFilm 8200i SE. That means it lacks a couple of advanced features. But it still gives you digital images of outstanding quality. It’s the best film scanner for photographers still shooting film.

With a max scanning resolution of 7200 DPI, you get digital images far beyond your expectations. You won’t achieve this level of image quality by scanning prints. The digital images are equivalent to photos taken with a 69 MP high-resolution camera.

With a dynamic range setting up to 3.6 D, it brings out details in all areas of the photo. You can create printed enlargements up to 36 x 24 inches (91 x 61 cm).

The main feature the OpticFilm 8100 lacks is photo restoration. That’s why this is a better option for photographers developing newly shot rolls of film. But the built-in ICC profile helps bring out the best of slide film. It has profiles for specific slide films, including the iconic Kodachrome.

The scanner comes with two film holders. These protect your negatives during scanning. There’s no physical contact with the negative during the scanning process, meaning no scratches or smudges.

The Silverfast SE Plus 8 software comes with this scanner, too. It lets you enhance the images without losing their film-photo qualities. The Plustek OpticFilm 8100 is a perfect film scanner for enthusiastic film photographers.

 

4. Kodak Slide N Scan Film and Slide Scanner

Kodak Slide N SCAN Film and Slide Scanner
Brand
Brand
KODAK
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Negative Scanner
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negatives and slides, medium format negatives
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
22 MP
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
5-inch display, SD card compatible, USB-C connection
Best For
Best For
Casual film shooters and tech-shy users

The Kodak Slide N Scan is a simple yet effective film scanner. It’s a basic model compared to the previous scanners. But it still gives you fantastic digital images from your film negatives. It offers a fast and affordable way of digitizing your film photos.

The Slide N Scan is easy to use. You don’t need to mess around with lots of cables and software. You don’t even need to connect it to a computer. Of course, you can connect the scanner to a computer using a USB cable. But you can also transfer the images directly to a memory card.

You also have a large LCD on the scanner. This display lets you see the scan before you transfer it to another device.

It’s also easy to load and scan the film strips. And it scans color and black-and-white film. If that’s your thing, check out our favorite black-and-white film article. Thanks to the film adaptor, this scanner also accepts medium-format negatives.

The Kodak scanner gives you 22 MP images. While this isn’t as high-res as the previous scanners, the images are still bright, detailed, and vibrant. That resolution is similar to an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera. If 22 MP is more than you need, you can scan them at 13 MP.

The built-in editing options give you good creative control. The functions are basic. But you can make adjustments to brightness and color. The Kodak Slide N Scan is a simple and affordable film scanner. It’s easy to use. But it still gives you fantastic digital images from your film photos.

 

5. Magnasonic All-in-One 24 MP Film Scanner

Magnasonic All-in-One 24MP Film Scanner
Brand
Brand
Magnasonic
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Negative Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
5.4 x 4.4 x 5 inches / 13.7 x 11.2 x 12.7 cm
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negative and slide film
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
24 MP
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
5-inch LCD, SD card slot, USB-C connection
Best For
Best For
Digitizing old negatives

The Magnasonic All-in-One is another easy-to-use film scanner. It has simple controls and a large LDC display. You can use it with or without a computer. And it transforms old negatives into bright and vibrant digital images.

It’s also the most affordable film scanner on our list. And it couldn’t be easier to use.

You feed the negative strip into the scanner. It then displays the image on the five-inch LCD screen, letting you review it first. You can then transfer the images to a computer using the USB cable. Or you can put the files onto an SD card using the built-in card reader.

The digital images look fantastic. They have a 24 MP image resolution, which is sharp and well-rendered.

This resolution is similar to a camera like the Canon EOS Rebel T8i. That’s one of the best Canon cameras for beginners. This standard of quality lets you print and enlarge your favorite images.

The HDMI connection lets you view your film photos on a bigger scale. You can connect the scanner to a monitor or TV with an HDMI cable. The images appear on the screen as you scan them.

It’s a great way to celebrate and share your photos with friends. And it gives you a more detailed view of each shot. The Magnasonic All-in-One is a fantastic film scanner for the price.

 

6. Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII Scanner

Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII Scanner
Brand
Brand
Canon
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Flatbed Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
10.7 x 19 x 4.4 inches / 27 x 48 x 11 cm
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negatives and slides, medium format negatives
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
9600 DPI
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Auto-retouching and enhancement, film holders included, no warm-up time
Best For
Best For
Professionals looking for a flatbed scanner

The Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII is the most powerful scanner for film photography. It’s a flatbed scanner, meaning you can scan photo prints. And it comes with specialist film holders for scanning negatives.

The scanning power might be overkill for most film shooters. And the price might put others off. But it gives you unparalleled image quality.

The max scanning resolution is a whopping 9200 DPI. That’s image quality equivalent to a digital medium-format camera. It’ll reveal new depths of detail in your photos. And the colors will have an intensity rarely seen in film photos.

The CanoScan 9000F also has a special FARE feature. This stands for Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement. It removes dust spots and blemishes from old photos. And it enhances faded color, bringing new life to your images. This feature works for negatives and printed photos.

It requires no warm-up time. The white LED lights can scan from a standing start, so there’s no waiting around. The Auto Scan Mode detects the type of media you’re scanning and selects the correct settings.

The Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII won’t be for everyone. But you can’t beat it for image resolution. 

 

7. Kodak SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner

Kodak SCANZA Digital Film & Slide Scanner
Brand
Brand
KODAK
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Negative Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
4.7 x 4.7 x 5 inches / 12 x 12 x 12.7 cm
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negative and slide, medium format negatives, Super 8
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
22 MP
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
3.5-inch LCD screen, HDMI output, SD card reader
Best For
Best For
Scanning negatives without a computer

Kodak SCANZA is a compact negative scanner that produces excellent digital images. It’s easy to use with simple controls and a bright LCD. It supports a wide range of film types. It takes 35mm, medium format, and even Super 8 reel. It’s also a reasonable price for a good-quality film scanner.

The scanning time is excellent. So, you can digitize a roll in no time. And you get fantastic results. The JPEG images have a 22 MP resolution. And you get vivid colors and sharp details even from older film rolls. You can also scan them at 14 MP if you want a smaller file size.

The scanner has a built-in SD card reader. This lets you save digitized photos without a computer. But you can transfer straight to a computer using a USB-C cable.

You can also display the images on monitors using the HDMI connection. The Kodak SCANZA offers excellent value for good-quality film scanning.

 

8. ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 Film & Slide Scanner

ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 Film & Slide Scanner
Brand
Brand
ClearClick
Scanner Type
Scanner Type
Negative Scanner
Dimensions
Dimensions
5.3 x 5 x 3.7 inches / 13.5 x 12.7 x 9.4 cm
Supported Film Types
Supported Film Types
35mm negatives and slides
Max Scan Resolution
Max Scan Resolution
22 MP
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
5-inch LCD, HDMI output
Best For
Best For
Film photographers looking for a basic film scanner

The ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 is our pick for a basic film scanner option. While it is basic for features, the quality is still fantastic. It accepts 35mm negatives and slide film. And you don’t need to install any software or drivers. The handy LCD screen also lets you see the image before scanning it. 

When you do scan, it gives you images equivalent to 22 MP. They’re brightly colored and well-detailed. Even old and damaged negatives are transformed into vibrant digital images. And it works well with color and black-and-white negatives. 

There’s an SD card reader built in. You can scan straight onto the memory card without using a computer. And the mini HDMI connection lets you view the images on larger monitors.

The ClearClick Virtuoso 2.0 isn’t flash or fancy. But it’s a great film scanner if you want something basic.

 

FAQs About Film Scanners

Film scanners can be a technical topic. But we’ve answered some frequently asked questions to help you find the best film scanner.

Why Do I Need a Film Scanner?

Using a film scanner is one of the best ways to digitize your film photos. You can create digital copies of your photos without printing them. It takes a step out of the traditional process of photo development.

You don’t need to have the photos printed in a photo store. Instead, you can have the negatives developed and scan the images at home.

Scanning film at home also helps you save a lot in the long run. The initial purchase of a negative scanner will set you back a few dollars. But It will still work out cheap when you don’t have to spend so much having every roll scanned and printed in the store.

Of course, you can still print your favorites. And we have a full list of the best photo printers if you want to print. But you don’t need to print every shot on the roll. This saves you time and money. And film photographers know that using film can get expensive.

Using a film scanner is also useful for restoring old photos. The Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE can remove scratches and dust spots. The Epson Perfection V600 also removes blemishes and enhances faded colors. Film scanners can revitalize your old photo albums.

Which Is Better? The Best Flatbed or the Best Negative Film Scanner?

There are two types of film scanners to choose from. You have negative scanners that only scan film negatives and slides. And you have flatbed scanners.

Flatbed scanners are the more traditional type of scanner where you lay the photos down on a glass panel and close the lid. These are great for digitizing printed photos. But only some models have the holders and features to scan negatives.

The benefit of a flatbed is that you can also scan printed photos. Flatbed scanners are a good choice if you already have a mountain of paper photos.

We’ve included two flatbed scanners on our list. There is the Epson Perfection V600 and the Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII. But we have a full article on the best photo scanners if you want to see more.

 

What Is Scan Resolution?

Scan resolution determines the quality of the scanned image. Some scanners define the resolution with a dots-per-inch (DPI) measurement. The higher the DPI, the better the image quality.

Other scanners define the quality by stating the equivalent megapixels. As with the Kodak Slide N Scan, it states the images are equivalent to photos taken with a 22 MP digital camera. That lets you know the level of image quality you can expect in the final image.

What Is the Maximum Scan Resolution for a Film Scanner?

The outright winner is the Epson Perfection V600. This machine can scan images with a 9600 DPI resolution. That’s medium format camera levels of image quality. You’ll struggle to find a higher scan resolution than that.

But the Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE has the highest scan resolution for a negative film scanner. You can scan negatives at 7200 DPI. That’s equivalent to an image from a 69 MP camera.

Do You Need a Computer to Use a Film Scanner?

All flatbed scanners need a computer or laptop. That means you also need to install the software and drivers. It can be a process. But the software often gives you more control over the final images.

The Plustek OpticFilm scanners also need a computer to function. But again, the companion software gives you more control and basic editing tools. You need to connect the scanner and the computer using a USB cable.

The scanners with a built-in LCD screen work with or without a computer. They have a built-in card reader. You can save the images to the SD card without a computer.

Some can also be connected to monitors for enlarged viewing using HDMI connections. But you can also use these scanners with a computer if you prefer. All you need is a USB cable. All the scanners on our list are compatible with Windows and Mac computers.

Which Software Is Best for Scanning Film?

Using good software when scanning and digitizing your photos can make a huge difference to the results. That’s why it’s worth finding the best one for your equipment. Many of the film scanners on our list come with companion software.

In the case of the Plustek OpticFilm scanners, you get Silverfast film scanning software. It’s the Plus 8 version when you buy the OpticFilm 8200i SE. It gives you a healthy range of tools to help you make the most of your film photos.

These include exposure and dynamic range adjustment tools. It can remove scratches and blemishes. And you can change the colors if you’re using color-negative film. The interface also gives you a useful histogram for more precise photo editing.

The Epson Perfection V600 also comes with companion software. It allows for some tweaks and adjustments, but it’s fairly basic compared to the best photo editing programs.

Adobe Lightroom is the obvious choice for a photo editor. It holds a well-deserved position at the top among photographers. And it’s a great tool for editing scanned images from negatives.

But it would be best if you also considered VueScan. It’s a specialist software for editing and adjusting images from film scanners. It has a full and comprehensive toolset. And it’s popular with professional individuals and institutions.

Check out our VueScan vs SilverFast comparison review to determine which scanning software is best for you.

 

Conclusion: The Best Film Scanner

A film scanner is an excellent way to streamline your film photography workflow. And they’re a fantastic tool for digitizing your old photo library. They are the bridge between analog and digital. And they’ve become essential for anyone with an enthusiasm for film photography.

The Plustek OpticFilm 82i SE is the best film scanner right now. The scan quality is excellent and gives you high-resolution digital images. It can remove scratches and dust spots from old negatives. And the companion software gives you brilliant creative control.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Film Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8200i SE Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Epson Perfection V600 Color Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner
Plustek OpticFilm 8100-35mm Film & Slide Scanner