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Scanning For Sprockets [Revisited]

A while back I tried to explain how to get sprockets holes from your toy camera negatives scanned to a digital file correctly. My text and images where not entirely the best method to explain it so now finally I have produced a long overdue tutorial on how to use your scanner software to scan in 35mm negative film to include the sprocket holes. This is relevant when you are using toy cameras like the blackbird,fly or have a Holga or Diana modified to take 35mm film (or if you have a 35mm back to fit these cameras) for example.
I’m using a Canoscan 8400f to scan my negatives, but hopefully there will be some common points of reference if you are using a different scanner and/or different software. *note: You may be able to see what I’m doing better by going to the full screen view.


  1. mabelNo Gravatar wrote:

    dear sir, i’m very impressed with your tutorial. i’ve just got one little question, do i still bring the roll of film to the store to develop negatives then scan or can i just scan the negatives right after shooting?

    Monday, March 15, 2010 at 03:11 | Permalink
  2. CameronNo Gravatar wrote:

    Hi Mabel,
    Hi Mabel, I’m glad you liked my little tutorial, thanks for the feedback.
    In answer to your question, you still need to get the film developed at your local film developer, (or develop the film yourself if you have the set-up).
    Because there tends to be a bit of an overlap in BBF images taken without the mask (ie the sprocket look) I ask the lab to develop only and to not cut the negatives, as I’ve had labs cut through the middle of exposures, so I cut my negs for scanning then storage myself.

    Monday, March 15, 2010 at 11:10 | Permalink
  3. EnryNo Gravatar wrote:

    Great work! Many thanks! Only some little difficulties with language: I am Italian and I think my English is quite faulty and lacking in words… But now, the scanning works very good!
    Good-bye and thanks, once more!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 16:49 | Permalink
  4. DanNo Gravatar wrote:

    excellent! was getting so frustrated with having to manually zoom each photo. now with the exposure fixed i can scan 4 at once… very very helpful when your trying to get through 5 films worth!

    thanks again :)

    Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 01:51 | Permalink
  5. MaxNo Gravatar wrote:

    Hi Cameron, really good work!
    It would be great if you could point me on how to build a modified guide for the scanner. I own a 8800f but the 35mm guide obviously covers the sprocket holes, is there a way to build it up?
    Thanks and keep up the good work ;)

    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 19:32 | Permalink

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