What would be a good option to digitize a historic photo archive (both paper and negatives)? Price is not a constraint, but there's only one person to take care of the process, so it has to be as automatic as possible.

  • What is more valuable: speed or quality? Commented May 13, 2023 at 18:27
  • Speed (good point).
    – nightcod3r
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 18:29
  • Also what is the film format, 16mm, Leica,6x4.5, .... And keep in mind good scanners are specialized, some are for films, some are for paper sources. One more point, what are the sizes of paper photos? Commented May 13, 2023 at 18:31
  • 1
    The archive contains mostly film negatives: medium and large formats (up to 1961), 9x12 cm (after 1961) and 35mm. Also paper photos of 6x9 cm. As for scanner specialization, it would be appreciated a suggestion for each format.
    – nightcod3r
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


One possible scanner is Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II. It support 35mm, 120 format films out of the box. Up to A4 for reflective materials. I am afraid larger films must be scanned by hand and also by hand the person should apply corrections (for negatives). The scanner support up to 9600DPI (for films) and 4800 DPI for reflective materials. Can scan up to 12 frames from 35mm strips or 4 frames in single operation. Support up to 48 bits colour depth (if you need colour scanning).

Per specs you can scan A4 /300DPI for 7 seconds, around 50 seconds for single 35mm frame (time is the same if they are in row)

P.S. As humble recommendation please consider reading "FADGI Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials" for some ideas how to best preserve the materials in digital form.

  • Not sure to understand the 50s per frame, it's 7s for a 12 frames, is this right?
    – nightcod3r
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 20:56
  • @nightcod3r, I mean one film frame for 50 seconds. this is the time scanner sensor move around 24mm. If you add more frames on the surface you should calculate by multiply 12miliseconds by the 4800 by the length of all surface, used by frames. Commented May 14, 2023 at 4:27

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