I have some old digital black and white photographs on my computer that I would like to turn into negatives. These are scans of old B&W photographs and I want to convert them to negatives for further photo printings. Is there a printer or scanner that can do this job? I'm not a photographer and almost have minimal experience in this field.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why do you want negatives? What is your end goal? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 2, 2018 at 9:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would put money that this is an X/Y problem. You are asking how to do something, but that is not the real solution to your problem. Tell us what you are trying to do. I very much doubt that making negatives from old black & white digital images is the solution to anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Sep 2, 2018 at 9:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey Andrew - this is a community of very knowledgeable volunteers. Questions are much better received and answers more on target when you explain WHY you need the answer to this particular question. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Sep 2, 2018 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Alaskaman and myradio there is no harm in using comments to clarify. It will help everyone - asker, answerers and future readers - if everything is explained a little better. Comments can then be deleted. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Sep 3, 2018 at 12:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ No one is "judging" — it's just that we can help better when we know the full story. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 3, 2018 at 13:59

3 Answers 3


These are scans of old B&W photographs and I want to convert them to negatives for further photo printings.

You don't need negatives to print any more. The best resolution you can possibly get at this stage, without recourse to the original prints or negatives, is the files you already have.

Any print-shop can work from these. Take them to a local company & see what they think they can do.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Any print-shop can work from these"... It's worth adding that the resolution might be too low for satisfactory large prints. In this case, tell the print shop that these files are all you have, and you'd like to give it a shot anyway. As Tetsujin says, this is the highest quality you have at this point. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Sep 2, 2018 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't answer the question of "how to make negatives". \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Sep 3, 2018 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xiota - It answers the X rather than the Y. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 4, 2018 at 6:16

I make contact prints of digital images on platinum or cyanotypes from inverted images printed on transparency paper. It's actually a lot of fun. You'll never get the resolution out of this method to get a usable 35mm or 120 neg, so if you're goal is similar to mine, expect to contact print.

Hi these are scans of B/W old photographs i want to convert them to negatives for further photo printings

Some detail and resolution is lost in every step. For example, the original negative was used to make the print. I guarantee you that the print has less dynamic range than the original negative. Scanning the print and then converting to another neg to then make another print is going to be an exercise in both futility and lost detail.

It's unnecessary to make negatives for making copies. Once you've scanned the original prints, simply clean up the image as you see fit and make a print directly to photo paper. If you want to print via a transparency, as I mention earlier, for use in cyanotypes or similar, you can. But for just making copies? Scan the print and go straight to print with it.


Andrew, there are places that will make a negative from your digital files. There are also many resources for learning to make your own.

Here is an example of a service. photofusion.org

Here are a few things to read that will provide info and may help to get you pointed in the right direction.



George L Smyth


You can also do a web search for

"digital negative photography"


"create a negative from a digital file"

and find more info.


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