I'm scanning a lot of old negatives but have now hit a batch of 30+ year old negatives that won't scan after the first cell. The others on the strip are scanned with pieces of adjoining cells. Upon closer examination I noticed that in the newer negatives, the cell dividers are clear. On the older negatives the cell dividers are black. My best idea at this point is to carefully cut the negatives apart and then put them in the negative holder with space between each cell. I looked to see if there's any type of setting to tell the scanner what the dividers are but have been unsuccessful so far. 35mm film is just that, there are no distinctions on the scanner.

Any good ideas? Am I missing something obvious?

  • What film scanner and software are you using? Dec 16, 2014 at 11:09
  • Are the old films negatives or positives (reversal film), or could they possibly be reversal-film duplicates of negatives? Areas of negative film which aren't exposed in the camera are clear; areas of reversal film that aren't exposed are black. Reversal-film duplicates film (positive or negative) may, depending upon the equipment used, only expose the areas of the film which contain picture.
    – supercat
    Apr 18, 2016 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


This is entirely down to your software (and by implication, as sometimes it limits what software you can use, your hardware). It likely has an automatic mode that will try to separate out frames based on the separators. I would recommend finding software such as VueScan that has an advanced mode. This way you can pick out frame by frame exactly where you want to scan in the negative, including multiple areas for multiple pictures so you don't have to do them one by one. I use a Canon 9000F MkII and this method works for me, although it's more time consuming than scanning automatically.

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