I do both digital and film photography.

Scanning film negatives does not produce great results in terms of quality, and I think a print from negative is far superior.

What I like about Lightroom is how easy it is to build a book and send it over for print.

What would be the best way of printing books with both digital and film?

Should I scan the prints as opposed to scanning the negatives, or is there a better way of doing it?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ What are you using to scan the negatives? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 1, 2018 at 15:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Matt - your choice of scanner matters tremendously. Also: are you looking for a color or B&W workflow? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2018 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've got an Epson V550. At 4000dpi I have the impression of getting something equivalent of about 10 megapixel, with 35mm negative. I do B&W exclusively, 120 and 35mm. \$\endgroup\$
    – zzzbbx
    Jul 1, 2018 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ What scanning technique? Do you wet scan? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jul 1, 2018 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I supposed not. I just scan it as is \$\endgroup\$
    – zzzbbx
    Jul 1, 2018 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Have you considered using the Nikon ES-2 adapter and your digital camera to do the "scanning".

It becomes macro photography, where you are taking a photo of the slide or in your case the film negative. I have used this very successfully with slides (using the ES-1) and although I haven't used the negative version I would absolutely give this a try before using a traditional scanner. It is very fast, and the quality is very good IMO.

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks a lot, haven't thought of that. However, do I not lose the dynamic range of film (push/pull)? Wouldn't it be better to print in the darkroom and scan the final image? \$\endgroup\$
    – zzzbbx
    Jul 7, 2018 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ No - it is the film (negative or slide) that has the dynamic range. I use the digital camera shooting RAW, which has very good dynamic range. It is amazing actually how much you can pull out of an image with simply the RAW correction. Prints by comparison have very little dynamic range, so it has to be done in the printing process itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jim Leask
    Jul 9, 2018 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ additionally, when shooting this way you can do the trick of taking multiple exposures of the same image, some drastically over or under exposed as needed, then merging the images in Lightroom. Because the slide is attached to the adapter, they don't move so they are trivial to align. I have done this with a slide that was almost black it was so badly underexposed (of a barn with people from long ago in it) and when over exposed by about 5 stops, maybe more, it was a very acceptable image. In fact, often the images done this way end up better than the original print or slide ever was. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jim Leask
    Jul 9, 2018 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is my writeup of using the ES-1 for slides. Digitizing Slides with a DSLR \$\endgroup\$
    – Jim Leask
    Jul 9, 2018 at 14:56

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