Kodak Mobile Film Scanner: An Inexpensive Walk Down Memory Lane
Many, many years ago I bought an expensive film scanner from Epson because I had years of 35mm to digitize. Never got around to it. Then my film developer provided discs, then I switch away from film and went full digital. The end.
Except my interested was piqued when Dick DeBartolo, on a recent episode of the Giz Wiz, mentioned that Kodak had introduced this relatively inexpensive film scanning setup that uses your mobile phone as the scanning device. I had a bunch Black & White negatives that I shot for my journalism degree that never got digitized… Hmmm. I didn’t even bother checking to see how much it would have cost to have Costco digitize my film when I placed the order with Amazon. Someone screwed up the order (USPS?) so I had to place a second order before revisiting images I’d shot 28-years ago. Wow.
Setup took seconds, I downloaded the app, put my phone on the scanning stand, framed the shot and then I spent the rest of the day clicking on each image, one by one. I got through 199 images. It wasn’t fast, but maybe that’s part of the fun.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the resolution. Some images seemed to pixelate when enlarged, but that might have been due to my less than perfect focus in the original shot. I retested one image using a 3rd party capture app that let me grab a Raw version of the image (Camera+), then in another app I flipped the settings to make a positive image… that’s one suggestion that I have to the vendor would be to allow for Raw or higher resolution images, depending on the device. In as much as Apple doesn’t have one-click access to raw format in the native camera app, maybe it’s a bit much to expect Kodak to offer it in their app that has to work on every phone in production… but that would take my review from “good” to “holy sh*t, take my money!”
If all you want to do is to quickly digitize those images Dad shot in the 1960s it might be more efficient to give them to Costco and get a disc back a week or so later. But if you were the one who shot the film and made the proof-sheets and agonized over which shots to develop, the Kodak Mobile Scanner is a fun, inexpensive way to revisit those days with no need for a dark room or smelly chemicals. Enjoy. Here are some of the images that I digitized with the Kodak Mobile Scanner from my 1990 and 1991 journalism/photography course:
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Sources: The Giz Wiz, episode 1738, http://gizwiz.tv/episode/1731