Digitize 35mm Film with a Macro Lens on Your Camera (VIDEO)

Call us "old-timers" or whatever you want, but many of us have boxes of old film negatives buried in the back of a closet. Some of these images are undoubtedly great shots that we'd like to scan, edit in Photoshop or Lightroom, and put them in play for use in today's digital world.

There are several methods for getting the job done, some more expensive and effective than others. You can buy a new dedicated film scanner, but those are very expensive and can be difficult to use. Another option is to purchase a film holder if your flatbed printer offers that capability. The problem here, though, is that resolution and image quality isn't all that great.

A third possibility is searching on eBay for a high-end scanner from years gone by, but there are drawbacks here too. These tend to be costly and few and far between. Moreover, the original drivers don't work with modern operating systems, so you'll also have to buy a modern driver from a third party vendor.

The good news is that it's possible to make great ""scans" with nothing more than a macro lens on what ever camera you currently own. The caveat here is that all close-up lenses aren't created equal, like with some so-called macro lenses with only a 1:4 reproduction ratio.

As you see in this tutorial from the Adorama TV YouTube channel, a true macro lens with life-size 1:1 capability is what you need to really do this right. NY-based instructor David Bergman recommends using a tripod to steady the camera during these up-close, high-magnification photos, along with an inexpensive holder to keep the film in place (and he provides a link where you can find one in the description beneath the video.

Bergman begins by explaining how to set up your simple gear, and there's really not much to it. Then he walks you through a simple step-by-step process for digitizing your negative. He explains the best camera setting to use for consistently great results.

There are a few simple tips you'll want to follow, so pay close attention to those. Even today's "hipsters" enthralled with shooting film will be intrigued by this technique. So watch the lesson and get busy cleaning out your closet.

The is much more to learn on the Adorama YouTube channel, and by visiting the Ask David Bergman website, so be sure to visit both.

We also recommend watching anther tutorial we posted, explaining why every outdoor photographer needs a macro lens and how to use one properly.