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How to Scan Odd (Non-Standard) Size Film Negatives on a CanoScan 8800F Scanner -Made Easy

Updated on June 6, 2015
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Joanne Marcinek is a woman with a mission. Her passion is to help people get the relevant information they need on the Internet.

Scanning non-35mm negatives

Scanning odd, non-standard sized negatives on a CanoScan 8800F is easier than you think.

My sister inherited my Dad's negatives when he passed away and I was busily scanning all the old 35mm negatives using MP Navigator EX and my CanoScan 8800F flatbed scanner.

Then I came across some negatives that didn't fit the film trays I had. And then there were other negatives that fit the film tray but that the scanning software did not correctly interpret - the "cut off points" between images was off and the images were not being scanned properly.

In doing some initial research it seemed like I was going to have to build or buy a new film holder to be able to scan these non-standard size negatives. But doing additional research yielded some easier solutions.


Incorrect Scan Spacing using the 35mm Film Strip Setting on MP Navigator

Fit 35mm film tray, but the spacing of images was off.
Fit 35mm film tray, but the spacing of images was off. | Source

Non-Standard Negatives

Click thumbnail to view full-size
110 Negatives126 Black and White Large Format126 Color Medium Format
110 Negatives
110 Negatives
126 Black and White Large Format
126 Black and White Large Format
126 Color Medium Format
126 Color Medium Format

What Film Format are Various Sized Negatives? How Can We Scan Them?

We found this website that showed images of several negative sizes with photos of each kind of negative. So I now knew that the film strip with the incorrect "cut off" points was from a 110 camera. The other negatives looked like some that we had, but the measurements weren't exactly right.

I found on the Canon website that the key to being able to scan odd-sized negatives was to use the options in the ScanGear software driver (http://software.canon-europe.com/products/0010501.asp). However, I couldn't figure out how to get ScanGear to load, it's not one of the options in the program menu on my computer (Windows 7 PC).

Then I noticed a little checkbox on the MP Navigator screen...

How to Launch ScanGear? MP Navigator Launches ScanGear

Once you click the checkbox to "Use the Scanner Driver" when you click Scan, ScanGear launches and you get a whole new menu screen/dialogue box for ScanGear.

As you can see in the next photo, the initial "Preview" Scan of the negatives still shows the "cut off" points spaced incorrectly.


MP Navigator - Choose the Option to "Use the Scanner Driver"

MP Navigator Main Screen
MP Navigator Main Screen | Source

How to use Canon's ScanGear Driver

ScanGear Initial Preview stills shows incorrect image cut offs.
ScanGear Initial Preview stills shows incorrect image cut offs. | Source

Use the Mouse to Select Correct Images in ScanGear Preview Screen

While the default preview didn't choose the right image sizes, now that you are using ScanGear you can customize your scan by using your mouse to select the correct images to scan.

You can even choose not to scan an image in between other good images by clicking the delete button when the marquee is around the image you don't want to scan.

Use the Mouse to Select the Images You Want to Scan.

Select the images to scan.
Select the images to scan. | Source
Use the film tray to align the negative in the scanning area.
Use the film tray to align the negative in the scanning area.

Scan 126 Large and Medium Format Negatives (color or black & white)

So far we have scanned 110 negatives using the 35mm film tray and the ScanGear software to select the correct images. The next step is to move onto the larger format color and black and white negatives. From the website referenced above, we know that they are probably 126 negatives in a regular and large format. However, the CanoScan 8800F does not come with a film tray that fits these negatives.

I found a variety of websites online that advised on how to build or buy this special format film tray. What I discovered is that you can do all you need to do with just the ScanGear software!

I put the large format film tray in the scanner to give me a guideline of where to put the negatives.

ScanGear Input Settings

Scan 126 Medium Format Color Negatives

Next, launch MP Navigator, with the "Use the Scanner Driver" checkbox selected. From the ScanGear dialog box, make sure you have selected Color Negatives in the Input Settings section. You can leave film size selected as 35mm film strip or change it to another format, it doesn't matter because you will be using your mouse to select the actual images to scan.

After selecting the images, click the Scan button in the lower right hand corner to complete your scan.

Click Scan to Complete Scanning your Negatives

Now all you need to do is click the blue Scan button in the lower right hand corner of the ScanGear screen and it will scan only the images you have selected.

Use the Mouse to Select the Negative Images to Scan

Select the images you want to scan.
Select the images you want to scan.

Scanning Black and White Large Format 126 Negatives

Using the same procedure of putting in the large film tray as a guideline for where to put the images, lay the negatives onto the glass of the scanner.

On the ScanGear dialogue box, choose Monochrome Negative Film for the Input Settings, again you can leave it set to 35mm film strip because you will be manually selecting the photos.

Preview and Select Black and White Negatives to Scan

Click "Scan" to complete your scan. Once you have scanned in all your images, organize them in Picasa.

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Thank you!

Joanne


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    • profile image

      Skanner 6 days ago

      What if I've lost my film holders. Can I still scan my film?

    • Ayferandy profile image

      Ayferandy 5 months ago from Perth, Western Australia

      I came here from another site where the person had referenced your article. Using a 9000f scanner, I needed to scan 110 negatives. I felt I was following the right steps but not having any luck when I realised that I had to use the CTRL and mouse to identify the individual negatives on the strip. For whatever reason (maybe the different model scanner) my scan preview did not pick up any of the individual negatives on the strip (unlike yours where the frame covered more than 1 image - I had no frame at all until I created my own crop areas). Thank you so much for all your work here - it's been so helpful.

    • Hippie2000 profile image

      Hippie Untiet 10 months ago from Wisconsin

      You know I still do it the old fashion way. I still make paper prints in a wet lab. I never scanned a Photo in my life. The one time I did I had it done at a company. And that was done cause it was part of there standard of making paper prints. I still got the negatives back to. As a matter a fact my icon photo is my negative scanned. From that company out of California. Will I ever digital convert my negatives myself. I highly doubt it. I don't see the need of buying new stuff just to do it. Besides I think my computer is a little too old for it anyways. My computer is from 1999 and it has Windows 98 on it. When that computer dies then I might upgrade the whole 9 yards. Damm I just realized my computer is almost 20 years old. Wow I had no Idea I had it that long. Maybe I should upgrade now.

    • profile image

      Sandy 17 months ago

      Thank you so much for posting this! I have thousands of 110 film negatives from the 70's and 80's that I can now view and print.

    • AskJoanne profile image
      Author

      AskJoanne 4 years ago from USA

      I'm using MP Navigator EX 1.0 on a PC. Sorry I can't help.

    • profile image

      KirkPVN 4 years ago

      Hi Joanne:

      What version of MP Navigator EX are you using? I'm on a MAC (OX 10.6.8) and have been trying ver 1.07 and haven't seen the same screens as you list above. I have found a bunch of large format negs and I have the large size holders but I haven't had any luck so far. When I try and scan in Scanner driver mode with large negs it crashes after 5 seconds.

    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      YetAnotherDave 5 years ago

      Thanks Joanne - it worked for me on a Canon 9000F too. However, I first had to switch off Thumbnail View mode via the little icon at top left of ScanGear. If they had called the option "AutoSelect" rather than "Thumbnail View" then I may have stumbled into this technique much quicker!

    • profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago

      I was so frustrated scanning negatives this morning that I went online looking for a solution. Finally found it here. Thank you so much for sharing with us the results of what must have been time-consuming work to solve this problem.

    • profile image

      GHutch 6 years ago

      Thanks Joanne,

      You solved a huge problem for me since most of my old negatives are 110 format.

      I actually scan all my negatives this way even if I have the proper holder. I find this method way quicker.

    • profile image

      alexhighnumber 6 years ago

      Thanks, just ran into this issue and your guide was easy to follow and quickly got me on my way. Like the use of lots of screenshots too - it really helped.

    • AskJoanne profile image
      Author

      AskJoanne 7 years ago from USA

      LadyR, you are most welcome! It was my frustration with those odd-sized negatives that inspired me to join Hubpages and write this!

    • profile image

      LadyR 7 years ago

      Thanks, it has been driving me mad!

    • AskJoanne profile image
      Author

      AskJoanne 7 years ago from USA

      Thanks TajSingh. It was frustrating at first not to find some good "How To" information on scanning non-standard negatives. But I am glad to have figured it out!

    • profile image

      TajSingh 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Joanne. This must have been a pretty daunting task. Thanks for explaining the steps in detail for the rest of us.

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