Portable LED Light Panel

How to Scan Film with LightPanel

  1. Turn off True Tone and Night Shift in System Preferences as these will give scans a colour cast (LightPanel cannot disable these settings).

  2. Open the LightPanel app, set the brightness control to 100% and Native colour temperature.

  3. Switch on the LightPanel Scanning Mask and adjust the mask to match your film size. By default the mask is set to the size of 35mm film.

  4. Turn on LightPanel's Settings Lock to avoid touches on the screen changing the mask or other settings.

  5. Position the film with the emulsion side down.

  6. Unless you are scanning mounted slides, it's better to use a film strip holder or negative carrier to hold the film rather than putting it directly on the screen because:

    • You don't want dirt from your screen ending up on the film.

    • Having some distance between the film and the screen will avoid any possibility of the individual pixels in the screen being visible in the scan.

    • It's going to be easier if you have lots to scan.

  7. Position your camera above the film, being careful to keep it parallel to the screen. This is easier if you have the camera on a tripod or copy stand.

  8. Take a picture with the camera and import it into an image editing program, eg Photoshop or Lightroom.

  9. Slide scans can then be edited as-is, but negatives will need to be inverted first:

    • If it's a black and white negative, just invert the image (⌘I in Photoshop). In Lightroom, invert the tone curve.

    • Colour negatives are much more complicated to invert, mainly because of the orange film base. This process is beyond the scope of these quick instructions, but see the many Internet guides and resources available for help.