This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, Shoot It With Film may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Written by Samantha Stortecky
Hello friends! I am back with another fun analog tool that has me excited for all the film projects that 2022 will bring us!
Last year for Christmas, I purchased a bunch of stuff on the official Lomography website as a little gift to myself for being awesome (treat yourself, am I right?). Among these purchases was the Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner.
I had been eyeing this scanner up for a while, loving the idea of being able to digitize my 35mm rolls easily, and I finally decided it was time to just bite the bullet and get it.
And now, I get to chat all about it with you lovely folks! So, without further ado, let’s jump into the review.
Find the Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner
on Amazon or at lomography.com. Tech Details
Let’s first chat about some of the technical details of this scanner.
Lomography Smartphone Scanner costs around $40-$60 depending on where you purchase it. The entire scanner is made of plastic and is super lightweight, making it perfect for easy usage and travel.
The dimensions for the scanner are 7 x 6.5 x 2 inches.
The scanner includes a direct light panel that illuminates your film, and it comes with 3 stackers that go in-between the base and the phone clamp.
These stackers allow you to adjust the distance from your phone to the film negative for a higher resolution.
This scanner specifically works with 35mmm film no matter the stock. Both black & white and color negative films can be scanned!
Setting Up and Using The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner
Ok, I’ll be super honest here. As cool as this scanner is, it has a pretty steep learning curve to it.
But luckily for you, you shouldn’t have to fumble around for hours trying to figure this thing out. I already did most of the heavy lifting!
Here are the steps for putting the scanner together:
Step 1: Once you have all your pieces out of the box, insert 2 AA batteries into the bottom compartment.
Step 2: Place the “stacker” pieces on the scanner. I’ve found my phone works well with 3, but experiment to your liking!
Step 3: Slide your 35mm film into the film slot on the bottom part of the scanner, and then turn the film dial to move the film negative through your scanner.
Step 4: Your phone is placed on the top of the scanner. Adjust the clamps that hold your phone by pressing the button and pulling them apart.
Then, place your phone on the scanner so that your phone’s camera is over the scanning chamber (the clamps themselves move left to right for easy positioning).
Step 5: Turn the scanner on, pull up the camera on your phone, and position/adjust your phone by moving the clamps left or right until your film negative shows on your phone.
If visual learning is your thing,
check out this video from Lomography. Scanning Your Negatives
Now, you’re ready to digitize your beautiful images!
To be honest, this was where I seemed to struggle at first when using this scanner, because there is no specially designed app for this. You must use a 3rd party app instead.
Lomography states that there is an app developed just for this scanner, but it seems to no longer be available.
Lomography has a list of apps they recommend (
Smartphone Scanner Accessory – Microsite – Lomography), but I found success with the PictoScanner app ( Android & IOS).
The main thing you need in an app is the ability to capture your image and invert it. In the end, no matter what app you use, you’ll need to do a bit of editing and cropping to get a nice result.
Pros of the Lomography Smartphone Scanner
One of my favorite aspects of the
Lomography Smartphone Scanner is how lightweight and simple it is to use.
I like how it’s an all-in-one experience where you can scan, edit, and share all your favorite 35mm film images, right from your mobile device.
While the images aren’t the high-resolution print quality, it does an awesome job of digitalizing your images well.
Plus, each image has the option of keeping the sprockets around it, and I am a sucker for a good film sprocket image!
And the Cons
The first con I have for this scanner is how flimsy the locking mechanism is with all the pieces.
Multiple times, I found it tricky to get my phone attached to the scanner without having all the piece’s slide off one another. I’d recommend taping them once you know your sweet spot!
And the second con, the lack of an app for the device.
I feel like, for the price point of $40-$60, the least Lomography could have done is supply an app that is tailored to work alongside the scanner.
Most of the difficulties I had with this scanner were trying to find a compatible app.
In conclusion, if you’re in the market for an inexpensive smartphone scanner, this could be perfect for you!
I recommend it for beginners who want to digitize their own 35mm film negatives but don’t have the time, space, or budget for a heavier scanner.
Thank you so much, Samantha! Samantha is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out
her other articles here, including a Fujifilm Instax SP-2 printer review and the Pentax 645N camera review.
You can also check out more of Samantha’s work on her
website and Instagram.
Let us know any questions you have about the Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner below in the comments, and you can
pick up one for yourself on Amazon.