01855 604 451 info@drumscanning.co.uk PDS, Mheall Mhor, Brecklet, Ballachulish, UK. PH49 4JG


What information do I need to send with my scanning order?

For any order you are sending in please send a covering note with the following information:

  • A count of each size of film and the expected resolution and whether to exclude negative inversion (we will include as standard)
  • The film snipped to individual frames (unless you want the whole strip scanning)*
  • We’re happy to remove 35mm film from slide holders but will return to you in mylar sleeves
  • Include your contact details (it’s surprising how many people don’t)
    • Name
    • Return address
    • Email address
    • Telephone number
  • Any notes for scanning
  • If you wish to have negative film processed for a particular ‘look’, please include jpg samples or links to examples
  • Your preferred return postal service

How do I know my order has arrived?

Once your parcel has arrived with us, we will book it into production and confirm via email.

What is your turnaround time?

We aim to start sending you your scans back within 10 working days but our guarantee is 20 working days. If you wish to pay the urgent surcharge (50%) then we endeavour to turn the job around in 2 working days. Please call to confirm availability for urgent jobs. Be aware that we can only upload about 5Gb per day depending on our connection so larger jobs may take longer to upload.

What format will my scans arrive in?

Our normal service results in 16bit TIFF images in a custom workspace design by Joseph Holmes especially for film, Chromespace 100. If you wish to have film supplied in a different format, please get in touch and we’ll try to meet your requirements.

How is the film returned?

Return postage varies depending on the size of the parcel. UK is typically £2.35 (first class signed). If you require special delivery for UK postage, please let us know on your order. We will return film once full payment has been received.

What about international orders

Please let us know what service you require for return postage. For returning international film we can either use Royal Mail International Delivery which has a few options or a package courier service. Out of the thousands of customers we have scanned for, all film packages sent to us, and returned by us, have been successfully delivered. If you have a particular preference for a service, we can usually accommodate it.

How are the scans delivered?

We send scans via wetransfer to the email address that you provide. In Glencoe (the Scottish Highlands), we have fast broadband, which enables up to send the files in a matter of hours (possibly over a day for 6Gb and larger).

How do you invert colour negatives?

We hand invert colour negatives to ensure that no highlight or shadow detail is lost – we make a small charge for this service but the results speak for themselves. If you have old film that has strong colour casts we can also post process these to correct them for the same charge as colour negative inversion. If you wish to invert your negatives yourselves or don’t mind an automated inversion, please get in touch or make this clear in your package.  Read more on inversions on colour negatives.

What do I do with roll film?

Roll film should be trimmed to each individual frame that needs scanning otherwise a surcharge will be added up to 50% of the cost of the unscanned frames on the strip (please contact us regarding this. If we are relatively quiet we may be able to reduce this).

35mm Slides?

We will remove any mounted slide from their mounts and return the mounts if still intact. If you have any important documentation on the slide mounts, please ensure you keep a record of these before sending the film to us (alternatively we can scan these on our flatbed if you prefer for a small charge). If slide mounts are damaged when removing (as most paper mounts and some cheaper plastic mounts are) then we normally dispose of these unless requested otherwise. Please send instructions with the film package.

Scanning the Rebate?

We always include a part of the rebate in each scan so that you get 100% of the image area. However, scanning to include all of the rebate causes problems with our scanner’s autofocus occasionally and we normally have to rescan every third or fourth scan because of this. Because of this, we will include a 20% surcharge on each scan where the whole rebate needs to be included.

Very Long Strips

Our drum scanner has a limit of approximately 400mm as the maximum length of film it can work with. Any larger film would need to scanned in sections which would involve splitting the film or using our flatbed to stitch together multiple sections (a time consuming job). Please get in touch if you wish to scan anything larger than 6×12 or 10×8″.

Keeping Film in Order?

There is an administrative overhead involved in ensuring film is returned to exactly the same sleeve or slide holder and in order to keep our costs down, our default position is to return film to any available strip or sleeve etc. If you wish to send us work that must be returned to the correct sleeves, please mark this clearly and we will add a 10% surcharge to the final amount.

Do you use Oil for Mounting the Film?

Historically, most film was mounted to the drum using mineral oil. This was rarely cleaned off well, if at all. Cleaning the film would be intensive and possibly damaging (any cleaning has the possibility of scratching).

Most modern drum scans are mounted using a light hydrocarbon which evaporates after use, either Kami or Lumina mountain fluid. We use Lumina as it is slightly less volatile and less likely to damage the film and/or the drum (the temperature changes during fast evaporation can cause issues when using Kami fluid).

Will my Film be Damaged by Scanning?

The short answer is that if your film has been developed and stored correctly, drum scanning will not damage the film.  However, the mounting fluids can leave a small evaporation mark on the film. This is easily wiped off but as it doesn’t transfer to other surfaces, is invisible when looking through the film (on a lightbox for instance) and you can only see it when looking at a reflection in a bright light source we think it is better to leave as is and suggest that you only clean again before any subsequent scanning or enlarging.

The longer answer is that if your film is old and/or it has been developed or stored non-optimally then we would recommend testing a single frame. We have only had one case where the film was damaged (out of tens of thousands of scanned frames), this was very old Ektachrome that was already in poor condition. This film fogged on the surface (seen in reflection) but didn’t affect the film in projection or scanning.

Large orders

For orders over £100, a 50% initial payment is needed. If you are a first time customer with an order over £30, payment in advance of work is required. If you have a very large order (over £500) please call to confirm turnaround times.


We are unable to offer insurance or accept liability for your film during scanning and mailing. We suggest that, if needed, you take a third party insurance out to cover the film during the mailing and scanning process. As mentioned previously – we have only had one occasion of film being damaged (out of tens of thousands of frames scanned) and all film has been successfully received and returned (tracked services are substantially more reliable than general services).

Archiving Scans

We archive our scans for six months so if you need them resending we can do so. Beyond that, we run a rolling clean up of data and so although it is possible that we still have your scans in our archive, the chances are as they get older than six months they will be automatically cleaned up. If we do have them beyond six months, there will be a small admin fee to recover and deliver them.

Redelivery of returned parcels

Should your parcel be returned to us as it has not been collected, we will contact you to arrange redelivery. We will check the required postage and ensure that we have the correct return address. We will also charge £5 admin fee for managing the redelivery.

Payment options for scans

We will send you an invoice via email, once we have confirmed the final amount (depending on the return postage)

You can pay via:

  • Paypal (you can send payments to info@bespokephotographicservices.com)
  • Credit card (UK only) at paypal.me/photoservices
  • Bank transfer (details available upon request).

Return Postage

Our standard service is to use Royal Mail Special Delivery to return your negatives/transparencies. If your order is international, we would use Royal Mail International Tracked or Tracked and Signed (whichever is available in your country).

When we receive your order, we will specifically ask which service you would like. Should you require a different service, such as DHL, DPD, or UPS, then we ask you to organise the return delivery. Our prices do not cover the administration time involved in getting different quotes for services and then booking them for our clients.