Ease Your Film-Archiving Woes with the Wolverine F2D Digital Converter
Figuring out what to do with boxes of negatives is part of the challenge of shooting analog photos. Even if you still love working with film, there’s no arguing that the digital platform makes cataloging, backup, and sharing infinitely easier. Wolverine’s brand new F2D Mighty 7-in1 Film to Digital Converter just so happens to be one potential solution for making the most of those stacks of negatives. Rather than collecting dust in the archives, this little machine can convert your analog collection into a convenient digital library.
As the name suggests, the F2D works with multiple types of film. This petite scanner can handle your 35mm slides and negatives, 127, 126, 110 film, and even 8mm and Super 8 movie film. Of the latter, you can scan still frames and re-assemble them into a motion picture with the proper editing. One of this converter’s key selling points is its ease of use, a near-foolproof setup that simplifies the mechanics of many of its larger film-scanning competitors. Its color LCD screen gives you real-time previews for the photos you’re scanning, so no disappointments later in finding out something was askew or off-center. For reference, its 2.4" span is a little smaller than most standard DSLR displays. In the box, you’ll find an assortment of plastic film trays, including a slide adapter, for whatever size or type of film you need to digitize.
On its base, the device has two slots; one on the lower right for slides or negatives, and a smaller front-loading slot for 8mm or Super 8 film. The adapters fit into the slots and let you feed the negative through, one frame at a time. When you power-up the F2D Mighty, its home menu will prompt you to select the type of media you’ll be scanning: slide, color negative, black-and-white negative, or 8mm. You’ll then be asked to specify the film size, and you can get to work.
The folks at Wolverine recommend cleaning the interior glass scanning table before every session, and they include a long felt brush to remove dust, hair, or other debris. For 35mm, 127, 126, or 110 negatives or slides, select the right film tray and any necessary adapter. Working with the film’s shiny side facing up, simply feed it through until you see an image perfectly lined up on the live-view LCD screen. With slides, you’ll need to insert one at a time and continue to push them through. Negatives will automatically be converted to positive images right before your eyes, with no extra buttons to push. Hitting the C (Convert) button on the front panel will process the image to be saved, and a progress wheel indicates when you’re set to move to the next frame, within about three seconds.
If you aren’t thrilled with the way the photo looks on screen, there are a few built-in editing features to try out. If you inserted a slide upside down, there’s a Flip command to correct it. Likewise, the Mirror function will fix images that were inserted in reverse. You can also adjust the saturation levels of reds, greens, and blues, as well as boost or reduce brightness. Any exposure-level adjustments to a particular image will be noted in the upper right-hand corner of the LCD screen.
For Super 8 or 8mm movie reels, the same concept is applied. Lining up the sprocket holes with the right side of the adapter, you slide the tray through the front slot until your image frames pop up on screen. Wolverine mentions that if your goal is to re-assemble a movie, you’ll only need to scan one frame every quarter of a foot. Transfer the stills to a computer, and stitch them together with the software of your choosing.
Image frames, which are saved as high-resolution 20MP JPEGs (5472 x 3648 pixels), can be stored internally in small quantities on the F2D itself, or saved on a memory card. Up to 40 photos at a time can be stored in the internal memory and the rear memory card slot accepts SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB. Additionally, it can be plugged into a computer via USB, for image transfer.
The F2D Mighty, which sits tidily at 5" tall and weighs half a pound, is designed as an optional stand-alone product with no computer necessary. It can be plugged into the wall and powered via AC adapter to work pretty much anywhere you like. If you want to use a computer, you certainly have the choice. Its plug-and-play USB port requires no software, and is fully compatibile with both Mac and PC machines. It also comes with a built-in TV-out port for viewing images on a monitor or television screen, although the proper cable is sold separately.