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The iPad lens does it all: combine analog and digital photography

Do you have boxes full of analog photographs to digitize or negatives still waiting to be developed? Are you in the market for a digital enlargement device that can render both text and image in high definition? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have the ideal apps and hacks for your iPad. Regardless whether photo apps, magnifying device or negative scanner, digitize your personal memories and you will have them at your fingertips anytime, anywhere on your iPad.

1. Pic Scanner: Digitizes and optimizes any old photo

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With our smartphones and tablets we can shoot photos at any time and everywhere without having to keep count. Digital photography and photo apps offers dozens of options for taking pictures and editing them. Every discounter sells capable devices to print out your digital photography creations. But what options do you have for digitizing your analog photos? Luckily, if you have an iPad there are some good ones for you.

Pic Scanner is the solution for analog photos that have been developed from film. With its user-friendly interface, high resolution scan and impressive array of editing features, this photo app puts all the tools at your disposal to make your memories available on your mobile device and be able to access and share them at any time.


  • Scan, crop and adjust your photos
  • Automatic aspect correction
  • Numerous editing options
  • Mark your photos with date, place and other tags
  • Links to many social media platforms and file hosting services
  • Does not require active internet connection
  • Works on all iPads above iPad 2
  • The first 12 scans are free


  • Free | Full version: 2.99$

Website | App Store

2. Lupe-Lite: Unlimited digital zoom with maximum detail

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If you want to examine your old photos, stamps, illustrations or text in detail just download the photo app Lupe-Lite by I-Beam. It turns your iPad into a powerful magnifying lens with screenshot feature.


  • Turns the lens of your iPad into a high-resolution zoom camera with unlimited zoom
  • Freeze the picture and edit it further
  • Improves lighting and detail in your picture with filters that provide rich contrast
  • Works with both iPad cameras
  • Stabilizing mode: Takes clear and sharp high resolution pictures for zooming


  • Free | In app purchases: 0.99-1.99$

Website | App Store

3. iPad hack: Turn your iPad into a negative scanner

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iPad hack: Turn your iPad into a negative scanner

Our last tip for optimizing the capabilities of your iPad lens is a genius hack by the Swedish photographer Adam af Ekenstam. Turn your iPad into a negative scanner without even downloading specific photo apps.

Do you still have lots of negatives from your youth or do you want to develop your parent’s negatives. Do you want to see what is on the negatives and then immediately digitize them?

You will need a steady, uniform light source in addition to your iPad for optimal background lighting. Ekenstam uses his iPhone as a lightbox with a clear white mage on the screen (such as from Google images) and sets the display brightness to maximum. On the iPad, he sets the display to color inversion and to grayscale (Settings > General > Accessibility > Vision > activate Invert colors + Grayscale). These settings display the negative as a positive on your screen. Now you open the camera, look at the negatives as a developed picture and take screenshots for your collection (Simultaneously push the ON/OFF-button and the home button). Adam explains the process in detail in his video tutorial. Have fun!