Essential Film Holder for scanning negatives reaches 20,000 sales


April 25, 2022

The Essential Film Holder (EFH) Kit – an easy-to-use kit that helps you digitize your film photography – has just shipped its 20,000th unit in just over two years since its launch.

The EFH was originally the lockdown project of electronics engineer and tech company executive Andrew Clifforth, with the first Essential Film Holder unit shipping in February 2020.

News of the new sales milestone comes less than a year after, in May 2021 after just 14 months of sales, we announced that the essential film medium had passed the 10,000 sales barrier.

Now, just 11 months later, sales have doubled to 20,000.

Andrew Clifforth explained, “I found my flatbed scanner frustrating as the results were quite random. I did some research and found that you could scan negatives with a digital camera and the rest followed from there. At the time, an exquisitely made Negative Supply film holder, supporting both 35mm and 120mm format film, would have cost around £1400 in total, which I think was a little pricey for the try to keep the negatives perfectly flat.

Read our Essential Movie Holder Kit review

The Essential Film Holder is currently available in 35mm or 120 formats or as a 35mm and 120 kit

The Essential Film Holder is currently available in 35mm or 120 formats or as a 35mm and 120 kit

A simple solution

The EFH aims to provide a simple and affordable solution for holding film strips above a light box so that they are held flat and perfectly aligned with the camera for shooting and scanning.

The design is simple – four corner posts hold the components together, with a thick translucent diffuser at the base to ensure even illumination.

V3.2 Update

Recently updated from V3 to V3.2, the Essential Film Holder has been further optimized to achieve the best possible performance in terms of holding your ultra-flat negatives and perfect alignment with your digital camera.

Andrew Clifforth revealed, “It’s a bit of a continuous improvement rather than something too drastic, hence V3.2. Basically you can use a less critical setup and you can use a wider angle macro lens for scanning. Originally the geometry of the design allowed for macro lenses of 60mm and larger Over time the older Nikon Ai 55mm Micro and newer AF-S Micro 40mm (crop DX) lenses became popular for camera scanning – probably because you can buy them for less than £100 on eBay, and they’re easily fitted to mirrorless cameras – to fit them better the size of the mask had to be adjusted by a few mm (literally) to create the correct angles Masks for 35mm changed to v3.1 a while ago, then v3.2 aligns all 120 masks.

The essential film holder with a 35mm slide

The essential film holder with a 35mm slide

Range of masks

There is a “guide layer” for 35mm masks and one for 120 format masks.

The EFH now covers formats, bordered and borderless, from 35mm (including XPAN and 35mm slides) to nearly all 120 known formats (645, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9, 6× 12 and 120 transparencies), the range of optional masks for essential film support is therefore extended.

Andrew Clifforth also told AP that a 4×5 version of the Essential Film Holder will be released, ‘in the coming months. I always figured H1, 22, so by the end of June this year, but that depends on other things of course. The betas have been with three 4×5 users for a while and I would expect another round of final tweaks and then the launch process can begin. From the feedback I’ve received there is a very high demand for this 4×5 product so I want it to be good when it comes out.

New film stocks

With the appearance of new film stocks – such as Kodak GOLD 200 in 120 format, CineStill 400D film in multiple formats, and crowdfunded FuguFilm 400 slide film – there appears to be a current surge in the popularity of silver photography.

Andrew Clifforth commented, “Product performance is a given these days. However, I know that for many, pricing is just as critical. Spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a film holder would defy the majority. So I’ve worked hard to keep the price of the Essential Film Holder at the original launch level, with single-size versions starting at just £73 and the multi-size kit at £90, to encourage more people to experiment with their film photography.

The essential easy-to-use film holder

The essential easy-to-use film holder

More widely available

In addition to being available directly from the Essential Film Holder Website the EFH is now available at a number of European outlets including Retro camera in Belgiumwith American dealers, ‘to be announced very soon.’

The essential film medium is used in more than 75 countries and its inventor, Andrew Clifforth, told AP, “Remarkably, the Essential Film Holder is run solely by me and my partner, Alison – we still take care of everything ourselves. We still hand assemble and fully film test each unit before sending it out to customers or dealers.

You can watch a review of Essential Film Holder by Push film @pousserfilm below…

Essential film support kit – key points

  • The mask for medium format film is above the diffuser and below that for 35 mm tapes
  • A cotton drawstring bag is provided to keep any parts you are not using clean and safe
  • The EFH-01 (35mm) and EFH-02 (120) variants cost £73 each
  • The £90 EFH-09 kit supports 35mm and 120 film formats

Read more…

To learn more about the capabilities of the Essential Film Holder, visit

Related Articles:

Essential Film Support Kit: AP Exam

Convenient Negative Scanning Stand Achieves Sales Target

Kodak GOLD 200 returns to 120 format

CineStill 400D movie will be available in multiple formats

FuguFilm 400 – first brand new slide film since 2005



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