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Scan your films with your Dslr and a shoe box
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Scan your films with your Dslr and a shoe box Reply with quote

I've digitalized films using a dslr (5DMkII), a micro lens (Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro) and a shoe box.
I cut a large side and a 24x36 rectangle on the opposite side, made a film holder with cardboard (calendar reused).
You put the box on a table, a lamp on its back, the dslr camera on the front. I use a white lamp and a layer paper between it and the film holder to dissuse the light.
It works fine and a roll is quickly "scanned". I shoot raw to have max latitude afterwards to process it if needed.

Here it is :


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1


PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting approach and a cheap one to try out, too.

So, it looks like you are mounting your film between the pieces of calendar on the back side of the box. Do you worry at all about scratching your film as you slide it through? It looks like you have enough space though.

How are you affixing the calendar pieces to each other? Glue? And I'm assuming that you've glued them to the back of the shoebox?

I think this arrangement will work for duplicating my medium format images. I have a dupe rig that works well for mounted slides and roll film in 35mm format. But nothing so far for medium format. Your little invention may be just the ticket for duping my medium format stuff.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. Smile

Michael, It's not my invention. I read this on a forum and decided to give it a try.
Your questions :
1/ I chose a box and pieces of calendar made of soft cardboard. There's enough space not to tighten the film too much, and not too much space to avoid the film to curve.
2/ Pieces are glued together and yes for the back of the shoebox.
3/ I agree for duping medium format images such as 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9. It's just a matter of hole size in the box, and adjustment of the lens used. For 135mm film I used a 100mm macro on a full frame dslr. For medium format, maybe a 35mm or 50mm with short focusing distance should work.

I think that covering the installation with a dark cloth should improve the quality.
I have to stress that the layer paper is very important to diffuse the light and obtain a good result.
My settings with the 5DMkII were Iso 100, F8, 1/30s. The camera was connected to a laptop and shot from it.
Size of the raw file is 5616x3744...

It's really easy to build, costs nothing and results are nice.
I'll post one.

Here is a sample.

Zorki-1D Fomapan 400


PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Scan your films with your Dslr and a shoe box Reply with quote

Like 1
Simple and effective setup, indeed.

Olivier wrote:
...I use a white lamp and a layer paper between it and the film holder to dissuse the light...

I'm now in the process of building myself a more complex scanning-by-camera setup for hi-res scans of up to 4x5 inches negatives/slides. A better(more even) back illumination, at least in my case, is by using a tablet (Microsoft Surface in my case) with a white page opened in PS or other program. I place the tablet at a distance of film so that the screen texture won't be visible.

The flatness of the medium format film is a problem, too. I use a Lomo DigitaLIZA 120 Scanning Mask with good results. Mounting the negatives in slide mounts is effective, too, but there are no mounts for the 6x9cm format (my prefered).


PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olivier wrote:

I think that covering the installation with a dark cloth should improve the quality.


Have you reversed this image yet? I did and it's showing quite a bit of overexposure on the left side of the image, and almost underexposure with that piece of construction equipment in the center of the image. The right side is in deep shade but doesn't appear to be underexposed. So I guess I'm wondering if this is just a difficultly lit scene, the fault of the camera, or the fault of your box. If it's the box, using a black cloth as you suggested will probably help in this regard.

Here's your image reversed with no PP done other than the reversal.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes I did the reversal.
It was a difficult exposure, with an unknown and tricky lens and cam (dating 1954), and what I find an average and difficult film (I never got good results with Fomapan 400).
It was not the shoebox. Wink

Today, I use an Epson Perfection 4490 photo scanner. I had the chance to get one which was taking dust in a corner of the office of one of my customers. It was used for scanning invoices, contracts and so on to manage documents on computer. They abandonned that.
I found the slides mounts in the envelope containing the owner's manual, so I'm quite happy with it using the "Epson scan" software.

Zorki-1D Industar-22 3.5/5cm


A better result with a Zorki-3M with Jupiter-8 2/5cm and Fomapan 400





PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy Cat Friends Like 1


PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Poilu. Smile

How do you do ?
Is everything's ok in Greece ?


PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olivier wrote:
How do you do ?
Is everything's ok in Greece ?

Everything fine Wink
I am also with the 5D2, only for pics of my daughter

I am jaleous of your patience for scanning negatives
I did it years ago, but I used a contax tool with negative holder
easier to get good result but the satisfaction is greater with a diy cardboard Wink

have Fun
Happy Dog