Camera 'scanning' of negatives

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Martin JC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,064
Camera 'scanning' of negatives
3

Hi all,

Does anyone 'scan' their negatives? What is your process?

There are several previous helpful guides. Below are some links to get things going. If you can add more then great!  -- Martin

David Kieltyka wrote this:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3490276?page=1

See also

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4199946

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3934376

 Martin JC's gear list:Martin JC's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill
danny2384 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives
2

I do. My method differs from most people's ive seen and the ones generally touted online. This applies to 35mm

Scanning Rig

I use a Nikon bellows unit with a slide copy attachment on the end (Nikon PB-5 and PS-4 to be exact)

The benefits I've found over the copy stand method are as follows:

  • The film is always square and parallel to one another. This was one of the biggest pains I found when doing the copy stand method.
  • Once you have the knobs locked to the correct distance you really don't need to set it up again. The focus is always the same, set your lens to infinity and its always correct. I used to check with every roll but realized its a waste of time
  • You can work with the camera sitting in its usual orientation instead of having to look down on it
  • Because the film and camera are locked together shake isn't really an issue
  • Don't need a macro lens. I use one anyways for the flat field but using a standard 50 worked just as well
  • Cheap. Minolta, Pentax, Canon, and almost all brands made one at some point

Downsides are it doesn't work with formats other than 35mm. Although, I did just but a Hasselblad bellows to rig up for Medium format.

Light Source

Make sure to get a light source with a high CRI. 95+. I started with a cheap amazon tracing pad and didn't know this. Youll never be able to get the colours quite correct and it will be much more frustrating that it should be. If the CRI isnt listed its generally means its quite low.

The new iphones and iPads also tend to work well if youre in a pinch. Although, your shutter speeds will be slow and you need to elevate the film to avoid seing the pixels

Software

Negative Lab Pro. No question. All the benefits of non-destructive workflow in lightroom. The only downside is you need lightroom if you dont already own it.

OP Martin JC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,064
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

danny2384 wrote:

I do. My method differs from most people's ive seen and the ones generally touted online. This applies to 35mm

Scanning Rig

I use a Nikon bellows unit with a slide copy attachment on the end (Nikon PB-5 and PS-4 to be exact)

The benefits I've found over the copy stand method are as follows:

  • The film is always square and parallel to one another. This was one of the biggest pains I found when doing the copy stand method.
  • Once you have the knobs locked to the correct distance you really don't need to set it up again. The focus is always the same, set your lens to infinity and its always correct. I used to check with every roll but realized its a waste of time
  • You can work with the camera sitting in its usual orientation instead of having to look down on it
  • Because the film and camera are locked together shake isn't really an issue
  • Don't need a macro lens. I use one anyways for the flat field but using a standard 50 worked just as well
  • Cheap. Minolta, Pentax, Canon, and almost all brands made one at some point

Downsides are it doesn't work with formats other than 35mm. Although, I did just but a Hasselblad bellows to rig up for Medium format.

Light Source

Make sure to get a light source with a high CRI. 95+. I started with a cheap amazon tracing pad and didn't know this. Youll never be able to get the colours quite correct and it will be much more frustrating that it should be. If the CRI isnt listed its generally means its quite low.

The new iphones and iPads also tend to work well if youre in a pinch. Although, your shutter speeds will be slow and you need to elevate the film to avoid seing the pixels

Software

Negative Lab Pro. No question. All the benefits of non-destructive workflow in lightroom. The only downside is you need lightroom if you dont already own it.

Very helpful.  In the past, I used an old EM5 (first version) with a macro lens, lens tube, and light table.  I could get a 35mm in the frame.  Regarding software, I'd used LR, invert, and only scan black and white.  Over the last few years, things have probably got better/easier to do and I should perhaps think about returning to this project.  The new Forum here might spur me!!!!  Thanks for the advice on software..

 Martin JC's gear list:Martin JC's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill
piko-fr New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

No text.

jvdwaa New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives
2

I use a combination of my E-M5 + 12-50 zoom on an old OM bellows, together with a corded FL50.

The main challenge was to make an adapter for the bellows to get a proper alignment for the camera. I ended up designing and 3D-printing one.

E-M5 + 12-50 + FL50

Main benefits of this setup:

  • no false light
  • consistent light source
  • suitable for slides and film
  • very fast duplication time

A detailed picture of the adapter:

OM-bellows adapter

For those who would like to print the adapter, please have a look at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3179466

Two examples of scanned slides:

Both pictures are without any modification, except for cropping.

I used an aperture of F13 to compensate for the curved surface of the slides.

Another challenge is dust. Cleaning the slides is cumbersome...

 jvdwaa's gear list:jvdwaa's gear list
Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro +1 more
danny2384 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives
1

Martin JC wrote:

danny2384 wrote:

I do. My method differs from most people's ive seen and the ones generally touted online. This applies to 35mm

Scanning Rig

I use a Nikon bellows unit with a slide copy attachment on the end (Nikon PB-5 and PS-4 to be exact)

The benefits I've found over the copy stand method are as follows:

  • The film is always square and parallel to one another. This was one of the biggest pains I found when doing the copy stand method.
  • Once you have the knobs locked to the correct distance you really don't need to set it up again. The focus is always the same, set your lens to infinity and its always correct. I used to check with every roll but realized its a waste of time
  • You can work with the camera sitting in its usual orientation instead of having to look down on it
  • Because the film and camera are locked together shake isn't really an issue
  • Don't need a macro lens. I use one anyways for the flat field but using a standard 50 worked just as well
  • Cheap. Minolta, Pentax, Canon, and almost all brands made one at some point

Downsides are it doesn't work with formats other than 35mm. Although, I did just but a Hasselblad bellows to rig up for Medium format.

Light Source

Make sure to get a light source with a high CRI. 95+. I started with a cheap amazon tracing pad and didn't know this. Youll never be able to get the colours quite correct and it will be much more frustrating that it should be. If the CRI isnt listed its generally means its quite low.

The new iphones and iPads also tend to work well if youre in a pinch. Although, your shutter speeds will be slow and you need to elevate the film to avoid seing the pixels

Software

Negative Lab Pro. No question. All the benefits of non-destructive workflow in lightroom. The only downside is you need lightroom if you dont already own it.

Very helpful. In the past, I used an old EM5 (first version) with a macro lens, lens tube, and light table. I could get a 35mm in the frame. Regarding software, I'd used LR, invert, and only scan black and white. Over the last few years, things have probably got better/easier to do and I should perhaps think about returning to this project. The new Forum here might spur me!!!! Thanks for the advice on software..

Yes, things have changed quite a bit. More and more people seem to be going the digital camera route. There has been zero innovation in dedicated film scanners in probably at least a decade, likely more and I don't think there's a big enough market to justify anyone coming up with a new one. The cost would be pretty high to both the producer and the consumer. I think most people shooting film likely already own a digital camera so it makes sense. That was less likely back in the days when all these film scanners were in their heyday.

Ive owned a Nikon 5000, an Epson flatbed, and a Pakon F135. The Pakon was by far the best but the prices got so high that I cashed out on mine (for almost 2k Canadian). The digital camera method I explained above beats them all for speed and convenience. The Pakon was probably as fast and got amazing colours but the scans were also only 6mp and didnt have the flexibility of Raw files.

jvdwaa New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives
2

Next to the above process of duplicating slides with the OM-bellows, I also copied some very old 7x7 cm black and white glass slides from 1910-1920.

For that I used an old light box I once made with a regular fluorescent tubes and opal glass, for reviewing slides and negatives. The camera I placed on a tripod.

The farmer's wife

At the boulevard

Freshman at the Utrecht University

 jvdwaa's gear list:jvdwaa's gear list
Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro +1 more
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,712
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

I used a NEX-5N several years ago for the slides, and a Sigma sdQH more recently for 35mm B%W negs. Mounted on a ChromaPro, with the Olympus OM 80mm lens, which is designed for use on a bellows for film duplication.

I modified the ChromaPro slightly by replacing the lamp with one of a lower power and disconnecting the fan, to remove vibration.

Image from the web:

The Sigma camera gave very good results, but I think any high resolution mirrorless would do equally well.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
Smaug01
Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,340
I do. I wouldn't go back to a flatbed
1

Here's a thread I started awhile ago, in which there was some good discussion. You can see a pic of my scanning rig in one of my posts.

All it takes is:

  • Nikon ES-2 Digitizer Set
  • Macro lens or normal lens w/extension tube
  • Light source
  • Inversion software. I use a free one, though it is not great for color negative inversion, (a manual color correcting exercise) just B&W.
-- hide signature --

-Jeremy
*********
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 Olympus OM-D E-M10 III Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D +29 more
Smaug01
Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,340
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

danny2384 wrote:

I do. My method differs from most people's ive seen and the ones generally touted online. This applies to 35mm

Scanning Rig

I use a Nikon bellows unit with a slide copy attachment on the end (Nikon PB-5 and PS-4 to be exact)

The benefits I've found over the copy stand method are as follows:

  • The film is always square and parallel to one another. This was one of the biggest pains I found when doing the copy stand method.
  • Once you have the knobs locked to the correct distance you really don't need to set it up again. The focus is always the same, set your lens to infinity and its always correct. I used to check with every roll but realized its a waste of time
  • You can work with the camera sitting in its usual orientation instead of having to look down on it
  • Because the film and camera are locked together shake isn't really an issue
  • Don't need a macro lens. I use one anyways for the flat field but using a standard 50 worked just as well
  • Cheap. Minolta, Pentax, Canon, and almost all brands made one at some point

Downsides are it doesn't work with formats other than 35mm. Although, I did just but a Hasselblad bellows to rig up for Medium format.

Light Source

Make sure to get a light source with a high CRI. 95+. I started with a cheap amazon tracing pad and didn't know this. Youll never be able to get the colours quite correct and it will be much more frustrating that it should be. If the CRI isnt listed its generally means its quite low.

The new iphones and iPads also tend to work well if youre in a pinch. Although, your shutter speeds will be slow and you need to elevate the film to avoid seing the pixels

Software

Negative Lab Pro. No question. All the benefits of non-destructive workflow in lightroom. The only downside is you need lightroom if you dont already own it.

What is CRI and why does it matter?

I'm using a cheap ebay LED tracing pad and it seems to work fine. Maybe because the Nikon ES-2 Digitizing Set has a diffuser built-in?

-- hide signature --

-Jeremy
*********
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 Olympus OM-D E-M10 III Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D +29 more
Roman Verton
Roman Verton New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives
1

I scan negatives and positives with Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter, Nikon D7500 and DX Micro Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8 G. Positives are an easy task, the workflow for negatives is a bit tricky. But I like the results anyway. They may not be the ones you would get with the above mentioned adapter and Nikon D850 (and now D780) which have a dedicated negatives digitizing mode, but are still quite good.

Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 14,822
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

I just use my Sigma SD Quattro H to "scan" my negatives (and slides). I do need a better set-up for the back-light though. I guess I should get myself one of those little light table thingies.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083DNYD2K

-- hide signature --

Scott Barton Kennelly
https://www.bigprintphotos.com/

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Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Nikon D810 Sigma sd Quattro H Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +21 more
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,712
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

Smaug01 wrote:

danny2384 wrote:

I do. My method differs from most people's ive seen and the ones generally touted online. This applies to 35mm

Scanning Rig

I use a Nikon bellows unit with a slide copy attachment on the end (Nikon PB-5 and PS-4 to be exact)

The benefits I've found over the copy stand method are as follows:

  • The film is always square and parallel to one another. This was one of the biggest pains I found when doing the copy stand method.
  • Once you have the knobs locked to the correct distance you really don't need to set it up again. The focus is always the same, set your lens to infinity and its always correct. I used to check with every roll but realized its a waste of time
  • You can work with the camera sitting in its usual orientation instead of having to look down on it
  • Because the film and camera are locked together shake isn't really an issue
  • Don't need a macro lens. I use one anyways for the flat field but using a standard 50 worked just as well
  • Cheap. Minolta, Pentax, Canon, and almost all brands made one at some point

Downsides are it doesn't work with formats other than 35mm. Although, I did just but a Hasselblad bellows to rig up for Medium format.

Light Source

Make sure to get a light source with a high CRI. 95+. I started with a cheap amazon tracing pad and didn't know this. Youll never be able to get the colours quite correct and it will be much more frustrating that it should be. If the CRI isnt listed its generally means its quite low.

The new iphones and iPads also tend to work well if youre in a pinch. Although, your shutter speeds will be slow and you need to elevate the film to avoid seing the pixels

Software

Negative Lab Pro. No question. All the benefits of non-destructive workflow in lightroom. The only downside is you need lightroom if you dont already own it.

What is CRI and why does it matter?

Color Rendering Index. It mattered a lot with fluorescent lights, which have terrible colour, but with LEDs I think you can ignore it.

However, I did all my copies with a Halogen lamp and an 80A filter.

I'm using a cheap ebay LED tracing pad and it seems to work fine. Maybe because the Nikon ES-2 Digitizing Set has a diffuser built-in?

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
mska59 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

Martin JC wrote:

Hi all,

Does anyone 'scan' their negatives? What is your process?

There are several previous helpful guides. Below are some links to get things going. If you can add more then great! -- Martin

David Kieltyka wrote this:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3490276?page=1

See also

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4199946

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3934376

 mska59's gear list:mska59's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR
danny2384 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

Smaug01 wrote:

danny2384 wrote:

I do. My method differs from most people's ive seen and the ones generally touted online. This applies to 35mm

Scanning Rig

I use a Nikon bellows unit with a slide copy attachment on the end (Nikon PB-5 and PS-4 to be exact)

The benefits I've found over the copy stand method are as follows:

  • The film is always square and parallel to one another. This was one of the biggest pains I found when doing the copy stand method.
  • Once you have the knobs locked to the correct distance you really don't need to set it up again. The focus is always the same, set your lens to infinity and its always correct. I used to check with every roll but realized its a waste of time
  • You can work with the camera sitting in its usual orientation instead of having to look down on it
  • Because the film and camera are locked together shake isn't really an issue
  • Don't need a macro lens. I use one anyways for the flat field but using a standard 50 worked just as well
  • Cheap. Minolta, Pentax, Canon, and almost all brands made one at some point

Downsides are it doesn't work with formats other than 35mm. Although, I did just but a Hasselblad bellows to rig up for Medium format.

Light Source

Make sure to get a light source with a high CRI. 95+. I started with a cheap amazon tracing pad and didn't know this. Youll never be able to get the colours quite correct and it will be much more frustrating that it should be. If the CRI isnt listed its generally means its quite low.

The new iphones and iPads also tend to work well if youre in a pinch. Although, your shutter speeds will be slow and you need to elevate the film to avoid seing the pixels

Software

Negative Lab Pro. No question. All the benefits of non-destructive workflow in lightroom. The only downside is you need lightroom if you dont already own it.

What is CRI and why does it matter?

I'm using a cheap ebay LED tracing pad and it seems to work fine. Maybe because the Nikon ES-2 Digitizing Set has a diffuser built-in?

Basically it means that the light source is outputting accurate and even light across the full spectrum. Here’s a good article describing it specifically for film scanning purposes (also a great place for anything related to scanning film with a camera)

https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/suggested-backlight-sources-for-scanning-film-with-dslr/130/2

you may never notice unless you’re trying to get very accurate colors from film. The way some people shoot it wouldn’t matter I.e expired films, cross processed, and/or possibly going for a less true to life look anyways. However, they aren’t that expensive. I picked up a video light from amazon with a CRI of 96 for less than the cheap tracing pad I was using.  
The diffuser doesn’t make a difference and the other comment saying it doesn't apply to LED’s is also not true. They can be as bad just like fluorescents

SylverFox
SylverFox New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives
1

I'm waiting for Hamish's new pixl-latr to arrive which should provide a simple set up to use my digital for scanning.

-- hide signature --

Nigel
"The fascinating moment which you wish to preserve for ever in a photo disappears as quickly as it comes; you must be prepared . It is not enough for you to know what this lever or that knob does, you must learn to handle your camera as instinctively as the pianist find his notes" Voigtländer Manual 1933

 SylverFox's gear list:SylverFox's gear list
Olympus TG-5 Olympus PEN-F 7artisans 25mm F1.8 +4 more
Ranger 9 Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

Here's how I do it. No alignment problems and very quick to set up.

https://youtu.be/nDUupxM_418

OP Martin JC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,064
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

SylverFox wrote:

I'm waiting for Hamish's new pixl-latr to arrive which should provide a simple set up to use my digital for scanning.

Ha! I did not know of this. Is it new?  Thanks for adding it!

https://pixl-latr.com/

Maybe Hamish can say a few words to its prestigiousness

I remember Ming Thein once saying he would develop some kit to be able to scan with cameras and make the process relatively easy.  I don't think anything came of that... -- martin

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Sigma DP2 Merrill
SylverFox
SylverFox New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

It is new and Hamish is just coming to end of his Kickstarter trauma getting it produced... finders crossed it looks to be shipping in just a few weeks time

-- hide signature --

Nigel
"The fascinating moment which you wish to preserve for ever in a photo disappears as quickly as it comes; you must be prepared . It is not enough for you to know what this lever or that knob does, you must learn to handle your camera as instinctively as the pianist find his notes" Voigtländer Manual 1933

 SylverFox's gear list:SylverFox's gear list
Olympus TG-5 Olympus PEN-F 7artisans 25mm F1.8 +4 more
jsevidon
jsevidon Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: Camera 'scanning' of negatives

For 35mm, I use my trusty old Plustek 7600 and for 120 film, I use my old Epson  Perfection  4990. For 120 film, I use an ant-Newton ring holder and glass, although the stock Epson film holder does OK. But when I once found Newton rings on my scan I bought the custom holder and glass.

The real secret to successful scans is in the software. Vuescan is cheap and it does an ok job. I prefer SilverFast software which allows a greater control over the final scan product In terms of sharpness , dust and scratch removal and color. I suppose the newer versions of each scanner do a better job, but my scans are really good and I'd rather spend my money elsewhere other camera equipment.

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Ricoh GR II Leica M Typ 240 Leica CL +2 more
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