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July 22, 2019

Experts' Expert: Use your digital camera as a scanner

Wrote i_am_proteus on Hacker News:

If you have a digital camera (SLR or mirrorless), which most people who shoot film do, you also have an excellent scanner. I scan 35mm, 120, and 4x5 with a DSLR, inverted tripod, and macro lens. The results are better than any flatbed scanner.

Use a rocket or canned air to keep the dust off, and a sheet of anti-Newton glass to keep the film flat and focused while scanning.

Developing B&W at home is economical if you use a shelf-stable developer (I like Kodak HC-110, a half-open bottle keeps for years) and fixer (Ilford Rapid). Per-roll developing cost is between 50¢ and $1.

I shoot a few rolls and throw them in a big Paterson tank. Two rolls of film take 30 min to develop and 15 min to scan. Not much longer than the time to drive round trip to the photo lab.

No darkroom necessary — I load film in a dark bag. Post-process the scans in Lightroom or Darktable. Batch-processing means it's pretty fast. If I want to make prints, either I send out the digital positive to ProDPI or I rent time at the community darkroom.

July 22, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


My dad had an attachment for his dslr to take pictures of his slides. It took him ages, but they look pretty good.

Posted by: Greg | Jul 22, 2019 4:47:15 PM

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