Scanning negatives using digital camera


Status
Not open for further replies.

StreetShooter

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
4,634
0
0
Katong
streetshooter.clubsnap.org
#1
Since I've gone film, thought I'd save some money by scanning negatives instead of printing them.

I made a slide copy adaptor using some cardboard. It works great. Here's the setup:





The black base is cut from one side of a floppy disk. The hole fits nicely over the 28 mm lens. The reason you want a black base is to prevent any reflections from the reflective bits on the digital camera. I initially tried mounting the negatives onto the light box and taking straight from there, but ended up with mysterious brown artifacts which I finally figured out were the reflections from the camera after inversion and autolevels.

The cardboard tube is a bit bigger than your usual toilet roll, I cut it from one of those cardboard rolls used to hold cloth. You can get it free from Spotlight or any shop selling cloth. The slide holder is 2 pieces of cardboard with a hole in it (35mm x 25mm) separated by 2 pieces of cardboard such that you can slot your strip of negative film in.

My light source is an xray box, but any light box will do. Just set the CP990 to macro mode, slip in your negative, press the button. The autofocus and autometering takes care of everything. The length of the cardboard tube should be enough to make the CP990 zoom in halfway and just fit the 35mm x 25mm hole in the entire frame. You can zoom out slightly to make sure it's centred and so on, then zoom in to crop the picture.

Make sure you clean the negatives before scanning. I wipe mine gently with the Essilor microfibre cloth. Works very well. Just hold the cloth in one hand, put the film in between two fingers, and swipe through.

After that, all you need is to invert the image in PS, and use Autolevels. Viola! 3 MP jpeg scan. Make sure the non-exposed negative is not in the picture when you do autolevels (crop it out), otherwise the colours will be very funny.

Here is a picture I just scanned. This is straight out of the camera after inverting and autolevels. Amazing.

 

luisg

New Member
Apr 10, 2002
338
0
0
luisg.dynu.com
#2
wow! :eek: didn't know it can be done.. great stuff! :thumbsup:
can it be done using my cam? do I need a close-up filter for that?

thanks,
luisg
 

Klause

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
1,417
0
0
34
Bedok
Visit site
#3
Whao! Great scan you have there. The best I've seen using digital->slides. Cool! Care to sell your setup ? hehe.
 

StreetShooter

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
4,634
0
0
Katong
streetshooter.clubsnap.org
#11
OK here's an update.

On close examination of the jpeg files produced with my Nikon Coolpix 990, I found that the picture were rather grainy. At first I thought that this was because of film grain, then I realized that it might be because of the small CCD. After all, that was one of the reasons I moved to the D30 - because of the noisy images produced by the Coolpix.



So I rigged up the D30 with the 28-135 IS USM mounted on the 21mm and 13mm teleconverter (total 34mm). Now I needed to find a cardboard tube that could fit the 72mm diameter of the 28-135 IS USM. Viola! a paper cup! I cannibalized the slide holder from the previous contraption and scotchtaped it to the paper cup. The paper cup fits over the lens and stays there because of the slightly conical shape, so fit wasn't a problem at all. In fact it was an advantage because you can turn it any which way to adjust the orientation of the rectangular hole for the slide until it is just right. The best part is that this is much faster. Focusing is manual, and once you have got the focus spot on, you can put the negatives through and snap away, without having the autofocus grinding away for each frame.

You can see the clear difference here. The first picture is cropped at 100% from the coolpix, the second from the D30.


 

Darren

ClubSNAP Admin
Staff member
Jan 16, 2002
8,608
26
48
Melbourne
#12
And interestingly enough, from your coconut tree example, the Coolpix crop looks sharper .... :dunno: ?

And there seems to be some aberration/color fringing on the D30 "scan" - maybe due to the use of stacked extensions and a bright light source.

But overall a very good and commendable effort and the results are more than acceptable.

Personally, i prefer a dedicated film scanner, but thats just me ;)
 

#13
Originally posted by Darren
And interestingly enough, from your coconut tree example, the Coolpix crop looks sharper .... :dunno: ?

And there seems to be some aberration/color fringing on the D30 "scan" - maybe due to the use of stacked extensions and a bright light source.

But overall a very good and commendable effort and the results are more than acceptable.

Personally, i prefer a dedicated film scanner, but thats just me ;)
Also, the coolpix shot has better colour rendition. :) Using a macro lens instead of the stacked tubes might help. Stopping down might help also.

Regards
CK
 

StreetShooter

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
4,634
0
0
Katong
streetshooter.clubsnap.org
#14
Yes, the Coolpix is definitely sharper because of in-camera sharpening, and also because the picture was autofocused, while the D30 one was manual-focused by a non-professional.

And you are again right about the colour fringing, though I'm not sure how that relates to the use of extension tubes, which are not quite the same as close-up filters. But yes, it was one of the first things I noticed on some of the pictures I scanned. Incidentally you can use Panorama Tools to correct colour abberation.

The colours are much more accurate using the D30.

I can't afford (or rather I'm too cheapskate to buy) a dedicated film scanner, so I settled for a (used) paper cup. Not a bad compromise, I would say. In any case it's definitely faster than a film scanner. Takes about a minute to finish snapping a strip of six frames. With negatives going back to the 1980's (point and shoot camera), that's quite a lot of time saved. My wife's saved them all, and expects them digitised... sometime before I die.
 

Darren

ClubSNAP Admin
Staff member
Jan 16, 2002
8,608
26
48
Melbourne
#18
Originally posted by ckiang
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM. Excellent. Very very fast. Very sharp. Get one while stocks last. :devil:
Regards
CK
BUY BUY BUY !!!
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom