Can’t Afford a Medium Format Film Scanner? Here’s How to Build One with a Shoe Box (VIDEO)
If you’re one of those photographers with shoe boxes full of medium format negatives and can’t afford an expensive film scanner to digitize them, here’s a simple solution: Dump out one of those shoe boxes and turn it into a scanner using the ingenious (and cheap) method provided in the following video.
In addition to the shoebox, your DSLR and a portable flash unit, all you’ll need is some copy paper, duct tape, a piece of Plexiglas, and an inexpensive film holder that you can find on eBay (or perhaps from a flatbed scanner you already have).
Atlanta-based photographer Kun Xu says he made the whole rig in about an hour, and is able to scan a roll of 120 film in under two minutes. And despite the crude appearance, Xu says it delivers great results.
“Speed is not the only benefit,” he explains, “it is amazing how much more detail one can get out of the negatives compared to scanning with a flatbed. I can see the film grain, which I don’t usually see unless I am using grain focuser in the darkroom.”
The video starts out slowly as Xu explains the project, but be patient because this simple DIY project may be just what you’re looking for. You can see more from tinkerer Xu and some of his images on his FlickR page.
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