The Analog Process - Part 4


I started scanning film on a Flatbed scanner, specifically the Canoscan 9000f. A homie found it on Instagram for $50, so I copped it to start my self dev journey. Since that time, I've adopted a new way of scanning film using my DSLR, which has saved me time and produced much better results.

Here's my basic setup...

1. DSLR With Macro Lens

I use a Nikon D750 with the Micro 60mm 2.8 lens. This setup fills the frame with the negative well, which requires less cropping once the images are "scanned".

2. Rig To Hold Negatives & Camera

I had a homie 3D print a rig to hold the negatives parallel to the camera sensor (we live in the future y'all). This is achieveable multiple ways though, so use what you have to make it work. As long as the negatives are parallel to the sensor, a number of methods will work.

3. Light Source

To take the picture of the negatives, you'll need some type of light source behind them. I use my iPad mini set on a white background. Keep in mind, if the film is too close to a light source that uses pixels (like an iPad) the pixels will show through.

4. Lightroom 

Once I've captured my negatives with the DSLR, I import them to Lightroom and start my edits. Inverting the Tone Curve changes the "negative" to a "positive" image and you're all set. This reverses the way all of your sliders work though, so bringing exposure down will actually turn it up, etc. The end result? Super detailed 20-something megapixel scans. Much better than my flatbed was producing, check out a few side by side comparisons below...