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Scanning 35mm negatives

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Gibson67, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Gibson67

    Gibson67 Active Member

    Hi all

    I’ve recently got back into film photography and was hoping fellow members could give me a little advice. I’d like to scan my negatives once processed and have digital copies to share on social media, Flickr, Instagram etc. I’m a little unsure the best route to take?

    I don’t have a scanner, but do have a decent DSLR a Nikon D5300 with a 18-55 kit lens aswell as a few vintage 50mm primes. I was planning on buying an artists light box placing the negative slides between two sheets of glass placed on top of the light box. My question is could I purchase a macro tube for my Nikon, or do I need a dedicated macro lens? I do also own a Fujifilm X10 with a macro feature allowing me to focus in to about 2cm. Given my Nikon is 24mp camera am I correct this is the camera I should be using over the Fuji?

    Assuming I can get decent results with my current kit, what free software would I need for conversion? I’m currently using Capture one express Fuji & Nikon Capture NX D. Lastly! Would a DSLR set up give me as good, or better results than purchasing a cheap older scanner like an Epson V200 or V330?

    Thanks in advance

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don't see why your plan wouldn't work. You don't need true macro unless using a full frame camera. One sheet of glass should suffice, I suppose glass for negative carriers is still available, on a photographic light box. Inverting the image involves compensating for the colour mask then inverting the colours. I'd be surprised if there were not profiles available.

    Curiously the comment column in AP this week bemoans the death of the scanner.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I've done this a few times so this might help...
    1. See if you can source a spare film carrier from any film scanner (7 day shop used to do them for a few quid). Scanner carriers are glassless because the last thing you want is to add 4 more surfaces - unless you really like removing dust spots.
    2. The D5300 will do a grand job. I've used a D5100 and it worked OK. (I generally used a FF Canon but that's just me).
    3. The ideal way to do this is to get some cheap Nikon fitting macro bellows. They don't need to be all that good because if you're only using 35mm you'll be able to set them up once and lock them in place.
    4. The 50mm primes should do a fine job. If you happen to have a 35mm prime around that might be even better as you're using a crop format camera but you'll probably manage ok without it.
    5. Set the D5300 to 'A' mode and stop the lens down to f8. That should work nicely.
    6. See how you get on with the software you've got. If it doesn't manage download the GIMP - it's free and works fine.
    7. Make sure the tripod or other support you're using is rigid.
    I think that's about it. Some samples:

    From a Nikon FM2n...

    Canon Eos 1996 07-21.jpg

    From a Canon Eos 5...

    Nikon FM2n 1996 08-01.jpg

    From a Canon F1...

    Canon F1 Ilford Film 1996-13_ 21.jpg
  4. londonbackpackr

    londonbackpackr Well-Known Member

    Yes , is the easy answer, even the newer flatbed scanners can have problems, especially if the film is cupping. Lomography do a scanning mask which is pretty good but tends to be OOS a lot and is £30.

    You also need to make sure the camera is 100% parallel to the film mask, or you'll get distorted scans.

    OM10 with HP5+
    [​IMG]Temple Church, Middle Temple by George Griffin, on Flickr

    OM10 with T-Max 400
    [​IMG]DSC_5218_edited-1 by George Griffin, on Flickr

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