Film Holder for Scanning with a DSLR

by pauloricca, published

Film Holder for Scanning with a DSLR by pauloricca May 13, 2012


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A Film holder to use when scanning fim with a digital camera.


Cut the pieces in mdf or other material of your choice.
The top right rectangle is meant to be cut on white acrylic to serve as a light diffuser. The white acrylic is helpful but not mandatory, any other type of difusion can be used, such as using the sky or a white wall as background!
Black lines are for cutting and Red for engraving (In case they don't appear as red for some reason, these are the 8 horizontal lines inside the film holder rectangles). I engrave lines with the "cut" option of the laser cutter at low-power and high-speed.

This Thing includes two film holders: one for 135 (35mm) and another for 120 type film. I taped the surfaces where the film comes in contact with the mdf to avoid scratches. The film holders should be put together in the following layers:

  1. mdf film holder piece
  2. double sided tape
  3. a strip of thick paper or very thin cardboard (this is meant to create a gap between the boards and allow the film to slip through them)
  4. double sided tape
  5. mdf film holder piece
    Use the engraved lines on the mdf film holder boards to align the double sided tape and the cardboards. the distance between these is the height of the different types of film.

The camera holder is built by gluing the long horizontal board to the small vertical strip using the small triangles. It's important to ensure that the two boards are glued at a 90º angle.

The camera is tighten to the board using a 1/4 screw that you can find on any hardware store or looking for "tripod 1/4 screw" on ebay. The camera holder, the film holder and the white acrylic are hold together with small plastic spring clamps.

Scanning is made by placing a flash behing the holder or pointing the contraption to other light source. It's important to set the camera to the warmest white balance setting. This photo was scanned with this method: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauloricca/4964931173/

A full tutorial on how to use this or any other contraption to scan film negatives with a DSLR can be found here: http://www.pauloricca.com/index.php?a=blog&idpost=24

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The link to your blog leads to a 404 error.

Hi, had a problem with my hosting and will try to solve soon. Meanwhile you can follow the tutorial here: http://petapixel.com/2012/05/18/how-to-scan-film-negatives-with-a-dslr/ Thank you.

I love this tutorial and am really excited to make one of these for myself. Unfortunately I don't have Illustrator or a CAD program so I can't open your files! It has been a bit of a nightmare to print. I'm going to battle on but could you upload a simpler file (like a word or pdf file) of the correct size to print? Thank you so much!

Hey Jay, Thank you! There ya go, attached a pdf ;)
It doesn't fit an A4 though.. you may have to make some changes to it