Scanning movie in good high quality is usually a problem: Good scanners are very costly and scarce. Once I re-entered analog pictures, scanning movies rapidly and in nice high quality was key for me. The tactic described on this article entails no specialty scanning or repro gear. Some individuals may very well personal the whole lot that’s wanted already. I’ve digitized greater than 200 movies with this technique and am fairly shocked on the outcomes I get!
The normal strategy to scan movie is – because the identify says – to scan it. Through the years, I fiddled with a number of generations of scanners together with movie and flatbed scanners. Within the meantime, the world is so digitized already that scanners have gotten scarce, particularly prime quality movie scanners.
(Reasonably priced) scanners are gradual and fuzzy
Scanners you’ll be able to at the moment purchase for below $1000 are fairly restricted for 35mm detrimental scanning and won’t present nice high quality, high-res scans. For medium format and huge format, e.g. the Epson Picture flatbed scanners could also be ok, however not nice both. The untold fact about consumer-grade scanners is, that they often not attain their marketed decision. My Epson Picture 4870 is rated at 4800 dpi however assessments point out that it hardly reaches 1200 dpi. The newer Epson Picture scanners attain 2000 dpi, which nonetheless is simply offering roughly a 6 MP scan from 35mm movie. Relying on the movie and lenses used, a 35mm detrimental or slide can present greater than that, sometimes 10-20 MP. As well as, most scanners will want 2-3 minutes per image and scanning an entire movie can take 1-2 hours… Subsequently, I used to be in search of a greater answer.
“Scanning” with a digital digicam
Any digital digicam with >20 MP can absolutely seize all of the grainy element of a 35mm movie. And it does so in a blink of an eye fixed, a lot quicker than scanners, which simply want 2-3 minutes per image. Subsequently, utilizing a digital digicam might be the quickest strategy to scan. However you want a top quality method to seize the movie element 1:1. There are some good options in the marketplace that facilitate the method, not least Hamish’s pixl-latr. Nevertheless I used to be considering how I might make greatest use of my present stock of previous picture gear…
Bellows with slide copier as a simple answer
I remembered having a phenomenal Contax macro bellows with – and that’s the vital half – a slide-copier connected to it. I purchased it new however by no means actually used it within the 30 years I owned it. Nevertheless it received a brand new life as the guts of my super-fast, prime quality movie scanning system! I mixed it with my previous Sony a7 digicam. Any exchangeable lens digicam will do, however I like the truth that the Sony is full body and can copy my movie 1:1. And the 24 MP decision is ideal to seize the total element of movie (most assessments counsel that good high quality 35mm slides or negatives are equal to 15-20 MP).
The appropriate lens is vital to get razor-sharp scans
I began experimenting with the Sony digicam, a Contax to Sony lens adapter and the Contax bellows. The principle downside proved to be the lens. A regular 50mm lens was not sharp into the corners at 1:1. Even my Carl Zeiss lenses weren’t ok at 1:1. Plus the bellows was exhausting to focus at this focal size as a result of the bellows extension was near zero! However, my 100mm macro lenses have been too lengthy. After a little bit of testing, I acquired a 55mm Yashica macro lens which does the job completely. I shut it to f/8 and get nice decision and distinction proper into the corners. The scans are literally a lot better than from my previous Minolta slide scanner I used previously (which has an SCSI interface and due to this fact hardly matches my 5K iMac) and worlds higher than from my Epson flatbed.
For illumination, you’ll be able to merely use a lamp directed to the the slide copier. Nevertheless, I like to recommend to make use of a flash. You may really use virtually any previous flash so long as you’ll be able to join it with a sync cable to your digicam. I exploit an previous Contax flash in handbook mode and set it to 1/16 energy.
All the photographs within the “Analog Work” part of my photography portfolio site are scanned with this technique (nevertheless, the positioning exhibits the photographs in diminished decision).
Scan an entire movie in 5 minutes!
The nice factor of the described setup is that I can scan an entire roll of movie by simply pulling it body by body via the slide copier! This takes sometimes solely 5 minutes for 36 frames. The Contax bellows has the benefit that it has movie take-up holders on each side and due to this fact facilitates the dealing with of a complete movie. And better of all, the setup of my “scanner” is simple and fast. I can take it in “one piece” from its storage and am able to go in 2 minutes).
Abstract: Gear wanted for scanning
- Digital digicam with exchangeable lens, ideally > 20 MP decision
- Adapter to attach digicam to bellows (if it doesn’t match immediately, approx. $30)
- Previous 35mm macro bellows together with slide copier ($50-150 on eBay)
- (Previous) 50mm, 55mm or 60mm macro lens becoming the bellows (beginning at $50 on eBay)
- Non-obligatory: An (previous) flash with connection cable to the digicam (virtually totally free on eBay)
This text is taken out of my guide “Film Gear – A photographer’s guide to analog cameras” which describes my expertise getting again into movie pictures and discusses the professionals and cons of 85 analog cameras. The book is available in digital and print format from Amazon. You will discover extra data on it on my photography portfolio site, together with many analog footage scanned with the above technique.