Digitizing film without a scanner, redux (part 1)

Well, it only took me 3+ months, and I’m still not quite there, but I’m closer… much closer.

After last time’s more-or-less failure (see the initial Digitizing Film without a Scanner series: part 1, part 2, part 3), and with the recent ordering of a dark bag, developing tank, C-41 chemicals, and various other supplies (thanks to a performance bonus/award thing from work), and the consequent impending (hopefully) glut of newly-processed negatives, I needed to try this digitizing thingy again.

I took a bunch of pictures of the setup I constructed out of a nice, high quality cardboard box, but I probably won’t end up sharing them. The contraption worked ok, as you can see from the nice sharp picture above, but I found out I could do much better…First off, I now have a rather competent duplicating lens in the Nikor 28-105D. Auto-focus is brilliant, and the lens is plenty sharp.

Second off, the minimum focus distance on the 28-105D is about 2″ from the front of the lens, meaning the roughly 7 1/2″ tube I built will likely become a snoot or something, since the cardboard tube from an empty roll of duct tape is just perfect, and with some step-up rings taped to one end, I should get much closer to filling the frame on the D7000 with one 35mm negative (including sprockets, at 105mm), and can probably capture a medium format frame with only minor modifications (a second tube, more or less).

The setup I took this one with wastes most of the frame: here’s the uncropped version:

Scanning Negatives|9|©JamesECockroft-20141207
But it was fun anyway, for sure.  I like the crafts part of this fun stuff. Good times.

Also, I finally followed the full instructions from this PetaPixel article (minus the custom-built, laser-cut mdf rig) and found a bit more to play with in Lightroom, so the color is much better this time around, and thanks to the lens and the much more substantial rig, the negative is actually sharp!

I do need to construct another negative carrier… the most recent one keeps the negatives more or less flat, but if there’s dust on the neg, scratches result (I think that’s where the scratches came from, anyway), and there is no support for the negative roll, so the camera has to be vertical (and since my tripod head will no longer support he weight of the D7000 on a horizontal plane, I had to focus once and hope the focus didn’t shift: sadly, it did near the end of the roll: grrr).

All in all: good times.

D7000. Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D. ISO100, 1/160th, f/8. SB600 at 1/2 power, zoomed to 105, with it’s tungsten gel clip thingy in place.

 

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