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My new film "scanner"

My A900 (DSLR) has been in my drybox recently as there were no photography jobs for me and I was spending more time in my analog cameras. (pinhole and  Hassy). So it got a bit neglected.

I think I only managed to get a small job using my A900 during this past new months and that was to shoot an interior of an office and datacentre.  Pretty interesting experience to shoot in such a constraint place :P

So I was actually tempted to sell my A900 as it seems that  I can't find a good use of its ultra high resolutions (24.5 Megapixels for your info).  Then it hit me one day while I got some slides developed and the scans by the shops were horribly wrong. Ughh! I hate to scan them on my own film scanners as the process is slow and normally I need to calibrate my scanner to get the colours correct.  I need something that could be faster and more reliable.

In my cabinet I have a 50mm Macro lens that I bought cheaply in the 2nd hand market.  Its has a 1:1 lifesize capability.  So I actually could find a light source and use my camera as slide copy machine! 

The light source is a bit simple as I already have a lightbox.  But to shoot 1:1 and I have to keep the lens flat and pendicular to the flat film surface was a challenge.  So I went hunting for a macro rail and managed to find a cheap display set with Cathay Photos.  And viola!  I have my own 35mm Film copy machine!

My Setup

So the process is simple.  I first set the correct custome WB and then just slide the Slides below it to copy them.  Aperture I used is f/11 (to get the maximium DOF in case the film were not flat enough) and I used an old lens barrel (that I salvaged from a old fungus infected lens) to weigh down the film and keep them in place.

The results were fantastic (for my standards of course)!  I have 6048x4032 files of my slides and the colours were 90% accurate! And its fast!  Each frame is just takes at most 5 secs to setup and grab.  I actually wished that there was liveliew for my a900 (those with 5D Mk2 should be even faster.. :P)  Another good thing is that I tried copying MF slides at 1:1 (cropped) and the details were mind blowing.   Its also possible to copy black and white and colour negatives.  Especially the grains on these analog film... yum yum..

Will be posting some "copied" results here later.. need more time to copy :P

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