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Thread: DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

    The DSLER Scanner thread is over 60 pages now and that's a lot to read.


    Would someone with an understanding of this body of knowledge please post a summery of the current state of this DIY Art?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Scanner Prtoject: Does it work?

    Yes, it does work. While the end result will depend upon your camera, the lens, ....., you can get significantly better results than with an Epson flatbed. With my D600, I get about 3000 spi, and at least a stop more dynamic range than with an Epson scanner. Daniel gets about 4000 dpi with his D810. These results were tested with step wedges and a high resolution chrome on glass target. The downside is that you have to build and test it. We detail the Arduino control system, and anyone can freely download the Arduino sketch that we use, but clearly this is way less turnkey than buying a scanner. In addition, once you have the files from a negative, you then have to process them in stitching software. This takes some time the first time, but after that you use the settings as a template for future stitches, and so there's no problem with detail-less areas. So, there's more time involved with getting a file into Photoshop than there is with most commercial scanners, although this will depend on how many frames you're stitching. So, higher quality but more time.

    Things change if you're after fast instead of high quality. If you have a high MP camera, and taking just one picture of the negative is enough for you, for example for web use or small prints, than a system can be very fast and easy to use. Going up to about a 3 frame stitch can be done completely manually, i.e. without stepper motors...., and is pretty easy to do.

    Here's a video showing Daniel's system:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXy7RJwIBAo

    Here's an early version of my scanner:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmRHTausFls
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  3. #3
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Scanner Prtoject: Does it work?

    Thank You for that concise sujmmery of this option.

    How many folks are going this rout?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  4. #4
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Scanner Prtoject: Does it work?

    I've had about 6-8 people contact me over the years saying they wanted to build a system. I don't know if many of them followed through. A couple of people on the thread did so, and a Google search shows that are more. So, not a lot. The option is really best for people who would otherwise want to buy a professional flatbed or drum scanner, but don't want to for a variety of reasons. The other would be for someone who owns a D810 class dslr, had a Rodagon D or similar, perhaps from doing dupes in the old days, and wants to quickly scan a whole bunch of 35mm slides.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

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    Re: DSLR Scanner Prtoject: Does it work?

    I started out using a Canon 6d to shoot my 4x5 negatives (mirror lock up + live view + macro lens) with a copy stand when my old scanner died.
    I eventually bought an Epson V800.
    The results are not as sharp, but they come out decent and it is less trouble for me.

  6. #6

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    Re: DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

    Drew,

    I've tried this many times when I needed a quick capture of slide films for previews and sharing on social media. For printing and high resolution capture, DSLR scans has many hurdles to overcome. The setup can simple but it can get complicated.

    Things you must consider when going this route, a proper light source with a mixing box, a stage to keep the film flat and free of dust, a solid camera mount to reduce vibrations, a decent macro lens without abberations, a workflow for inverting negatives.

    I am sure you can invest in a XY linear stage like a CNC router and capture multi samples and stitching them to get a high resolution image, especially for capturing art work.

    Its not my best tool but I'd be happy to use a DSLR to scan if that's the only tool I have.

    For 35mm negative film my old dusty Kodak 3570 scans at 6Mp and does a better job than a DSLR.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

    Thank you everyone.

    I am now sure that I will stay with my Epson 750.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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    Re: DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

    I works for me. But now I scan only my old 35mm negatives. I use 60mm macro and D600, also I make couple tests with macrotubes to scan at around 10.000 dpi. I post this small video at main thread.

    Here one old photo at 4000 dpi (one frame on D600) and at around 10000 dpi (16 frames on D600).
    http://koninin.com.ru/panorama.zip

  9. #9
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

    Thanks; I needed to see that. Looks like it works pretty well. Stiching 9 or so shots of each neg/slide? Wonder why no-one puts together a commercially made set-up . . .with or without the camera.

    Must take a couple hundred shots to cover an 8x10 chrome though. Even at one acquisition per 35mm equivalent area of LF film it would be what, 50-80 or so (didn't do any math, just squinted for a moment).

    I haven't been really happy since the guys at "Flash", the last pro lab in Houston that would do an optical enlargement to printing paper closed ten years ago. In the end, I think they had to pay someone to haul off their two 10 x 10 enlargers for scrap.

    While Acer's in the Heights will still develop 8x10 B&W (no chrome) they will only do an ink-jet print from a scan. So each single print can cost, altogether, about as much as a box of HP (again, just a squint estimate).

    Leaves me stuck with my own talentless scans on the 750 followed by a few clicks in PS. The whole process is just not as much fun as it used to be.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR Scanner Project: Does it work?

    MKsystem, it's awesome that you have a working system! In my experience, though, using a light box like that will cause flare. You might consider masking off the light that doesn't go through the negative. You might also run some tests to see if scanning at 10.000 dpi is of any benefit. I've compared scanning at 1x with a Rodagon D at f/4, 2x with a Mitutoyo M-Plan APO, and 5x with a Nikon 5x Measuring Microscope. With a resolution target, each step up in magnification gives the expected bump in on subject resolution, but with a 35mm frame of Kodak's Technical pan exposed on a heavy tripod with a 105 lens at f/5.6 with mirror lock up, I didn't see an obvious increase in quality moving up past 1x, even at %400 on screen. Using super high magnification will lead to less depth of field, much longer scanning and processing times, more wear on your shutter, and bigger (but not likely better) files. But since our systems are different, you should test for yourself.

    Drew, there are commercial products. They are made for universities and museums, and they cost $15K + . Here's one: http://www.gigamacro.com/
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

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