4x5 Film Holder
4x Machined M4 Thumb Screws
1x sheet of 4.25x5.25 micro etched acrylic
Micro-etched matte surface
Anti-newton ring acrylic
Looking for an easy process for scanning 4x5 film? Quickly digitize your 4x5 film with full borders using the Pro Mount MK2 and a micro-etched ultralight matte acrylic surface!
Negative Supply exists to create tools for film photographers around the world that want to spend more time photographing and less time scanning. Their products allow you to digitize negatives using your digital camera and a macro lens in as little as 5 minutes (or less) with tools you may already have.
Scanning 4x5 inch sheet film has always been time consuming with flatbed scanners and very expensive with drum scanning options. The Negative Supply 4x5 Film Holder changes the narrative by offering film photographers an easier way to work that’s straightforward and allows nearly instant results by using a digital camera for capture.
Note: Pro Mount MK2 or Pro Mount MK1 is required to use the 4x5 Film Holder.
4x5 Film Holder Scanning Kit
4x5 Film Holder with the Pro Mount MK2
4x5 Film Holder mounts to the Pro Mount MK2 quickly and easily with included hardware, and the mounting system gives added stability and precision to the scanning process. The Negative Supply Pro Mount MK2 offers added stability, precision, and dust removal capabilities to the scanning system.
- Pro Mount MK2
- 4x5 Film Holder
- 2x sheet of 4.25x5.25 micro etched acrylic
Acrylic for 4X5 Sheet Film Holder
An extra option for all those users that need to scan 4x5 film or short strips of film with the 4x5 Film Holder. The acrylic surface prevents newton rings while transmitting light efficiently. It is a great addition to your existing kit in order to sandwich film for added sharpness and to encourage short strips of 35mm and 120 film to lay flat. It is not advised for longer strips or for full roll scanning. To ensure high quality images, handle the acrylic with care and replace if scratched, chipped, etc.
The light source is one of the most important things when creating a camera scanning setup. Consistent light creates evenly lit images, and full spectrum light allows for great color correction. Chances are, if your light source isn’t high CRI or has dips in the spectrum, your colors will be very hard to correct. There are many light panel options out there, but the very best offer consistent, full spectrum light with a brightness high enough to capture images at moderate shutter speeds.
Our favorite option for a camera stand is something you already own, like an old enlarger with an adapter plate, or a sturdy tripod with an invertible column so you can mount your camera underneath. However, if you must purchase something, Negative Supply has created the Pro Riser. This compact camera stand works best with mirrorless and mid-sized DSLR cameras and features lead-screw height adjustment for quickly and easily raising and lowering. Because of this adjustment option, it is impossible for your camera to “fall” or “descend uncontrollably” into your work piece.
Camera & Lens
Just about any semi-modern interchangeable camera will work great for camera scanning. There are many mirrorless or DSLR options to choose from, with the most convenient offering tethered live view capture to your computer. The Canon T2i is probably the cheapest option out there with tethering and large lens selection, and new cameras like the Sony A7 series are now very affordable with great IQ. High end setups may even use the new full frame Panasonic mirrorless cameras with pixel stitching.
For camera scanning, the one real requirement is that your lens focuses close enough to capture the entire frame, without having to digitally crop. For full frame cameras and capturing 35mm film, the term 1:1 designates a lens that will reproduce the 35mm frame exactly onto the full frame digital sensor. With crop bodies, 1:1 focus even closer. There are also options to use extension tubes for older macro lenses. We have had excellent results with an inexpensive Nikon 55mm macro from the film days, using a simple extension tube to get 1:1 on our full frame bodies. Higher end, yet affordable options include the excellent Sigma 70mm ART Macro. The Outside of reproduction factor (1:1), also look out for lenses that are sharp, have good color reproduction, limit internal reflections (modern coatings), and have very little vignetting. Finally, it’s generally best to use your lens stopped down 2-3 from wide open, as this gives a good combination between depth of field and brightness.
Software for Negative Conversion
There are a few plugins and standalone programs for converting negatives into positives. Some older and some newer, all of them try to harness the color science based in darkroom paper to various degrees. Many professional scanners have used LaserSoft applications or some proprietary/built-in software to emulate darkroom printing. After all, even a professional lab scanner is simply a digital camera and a light source. The applications below do the same thing for converting negatives captured with you digital camera rather than a digital camera built into a scanner. We recommend choosing the one that best suits your workflow.