A copy stand, designed specifically for camera scanning.
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.
The Pro Riser MK2 and Basic Riser MK1 are designed to partner with Negative Supply's existing and future portfolio of products. Utilizing precise design and a metal construction, the Basic Riser and Pro Riser add ease and stability to your camera scanning outfit.
Basic Riser MK1
An entry level copy stand for camera scanning. The Basic Riser MK1 is the first Negative Supply product to incorporate wood into the construction, but does so in a way that meets their strict standards for functionality and quality. With a birch ply baseboard that’s precision milled using a CNC router and all new metal mounting brackets, it is an easy to assemble and affordable option for those just starting out in camera scanning.
While a few inches shorter than the Pro Riser line, this model was designed for roll film but is compatible with up to 4x5 (when using shorter macro lenses). With an 18” maximum height, the Basic Riser provides convenient scanning with a small footprint.
Single screw assembly for fast setup
High quality CNC machined camera head
Highly ridged birch base (3/4”)
Pro Riser MK2
An advanced copy stand designed for camera scanning with all machined components from solid aluminum. Features include new aluminum top and bottom brackets, matching knobs to visually align with the 35mm Film Carrier MK1 and Film Carrier 120, as well as an optional leveling feet for use on uneven surfaces. For those that don’t need the leveling feet, we’ve sourced new rubber feet that far exceed the fit and finish of our current composite printed caps. Additionally, we’ve built an Arca-style rail into the front of the unit for those that use that system of tripod plates.
Solid aluminum construction
Black anodized tubing and hardware
Arca style front rail to work with Arca style tripod plates
All metal base and top plates
The all metal construction and solid 15x13” base provide security and ease of use during film digitization.
A T8 lead screw provides height adjustment, allowing you to quickly focus on the negative. If you’re using a manual lens, you can even set it to 1:1 and use this mechanism to precisely find focus on the grain.
Using the same production techniques as the Film Carrier MK1, the precision machined aluminum riser housing provides a solid mount for your camera. It’s also compatible with standard macro rails and tripod heads, so mounting custom setups is easy.
At nearly 600mm (24”) tall, the Pro Riser MK1 has been designed for digitizing film up to 4x5 with a 100mm full frame equivalent lens.
A negative holder keeps the film in place for image capture. The film needs to be completely flat for sharp photos. This is the key to good camera scans. It holds your precious film flat and safe. Spare no expense!
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.
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.