Fast and easy scanning setup for 4x5 sheet film
Keeps film incredibly flat for optimal sharpness by using 2 sheets of acrylic
Pro Mount MK2 adds precision leveling feet to ensure a level film scanning plane
Scanning 4x5 inch sheet film has always been time consuming with flatbed scanners and very expensive with drum scanning options. Introducing the Negative Supply 4x5 Scanning Kit + Pro Mount MK2 Kit, the perfect setup for scanning 4x5 film with a digital camera.
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.
This Negative Supply 4x5 Scanning Kit includes:
4x5 Film Holder
Pro Mount Mk 2
2x sheets of 4.25x5.25 micro etched acrylic
Set of M4 Machined Thumb Screws
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.