Digital camera scanning is becoming popular because it’s an easy and resourceful way to scan your own work with equipment you may already have. DSLR/Mirrorless scanning is relatively new to film, but it gives added speed, convenience, and precision for capturing frames in full detail. Modern cameras with high resolution also capture slide film with better reproduction quality and color due to CMOS sensor technology.
“After having scanned all our film for over a decade using a professional Fuji Frontier minilab scanner (essentially a Camera Scanner), Epson v750 flatbed and various others, camera scanning is finally emerging as a premium workflow solution for scanning your own work in all formats. The Negative Supply products solve many of the initial struggles of camera scanning. It is now fast and reliable with potentially higher resolution in a much smaller package and simply more efficient in nearly every way.” - Brandon Wright
Scanning film with a digital camera is the future digitization, but strip holders take forever. Speed up scanning time by capturing entire rolls and advance between frames with a high quality stainless steel drive mechanism. Each Frame can be precisely centered while capturing every detail quickly and efficiently. The Film Carrier 120 has seen worldwide success following the Kickstarter campaign, and is now available to ship.
The Film Carrier 120 safely and easily attaches to the Pro Mount MK2, and the Mount offers added weight and widens the footprint of the unit, adding stability to the scanning process. While the Film Carrier 120 is still stable without the Pro Mount, this ensures even greater stability and control.
Designed with precision, utilizing smooth running bearings to provide smooth and even pressure, while silicone tensioners hold the guide wheels securely in place without damaging delicate film stocks. The Pro Mount MK2 is a precisely designed device featuring leveling feet to guarantee a level plane for scanning. The bottoms of the leveling feet also feature small anti-slip feet for added stability and precision.
The key feature on the Pro Mount MK2 saves you a tremendous amount of time and frustration in post production. Every Pro Mount MK2 includes an anti-static brush that securely attaches to the Mount, coming in line with the film gate of the Film Carrier 120. Most dust and unwanted debris will be automatically removed from your film BEFORE scanning, saving you time and energy.
Negative Supply Film Carrier 120
With the Film Carrier 120 you’ll be able to scan entire rolls of 120 film (or cut strips) in as little as 2 minutes or less!
The same great design used in the Film Carrier MK1 is used on the Film Carrier 120, including a machined aluminum housing, precision drive rollers made in house, and custom guide rails.
Improved For Medium Format
While much of the design is similar to the Film Carrier MK1, there are several key improvements to allow for flat medium format film with a magnetically locking clamp mechanism.
A Modular System
Just like the rest of Negative Supply system, the Film Carrier 120 is designed to work with the Pro Mount (MK1 & MK2) and the Pro Riser MK1. We believe a long lasting system depends on cross platform compatibility, and Negative Supply remains committed to this goal.
The Film Carrier 120 combines the build quality and efficiency of the 35mm product (Film Carrier MK1), with the flexibility to support the varying aspect ratios available in 120 and 220 film. From 6x4.5 to 6x9 film, the Film Carrier 120 can handle it all with ease and provides full frame scans with a thin black border.
- Handles uncut or cut rolls of 120 film
- Scan full rolls in as little as 2 minutes or less
- Achieve incredibly sharp scans with our unique magnetic hinged mask design
- Remove dust during scanning with included dust removal brush
- Full frame scanning showing full image area and thin black border around scan
- Machined aluminum housing.
- Precision nylon bearings.
- Smooth silicone tensioners.
- Custom drive rollers.
- Magnetically locking spring loaded clamp
- Film Mask Set (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9)
The Pro Mount MK2
The Pro Mount MK2 is designed to partner seamlessly with the Film Carrier MK1 35mm scanning unit or Film Carrier 120. The Pro Mount MK2 offers added stability, precision, and dust removal capabilities to the Negative Supply scanning system.
With added manufacturing resources and a strong desire to continue innovating the products, Negative Supply re-designed the Pro Mount to match more consistently with the design language of the anodized aluminum Film Carrier MK1 or Film Carrier 120.
The Film Carrier MK1 safely and easily attaches to the Pro Mount MK2, and the Mount offers added weight and widens the footprint of the unit, adding stability to the scanning process. While the Film Carrier MK1 is still stable without the Pro Mount, this ensures even greater stability and control. The Pro Mount MK2 offers added stability, precision, and dust removal capabilities to the Negative Supply scanning system.
- Film Carrier 120 for Medium Format Film Scanning Unit
- Pro Mount MK2
Anti-static dust removal brush
- Interchangeable Mask Set (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7). Note: 6x9cm scans are achieved by using full scanning area. No drop-in mask is required for this format.
- Anti-static dust removing brush
- Laser cut aluminum plate
- Anodized hard coat finish
- Fiber reinforced insert support
- Stainless steel leveling hardware
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 midsized 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 workpiece.
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.