If you shoot film, you know how time-expensive and time-consuming it can be to digitize each frame, one at a time. Even if you send the images to a lab, it is costly and it it is rare to find anywhere that provides scans over six megapixels. Photographer Marius Hanzak has a low cost DIY project that can help you digitize that box of negatives that you have been putting off.


[REWIND:Watch The Total Film Processing Sequence Condensed Into 4 Minutes – Bring Back Memories?]

The setup involves an empty picture frame braced above a Lastolite softbox to create a DIY “light table.” His flash was triggered remotely, using its lowest power setting, as any higher would have blown out any detail in the negatives. Each scan was captured at a low ISO using a Canon SL1 to obtain the cleanest images. A macro filter was added to the front of the lens to get as close to the negative as possible. The negatives were then inverted and cropped in Photoshop.



Flash Power – 1/128
Shutter Speed – 1/125
Aperture – f/8
ISO – 100

Using this set-up, a roll of film can be “scanned” in under five minutes, however the quality would only be good for online publication. Scanning one image at a time can produce higher results. The project is a simple quick method, but it will still not sway me from digital. To see more of Hanzak’s work, check out his blog.

What do you think of the set-up? Do you have a different method of scanning negatives? Share your thoughts below!