5 x 7 b&W negative carrier

I don’t even have a light source yet, but I have about 100 5 x 7 negatives that have a significant value to me as they are old historic photos of the area in which I live.

I don’t have a light source yet. I am wondering if anyone would have input on scanning these with a DSLR. In particular, where can I get a holder? Those who have a Skier Copy II, could that light be used if I was able to adapt a 5 x 7 holder for it?

Thank input is appreciated.


I presume that 5x7 is in cm, not inches… If this is the case (and more so if it is in inches) and in view of the historic value, I’d probably put them on a light-table (I have a Kaiser plano) without any further devices, except maybe for a piece of gallery-grade glass if the film is not flat.

If the negatives are b/w, almost any light source will do. Just keep away the heat, old film can be fairly inflammable - depending on what is used as a film base.

I meant 5 x 7 inches.


You have given me some good ideas.
Any place where I can get “gallery-grade glass” that you recommend? Is that anti-newton glass?


For gallery glass, I’d go to a shop that frames images professionally or try to get it from speciality glass vendors. You might also find ready made frames that contain glass that is coated to reduce reflexions. Anti-newton glass is slightly frosted. This can reduce sharpness. Coated glass is more expensive than a piece of window pane though.

Can you source a old 5x7 enlarger or a view camera and use that for your holder? I am building an DLSR “copy stand” that should work for up to 4x5 negatives using parts from an old enlarger (including the holder, bellows, and lens holder). The rest of the setup is an enlarger lens, macro bellows, finally DLSR. I am still piecing together things.

Will you be stiching the DLSR scan, i.e. photographing the negative in portions and combining in panorama software? This is common practice for large format negatives and a scan using a lightbox, but not really needed unless you want enough quality to do a very large print.

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I ordered a Kaiser Slimlite Plano 5000K Battery/AC Lightbox (8 x 11") and plan to go from there.

I noticed that the negatives are generally 5 x 7 but many are smaller than this. I will try to figure out something. But an exact 5 x 7 inch holder does not appear to be the answer.

Thank you.

As tristanw said - try search for a LF enlarger film stage and look for something that has AN glass. Keeping LF flat is no joke.

Btw - the gallery glass will do nothing and is waste of money. You need Antinwton glass.

If you hold the transparency between two glasses the smaller size of the transparency is no issue. Trying to keep MF - LF flat without glass is very hard and you don’t want to maximise DoF via aperture above 8 because of diffraction.

Let’s split hairs for a moment. For best results, we might want to use both AN and gallery glass.

  1. Put the AN glass with the rough side up on the light panel,
  2. Put the film with the emulsion side up on the AN glass,
  3. Put the gallery glass on top.

Newton rings appear only when smooth sides touch. The film’s emulsion side is not smooth and should cause no rings. Using gallery (coated) glass reduces reflections. Ordinary glass reflects about 4% of light per surface. Coating the glass reduces these reflections and therefore improves imaging quality - that’s why lenses are coated nowadays.

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