Copy stand to avoid camera tilt

I use Negative Supply Basic Riser and quite heavy Leica SL2 camera with Marco lens. First, I have to center it using the old trick with the mirror. But over time, it starts leaning towards one (heavier) side of the camera, so my scanned negatives gets distorted a bit.

The whole point of my Negative Supply setup is to get scanning fast, but I found myself adjusting the camera angle all the time. More with 35mm than 120, simply because it takes longer to scan the whole roll.

Do you have an idea how to better fix the camera to this particular stand, or which stand would you recommend instead?

To be honest, Negative Supply’s basic copy stand looks like it would be fairly flimsy, and the SL is a pretty heavy camera. If you have the 4-leg adjustable Negative Supply stand you can adjust the legs so that the film holder is parallel with the leaning camera.

I have an ALZO copy stand. And while it’s very sturdy, the way the camera connects to the stand makes it lean forward a little bit. So I have to adjust the legs on my Negative Supply carrier stand to accommodate. It works well enough. If your camera has a point to where it leans as far as it’s going to go, this may help. If it just continues to droop forward, I’d maybe look for a different copy stand.

The thing I really dislike about the ALZO is that it raises at an angle, so switching formats requires me to move my whole light/carrier setup around a bit when I raise/lower the camera when switching between 35mm and 120.

Hope that helps.

If you look through the very long but excellent ‘Let’s see your DSLR scanning setup’ thread you will find a great many ingenious and impressive ways to hold your camera relative to the slide or negative that you are copying. However one thing you come away with is there doesn’t seem to be any ‘go to’ copy stand so many have had a go at making their own, or possibly adapted an old enlarger (even a stereo microscope in one case). I think the problem is, as you have found, that ‘entry level’ copy stands that you can buy now are not up to supporting a heavyish camera and lens combination (sometimes not even a light camera & lens combination!). Often there is a ‘pro’ version but these can be pretty expensive. I use either an adapted Durst enlarger column or a Bowens Illumitran and these are hard to recommend as they are both a little hard to find and the Illumitran has its own issues as it is designed to be used with its built-in flash rather than LEDs.

One of the simplest ways to get into camera ‘scanning’ is the Nikon ES-1/ES-2 holder which is designed to fit on to the Micro-Nikkor 55mm or 60mm and of course a full frame Nikon digital camera, effortless alignment every time. With some ingenuity and a selection of 52mm extension tubes you can make it fit other macro lenses or cameras and so do away with the need for a copy stand altogether, but only for 35mm of course.

A simple accessory that can help to turn a tripod into a (kind of) copy stand is a horizontal camera arm like the Manfrotto 131D or Leofoto H-32. It would need a fairly sturdy tripod, probably a ball head and some kind of fine focusing rack to mount the camera together with a simple weight (bag of sand/flour?) on the other side for counter balance.

Had same issue with my Alzo. Addressed it permanently by adding an Edelkrone Flex-Tilt Head. They’re spendy, but all well-made rigging gear is, and you can purpose it for other uses obviously.
Don’t cheap out and get (like I did originally) a budget Z tilt head - they will not stay tight/level over time.

Another device to adjust tilt:

Nevertheless, even the fairly stable column and carrier shown in the 2nd screenshot are elastic enough to allow some movement.

Bear in mind that it’s not the weight of the camera and lens alone that affect the stability, it is the distance of the camera from the column plus the weight of everything in between and so the effective leverage. It’s good to keep the camera as close to the column as possible unless you have a very stable and strong setup. I prefer to adjust the film holder or base board slightly to achieve alignment. The OP’s problem though is that the stand is not strong enough so the alignment was not consistent and I suspect some movement could also creep in at slow shutter speeds.

I wonder if there is any scope for counter balancing the weight by attaching a clamp to the top of the column and hanging an appropriate weight of the clamp? Never tried it so might be a ridiculous suggestion, but an easy one to try.

I suspect that the argument against my suggestion is that a lot of mass on top of a flimsy column will still allow for vibration/camera shake, it should fix the drooping though.

Can confirm. The basic riser is not for heavy lenses. I had to get the Pro version. I believe they brought out a newer version with an adjustable attachment but that was too late for me. The pro is better in every way.

I don’t think they should market the basic to be honest. There aren’t many cameras that would suit.