Do I need to change my lens/camera to scan medium format?

I have an XT-2 and the Fuji 80mm macro lens. Is this enough to scan all medium format sizes and also slides? I want a setup that can do all formats and to know if I have to upgrade the megapixels in my camera to do this. I want to produce scans that are of at least lab quality or what you would get if you go to a scanning service. Is that possible with my current setup?

The other issue besides the camera is that the 80 is a focal length of 120mm full frame isn’t it? Does this mean my stand will have to be a lot higher to get the negative in frame? It’s only the small basic one from Negative supply. If it is, are there any other options for a shorter lens I can buy that will make this possible. I don’t mind interchanging lenses.


Hello @Dazzling and welcome to the forum.

You seem to have all the equipment necessary and you could easily take a shot with the camera moved up as far as your copy stand will allow in order to see if you can cover the necessary negative size. Shoot some checkered paper and you’ll see, how large you can go. If the riser’s column should be too short, you can add a macro rail to extend the reach.

Maybe check dimensions here:,figureOpacity=0.25,AxisO,OffAxis

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Hello Dazzling. I used an X-T1 and a Fuji 80mm Macro to scan approx 12k negatives and 1k square medium format slides. All with remarkable results.
Starting a new project with my X-T2. I am working to “perfect” my exposure on my 23k slide catalog. Hoping to get that dialed in so I can work quicker.

I found the medium format slides easier to photograph because they were larger and seemed to allow more exposure control.
Not sure if this is helpful of encouraging but I thought it may be useful.

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Ok. I guess there no need to upgrade then.

So I think my XT2 has 24 megapixels. I see people say this is the minimum for good quality scans but some say the more the better. Can 24 megapixels deliver high quality scans all the way up to 6x9?

The scan is just an intermediary to your target output. 24 Mpixels are plenty for screen viewing, they might be not enough to print mural size posters though.

You can always stitch a few shots for bigger prints if you like. Still, having a 100 Mpixel camera would be nice too ;-). Nevertheless getting 100 instead of 24 Mpixels only/almost doubles the width of the print…

No matter how far you push technical limits, the source material might end up to be the limiting factor.

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I think I’m probably not explaining my query properly. Say you do a 35mm scan and the output is 6000x4000, or whatever the max is. Then, when you do a 120 scan with the same setup, aren’t you going to get the exact same number of pixels but for a larger negative? It will still be 6000x4000 but for a bigger negative. I think that’s what I’m asking. So to get the same quality the larger the negative gets, wouldn’t you need to keep expanding on the megapixels to maintain the quality. Or am I confusing some things here?

Not necessarily, no. “Quality” is not size. As long as your setup for MF can achieve getting the entire negative in-frame 1:1 and can resolve down to the film’s grain structure clearly, there really isn’t much more information to be had. You’re essentially taking a digital picture of a picture; there is more information in a larger 120 format negative/slide because it’s larger, but that is always limited by what level of detail and dynamic range the original film and lens can resolve. If your scanning setup can “see” to the grain, you’re capturing all that information, “quality”.
Increasing the size of your scanning camera’s sensor only determines how large of an output you can have for printing puposes at the end of the day. A picture of a picture. The most common way around this with an APSC sized sensor (though many do it with larger FF sensors as well) is to take 2-to-4 separate images from different parts of the original frame and stich them in post. This gives you a much larger digital scan file.

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No matter how large your negative is, if your camera has a 4000 x 6000 pixels sensor, your output will be a 24 Megapixel image file. Scanning 120 film simply means that you’ll have to reduce the imaging ratio (move the camera away from the negative) to cover the wider format.

Depending on what aspect ratio your negatives have, you can loose quite a few Megapixels in the process. If you cover the whole, uncropped negative area with one shot of a 24 Megapixel sensor camera…

  • a 6x6 negative can produce an output of no more than 4000x4000 pixels (16 Mpixels)
  • a 6x7 negative can produce an output of no more than 4000x4666 pixels (18 Mpixels)
  • a 4.5x6 negative can produce an output of no more than 4000x5333 pixels (21 Mpixels)
  • a 6x9 negative can produce an output of no more than 4000x6000 pixels (24 Mpixels)

24 Mp camera is good enough for prints of up to 20-30 inches wide. If you want bigger or finer prints, you’d probably want to stitch a few shots - if the quality of the original justifies the extra effort.


Thanks. Those measurements are helpful. I think I understand what people mean when they say they are ‘cropping’ now.

So with regard to megapixels, is this more an indicator of the size you can print rather than the quality of the scan? In the above example, will a 6x6 at 4000x4000 look better than a 35mm on the same sensor because of the inherent quality of the negative being better?

Think weakest link. Or multiplication.

Technical quality can at best be just below 100%. Multiply it with something that can be at best just below 100%. The product will always be less than the lowest multiplier.

I recommend that you take what you have and see what it can get you. Get to know your limits and your gear’s. Improve your technique based on what you can read in the posts here. You can always throw in more money or effort, but it won’t do much good if you don’t invest to improve the weakest link.

As has already been said, if you take a single shot of a 6x6 transparency/negative you’ll ‘only’ get a 4000 px a 4000 px result from your 24MP Fuji, or slightly less to allow a bit of trimming. However if you have a means to move the film holder accurately below the camera, against a straight edge perhaps, you can get closer in so that the long side of the frame captures the full width of the film and take 3 overlapping frames and photomerge them together to give you 6000 x 6000 px or thereabouts. This still won’t approach the detail that you are getting from a 35mm frame though, to do that you’d need to get even closer in and take even more overlapping shots. This for me becomes impractical but I believe some do it.

Let’s look over the hedge for a moment.

The XT-2 has a sensor of 15x23 mm approx.

  • With a lens set to 1:1, take 12 shots of the 6x6 (56mm x 56mm) and stitch to
    get a ± 200 Mpixel image (14’000 x 14’000) → 50 in wide print
  • Get a 2x macro lens e.g. this one and stitch to get 800 Mpixel approx. → 100 in wide print

For such enlargements, it’s probably better to get a print done by a pro lab. Start saving.

But a 4000x4000px scan is still lab quality right? I noticed that if I was to order scans from my local lab their ‘high res scans’ of 6x6 are listed as 3600x3600, which is what I would get if I scanned on my camera and accounted for the trimming you spoke of.

Well ‘lab quality’ is a bit of a vague term in this respect I suppose, 3600 px x 3600 px is pretty low resolution for a medium format 6x6 scan. But, simple answer, yes, your single shot Fuji X-T2 ‘scan’ should be comparable to this or better and you will have the advantage of a RAW file to play with. The stitching method I describe above just enables you to get better quality (not just more pixels) without too much effort using the same equipment. With regard to the copy stand, I don’t have any experience of it but you’ll just have to try and see what you get. If you don’t mind doing things (namely focus & exposure) manually then a 6-element 50mm enlarger lens will also give very good results perhaps mounted to the Fuji via an M42 adapter and 42mm extension rings, or bellows of course.